Category Archives: New Zealand

Royal Ascot 2018: What to expect

Hallgarten recently became Official Wine Supplier to Ascot Racecourse, exclusively supplying all still wines to the world’s most famous racecourse.

The partnership will see Hallgarten supply wine across the site, including at Royal Ascot. Michelin-Starred chefs Simon Rogan, Philip Howard and Raymond Blanc OBE will all showcase a specially selected range of wines in their respective restaurants during the Royal Meeting.

Royal Ascot is one of the most iconic race meetings across the world – there’s nothing quite like it. From the Royal procession, to the style and fashion, to the strawberries and cream (and the racing of course), over 300,000 people are expected to attend.

There’s a lot to consider across the five day spectacle, we’ve taken a closer look at what you can expect.

At Royal Ascot’s award-winning, fifth-floor restaurant, On 5, with its extraordinary garden terrace offering panoramic views of the racecourse. What will Michelin starred Philip Howard be pouring with his signature menus…

White:

Tenuta Ammiraglia, Massovivo, Toscana, Vermentino 
A lovely, intense straw colour, which leads to an impressive bouquet of fragrant blossom and exotic fruits, along with a fascinating vein of earthy minerality which is classic of this area. Fresh, crisp and sapid, but well sustained by its structure, it has an intriguing hint of almond on the finish.

Swartland Winery, ‘Founders’, Swartland, Chenin Blanc
An expressive Chenin Blanc, showing vibrant aromas of ripe passion fruit, guava and pineapple, underpinned by refreshing citrus notes. Well balanced with a full, fruity palate and a refreshing minerality on the finish.

Rosé:

Gérard Bertrand ‘Gris Blanc’, Pays d’Oc
The palest of salmon pinks, this is a wonderfully pure, fresh flavoured wine, with vibrant fruit aromatics. The fruity characters are echoed on the palate, which has a lovely minerality and a zesty finish.

Red:

Saint Clair, ‘Origin’, Marlborough, Pinot Noir 
Aromas of sun-kissed dark berries, boysenberry and freshly picked blackberries, are interlaced with toasted wood notes and a hint of dark chocolate. The palate is full of sumptuous dark berries, layered with freshly ground coffee beans and dark chocolate. A hint of cinnamon spice leads into a savoury finish.

 

Raymond Blanc OBE returns as chef-in-residence to the sixth-floor Panoramic Restaurant, which offers one of the finest views across the track and down the straight mile. What will Raymond be pouring this year with his gastronomic menu…

 

White:

Domaine Tabordet ‘Laurier’, Pouilly-Fumé
A classic Pouilly Fumé showing minerality complemented by notes of exotic fruits, tangerine, pink grapefruit and spicy undertones. The palate is powerful and refreshing and delivers a long, flinty finish.

Rosé:

Château de l’Aumérade ‘Cuvée Marie Christine’ Rosé, Cru Classé Côtes de Provence
A lovely pale powder pink hue, with refreshing aromas of grapefruit leading to succulent peach and apricot on the palate. Fruit forward and full, with a hint of spice, this elegant rosé has a refreshing acidity and a long finish.

Red:

Domaine de la Ville Rouge ‘Inspiration’, Crozes-Hermitage 
Deep red, intense aromas of red fruits and black olives. Spicy and peppery notes with silky tannins. An elegant and silky textured wine.

 Sweet:

Château Suduiraut, Castelnau de Suduiraut, Sauternes
This elegantly rich wine shows orange peel and mineral notes on the nose. The palate is full bodied with almonds, spice, honey and candied fruits through to a lovely, lingering finish.

 

Chef Adam Handling, of The Frog E1 and Frog by Adam Handling in Covent Garden, makes his Royal Ascot debut in 2018 as he takes his role as ‘Chef in Residence’ of The Balmoral – a brand new Fine Dining restaurant within the Royal Enclosure.

