With the cold weather setting in here in London, we have been looking for something to keep the blues at bay and we think we may have found it! It comes in the form of a delicious new Pinot Noir we have added to our wine list and this week we are going to be telling you a little more about it. French wine is still our favourite but we like to keep an open mind and once you’ve tasted this New Zealand beauty, we think you’ll agree!
The Auntsfield vineyard in Marlborough was founded by David Herd, the man who brought winemaking to what is now the country’s foremost winemaking region. After arriving in New Zealand in 1854, he saw the potential of the land and planted his first grapes in 1873. His son-in-law carried on his legacy until 1931, but the vineyard would then remain unused until the Cowley family arrived. They now run Auntsfield with as much passion and knowledge as Herd himself – and produce some truly fabulous wine.
The climate in Marlborough is one the sunniest and driest in New Zealand. The cool temperatures provide long, slow ripening periods, taking the time to intensify the flavours and imbuing wines from the region with a signature boldness and fragrance. The land has been shaped by glaciers and the soil at Auntsfield is high in sea silt mineral content, the flavour of which permeates the wines. Unusually for Marlborough (which is famed for its Sauvignon Blanc) the most planted variety at Auntsfield is Pinot Noir, and they have become experts in crafting rich, bold Pinot Noirs which pair wonderfully with food.
Our vintage of choice was the 2013. After a season characterised by naturally low yields and warm, dry weather, the Autumn brought cool, settled conditions – some of the best that had been seen in years – which ripened the small-berried Pinot Noir grapes to produce near-perfect small bunches. The result is a rich, silky wine, with aromas of dark cherry, blackberry, dark chocolate and cigar box, and flavours of spice and dark fruit. It has a fine, succulent tannin structure, rich but full, with good, balanced oak character from the French oak barriques it is matured in.
This is the perfect wine to stand up to a rich meat like pork, lamb, or beef, and we chose it specifically because it will pair well with a number of our dishes. “I have been looking for a great Pinot Noir for some time,” says manager Ilya, “and this one is an absolute winner! Silky, elegant, soft tannins, long finish. The style reminds me of some fine red Burgundy wines yet there is the unmistakable richness of a New World Pinot Noir. The perfect match for our pork tenderloin.”
Try it with:
Pork fillet, wrapped in pancetta and served with caramelized pear, oven-baked cabbage, and a light mustard sauce.
Prime British beef fillet served with pommes Anna, garlic confit and a choice of sauces or garlic butter.
Or, if you are feeling a little Christmassy…
Fillet of Beef baked in brioche with wilted spinach, sautéed mushrooms and truffle jus.
Only on our Christmas menu!