Yvonne Lorkin Wine Column for week beginning Sat Aug 5th 2017

Anyone remotely tuned in to the craft beer community in New Zealand will have noticed an upswing in the number of groovy new brews being released that’ve had a wine influence. While overseas it’s not unusual to see pinot grigio-infused beers, for the most part, kiwi drinkers appear to prefer their porters, dark ales, lagers and stouts to simply have wine barrel contact – rather than actually having wine as an ingredient. Craftwork’s Red Bonnet is a Flanders sour red ale from Oamaru, that’s been aged for a year in a Waitaki pinot noir barrel. Hallertau’s Porter Noir has also been aged in pinot noir barrels as does Moa’s Russian Imperial Stout. Moa’s brewer, Josh Scott is a huge barrel-fan, even creating a 5 Hop Barrel Reserve beer aged in old chardonnay barrels. However a unique collaboration between Gladstone Vineyard and Yeastie Boys has resulted in a bold brew that includes all the racy charm of an injection of sauvignon blanc and viognier. Two beverages were crafted to celebrate the creativity and innovation of the Arts Foundation and to challenge people to think past traditional wine and beer boundaries. Pushmi, by Gladstone Vineyard, is a co-ferment of Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier, and Pullyu by the Yeastie Boys, is a strong, white ale incorporating a hefty splash of the ‘Pushmi’ wine. The collaboration gives a nod to Dr Doolittle’s two-headed creature and encourages New Zealanders to see wine and beer in a new light, as both creative, interchangeable and unique. Stu McKinlay, Yeastie Boys Benevolent Dictator (it’s right there on his business card) says the Pushmi-Pullyu concept appealed because of the inherent tension between beer and wine. “People tend to label themselves as either wine or beer people. Wine has trouble breaking out of its very traditional box and beer has trouble being taken seriously as something more than a BBQ accompaniment.” “Whether it’s experimenting with ingredients, or getting jiggy with some one-off labelling, we love creativity and innovation.” …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Gladstone Vineyard ‘Pushmi’ 2016 $31.50 (4 stars)
It’s a rare thing in this country to see sauvignon blanc blended with anything. It’s usually pure, crisp, punchy and clean. However, the team from Gladstone Wines in the Wairarapa have opted to get a tad funky on it by creating a co-ferment of Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier in homage to the Dr Doolittle beast, the Pushmi-Pullyu. The grapes were crushed and co-fermented with 50% of the juice going into old oak barrels to add weight and toasty depth to the wine, before each batch underwent lees stirring to encourage creaminess around the passionfruit, capsicum, peach, apricot, tomato leaf, a lick of jasmine and buckets of fresh herbs.
www.gladstonevineyard.co.nz

Yeastie Boys ‘Pullyu’ 750ml $45 (as part of a gift pack)
Ever tried beer made with wine? Here’s your chance with this white ale that the Yeastie’s have added to their 2014 ‘Spoonbender’ series. Taking a small portion of Gladstone Vineyard’s ‘Pushmi’ white wine (sauvignon and viognier) to create a candy-sugar to use alongside the malts and hops in the brew, the ‘Pullyu’ is a strong, yet complex ale that has sneaky sweetness, making it perfect as an aperitif. Soft, spicy and tropical, there’s a wheaty, bready layer across the mid-palate and a long, cleansing finish.
www.gladstonevineyard.co.nz

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Kick the week into gear with these gorgeous sips…

Giesen Vineyard Selection Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2014 $17 (3.5 stars)
Here’s a cracking good, chocolately merlot that’s stitched together with prune, pepper, red berries and all manner of spicey niceness. The tannins have just the right amount of chew and the acidity has just the right amount of pucker. It’s a satisfying, saucy, sexy little sip indeed. www.finewinedelivery.co.nz

Serbal Mendoza Malbec Rosé 2015 $25 (3.5 stars)
If sweet rosé wines are not your thing, fret not. I’ve hunted high and low to address that issue and have found a little star you’ll love because it’s lipsmackingly lean and dry. Malbec rosé is not common and yet the team at Serbal are clearly experts in creating sophisticated, South American style rose that rocks. VERY dry and almost dusty in its complexity – it’s very different to the norm.
For stockists visit www.south2south.com

Ataahua Waipara Merlot 2015 $30 (4 stars)
When you see a long, horseshoe-shaped cloud forming over North Canterbury, you know a raging nor-wester is imminent. It’s this wind that helps maintain a natural yield control on the vines, ensuring healthy fruit concentration and spicy intensity in this southern merlot. Crafted by Stephanie Henderson-Grant, expect aromas of bay leaf, rosemary, ripe blackberry and prune lead to a super-spicy mouthfeel, elegant acidity and layers of chewy, leathery tannins on the finish. It’s awesome with roast venison Denver leg.
www.ataahuawine.co.nz

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