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John Forrest Collection New Releases
The John Forrest Collection is our premium range of wines. They are one man’s pursuit to make the best wines, from our best vineyard sites, made in small parcels from the best vintages, which express their unique terroir. The brand was launched in 2005 and has since grown into a formidable selection with excellent pedigree.
March 19th marked the first new release Collection wine tasting with John flying to Auckland for one on one visits with some of New Zealand’s best known wine critics. The wines tasted were: The White 2009 which is a blend of six grape varietals from our best vineyards, Viognier from the Gimblett Gravels, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Chenin Blanc from Marlborough and Pinot Gris from Waitaki Valley. The White is the archetype for the range and truly expresses John’s passion for producing unique wines. The Wairau Chardonnay 2010 is a small vintage with only 160 cases (6 bottle pack) and represents another stunning vintage. This wine will certainly reward the patient cellarer. The Waitaki Valley Pinot Noir 2011 follows two incredible vintages and shows beautiful pinosity. The Syrah 2009 certainly has dark, brooding berry flavours, showing less pepper, with powerful firm tannins. The Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 is an absolute blockbuster and represents the best example of New Zealand Cabernet I have ever had. John emphatically agreed with more colour than I am permitted to type. The final wine in the line up of new releases is the Noble Riesling 2013, which we decided to release in a 750ml bottle. The wine is beautifully balanced and intensely perfumed with rich flavours of honey and apricot. The last vintage of Noble Riesling made in the Collection was the 2006 vintage, which won the trophy for best sweet wine at the annual Winestate competition in 2010. We think the 2013 could be the perfect sequel.
April 9th John was off to Wellington for the next instalment of Collection tastings with critics and the trade held at Dragons Chinese Restaurant in Wellington, the perfect spot for Dim Sum. The luncheon was attended by Raymond Chan and some of Wellington’s top sommeliers.
April 14th we had received the tasting results from Bob Campbell MW and Cameron Douglas MS. Here are the links to their reviews.
April 15th John and I flew to Queenstown for three reasons: 1) To visit the Waitaki Valley and check on how the fruit was progressing. 2) To harvest the fruit from our Bannockburn vineyard. 3) A new release Collection trade tasting/tapas luncheon at Rata, one of the hottest restaurants in Queenstown. The 20 restauranteurs and retailers were blown away to say the least.
April 23rd John was back to Auckland for the Collection trade release tasting held at the delicious Monsoon Poon with both tasting sessions well attended.
The month of May marks the launch of the new releases with a cellar club tasting at Ballantynes on Thursday May 1st, followed by an in-store market day tasting at the same store on the Friday. May 6th – 7th I will be in the Wellington trade tasting the new releases, followed by a trade visit to Palmerstron North and Hawkes Bay May 12th – 14th. May 20th will be the new release tasting at Windsor Wines in Invercargill for the trade and consumers, followed by a trade visit to Dunedin the following day. To finish off the month we have an exclusive seven course degustation dinner paired to the new release wines at Mint Dining restaurant in Nelson, May 23rd with only 22 spots available. The following day we have the Collection launch at Casa del Vino in Nelson. May 28th Dr John Forrest presented the new vintages at the Village Winery in Auckland.
So as you can see we have a busy two months of hard work and loads of fun launching this special selection of wines. We hope you have the chance to try them.