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31 May 2011

New Zealand: Nobilo

Nobilo vineyard was founded in 1943 by Nikola Nobilo (pic), a Croatian emigre with a family-winemaking background, and is now part of the giant global Constellation group, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing looking at these two tasty wines. They’re part of the winery’s ‘Regional Collection’ range sourced from different vineyards around New Zealand; in this case Gisborne, billed as “the Chardonnay capital” on the back-label (I wouldn’t entirely disagree, from memory, although other NZ regions might) and Hawke’s Bay, celebrated for Merlot, both on North Island’s east coast. A refreshing change too to buy Southern Hemisphere wines with a bit of aged character, although that could just be as the retailer has old stock to clear! They were both £5.99 on offer at Wine Mark / Russell’s Cellars in Northern Ireland.

Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2008 (13.5%) - dark plum and blueberry with soy sauce/liquorice vs leafy/red pepper edges, nice ‘sweet vs savoury’ development, quite complex; attractive lush vs tangy palate, ripe sweet vs light bitter twist of tannins/acidity, fair weight and roundness vs dry bite, maturing vs still quite chunky finish. Good with Aberdeen Angus chilli burger (from the Cooperative). 2

Gisborne Chardonnay 2009 (13.5%) – enticing buttery oat and lees notes vs pineapple and citrus, quite rich with maturing nutty side vs a bit of crispness underneath; rounded and milky with medium weight, well balanced with subtle finish. Drinking nicely now although beginning to fade out a little. Kinda South Hem Chablis but smoother. 1+

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