White:

Gérard Bertrand ‘Terroir’ Picpoul de Pinet
A complex nose, full of citrus and floral notes combined with white peach, exotic fruit and a hint of pineapple. The palate is rich with zesty fruit and a livewire acidity which keeps your taste buds tingling. The finish is long and well rounded.

Rosé:

Saint Clair,’Origin’, Marlborough, Pinot Gris Rosé
Pale salmon in colour, a refreshing rosé with lifted aromas of sun-ripened strawberry, whipped cream and spiced pear. Beautifully balanced and finely structured on the palate with creamy fruit flavours of raspberries and strawberries leading to a hint of spice on the finish.

Red:

Gérard Bertrand ‘Naturalys’, Pays d’Oc, Syrah
A deep colour, with shimmering hints of violet. Generous nose, packed with red fruit and spice. Supple, aromatic and impeccably elegant on the palate, with refined tannins and lively fruit flavours offset by subtle herbaceous aromas.

Sweet:

Quady Winery, ‘Essensia’, California, Orange Muscat
Vibrant orange in colour, this wine delivers luscious sweet oranges and apricots on the palate. The bittersweet orange marmalade notes balance well with the zesty citric acidity.

 

What else to expect by numbers…

56,000
bottles of Champagne

80,000
cups of tea

21,000
jugs of Pimm’s

7,000
rumps of English lamb

3,000
kilos of beef sirloin

3,500
fresh lobsters

 

Winemaker profile: Hamish Clark

Hamish Clark; winemaker, father of 2, fishing fanatic.

Since joining the Saint Clair Family Estate in 2001, Hamish has held a wide variety of positions including; Lab Manager, Cellar Hand, Assistant Winemaker and Red Winemaker. This gave him a huge amount of experience when taking on his current role – Chief Winemaker/Viticulturist.

Here are a six things you might not have known about the man behind the vines:

  1. Loves spending time in and on the water – swimming, surfing and spear fishing!
  2. Particularly enjoys Vietnamese food; this complex cuisine full of sweet, sour and spicy notes is a great match for the ripe fruit flavours of Saint Clair’s Origin Sauvignon Blanc.
  3. Hamish has always had close ties with the family behind Saint Clair since childhood, having gone to school with Neal and Judy Ibbotson’s three children.
  4. He has a tendency to fall out of windows, having managed to fall out of a second floor window as a child, not one, but twice – once in an attempt to climb up and see his Grandmother arriving on the ferry. Fortunately, he landed unharmed both times!
  5. Has a varied and extensive background in the sciences with a BSc in Microbiology and one in Zoology from Otago University.

Although he is now recognised as one of Marlborough’s best winemakers, Hamish could have followed a very different career path. Prior to making wine he spent time as both a forensic scientist for the Home Office in the UK, tracing down criminals and repeat offenders, and as a Medical Laboratory Assistant in hospitals. Luckily (for the wine drinking public), he decided to pursue his passion for wine.

For more information on any of our wines from Saint Clair visit our website or speak to your account manager.

 

Are you ready for Rosé?

The sun has come out again and it’s time to put that Rosé back on ice. Below are a six-pack of wines that are sure to get your customers back into the summer mood.

Goring Estate Rosé NV

Dermot Sugrue is not exactly a new name in the English wine industry but he is certainly a winemaker at the top of his game. Born in Ireland in 1974, he studied Viticulture and Oenology at Plumpton Agricultural College before completing two seasons working at Chateau l’Eglise-Clinet and Chateau Leoville-Barton. In 2003 he joined Nyetimber and was appointed winemaker in 2004. Over the following years he oversaw Nyetimber’s emergence as one of the world’s greatest sparkling wine producers. From Nyetimber he moved to Wiston Estate in 2006 to work with the Goring Family of West Sussex. The Goring Brut is made exclusively for us by Dermot Sugrue.

A supremely elegant rosé, with a subtle flavour of summer berries, freshly baked bread and spice overlaying a core of tangy acidity. Creamy and textured with a fresh finish.

