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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

New Zealand Winemaker Dinner

                              Daniel Brennan of Unison Vineyards and Decibel Wines

On our reconnaissance trip earlier this year to New Zealand for our future 2014 tour, we were very impressed with the caliber of wines at Unison Vineyards. (  Unison has received all kinds of accolades but one of the best comes from internationally renowned wine authority and Master of Wine  Janics Robison---Unision was the only New Zealand winery included in Robinson’s list of up-and-coming wine producers in the world.   Wine-Knows was fortunate to host Daniel Brennan from Unison Vineyards and a group of local wine-lovers for dinner recently.   

Daniel presented 6 wines, 2 of which were from Unison, as well as one from his own label, Decibel. (Daniel is now making wine under his own label.  Formerly in the music business, he has appropriately named his wine “Decibel.”)   To round out the program, he brought wines from 2 other producers, Cloudy Bay and Desert Heart…both of these producers we visited in New Zealand earlier this year.  Here’s a recap of all of the wines:

  • 2008 Unison Vineyard Gimblett Gravels 'Classic Blend' (Merlot/CabSav/Syrah)
  • 2009 Unison Vineyard Gimblett Gravels Syrah
  • 2009 Decibel Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2008 Cloudy Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2008 Desert Heart 'Untamed Heart' Central Otago Pinot Noir
  • 2008 Desert Heart 'McKenzie's Run' Single Vineyard Central Otago Pinot Noir
The evening began with a comparative tasting between the Sauv Blancs…an overwhelming majority preferred Decibel’s rendition which was more aromatic as well as more complex.  Desert Heart’s two Pinots were tasted as the next flight, followed by the two from Unison special vineyards on the extraordinary Gimblett Gravels.  All of these reds were so well constructed that there was not a consensus about which was the best.

While Cloudy Bay has been imported to the US for some time, Unison, Decibel and Desert Heart have only recently begun to be available.  Learn more about these wines (or purchase them) below.   Looks like they’re offering a 10% case discount to jump-start their inaugural importation:

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