Despite 2019 being a huge year for The Hunting Lodge , Chief Winemaker Pete Turner says the hunt for something new never stops.
This month, the West-Auckland winery launches a Red for every occasion, their biggest range to date and perfectly timed for colder winter months ahead.
“2019 was a big vintage and a big year for us. With four vintages now under our belt, we’ve recently toasted a swath of five-Star reviews, a few Gold medals; planted new varieties in our Homeblock Vineyard and added some exciting new wines to our Expressions, Seasonal and Project X ranges,” Pete Turner said.
New Zealand is deservedly known for aromatic white wines, with over 85% of wine production being from white grapes. It’s perhaps then easy to overlook the fact that this country also produces some cracking Reds and The Hunting Lodge has had a few new Reds quietly maturing in their Barrel Hall.
First is the return of their Lagrein, a lesser known variety, cousin to Syrah and grandchild of Pinot Noir. Pete calls it, “a rustic little Italian Red with big aromatics and big tannins.” And declares it “better than ever.”
Second up is the elegant and slinky Syrah, back after a leave of absence.
“Fragrant and juicy, our Syrah is packed with varietal berry characters with a sniff of Cocoa and Juniper, all dolled up in some classy oak. This is graceful, cool climate Syrah in style and definitely not your brutish Shiraz,” Pete said.
In terms of fuller-bodied reds, and again from a fantastic Hawkes Bay vintage, is The Hunting Lodge’s Seasonal Malbec Merlot.
“That’s right – Malbec first this time, because it is worthy! Rich and powerful, this is a wine for the bigger Red drinkers and one that will also benefit from some careful cellaring,” added Pete.
Finally, their latest (and highly anticipated) Project X mash-up is Tennessee Red. It’s a complex Merlot Malbec blend first aged in French Oak and then in Bourbon barrels, “think Bordeaux chic with char-grilled Southern flavour,” says Pete.
As their previous dabble with bourbon barrels, Chardy Jack, sold out in a matter of weeks, the team have opened up a preorder opportunity from August 1st.
And for the Pinotphiles, or those who prefer finesse over structure, Seasonal Central Otago Pinot Noir and Expressions Marlborough Pinot continue to over deliver on quality.
To launch this phenomenal new selection, award-winning chef Des Harris has created a midwinter Reds & Roast lunch, with an inspired menu to complement and enhance each of the new Reds. On the 16th of August at The Hunting Lodge Restaurant diners can sip, swill, and enjoy three courses, alongside a DJ playing classic soul. More information here.
The Hunting Lodge has also created a special Reds pack for purchase, $85 (usually $98), which will include the Syrah, Malbec Merlot and Lagrein.
Pre-order for the limited edition Project X Tennessee Red opens online through The Hunting Lodge from August 1st.
2019 Hawke’s Bay Syrah, $30 , available now
2019 Hawke’s Bay Malbec Merlot, $32, available now
2019 Marlborough Lagrein, $36, available now
2019 Project X Tennessee Red, $36, available for pre-order from August 1st