Monday, 12 October 2015

Mission Estate wine tasting

Mission Estate Winery was established in Hawkes Bay by pioneering French missionaries in 1851. Their story about how the winery was established is an interesting one and not something I can do justice here on this blog. The estate itself was elaborately built then moved to its current location in extraordinary circumstances. Find out more on the Mission Estate website.

Our host for the evening was the hugely entertaining Trevor from Mission Estate. Trevor is a born storyteller, full of amusing anecdotes and history about the wines, winery and vineyard. He also offered some great advice: try every type of wine, even if it's a varietal you don't think you like. You never know when you may come across one that you do like - and we certainly did tonight with a surprise addition to our yes wine list

NV Mission Fête. This non vintage wine is the only sparkling wine produced by Mission Bay. It's made of 97% pinot gris and 3% barrel aged chardonnay using the Charmat method. A very sweet, tangy finish made this wine a maybe for me.

Mission Estate Riesling 2014. I'm the first to admit that I don't really understand rieslings. Fruity, aromatic, sometimes oily ... however, this riesling was our favourite wine of the evening. Smooth, not harsh and slightly zesty, we added it to our yes list and ordered two bottles for our new wine rack.

Mission Estate Pinot Gris Light 2015. Another surprise for the evening, this low alcohol pinot gris had far more flavour than expected with a tangy, yet smooth, finish. I'd drink a glass of this, although would probably fall short of buying a bottle, making it a maybe.

Mission Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014. Now onto my favourites: Marlborough sauvignon blanc. (Yes, clichéd - I know.) Grown at Cable Station in Marlborough but made in Hawkes Bay, this sav smelt like tinned asparagus (seriously!) although didn't taste like it. No, instead there was an overwhelming infusion of evil capsicum. No thanks!

Mission Estate Rosé 2015. This rosé is a blend of merlot, malbec, cabernet franc and syrah grapes. It didn't do anything for me.

Three more nos in quick succession (but no surprises as I'm not much of a red wine drinker):
Vineyard Selection Merlot 2013. A beautiful, deep plum colour.
Mission Reserve Syrah 2014. Also a beautiful colour, this time deep purple. So. Very. Heavy.
Mission Estate Late Harvest 2014. I'll keep trying stickies and other dessert wines until I find one I like, but this late harvest Gewurtatraminer was not for me. (87 grams of residual sugar!)

We're looking forward to a wine weekend in Hawkes Bay later this year and will definitely book Trevor in for a tour of the vineyard and estate.

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