Tag: French Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

May 05 2011

Tasting Highlights: From New Zealand to the South of France

Posted on May 05, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

The Cellarit Wine Blog took a bit of a hiatus over the Easter break due to family and other pressing work commitments. But that didn’t mean I didn’t have time to sample some great wines! Here are a few that recently impressed.

My love affair with New Zealand pinot noir continues. The best that I’ve tasted recently have a bit of age and a hint of that savoury earthiness that I think probably all the best makers of pinot noir strive for. A couple of highlights:

Te Kairanga Runholder Pinot Noir 2007

Te Kairanga was one of Martinborough’s founding vineyards. Martinborough is at the foot of the South Island where the soils of the ancient river “Martinborough” terraces and the climatic conditions are remarkably similar to Burgundy. In less than thirty years, Martinborough has established an enviable reputation as one of the world’s best places to grow pinot noir, with Ata Rangi and Dry River, for example, attaining world class reputations.

Gary Walsh of The Wine Front scored the Te Kairanga Runholder Pinot Noir 2007 90 points:  “Has an attractive earthy beetroot character, dry herbs, rose oil and plum/cherry fruit with a good clip of quality oak. It’s fresh and medium bodied with an attractive Chinotto like bitterness and a good finish. It’s a style I like and one I enjoyed drinking – interesting and not too fruity.” (The Wine Front, 31 March 2010). Also affordable!  Vaucluse Cellars, where I bought my bottle, has this wine for a mixed case price of $28 a bottle.


Amisfield Pinot Noir 2007

I tried the Amisfield Pinot Noir 2007 at a friend’s home. They are passionate wine collectors, who obviously know what they’re doing! This wine was superb.  A slightly riper style than the Te Kairanga Runholder but … Read the rest

May 05 2011

A Taste of French Terroirs: Champagne Highlights

Posted on May 05, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

The French-Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry sponsored a trade day on Tuesday, A Taste of French Terroirs. The event proved a great opportunity to sample Champagne from some great grower-producers: Breton Fils, Champagne Mailly Grand Cru, Champagne Marc & Fils, Champagne Paul Goerg, and Champagne CH. & A. Prieur, also makers of Champagne Napoleon. In general, these Champagne Houses are grower co-operatives or family run businesses.

As I mentioned in my previous post, Champagne: Highlights of a Memorable Tasting, an increasing number of independent grower-producers in the Champagne region are interested in making people think about Champagne in the same way as they would a fine Bordeaux of Burgundy. The importance of terroir as defined by the health of the vineyard, the soil type, climatic conditions and the artisanal skill of the winemaker are gaining resonance in understanding and assessing the quality of fine Champagne.

The grower-producers blend to a house style, but unlike the bigger houses that draw their grapes from a multiple of regions within Champagne, the grower producers typically limit their selection to vineyards from their own village. Consequently, one of the best ways to appreciate terroir is to try the wines produced by the smaller houses. Champagne Paul Goerg, for example, which was founded by a grower’s co-operative in 1950, makes Champagne primarily from the chardonnay grape. Its 120 hectares of premier cru vineyards near Vertus, just south of the famed Cotes des Blanc, have micro-terroirs that lend the wines from different vineyards unique characteristics. The south facing areas, for example, produce rich and supple wines, whereas the east facing slopes give the wine rigour and minerality.


Only 17 of Champagne’s 319 villages currently enjoy the highest Grand Cru status. The Mailly Grand Cru estate is a single vineyard 70 … Read the rest