Gerard Bertrand, La Sauvageonne 2015

Gérard Bertrand is one of the most outstanding winemakers in the South of France, where he owns numerous estates among the most prestigious crus of LanguedocRoussillon. Named in 2012 as the IWC Red Winemaker of the Year and Wine Enthusiast’s European Winery of the Year, he is known locally as the “King” of the Languedoc. Brought up in the Languedoc vineyards, Gérard Bertrand is committed to sharing the characteristics and exceptional diversity of each of the terroirs. Twenty years of know-how ensures that wines bearing Gérard Bertrand’s signature have a unique style driven each day by four fundamental values: excellence, authenticity, conviviality and innovation. We firmly believe Gérard will become one of the leading French names in the UK.

The bouquet offers up notes of crushed strawberries, sweet spice and floral notes of violet and hawthorne. Powerful and generous, with a velvety texture and a revitalising freshness. This wine is built on tension and stamped with a brilliant salinity.

San Marzano, Tramari 2016

In 1962, 19 vine growers from San Marzano whose families had farmed the land for generations, combined their efforts to establish ‘Cantine San Marzano’. Through the decades this cooperative has grown significantly, attracting over 1,200 vine growers. Using modern and technologically advanced vinification techniques they produce elegant wines that pay homage to the ancient Apulian wine traditions. The fusion of time honoured tradition, passion and contemporary techniques, enables this winery to produce wines with distinctive varietal and regional characteristics while reflecting the local terroir. In the Sommelier Wine Awards, San Marzano was awarded European Producer of the Year 2017.

Made from the Primitivo grape, this is a very appealing pale and tangy rosé with aromas of roses and wild strawberries against a creamy background of Mediterranean spice.

Frescobaldi, Alie 2016

A Florentine family with thirty generations dedicated to the production of great wines across six Tuscan estates. The Frescobaldi style brings together tradition and innovation. With the goal of being the most prestigious Tuscan wine producer, Frescobaldi firmly believes in respecting the local land while focusing on the highest quality grapes for its wines. The Frescobaldis own over 1,000 hectares of vineyards, all located in excellent areas for the production of fine wines. Directly managed by its family members, the Frescobaldi name is deeply connected with the history of art, culture, trade, finance and wine in Italy.

Refined and elegant, Alìe is characterised by its delicate rose colour and subtle peach highlights. Fresh with ripe fruits, citrus, white melon and a hint of cherry, the palate is textured with a streak of minerality. A beautifully balanced wine, with an intense and persistent finish.

Campuget, ‘1753’ Rosé Syrah Vermentino 2016

Costières de Nimes, the easternmost appellation of the Languedoc, is effectively part of the Rhône since the climate, soil and topography are so similar to those just over the river in the southern Côtes-du-Rhône vineyards. The relatively uniform soils are marked by large pebbles on gentle, typically south-facing slopes. Château de Campuget was established in 1942 and is a top quality estate near Nîmes, steeped in history. The Château itself was built in 1753 and at the same time the first vines were planted, prompting the 1753 range of wines which mark this historic date. The fusion of tradition and progression unite in the cellars here, producing wines with integrity, finesse and a wonderful expression of terroir, from a wide range of traditional Rhône varieties.

This dry, aromatic rosé shows enticing notes of grapefruit with delicate citrus hints, a refreshing palate of elegant red berry fruits and passion fruit.

Saint Clair, Pinot Rosé Gris 2016

Neal and Judy Ibbotson were pioneers in the Marlborough wine industry, first planting vineyards in the valley in 1978 and then establishing Saint Clair Family Estate in 1994. They own 160 hectares of vineyard in ten different Marlborough locations chosen specifically for the attributes of their individual “terroir” and ability to produce top quality grapes. Neal Ibbotson combines his extensive expertise in viticulture with the talent of one of New Zealand’s leading winemaking teams, led by Matt Thomson and Hamish Clark. Since 1994, when wines from the first vintage all won medals including gold, the name Saint Clair has been synonymous with quality and its award-winning record continues today.

