At Decanter we all love our wine, and every week members of the Decanter team - from editorial assistant to publishing director - tell us what they've been enjoying at home and when they go out...
Managing Editor, Decanter
Gladstone Vineyard wines
At Ransome’s Dock in Battersea, I met three producers: Steve Green from Carrick Wines in Central Otago, David Dew from River Farm Wines in Marlborough, and Christine Kernohan from Gladstone Vineyard in Wairarapa. Interesting chat and some very enjoyable wines all round, but the big surprise for me were the Gladstone wines – Wairarapa has a lower profile Otago or Marlborough, but these wines were the stars of the day for me, particularly the 2009 Pinot Gris (juicy, pear flavours, with structure) and the 2006 Auld Alliance – Christine is Scottish – a blend of 55% Cabernet Franc, 25% Merlot and 20% Malbec. This was immensely drinkable, fruit forward with dark berry and mocha flavours; the 2008 had longer in oak and is more closed. Also delicious, the 2008 Pinot Noir, a great balance between pure red berry fruit and serious structure – very well priced also (£13.95 retail). Noting my surprise, Kernohan reminded me that Pinot Noir in NZ originated in Martinborough/Wairarapa regions, and not Central Otago…
Editorial assistant, Decanter
Astrolabe Chardonnay, Marlborough, 2007
I was genuinely excited to see what this would taste like, having never wrapped my lips around a New Zealand Chardonnay. Enjoyed with friends over a Terry-Thomas film, it didn’t disappoint. Named after the famous ship that visited the Marlborough region in the 1800s, the wine was an attractive straw gold colour, with a delicious nose of ripe melon and juicy peach smothered in creamy, hot buttered popcorn. Rich and full, the textured, unctuous palate showed fresh stone fruit with a honey lift and had impressive weight. The well-handled oak further added to its appeal, and I found myself reaching for the glass seconds after putting it down. I might have to seek out another bottle…
Chief Sub Editor, Decanter
Huber, Obere Steigen Grüner Veltliner, Traisental, Niederösterreich, Austria 2006
Debating on a pairing for pea and ham soup (white Burgundy? Riesling? Viognier?), an article in the upcoming March issue of Decanter prompted me to delve into the Austrian corner of my wine cache littering the dining room floor. I’m not sure what category our Austrian expert Giles MacDonogh would put this Veltliner in – Elegant, Powerful or Baroque – but I’m going to opt for powerful. It opened with a very soft, sunny nose of honeyed peach and ripe pear, which first made me worry it was going to be too much. Yes, there were concentrated fruit flavours galore, but the underlying earthy, peppery spice, the mouthwatering citrus streak and the fresh mineral acidity really enlivened the palate, complementing the juicy peas and sweet, salty ham. I’m no Austrian wine oracle, but I thought this was a pretty inspired match for such hearty winter fare. Give it a go.