Great surprises from the Hunter Valley

Great surprises from the Hunter Valley

I get the pleasure of sampling and tastings some really great wines. I know someone has to do the dirty work!

Many of these I have never had the opportunity to try so I do not know what to expect so keeping an open mind is really important.

It is all too easy to stereotype wines as we do with people but pleasantly and thankfully I am constantly surprised but what we taste.

Now I have to declare my hand as I am a great lover of Gewurztraminer and have been for many years, so when I was given the opportunity to try a great Australian example of this wine I jumped at it

I was given a few bottles of The Hunter Vineyards 2012 Reserve Press Gewurztraminer to sample & taste.

The Hunter Vineyards winery is located in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales just a few hours to the north of Sydney, the vineyard is  owned by a great  friend of  ours called Neil Flett

Now Neil is a really sharp businessman who runs the very successful  company called rogenSi and also spends a fair amount of his time also supporting The Starlight Children’s Foundation (which is one of our favorite causes too) so it is no wonder that he is able to produce such a high quality wine like this.

The first thing that struck me was the fact that it so reminded me of drinking a great Gewurztraminer for the Alsace in France, that same unmistakable flinty and mineral taste which was complemented by a huge well balanced fruit driven taste.

This wonderfully well constructed wine at a very early stage began to open itself up and continued to surprise me the further we got through the bottle.

I have had my share of great Alsatian wines from the likes of Trimbach & Wolfberger before and this is as good as it gets which is a wonderful thing as often wine styles & varieties just do not translate from their domain terrior- but this one really does.

Now when to you mention Gewurztraminer the average Australian wine drinkers run for the hills and screams “ I am not drinking that sweet stuff”. But, this is anything but this and it is both a wine and grape variety that we would challenge people to try at least once more

I know amongst many of our friends & clients  that something strange happens when you put the words Riesling  (Traminer) and Gewurtz together as most people assume that it will not a dry styled wine. Maybe this is a hangover from our youth and something to do with our early drinking days of Blue Nun and Libefruawine that has caused this to happen.

The 2012 Reserve Press Gewurztraminer, at first taste this wine punches you with a huge explosion of grapefruits and heaps and heaps of passion fruits, just the most stunning first impression. This wine is wonderfully balanced with just the right amount of dryness and sweetness with neither of them dominating one another.

It has a steely clean aromatic finish, you can taste the citrus flavours come through like mandarins, hints of lime & ginger. It is really a wine that you will really enjoy each mouthful of, as you will find yourself discovering something new each time.

I think that this wine makes a great food wine as well as a drinking wine to share with friends. Certainly this wine lends itself to spicier styles of food especially good Asian dishes, Thai and Indian foods, as it would create the perfect balance between all of these complex flavours

It would make an ideal wine to share with seafood’s, especially shellfish as it nicely blends in with the wonderful buttery and full flavours these food often exhibit.

Drinking at a very reasonable 12.6%, wine maker Nick Patterson has created something very unusual from the Hunter Valley and this wine is a real credit to both him and Neil. It’s great to see winemakers like Nick challenge the conventional norms and wisdoms and produce a first class wine like this.

Let me give you one small warning ,this is not  a wine that you should not serve too cold.  (which is a bad habit of many Australians)

The temptation is to chill wines like this down to far but all this does is rob you of all the flavours when you first drink this wine.

I would suggest serving this wine between 12 and 14 C as you will reap the rewards of this wine a lot more but if you like your wine really cold well there will no great damage done you will just experience this wine s true character and complexity a little later.

This is a great summer wine and with the warmer weather coming (please no more snow storms) this is a great wine to share with friends, as it is has such a versatile serving style.

Use it is as an aperitif, main meal wine or something to finish your night maybe with your desert you can just about use this anywhere.

This multi award winning wine is one that you should have on your table and cellar as this style of wine will only continue to develop for many years & yet deliver I believe a stunning return for your investment.

Zum Wohl