The Date and Time: Thursday February 23, 2017 7PM - 10PM
The Event: Marisco NZ Winemaker's Dinner, with Matt Mitchell, General Manager of the Winery.
The Venue: Estiatorio Volos, Richmond Street
The Target Audience: wine media
The Availability/Catalogue: wines are at, or will be at, the LCBO except for the pinot noirs which are private orders through Authentic Wine & Spirits.
The Quote/Background: Matt left us to taste the wines on our own, and to develop their affinities for the food. Then he went around the table and chatted with everybody. The winery is in Marlborough by the Waihopai River. They focus on sauvignon blanc, pinot gris and pinot noir. There is a high end series which includes a viognier but we had so samplings here. The "Bastard" refers to the single chardonnay as out-of-the-ordinary since it is not really prominent in this region. The export model is label "Legacy", but alas, there were no samples here for us to taste. Matt and I covered a lot of ground about New Zealand wines in Ontario, and we discovered that he went to wine school (Roseworthy) with our mutual friend Joe Will of Strewn Winery in Niagara.
The Wines: I had been exposed to Marisco over the years through the annual New Zealand wine show that passed through Toronto every May. I was disappointed that no Chardonnays appeared (I loved The King's Bastard Chardonnay, which the company changed to King's Legacy on the new export label)...
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Marisco The King's Desire Pinot Noir Rose 2016, $19.95 +492926 Vintages April 29
-Marisco The King's Wrath Pinot Noir 2015 $26 Private Order
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Marisco The King's Ned Pinot Noir 2014 $19 Private Order
-Marisco The King's Thorn Pinot Gris 2016 $19.95 +490300 Vintages May 13
-Marisco The Ned Sauvignon Blanc 2016 $16.60 LCBO +470070
The Food: we had a small plates menu, with samplings of flaming saganaki (sheep's milk cheese) with The Ned Sauvignon Blanc, and a trio of horiatiki salad, tiger prawn saganaki, and grilled Moroccan octopus accompanied by the Thorn Pinot Gris and the King's Desire Pinot Noir Rose. The main course was surf and turf: grilled Mediterranean filleted sea bass and beef tenderloin riganato. Here we had both Pinot Noirs. The food was well-chosen for engaging the wine.
The Downside: I had to leave early before dessert (alas, there was no sticky wine either).
The Upside: an engaging one-on-one conversation with Matt Mitchell about the New Zealand wine industry.
The Contact Person: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 92.