ven. 19 juillet à 01:00
For my fifth annual summer Peruvian dinner at Quenas, I’ll be returning to the theme I did the first two years: New Zealand. Two of the wines (Hawkshead Pinot Gris and Valli Pinot Noir) I obtained while visiting New Zealand in March and are not available in the US. And three are by Te Mata, a winery that particularly impressed me during my visit. Three whites, three reds, six varietals represented. From regions on the north (Auckland, Hawke’s Bay) and south (Otago) islands. Note: this is planned as an alfresco dinner in the restaurant’s garden—if there is a serious threat of rain, I might cancel and reschedule. Limited to eight people, to fit around one of the restaurant’s round garden tables. https://www.quenasrestaurant.biz/ 2018 Hawkshead Pinot Gris, Central Otago $20
Not rated. From the winemaker: “A genuinely classic Central Otago wine, displaying lifted notes of lime and citrus zest and sweet spice aromatics with notable hints of passionfruit and honeydew on the nose. The dry style Pinot Gris still displays an impressive fruit sweetness; it will fool your palate. It has only 2 grams of residual sugar per litre. Fresh pineapple acidity and unctuous texture make it a balanced wine with a mineral backbone." 2018 Te Mata Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc, Hawke’s Bay $27
Wine Advocate 93 – The 2018 Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc is 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 6% Sémillon and 4% Sauvignon Gris, all barrel-fermented in 30% new French oak immersion-bent barrels. It doesn't have any charred, nutty character as a result, but it does show a grainy nuance layered over ripe fig and melon notes. It's medium to full-bodied and richly textured, with fabulous grapefruit-infused length on the finish. It's just a lovely Graves-like wine that should drink well for at least 5 years. 2015 Kumeu River Coddington Chardonnay, Kumeu (Auckland) $43
Wine Advocate 91+ – The 2015 Coddington Chardonnay is youthfully muted with subtle suggestions of lemon curd, lime leaves and grapefruit peel plus a yeasty, toasty, cedary waft. Light to medium-bodied, fine, fresh and delicate in the mouth, it delivers good citrus and yeasty notes. 2017 Te Mata Gamay Noir, Hawke’s Bay $20
Jancis Robinson 16/20 – Pale crimson – looks like a red Spangle (hard candy) in colour. Yes, I can just get a Gamay nose here! And the texture is just right, with bite and juiciness. Lightweight and actually lower acidity than a typical Beaujolais but a ‘pleasant’ drink. 2017 Valli Vineyards Waitaki Vineyard Pinot Noir, North Otago $40
James Suckling 93 – From the remote, limestone-rich outpost of Waitaki, this has a cool and complex nose with baking spices and lightly peppery nuances, as well as coal smoke, wild red flowers, herbs and red berries. A neat palate, offering savory notes of dark stones and smoke and crisp, delicate, plaster-like tannins. Drink now. 2016 vintage Jancis Robinson 17/20: Valli make their four regional Pinots similarly though in Waitaki they use less whole bunch because berries are smaller and it's cooler and the wine can be too herbaceous. Usually under 13%. Lightish crimson. Pretty, scented and a little herbal but not green. Dry, subtle and very fresh. Delicate, dry tannins, dry finesse and more red-fruited and you can taste the cooler climate. Smooth, almost chalky. 2016 Te Mata Bullnose Syrah, Hawke’s Bay $45
Wine Advocate 91 – Wonderfully fragrant—almost perfumed—the 2016 Bullnose Syrah is loaded with violets and peppery spice notes. Never the biggest Hawke's Bay Syrah, the 2016 shows just enough red cherry and raspberry fruit to support those other elements, some silky tannins and a ripe, mouthwatering, licorice-tinged finish. Drink this vintage over the near term. It's entirely destemmed fruit from the Bridge Pa subregion aged in 37% new French oak for 15-16 months.