Tasting in the company of one of world's iconic winemakers
C loudy Bay. It's one of the great success stories of modern times and one of the names everyone seems to know.
Conversely, it's a wine, a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, that not that many people will have tasted, a) because it is often hard to find and b) because of its price – £20 a bottle if you buy it by a case of six bottles online, is a typical price.
Kevin Judd is the Englishman who became the founding winemaker at Cloudy Bay – joining them in 1983 and assuming a pivotal role, during which he directed the company's first 25 vintages.
His career is intrinsically linked with the global profile of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc – that region of New Zealand is synonymous with the grape variety and its snappy, zesty character.
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In 2009, Kevin established his own label, Greywacke, named after New Zealand's bedrock, and it is wines from the Greywacke portfolio that he will be introducing at a wine
Beverley wine merchants and delicatessen Roberts & Speight is organising the event at St Mary's Church Hall on Tuesday, February 19 at 7.30pm.
A spokesman said: "We will be showing seven amazing wines in the company of one of the world's iconic winemakers."
Two Sauvignon Blancs will be among the seven wines tasted. Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc is created from select parcels of fruit grown in prime vineyard sites and is a deliciously aromatic, finely balanced wine. An exuberant style, steeped in grapefruit, lemon and stone fruit character, it is a wine with considerable concentration and minerality, yet retaining the freshness and zest expected of the variety.
This is a mouth-filling, multi-layered wine with considerable ripeness and palate structure, balanced by juicy acidity and a refreshingly crisp flinty finish.
Greywacke Wild Sauvignon is fermented in old oak barrels using wild yeast and is an alternative, intricate style – a textural wine with a lingering savoury finish. A sauvignon blanc of considerable depth and opulence, the bouquet has the lushness of crème brûlée, with vanilla notes and an infusion of thyme and toasted sesame. The palate is generous and crammed with herbal complexity.
Greywacke Chardonnay has nutty, smoky aromas overlaying characteristic ripe citrus. An emphatic wine with mouth-filling flavours. There will also be a chance to taste the Greywacke Pinot Noir, a deliciously fragrant wine with intense varietal expression, and the Pinot Gris, a rich, textural wine with succulent, ripe fruit aromatics. An opulent, concentrated wine, it has aromas reminiscent of poached pears, quinces and baking spices layered with smoky, savoury complexity.
The remaining two wines to be tasted will be a Riesling, and a late-harvest Gewurztraminer. Tickets cost £10 and can be booked by calling Roberts & Speight on 01482 870717.
Why: I'm still in winter warmer mode, and what better than a drop of port? This organic example is succulent with a lovely silky texture. Heaven with a square of dark chocolate or a creamy cheese.
Why: I opened a 2009 bottle the day before this arrived and it was a lovely drop of Claret, I must say. Casseroles and red meats are its usual territory – I quaffed mine with a bowl of pasta and it was spot on.
Why: Another great warming Bordeaux blend – savoury, spicy and well balanced. Ideal with game, as I discovered when drinking with a roast loin of venison.
Why: Bordeaux Superior wine that's easy drinking and at a wallet-friendly price. A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.