A fresh and luscious palate with bright sweet strawberries, watermelon and red cherry. Well balanced fresh acidity ensures a round elegant palate and a lingering finish.

 

The Wine Writer’s Easter Wines

Easter is the time of year to enjoy good food and good wine with your nearest and dearest. Below is a range of wines for all occasions over the weekend as chosen by some of the nation’s wine writers.

 

Jane Macquitty, The Times, selects her best buys in the run up to Easter weekend:

2015 Gérard Bertrand, Cigalus

“Sensational, biodynamic, oak-aged Midi white, Chardonnay with Viognier and Sauvignon, bursting with exotic, spice-box and grapefruit-styled pizzazz.”

 

John Mobbs, owner of Great British Wine, has chosen his English bubbles to kick off Easter celebrations:

Sugrue Pierre, The Trouble With Dreams 2013

“On the nose, this is clearly the most complex wine on the nose of the five (though at £39, the most expensive too). The nose is nuanced and expansive, with apple and citrus freshness matched with equal amounts of nutty biscuit complexity.

Acidity is youthful, almost eye watering in its vibrance; the most mouth-watering of green apple crispness! And then those bubbles – the mousse is absolutely luxurious and leads the way for an eclectic blend of baked stone fruit and pastry flavours. Citrus freshness interweaves constantly, as do waves of toasted nut and hints of caramelised sugar.

The words bracing, unctuous and exuberant are all descriptors I love in a sparkling wine – but few wines combine all of these qualities and then some. Sugrue Pierre 2013 does just that.

As a relatively new release, this 2013 is just a baby and has at least a decade of development ahead of it. Order a case and enjoy a bottle or two now, then lay the rest down in a cool, dark place and reap the rewards of patience when the time comes!”

 

Terry Kirby, The Independent, has selected his wine for the fish course over Easter Weekend:

2014 Saint Clair, Pioneer Block 3 ’43 Degrees’

“A Marlborough sauvignon blanc from a single vineyard showing fabulous intensity of flavour, with incredibly full flavours of tropical fruits and green herbs and a long finish, achieved, say the winemakers, by planting rows of vines at an angle to give the right blend of sun and shade. This is wonderful with seared scallops, peppered tuna, any Asian-tinged fish dishes and, if you can find it, early season English asparagus.”

 

Matthew Nugent, Irish Sun, recommends an immaculate Spanish blend for an Easter Sunday slow roast pork loin:

2013 Tandem Inmacula

“Delicious bend of Viura and Chardonnay make this glorious white from Spain’s Navarra region. Powerful nose of apricots, melons and pears with smoky mineral notes leads to a very expressive, fresh but elegant palate that has exceedingly good depth with heaps of stone fruit and citrus notes and a little minerality on a long and clean finish.”

And the Best New Zealand Producer of the Year is… Saint Clair Family Estate!

Saint Clair, pioneer in the Marlborough wine industry, has been awarded the accolade of Best New Zealand Producer of the Year at the AWC Vienna International Wine Challenge 2016.

The AWC Vienna is the largest officially recognised wine competition in the world, with over 12 thousand wines entered from 41 different countries in 2016.

The landmark award win has also coincided with the local and prestigious Air New Zealand Wine Awards Gold medal winners, with Saint Clair achieving Gold medal status for a variety of wines at various price points.

The winery’s consistent recognition in a variety of wine competitions, both locally and internationally, is a clear indication of the quality present across the entire range; reinforcing Saint Clair’s position as a leading New Zealand wine producer.

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In The Papers: Saint Clair Viognier & Grüner Veltliner

Great to see not one, but two, Saint Clair wines written up in yesterday’s Scotland on Sunday.

Brian Elliot loved the 2015 Viognier from Hawkes Bay and the 2014 Grüner Veltliner, both of which featured in his article on stunning New Zealand wines that aren’t Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc.

Continue reading In The Papers: Saint Clair Viognier & Grüner Veltliner