New Zealand Vintage 2014


A great harvest this year in Marlborough, New Zealand.

While rain in mid-April spelled an early finish for many winemakers, fortunately all of my fruit was in before the deluge.

I was lucky enough this year to have the assistance of Jose Hernandez-Gonzales my counterpart in the Ningxia Wine Challenge.

‘Jose the Spaniard’ was educated in Bordeaux and spends most of his time in Spain and Turkey, but I managed to lure him out to Marlborough for the harvest. 

Jose quickly became accustomed to the late nights, double shifts and a ‘crafty’ beer (local beer) or two at the end of a long day's work. Thanks for your help mate.

I was also surprised to see more Chinese vintage interns in Marlborough this year.  I was very interested to find out what part of China they were from, and why they chose to come to New Zealand for harvest.

Here's hoping their experiences in New Zealand will follow through to some of the of the wineries I've visited in China!

Some of the 2014 fruit is looking pretty special and I'm looking forward to blending in a couple of months.  It's early days yet, but I've got some pretty high expectations.  Cheers!

Posted on May 5, 2014 .

Rose is a rose is a rose is a Rosé

We have been enjoying some fantastic long hot summer days in Marlborough lately, and one of my favourite ways to soak up the late afternoon sun is with a well chilled glass of Rosé.

It may not seem as masculine as downing a beer (I’ve been doing a fair bit of that too), but I’m not afraid to be seen in pink, whether it’s a ‘salmon’ coloured shirt or a rose tinted wine.

Gertrude Stein may have decreed that a “rose is a rose is a rose is a rose” but in the case of Rosé appearances can be deceiving.

Sure, there are some sweet Rosés on the market which taste like they’ve been laced with confectionary, but the finest examples such as the beautiful blush wines from the Rhône are off dry and complex, elegantly delivering fresh berry fruits, spice, savoury nuances and minerality. 

Rosé has enjoyed a long romance with Provence in the South of France, but the New World has been slow in embracing it; the love affair only evolving in the last decade.

I felt that Marlborough’s Pinot Noir would be perfectly suited to the production of outstanding Rosés, and so too did Adrian and Jo of Four Hawk Day who I make wine for - so much so that they grow Pinot Noir solely for the production of Rosé.

The result, according to MW Bob Campbell: “Pale pink Rosé with very seductive scents of wild strawberries and violets.  An ethereal texture leads to a lingering finish.  Seamless wine made with a very light touch.  93/100, 5 Stars.”

And I’m tickled pink (too many puns?) that the wine judges have enjoyed it as much as I do, awarding it with a Pure Silver medal at the 2013 Air New Zealand Wine Awards and Top Wine in Taste Magazine’s Rosé competition. 

Fifty Shades of Grey is so passé – this summer is all about Fifty Shades of Pink.

Posted on March 19, 2014 .

Double GOLD for Cirro Sauvignon Blanc 2013

I was super chuffed to receive news that our Cirro Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 won double gold at the 2014 China Wine and Spirits Awards - I jumped straight on the phone to share the news with fellow winemaker Richie.

The CWSA is the biggest and most prestigious wine and spirits competition in China, with more than 100 judges blind tasting more than 5000 entries from 35 countries around the world before choosing the winning wines.

As you may know, I spend a lot of time in China winemaking, so it's great to know our wines hit the spot with Chinese palates, which are subtly different to other markets around the world.

We're quietly pleased with the Cirro Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013.  With its punchy style and intense tropical and nettle aromas, it has received glowing reviews from many wine writers, including a score of 17.5/20 from Raymond Chan

If you haven't yet had the pleasure of tasting our wines, or wish to stock up the cellar, click here to find our our distributor information in New Zealand, Australia and China.


Posted on February 22, 2014 .