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Saturday, October 18, 2008

TRADE DINNER: Tasting of 2008 Stoneleigh/Montana wins from New Zealand, Sept. 29, 2008

 The Time and Date: Monday, September 29, 2008  6:30 PM to 10 PM
The Event: a tasting of recent Marlborough Stoneleigh and Montana New
Zealand wines, with Jim Robertson, Global Business Relations Manager
for Pernod Ricard New Zealand.
The Venue: Ki, BCE Place
The Target Audience: wine media
The Availability/Catalogue: all of the wines are coming onto the
marketplace; these are the latest vintage (2008 for whites, 2007 for
The Quote:
The Wines: PRNZ makes about 40,000 cases of Pinot Noir. 76% of their
exports are Sauvignon Blanc wine. This is the 30th vintage of Sauvignon
Blanc for the Montana range. Other wines were also poured.
**** Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Stoneleigh Chardonnay 2007 – 30% aged in oak ($16.95 GL)
-Montana Reserve Pinot Noir 2006 Central Otago ($29.95, Vintages April 11/09)
-Montana Letter Series T (Terraces) Pinot Noir 2007 ($39.95)
***1/2 Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Brancott Sauvignon Blanc 2007 ($14.95 GL)
-Stoneleigh Rapaura Series Sauvignon Blanc 2008  ($2595)
-Stoneleigh Rapaura Series Pinot Noir 2007 ($29.95)
*** Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Montana Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 ($14.95 GL)
-Stoneleigh Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 ($16.95 GL)
-Brancott Montana South Island Pinot Grigio 2008 ($14.95)
-Stoneleigh Marlborough Pinot Gris 2008 ($16.95)
The Food: we had the private function menu, which consisted of endless
streams of Asiatic food, beginning with a salad (seaweed salad) or a
soup (miso cream chowder with seafood and truffle oil; I found the oil
to be overwhelming). This was followed by makimonos of yellowfin,
tempura butterfish, and beef maki. Next up were cold plates of
yellowfin belly, tuna and salmon, ika, and a Toro tower. Veggies at
this point were white and sweet potatoes, asparagus, enoki and
shiitake. Then came the heavy guns of rack of Ontario lamb, beef
tenderloin, black cod, and spiced shrimp. Desserts were decadent green
tea cheesecake and several different crème brulees. Everything went
well with the wines, although the Pinot Noirs shone with the meats. It
was difficult to compare and contrast the wines and the foods since
there were so many samples of food (we only had a mouthful or two of
each) and wine to co-ordinate.
The Downside: the Sauvignon Blancs were served just under room
temperature; they needed to be chilled more in order to being out the
acid. Also, the food came out more quickly than I would have liked,
reducing my time in wine-food pairing.
The Upside: a really interesting situation in trying to assess wine-
food pairing, with so many possibilities.
The Contact Person:
The Marketing Effectiveness (numerical grade):  88.

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