General Blog




Kahurangi Liquor Distributors Trade Show – Wellington


14-Jun-2017

Greg and Amanda Day - Kahurangi Estate

Kahurangi Liquor Distributors is the trade arm of Greg and Amanda Day of Kahurangi Estate. The distribution company looks after the Kahurangi Estate brand and its associated New Zealand labels a well as their overseas agencies. The Day’s own New Zealand brands of Kahurangi Estate and Trout Valley are supplemented by Starborough of Marlborough and Anthem of Central Otago.

The Australian brands include the historical and iconic Tahbilk and Tyrrells labels, but the French brands are arguably the feature, and include Delaplace Champagne, Louis Latour Burgundy and the Bordeaux firms with Mouton-Cadet and Mahler-Besse. The global Boutinot firm is part of the portfolio, and many of the major regions of Italy and Spain are represented. Kahurangi also look after Williams & Humbert Sherry, and Krohn and Croft Ports. The Godet Cognac house is also part of the range carried. For a full list of the agencies covered, visit www.kahurangiwine.com

For the first time that I am aware of, Kahurangi Liquor Distributors conducted Trade Shows of their portfolio in Auckland and Wellington, in June. I was invited and attended the show in Wellington, held at Dockside Restaurant. There were in excess of 200 wines available for tasting. I was unfortunately limited in my time, so tasted only a small number of the wines opened. My impressions follow. The RRPs ae based on the trade prices with the standard 40% mark up, plus GST. Due to the relaxed nature of the event, I did not score the wines. But I took photos of the personnel present, and some of the wines tasted


Neil Todd - Kahurangi Estate winemaker

New Zealand Wines
Kahurangi Estate, Nelson
This is the Upper Moutere base of the Day’s company. The vineyard was the original home site of Hermann and Agnes Seifried, so boasts some of the oldest Riesling vines in the South Island. Neil Todd is the winemaker.

Kahurangi Estate Nelson Dry Riesling 2016: This is 11.6% alc. and 4 g/L RS. Pale straw colour. This is redolent of limes and minerals, showing lovely purity and elegance. Some subtle savoury elements emerge in the glass. Dry to taste, this is tightly bound with lime fruit showing well. The high acidity and very fine phenolics lend a thirst-quenching nature to the mouthfeel. This has finesse, but has yet to develop complexity. A baby. RRP $21.25

Kahurangi Estate ‘Mt Arthur Reserve’ Nelson Riesling 2016: This has some of the old vine fruit included. 12.0% alc. and approx. 10 g/L RS. No botrytis influence. Pale straw colour. This is beautifully refined with attractively luscious and exotic floral aromatics along with ripe honied overtones. Medium-dry to taste, the lime fruit flavours are the core, but are lifted by exotic florals. This is zesty and frisky on palate with fine textures and lively acidity. Quite mouthwatering on the finish. RRP $30.85

Kahurangi Estate Nelson Gewurztraminer 2014: Pale straw-yellow. The bouquet is elegant but has good depth and intensity, building in density and concentration with savoury exotic florals and hints of root ginger. Rich on palate, with an oiliness and unctuousness, the flavours of rose petals, Turkish Delight and root ginger abound. The mouthfeel is rounded, and this is a wine of lusciousness and near opulence. RRP $21.25


James Jones - Starborough Farming Co.

Starborough, Marlborough
This is one brand I am quite familiar with. I have watched the Jones family grow their business with vineyard in the Rapaura and Awatere Valley regions. James Jones is meticulous with his viticulture and has Dave Clouston as his wnemaker.

Starborough ‘Family Estate’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016: This is still pale in colour and very youthful on nose with rich passionfruit aromas. The palate is very refreshing and mouthwatering, with both gooseberry and passionfruit flavours. Already delicious, the wine is still to develop its best. RRP $22.50

Starborough ‘Family Estate’ Marlborough Pinot Noir 2016: This shows the evolution of this wine from an up-front, fruit-friendly, light inaugural release, to this finer, tighter and more structured and serious wine. Elegant red fruits with liquorice and spices, some attractive oaking going on. Aged in 25% new barrels. RRP $28.95


Grant Bellve - Tyrrells, Hunter Valley

Australian Wine
Grant Bellve, the Tyrrells International Sales and Marketing Manager was overlooking this section, so I tasted the top two Tyrrells wines from a stellar selection of Tyrrells and Tahbilk on offer.

Tyrrells ‘Vat 1’ Hunter Valley Semillon 2006: This is only 10.5% alc., but this has never stopped great flavours emerging. This wine in an ‘in-between’ stage. Very pale coloured, especially for being a decade old! Beautifully fresh, but near unctuous smelling with fresh herbs, wax and lanolin, green stonefriuits, and just the beginning of toasty complexity. Dry on palate, but luscious and vibrant, electric fruit. Great presence and body, but the acidity brilliant and cutting. Wax, lanolin and toast notes beginning to emerge. This has one of those labels smothered with gold medal and trophy medallions. It must be good! RRP $80.50

Tyrrells ‘Vat 47’ Hunter Valley Chardonnay 2012: Started in tank, but fermentation finished in wood, on lees 6 months with 20% new oak, and no MLF. Bright straw-yellow colour. This is refined and tightly bound. Lovely citrus fruit with spicy and nutty oak with lees detail. Amazingly vibrant and active, with intense citrussy fruit and plenty of spicy oak to match. Tight, vigorous and a bit firm still, this will enrichen over the next decade. RRP $80.50


Mouton-Cadet 'America's Cup' 'Reserve' Bordeaux Rouge
3.0 L Jeroboam and 750 ml

French Wines
I essentially tasted the most prestigious labels. I normally abhor cherry-picking, preferring to seek a more representative impression of what is on offer, but I couldn’t help myself!

Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2008: This is arguably the company’s flagship wine. 14.0% alc. Bight, light golden yellow colour. The bouquet is full and broad, quite voluminous exuding richness at fat. Ripe stonefruits, more about barrel-ferment than oak. Some mineral notes and just the beginning of savoury citrus fruit emerging. Full and fulsome on palate with yellow stonefruits, nutty oak and subtle oxidative complexities. This has power and drive, allied to cutting acidity lending freshness. Good linearity, but not quite the length. Feels softly traditional despite the acidity. RRP $241.50

Boutinot ‘Les Coteaux Schisteaux Seguret’ Cotes du Rhone Villages 2013: Even pale red colour with slight garnet hues. The bouquet is full with softly rich savoury red berry fruits melded with game, earth, dried herb and secondary undergrowth aromas. Sweet-fruited on palate, the palate has underlying power and good structure and grip. Sweet and savoury red fruits, with earth and game. Layers of complexing secondary elements emerging. The tannin structure and brisk acidity carries the wine to the finish. RRP $37.00

Mouton Cadet ‘America’s Cup’ ‘Reserve’ Bordeaux 2014: Mouton Cadet is the official wine of the 2017 America’s Cup Regatta. It was appropriate to taste the wine, as it was a feature of the roadshow. Moderately deep ruby-red colour with a little garnet. The nose is up-front with red plum and berry fruit intermingling with tobacco and fruit-cake. This is very Merlot-expressive. Medium-bodied, the palate is accessible and gently mouthfilling with lush red plum fruit flavours along with fruit-cake and some tobacco notes. The fruit is underlined by light, supple tannins and the integrated acidity adds to the approachability. The flavours recede a little on the finish. RRP $38.60

Ch. Mouton-Rothschild Pauillac 2008: A good vintage in the end, lacking the outstanding factors, there will mature relatively early. Good at the top-level. Deepish ruby-red colour with a little garnet on the rim. This is classical Cabernet Sauvignon with blackcurrant and cassis and plenty of pencilly and cedary new oak. Quite bold in expression, this unfolds to show ripeness, richness, a little luscious opulence, and some savoury earthy complexity suggestions. Surprisingly elegant on palate, more medium-bodied, the fruit is rich, ripe, juicy and lush. Sweet blackberry and blackcurrant fruits, cassis, dark herbs, entwined with spicy and cedary oak. Beautifully supple tannins, but not lacking in structure in any aspect. Fine acidity keeping it all vibrant. Just some secondary complexities appearing on the finish. A treat to taste (and drink). RRP $1,247.75

Ch. Palmer Margaux 2007: A variable year with average results, though the Margaux commune fared well. Dark, deep ruby-red colour with some garnet and bricking on edge. The bouquet has freshness and brightness with dark-red plummy fruit, suggesting primary notes and oaking. But a layering of game and meat, and funkiness unfolds with aeration to meet, but not overwhelm the fruit. Quite rich and succulent on plate, the sweet and ripe red berry and plum fruit is laced with savoury game and meaty notes. The fruit is still prevalent. The wine flows along a very fine-grained tannin line, with good acid energy. The finish is still sweet. If you can handle a little funkiness, this still has plenty going for it. RRP $N/A


Chx Mouton-Rothschild 2008 & Palmer 2007

Other Wines
Coli ‘Montignana’ Chianti Classico Riserva 2008: 13.5% alc. Ruby-red with garnet hues. This has a full, broad and voluminous nose with integrated aromatics of red florals and savoury bitter cherry fruit, and some secondary dried herb and game complexities, that build in concentration in the glass. Elegant in proportion, the fruit is light in expression, more integrated with wood and secondary detail. This has savoury interest now to the bitter red cherry fruit. Very Sangiovese. The fruit is underlined by fine-grained tannins and the density is there. A little more fruit richness would be preferable for me. RRP $35.40

Croft Vintage Port 2011: Very dark, black-red colour, with some ruby hues, not as impenetrable as I thought it might be. The nose features sweetly rip aromas of blackberry with notes of boysenberry and blue fruits, but in the most stylish and subtle way. There more portiness and raisining going on, and very well judged. Sweet to taste and a whack of alcohol spirit, but clean and with no rusticity. Lovely ripe and sweet red and blackberry fruits, with plums and raisin suggestions. Liquorice notes emerge. This is all supported by fine-grained tannins, and driven by fruit power and alcohol. Classical Vintage Port, maybe a little more accessible than others, but attractive for it. RRP $152.95


Anne-Marie Jones, Kahurangi Estate
with large 3.0 L format Rive della Chiesa Prosecco Brut NV

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