The Cellar: Summer Wines from New Zealand
Friday, June 10, 2016
But we will start with the sort of wine that originally placed (and continue to cement) New Zealand on the international wine map. The wine is the $13ish 2015 Sauvignon Blanc from Matua Winery. In making this wine grapes were sourced from over 100 vineyards throughout Marlborough – arguably New Zealand's most famous of its 10 wine regions. After careful selection and pressing, the juice was transferred into stainless steel tanks for fermentation, followed by a period on the lees (dead yeasts) before blending and bottling.
The resulting wine is classic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc; fresh, crisp and delicious. Tropical fruits alongside the grassy greens dominate on the nose while a mix of citrus, stone and tropical fruits take over on the palate. The wine shows extraordinary balance and length on the finish. For under $15 this is a ‘must-sip’ wine.
If you look at a map you’ll notice that New Zealand is the home of the world's southernmost vineyards. Because of the cooler conditions the wines are often leaner, more elegant and higher in acid – this goes for the whites as well as the reds. Don't expect big, extracted fruit bombs here. Most of the red grapes (excluding Pinot Noir which is found all over the country) are grown primarily on the Northern Island where the days are longer and summer temperatures higher. Here grape varieties such as Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc are grown.
Located on the east coast of the northern island, Hawkes Bay is New Zealand’s second most prolific wine region. This region is most famous for its red Bordeaux inspired blends and full bodied Chardonnay’s. They also grow Syrah in the medium-bodied, peppered style, as opposed to the full-bodied fruit-forward ones that neighboring Australia is famous for.
Trinity Hill Winery who makes this week’s second featured wine. Their 2014 ‘The Trinity’ is a Merlot dominated red blend with smaller proportions of Tempranillo, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Each bath of grapes were harvested, pressed, macerated and vinified separately. After 14 months of aging in a combination of small French oak barrels and stainless steel tanks the wine was blended together.
The resulting wine is a really fantastic cool-climate red wine. This medium-bodied wine displays a harmonious blend of ripe and slightly underripe red and dark fruit. There is a certain richness to the wine (probably from the Merlot) which is coupled with spice and ripe tannins. There is a cool-climate core of acidity than runs the length of the wine providing an element of freshness and vibrancy.
Steffen Rasch is a Certified Sommelier and Specialist of Wine. Learn about wine in person by signing up for one of his tastings at the Providence Wine Academy.
Related Slideshow: 10 New England Wine Getaways
Newport Vineyards is the perfect Rhode Island destination for wine lovers year round. Visit the winery this weekend for tastings and tours, featuring an array of award winning wines.
909 E Main Road, Middletown, RI. (401) 848-5161.
Carolyn's Sakonnet Vineya
Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyards in Little Compton is much more than just a winery—it is a place to get away from the stresses of life and indulge your senses, a place to try new things, a place to focus on you. The vineyard is open every day, and invites you to come for a tasting and tour. Try their Petite Red, Vidal Blanc, and many more of their distinctive wines.
162 W Main Road, Little Compton, RI. (401) 635-8486.
Visit Greenvale Vineyards in Portsmouth to sample their estate grown and produced wine, made in small batches. While at the estate, try seven different wines and keep the wine glass for only $12. While you are tasting, take in the gorgeous views of both the vineyard and river. Besides tasting the wines, Greenvale also invites customers to tour the winery and learn about the history and process of winemaking at the vineyard.
582 Wapping Road, Portsmouth, RI. (401) 847-3777.
Maugle Sierra Vineyards
For a trip to a vineyard that includes much more than just wine, hop over the border to Ledyard, CT, to check out Maugle Sierra Vineyards. The vineyard hosts live music on Fridays and Sundays to compliment your wine tasting experience. Pack a dinner or light fare and enjoy a tasting session in the Sierra Room while you take in the sunset.
825 Colonel Ledyard Highway, Ledyard, CT. (860) 464-2987.
Nickle Creek Vineyards
Nickle Creek Vineyard is a family owned and operated Rhode Island wine treasure. The winery, located in Foster, makes it their mission to handcraft the most unique, high quality wines in the business. All wines are created in small batches, giving them a distinctly unique taste. This weekend, visit their tasting room to try their variety of wines. On your way out, be sure to pick up a bottle of Foster Nights to get you through those chilly New England evenings.
12 King Road, Foster, RI. (401) 369-3694.
Nashoba Valley Winery
Take the bite off the winter chill this weekend and take a drive to Nashoba Valley Winery in Bolton. The winery hosts tasting events everyday from 10am-4:30pm For $5, receive a free tasting glass and samples of up to five different wines. Some favorites include Strawberry Rhubarb Wine, Holiday Special Cranberry Apple (a new release in November 2013), and New English Cider. If you are in the mood for something other than wine (if that’s possible), check out their beer selection as well!
100 Wattaquadock Hill Road, Bolton, MA. (978) 779-5521.
Bishop’s Orchards Winery
The wines from Bishop’s Orchards Winery and Farm Market in Guilford, CT, have won over 179 medals since the winery opened in 2005. The tasting room at Bishop’s is open seven days a week year round, so no time is off-limits for wine tasting. Head over on the weekend to enjoy a winery tour pre or post tasting session. While visiting the winery, also be sure to check out the market for fresh baked goodies.
1355 Boston Post Road, Guilford, CT. (203) 453-2338.
Diamond Hill Vineyards
For a cool twist on classic wine labels, look no further than Diamond Hill Vineyard in Cumberland. At Diamond Hill, you can get custom designed wine labels perfect for any occasion. If you’re interested in tasting the wines, visit their elegant tasting room for samples of their high quality wines such as Cranberry Apple, Estate Pinot Noir, or Blackberry.
3145 Diamond Hill Road, Cumberland, RI. (401) 333-2751.
Westport Rivers Vineyard & Winery
Tucked away on the southern coast of Massachusetts, Westport Rivers Vineyard & Winery, located about an hour’s drive from Worcester, is worth the trip. For only $10, you can take home a special edition etched wine glass and enjoy a tasting of up to six of their award-winning wines. While the tasting room is open Monday-Saturday, free winery tours are also offered to the public every Saturday from 1-3pm.
417 Hixbridge Rd, Westport, MA. (508) 636-3423.
Found on the southern Massachusetts coast about 30 minutes outside of Providence, is Travessia Winery in New Bedford. This micro-winery puts a twist on traditional wine culture with its cool urban flair. Travessia is open for sales and tastings Wednesday-Sunday, and invites customers to come in and enjoy their unique variety of wines.
760 Purchase Street, New Bedford, MA. (774) 929-6534.
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