Hello Charteris Friends!
Sitting in front of the log burner with a glass of Pinot reflecting on the Routeburn tramp and the subsequent pain I still feel in my knees from the 3 day hike, the question to answer is whether it is due to age or the amount of fine wine I had in my backpack. The quantity may have been a tad excessive for a three day walk, but quality and volume can’t be compromised on such an occasion. I have also found myself contemplating what has been the warmest and earliest vintage on record in Central Otago. Had this not been the case I would have been walking the Routeburn in June up to my waist in snowdrift.
This year I was honoured to be asked to speak about the influence of Terrior at this year’s Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration in January and the temperatures in Queenstown had all the presenters and delegates heading to the lakefront for a dip at regular intervals during proceedings. I have never been brave or stupid enough to dive into Lake Wakatipu and those who have visited Queenstown will know why given its latitude and surroundings. So it was, that on the 26th January with the ambient temperature at 38℃, I threw caution to the wind and bombed off the Wakatipu Boat Club jetty into the pages of history with the throng of others attempting to cool off. Comfort levels aside, it was an honour to be asked to share my thoughts in the esteemed company of Francois Millet from Comtes Georges de Vogüé and Ted Lemon of Littori and Burn Cottage fame. More exciting however, was the chance to put our Pinot Noir in the spotlight with some of the best Pinots of Burgundy, California and Australia. While not a contest of the best wine on the table I was pleased with the response from the other presenters and the 300 delegates to the style and quality of our Pinot. When one of the top winemakers from Burgundy gives your wine the nod of approval you can’t help but walk a foot or two taller.
With a spring still in my step I’m excited to see the release of our Central Otago Pinot Noir from the top notch 2016 vintage. Juicy and abundant with fruit, it ticks Chrissi’s brief for the House wine, the wine has that subtle layer of complexity that gives it stand out style in any line up. Last but by no way the least is the 2016 Hunt Vineyard Riesling which continues the theme of being thirst quenching and thirst creating at the same time. Easy to pick up, hard to put down!
With the 2018 Pinots and Chardonnay put to bed for the winter I am getting the Riesling ready for bottling in July and Chrissi is preparing for the Pinot Palooza Road Show for this year. The link is below for dates and cities and we look forward to seeing you there for a drink and catch up.
In Sydney we have a dinner coming up at Otto Ristorante, go to www.ottoristorante.com.au and search for The Wine Dinner Series, it’s on the 4th July 2018, so if you are looking for a good night out and want to introduce any of your friends to what we do be sure to book early.
This year I am honoured to be taking over as the Chair of Judges at the Sydney Royal Wine Show with judging taking place over the first week in August. This is my second chairing role at a Capital City Wine Show and it is a very humbling experience walking in the footsteps of the likes of Len Evans AO OAM, James Halliday AM and Iain Riggs AM. This year the Sydney Royal team of 18 judges and 12 associate judges will taste their way through 2400 wines from across most of Australia’s wine regions. If you are interested in the opportunity to taste the trophy winners check out the Grape, Grain and Graze Festival on the 11thAugust at the Royal Sydney Showgrounds at Olympic Park, http://www.rasnsw.com.au/events/GrapeGrainGraze/
Chrissi and I hope you enjoy our new release wines and we look forward to catching up with you all over the next few months.