Beautiful Wines from Mt. Beautiful, New Zealand
Exploring wines from around the world is always a delight, and on a pleasant Sunday afternoon the Wine Review Council sat down to see what the North Canterbury region on the South Island of New Zealand had to offer. Mt. Beautiful Winery lies at the foot of its namesake, Mt. Beautiful, part of the coastal range to the east that protects the vineyards from ocean winds. (By the way, a bit of trivia is that about 90% of New Zealand wines have screw caps.)
Each member of our wine council brings a pairing for one of the wines we sample. Often we find different pairings work just as well if not better than the one we chose. Three of the wines stood out to us which will be what I want to share with you.
Our favorite wine of the afternoon was the Pinot Gris ($18.99). Pinot Gris isn’t a favorite varietal of mine, but this one was delicious. The first thing I noticed was the floral fragrance of jasmine. A sip fills your palate with a lush roundness of ripe pears, apples, and stone fruit. One of the things I liked the most was the long finish with a minerality to it. Our group paired it with Nut & Fruit Crisps topped with Chevre and Apricot Compote. This was a perfect pairing that complemented the stone fruit and creaminess of the wine.
Our second choice was the 2016 Sauvignon Blanc ($15.99). This wine is composed of clones from California and a fourth of the clones are from Bordeaux. The Bordeaux clones lift up the flavor and lessen the cut grass typical of Sauvignon Blanc. Again, our noses picked up floral aromatics with flavors of tropical fruits like melon, guava, and honeydew. The Sauvignon Blanc is creamy on the mid-palate and has a crispness at the end. We noticed more grassiness as the wine opened up. The Sauvignon Blanc was paired with a Nectarine and Blueberry Cream Galette, another good pairing that complemented the fruit and creaminess of this good wine.
The third wine that we enjoyed was the 2015 Pinot Noir ($24.99). Pinot Noir is one of my favorite varietals, so I was excited to try one from this New Zealand region. Violets and blackberries greet your nose. My palate picked up cherry and blackberries as well as earth. I find in Pinot Noir the terroir (composed of climate, soil, and terrain) is one of the most telling and interesting aspects of the varietal, and this one had its own special earthiness. Our group paired a crostini topped with bacon, fig jam, and cream cheese. Another delicious pairing.
Once I have had the opportunity to taste some unusual and delicious wines, I want more information about the wines. To learn more about the winery and its history as well as more of their wines, go to Mt. Beautiful’s website at http://mtbeautiful.co.nz/.
To find these wines online for purchase in the United States, I went to http://www.finewinehouse.com/.
Happy drinking of some beautiful wines from down under!