04 September, 2008

Auntsfield: Tonic for a heatwave

There's a reason I love the pinot noir grape so much. Besides the fact that it's delicious, it's fractious, mercurial and loving of cool breezes and shade---all emotions I can second. So, with the recent heat wave, I've been wishing someone would put me under a canopy! And I've been craving the white wines! So when Luscious Lush Thea sent over the invite for a free wine tasting of New Zealand wines I was all in (even though it meant literally speeding back to the east bay from a short exile in Cupertino!) Dreaming of crisp Sauvvy Blancs and interesting Chardos, I was not disappointed. Luc Crowley from Auntsfield Estates was pouring a refreshing 2007 Auntsfield "Long Cow" Sauvignon Blanc ($21). The wine was a pale, clear yellow and lush with fruit flavors more peachy than tropical, which I found delightful. Only slightly darker in color was the 2006 Auntsfield "Cob Cottage" Chardonnay ($26). This wine spends 10 months in French Oak and then goes to stainless steel tanks giving it luscious stone fruit flavors with balanced acidity to make it an easy drinking wine with none of the things that can so annoy about Chardonnay. The standout of the evening was the 2006 Auntsfield "Hawk Hill" Pinot Noir. Its intense mocha cherry aromas wafted over on the warm air as it was being poured. The flavors were bold with hints of brown spice, cassis, and beautiful stone fruit. Excellently balanced for acidity, this wine has a dark, intense vibrancy to the color and a silky richness to its texture. The finish was amazing! Luc Crowley the winemaker was charming and very informative and provided great information on everything we asked from how the wine was made to how New Zealand Wine Industry handles issues of sustainability. Thankfully he did not volunteer to guess our age or weight as was threatened in the invite from Solano Cellars. In gratitude, I made no references to Hobbits, Hobbit Caves or hobbitry of any kind

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