Taking stock of what Coopers Creek is up to is a task, with the company’s multitude of labels and releases. When one visits the tasting room, it is easy to see how the growth of the company has overtaken the space as there are bottles of all sorts displayed and stored everywhere. Good job the experienced cellar door staff know exactly where everything is!
The winery is the same, but being aware of winemaker Simon Nunn’s fastidiousness, I feel more than confident that everything is in its place. Simon’s right hand man Nigel Wright is equally tidy, being an accountant in his former life, so organisation and detail are the order of the day in the winery. Coopers Creek processes anything from 1,000 to 2,000 tonnes annually, an amount that’s large enough in itself, but it’s the number of batches and limited production lots that makes it a challenge. Calling in on Simon and Nigel to visit, they were expecting just one more day of fruit to come in, and the threat of inclement weather was no longer an issue. The impression is quality from the South Island, more difficult times in the North Island for Coopers Creek. C’est la vie…
The Coopers Creek ‘Cee Vee’ Gisborne 2010 was my pick to look at, as it had performed well in Cuisine magazine’s recent tasting. Approx. 70% Chardonnay and 30% Viognier, this displayed opulent Viognier exotics and the fulsome, broader structure of Gisborne Chardonnay. A sure crowd-pleasure and easy to see how it pleased the judges too. This was paired with a Coopers Creek Gisborne Viognier 2010. Clear-cut varietal expression, quite a complete wine in its palate presence and flow. Wonderfully fine in texture, yet with fresh acidity. Simon recounted his thoughts as aired in Cuisine how phenolic management was the key to making successful and balanced Viognier wines.
An interesting comparison of Malbec wines followed. Firstly the Coopers Creek ‘SV- The Exile’ Gisborne Malbec 2010, rich with masses of juicy black plums and berry fruits, plush but with good texture and sufficient grip to prevent any flabbiness. Delicious stuff. Then a Coopers Creek ‘SV – Saint John’ Hawke’s Bay Malbec 2010, more Bordeaux-like in structure, the tannins featuring more, and the fruit more savoury and complex. A little more refined and ageworthy.
We wished we had all day to explore far more wines, but time was calling us to head back to town, and vats full of wine were calling Simon back to work. We’ll need to book in a whole day next time. www.cooperscreek.co.nz