I asked winemaker Daniel Brennan for his recommendations of the ten best Hawke’s Bay wines for a summer party. I decided long ago that his 2014 Decibel Viognier will be on my Christmas table.
Dan lives and breathes wine – and music and friendship and family – and is passionate about the extraordinary variety of delicious wines available in Hawke’s Bay. I asked him his favourites to serve to friends as they sit on the deck, watching the sun going down, eating something Italian-inspired as someone picks up a guitar.
He has come up with some cracker suggestions.
Don’t go to the supermarket to just get any old wine. Seek out the unique, the special, the wine
you’ve wanted all year long to enjoy with your friends.
Here’s a nice range of wines, all at relatively affordable prices. These are some of my recent
favourites that I’ll be drinking this year. In no particular order….or are they….
10. 2015 Monowai Rose – this one ticks every mark, naughty and nice and is at a steal of price.
9. 2013 Tukipo River Estate ‘Fat Duck’ Pinot Noir – You don’t always think of Pinot Noir when you
think of Hawkes Bay. But Christmas is about surprises and this one grown in Southern HB open
your mind and keep the juices flowing.
8. 2014 The Supernatural – ‘Spook Light’ Pinot Gris – Sometimes Pinot Gris can get boring. This is
not that Pinot Gris. It’s the holidays. Time to treat yourself to something special.
7. 2015 Te Awa ‘Left Field’ Alberino – refreshing, clean, crisp and extremely interesting. Great for
on the porch with your mates laughing and nibbling away…
6. 2015 Trinity Hill – Marsanne/Viognier – it’s a special time of year, so break from the norm and try
something that is versatile both with seafood, spicy food or just on its own.
5. 2015 Easthope Gamay Noir – If you can get your hands on a bottle of this, it’s one of the best
summer reds out there. Only 300 bottles produced but maybe you can find one. Or if you’ve been
an especially good boy or girl this year, maybe Santa will bring you one
4. 2015 Collaboration – Aurulent – Chardonnay – Decadent, lovely and fulfilling. We all know how
great HB Chardy is and this one dances between plush and exciting. A real treat.
3. 2014 Paritua Syrah – This wine is cleaning up overseas with the awards and most HB folks
haven’t even tasted it yet. One of the best examples of Syrah our region has ever produced from
probably the best Syrah vintage HB has ever scene.
2. 2014 Decibel Viognier – apricots, spice and aromatics that will keep you smiling. Once again,
during the holidays you need versatility. This can pair with hearty and light foods and as a wine on
its own it will continue to get complex all the way till the end of the bottle.
1. 2006 Church Road – Blanc de Noirs – Méthode Traditionnelle – this pretty much sums up the
holidays in a bottle. Treat yourself to what is quietly becoming one of NZ’s best sparkling wines
ever made. Bubbles are always versatile with food and this one is no exception. But either with
food or on it’s own, just be sure to enjoy with friends.