Winemaker Tasting with Dave Clouston

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6b15e20836ed1e2731b8b4faac93d68e_xlDave Clouston is the owner and winemaker of the Two Rivers and Black Cottage vineyards located in the heart of Marlborough, and more specifically, the Wairau and Awatere valleys.

Dave himself grew up in Marlborough and spent his youth there where his family has farmed for five generations. Energetic, and talented, David’s experience – garnered over 25 vintages worldwide in countries such as Chile, Spain, the USA, France and Australia – is the driving force behind his wines.

The wines themselves are made from combining select parcels of fruit with modern and alternative winemaking techniques with a heavy focus on sustainability – the philosophy being that we are not separate from the land but in a relationship with it.

He makes some great Sauvignon Blanc, not the plonk that populates the supermarket shelves, but elegant wines that reflect the terroir.  He also makes some stunning Pinot Noir (both red and rosé), and Pinot Gris.

We’re delighted to have Dave back with us this September tasting through a selection of his wines.

Black Cottage & Two Rivers Tasting with winemaker Dave Clouston, Friday 28th Sept. 5pm-7pm

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Touring Touraine

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Touraine has long been on of our personal favourite areas for crisp minerally whites.  An AOC since Christmas eve 1939, this area is known for Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc in whites and Cabernet Franc, Cot (Malbec), Pinot Noir and Gamay in the reds. We personally find the reds a bit green with off vegetal notes, not really pleasant to be honest ( Exceptions being Chinon and Bourgueil which produce some lovely elegant medium bodied reds based on Cabernet Franc).

Great Chenin blanc comes from Vouvray and delightful Rosés from Anjou but it’s a good Touraine Sauvignon Blanc that does it for us! As good if not better than a cheaper end Sancerre, in our opinion. Touraine is one of the Larger AOCs in the Loire with many of the aforementioned sub-regions falling with in its boundary, so searching out those gems can be though but we think the Sinson Touraine Sauvignon is one of those wines. It may not have the fruit flavours of Marlborough Sauvignon but it has a delightful edgy mineral streak that is crisp and refreshing with nice notes of citrus and white flowers on the nose. The palate is wonderfully thirst quenching with a delightful dry finish.

Greenhough Tasting

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Last Monday evening we were delighted to have Andrew Greenghough from Greenhough Wines in New Zealand in the shop for a private tasting. We had a great turn out with people literally sitting in every corner! Andrew guided us through a selection of his whites and reds and a few treats too.

First up was the Riesling:

2011 Nelson Riesling This was the favourite of the crowd, lovely nose of sweet green apple and mandarin. Rich sweet citrus on the palate with a lingering finish. The nose also had a slight kerosene edge that Andrew mentioned he wasn’t a fan of but which didn’t seem to detract from people’s likes.

2012 Nelson Riesling I Loved this! The 2012 wine hade more crisp acidity on the palate a fresher cleaner citrus lime/mandarin note. From a much cooler vintage than the previous wine. The crisp acidity and minerality give this wine a very fresh clean finish.

Next we hit the New Zealand Classic Sauvignon Blanc:

2011 Nelson Sauvignon Blanc has slightly ‘sweet’  passion fruit and tropical aromas, leading into a classy wine. Very mouthfilling, it is fruity, with ripe tropical-fruit flavours, showing lovely delicacy and richness, finely balanced acidity, and a long, slightly spicy, dry finish. Again the older more rounded wine was the favourite.

2012 Nelson Sauvignon Blanc punchy with vital  fresh  passion and citrus fruits over a hint of gooseberry and grassy-ness. Zesty and fresh on the palate with crisp tropical and citrus fruits and nice mineral edge. Absolute classic. Beats Sancerre any day!

Then the Pinot Blanc:

2010 ‘Hope Vineyard’ Pinot Blanc Subdued nose with slight hints of pear, apple and oaky spice. It’s very full-bodied, weighty, complex and rich, with deep peach, pear and spice flavours, slightly buttery and savoury. A wine that split the room,  this is certainly a food wine!

Next was the Reds:

2007 Nelson Pinot Noir Ripe dark and medium red cherry aromas, ripe cranberry and floral notes. The palate was juicy with fleshy cherry flavours and notes of strawberry and raspberry,  and light unobtrusive oak spice.

2010 Nelson Pinot Noir Intense red cherry and pomegranate aromas with hints of clove. Very Ripe and young style plenty of fruit flavours and structure from tannin. A wine that will mature nicely.

2003 ‘Hope Vineyard’ Pinot Noir** Very expressive nose despite being 10 years old,  with juniper berry, star anise and thyme. Berries is the theme of the seductive palate with complimentary fruit compot.  A vibrant mineral freshness adds life and elegance to the mouthfeel.  Soft silky tannins on the long lingering  finish  with notes of savoury berries, liquorice, subtle oak spice.

And finally the Desert:

2012 Noble Riesling Typical nose of botrytised Riesling citrus and apricot and peach. Lovely fresh and zesty palate and finish. Delightful desert wine that you could drink a whole bottle of in no time!!! Lovely and luscious!!

**Not Available for sale. This stock is from the shops tasting reserves.

Savvy Sauvignons with a twist

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As the fine weather has evaporate our wall of Sauvignon is coming down quicker than the buckets of rain outside. The Galway Races are in full swing and the been a Weather warning orange, meaning the rivers of orangey brown fake tan from ladies day are about to start flowing. But as the wall came down we noticed a few wines that had tipped along nicely under the radar, sure the Marlborough Sauvignon and Sancerre practically walked themselves out the door in by the case load but two sneaky under dogs went with them and drew many a drinker back for a second sip. So the award for the little wines that could go to Quita De Chocapalha Sauvignon Blanc and Muller ‘Eichbuhel’ Sauvignon.  practice

These two lovely wines may not have been the belle of the ball but they certainly turned a few heads and changed many an opinion.

The 2011 Chocapalha Sauvignon comes from Lisboa region of Portugal, located to the north of the City of Lisbon this area is famous for its Bucelas white wine made from the Arinto grape (incidentally Quinta de Chocapalha do a mean Arinto). So is it any wonder that this area would produce an interesting and vibrant Sauvignon. The 2011 has a pungent nose of prickly nettle, citrus and pineapple fruit on the nose all over classic freshly cut grass. The palate is fresh with a racy edge and lashing of pineapple, melon and tropical fruits.  ( Warning this is probably a Marmite wine, love it or hate it!)

The 2012 Muller Sauvignon comes from the family’s vineyard in Eichbuhel in Kremstal. The Sauvignon blanc vines are located in the highest point in the vineyard and this combined with the terroir gives the wine its minerality, fruity character and finesse. Bright greenish-yellow, the nose has an abundance of citrus and green peppers, fine notes of minerally lemon lime on the palate, slightly stinging nettle. Straight forward compact palate with great length.

Two Rivers Sauvignon Blanc is No.1

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A superb example of Marlborough Sauvignon combining the best characteristics of the Awatere and Wairau valleys- small wonder that each year it keeps on picking up countless awards. Attractive, fresh and bright aromas of green herb, gooseberry, cut grass and a touch of passionfruit. Very clean on the palate but not hard, with green apple, green pineapple and lychee being the dominant flavour characteristics. For such a young wine it is showing very well and with a little more age the finish will round out a little and the exotic fruit notes will become more apparent. Chuck it at all manner of seafood and exotic, spicy cuisines- it will cope.

Two Rivers founder and winemaker, Dave Clouston, also makes our ever popular Black Cottage Wines.