WBW 17 – Red Kiwis

by Tim Elliott on January 5, 2006

For the first time since I started participating in Wine Blogging Wednesday, I will not be able to produce a podcast due to scheduling conflicts and other complications. I’m also posting a bit on the late side, as well, so I hope that my entry will be included in the roundup over at the Corkdork who is hosting this month.

This month the theme is Red Kiwis, or red wines made in New Zealand. Most of us are well aware of to the benchmark Sauvignon Blancs coming from this region, but reds are less likely seen in the stores or at tastings. Back on WBW 14, I tasted a very nice Kim Crawford Pinot Noir that demonstrated that cold climate reds could succeed, but I wanted to find something a bit more off the beaten path for this outing. So when I saw a Meritage-style blend from New Zealand, I was intrigued. My wine for this month is from Unison Vineyard, as small winery in the Gimblett Gravels Winegrowing District of Hawke’s Bay. Run by a husband and wife team, they produce only red and rose wines made from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Drawing from previous experience from Tuscany, they also produce balsamic vinegar and olive oil. So without further ado, here are my tasting notes:

Unison Vineyard, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand 2002 ($25) – An intriguing blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Very deep garnet in color with complex black cherry, earth and spice aromas that set-up a smooth and silky marriage of blackberry, plum, bell pepper and mint flavors. A long finish and dusty tannins complete the package nicely. Might benefit from additional cellaring over the next 3-5 years. A fine blend that shows great promise for this producer and the region in general for Bordeaux inspired blends. Score: 8.5/10

I’ll hopefully be back to my podcasting ways next month for my one year anniversary as a participant in this event…

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