Friday, March 29, 2013

A #TGTaste of Villa Maria Estate

This week saw the first #TGTaste twitter tasting of 2013 featuring two wines from New Zealand's Villa Maria Estate: the 2012 Private Bin Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ($13) and 2011 Private Bin Marlborough Pinot Noir ($16). These were my first wines from the winery, but apparently they are quite popular, having to open a second facility recently in Auckland to satisfy demand. I found it interesting that founder, George Fistonich, is Eastern European as he says, "Being Croatian, wine is part of my blood. It’s always been a part of life and I’m pleased to have spent my career pursuing this life-long passion."  And for those where sustainiblity is a criteria in purchasing wine, Villa Maria is a member of Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand (SWNZ).

Starting with the  Sauvignon Blanc, the fruit was sourced from vineyards throughout Marlborough, including the Wairau and Awatere valleys. You may want to check out Kiwi Daydreaming to find out more out the Marlborough region.  It looks like there was nothing fancy about the fermentation process, and the result is a typical clean and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc - grapefruit and lemon on the initial palette, some grassy flavors in the mid-palette, and a clean refreshing acidic finish. And extremely attractive at the $13 SRP.

The fruit for the Pinot Noir were sourced solely from the Wairau and Awatere valleys in Marlborough. The grapes were cold soaked up to 32˚C, with a majority of the juice fermented in oak and the remaining wine was barreled after fermenting in stainless steel on lees. The total oak treatment lasted 10 months. The resulting wine is all cherry, dark cherry to be precise, with a little plum mixed in. The mid-palette is soft and creamy with the cherry mixed with a few flakes of white pepper. The finish is nice and easy - and as suggested by the screw cap, drink now - and often. Cheers
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