Yvonne Lorkin Wine Column for week beginning Sat 18th Nov 2017

If you fancy yourself as New Zealand’s next top wine star, then you may just want to take this newspaper article and squirrel yourself away somewhere secret and quiet to ponder your potential, because the Family of Twelve network of wineries has announced an extraordinary opportunity for the country’s wine professionals.
Invitations will open on December 1st for just 12 people to join a unique two day wine tutorial. A tutorial featuring eight intensive workshops and three drool-inducing dinners, with guest speakers, a rare selection of wines including old vintages, unreleased wines and barrel samples from prestigious wineries local and foreign.  The Family of Twelve includes Kumeu River, Villa Maria, Millton Vineyard, Craggy Range, Ata Rangi, Palliser Estate, Neudorf Vineyards, Nautilus Estate, Fromm Winery, Lawson’s Dry Hills, Pegasus Bay & Felton Road.
Family Chair, Judy Finn of Neudorf, says a pillar of The Family of Twelve’s philosophy is developing the next generation of leaders. “We’ll identify twelve candidates from within the New Zealand wine industry (and our Family wineries) to attend a residential tutorial every two years.”  The aim is to foster the next generation of kiwi wine leaders and ambassadors.
The inaugural Family of Twelve Wine Tutorial will be held 15-18 July 2018 at Craggy Range in Hawke’s Bay. Future fixtures will be held bi-annually and at different Family wineries. There will be just twelve places each year: nine open to the New Zealand wine industry, plus three places prioritised for applicants from Family wineries. All candidates will be selected through an essay submission which will address the question: ‘What will you do for the New Zealand wine industry?’
At the conclusion of the Tutorial, one of the twelve candidates will be named Dux. The Dux will collect tickets for two to a major Australian wine region where they’ll enjoy a hosted wine experience. They will also receive a collection of the Family’s hero wines for their cellar.  So if this sounds like a bit of you, then get your essay face on and write up a storm.
Applications open 1st December 2017 and close 2nd February 2018.
For further information and to apply please visit: http://familyoftwelve.co.nz/the-family-of-twelve- wine-tutorial-application-information/ or contact Kate Pritchard on info@familyoftwelve.co.nz.

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Brancott Estate Reflection Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc/Sauvignon Gris 2016 $60 (5 stars)
This blend of the top parcels of sauvignon blanc and sauvignon gris that Brancott’s winemaker Patrick Materman has had his eye on for aeons, this unique wine has exotic aromas of white peach, marzipan, elderflower and a hint of lemongrass.  Juicy, mouthfilling and incredibly textural, it’s absolutely gorgeous to sip.  Created in collaboration with New York based designer Dror Benshetrit, this limited edition bottle of awesome is a must sip for white wine lovers wanting something unique.
www.brancottestatewineclub.com

Bellbird Spring Waipara Pinot Noir Rosé 2017 $26 (4 stars)
Guy Porter and his family are all hands on deck when it comes to making this unique style of rosé.  100% pinot noir grapes are crushed and fermented ultra-dry in old oak barrels to add to the complexity and character.  Mineral-driven, peppery, lipsmackingly dry – it’s a lean, clean style that’ll work beautifully with slabs of crumbly aged cheddar.
www.bellbirdspring.co.nz
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Hunter’s Unoaked Marlborough Chardonnay 2016 $18.99 (4 stars)
It’s funny how if you put the word ‘un’ in front of something, people assume it’s going to be somehow lacking. They’ll have to eat their hats, however, because this heavenly little creature from Hunters hits all the right spots. Juicy nectarine and grapefruity goodness on the nose leads to layers of lemon and peach and a pineapple punch. With impressive weight and a refreshing texture, it’s darn good stuff with old-fashioned ham steaks and pineapple.
www.hunters.co.nz

Dunnolly Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017 ($18.99) (5 stars)
Absolutely banging citrus, passionfruit, basil, lemon, lime, sugar snap pea flavours abound in this new brand on the market.  Made by winemaker Nicky Parish, it’s an ultra-tangy tropical tsunami of taste and it has stunning length of flavour.
For stockists near you email: winemaker@donnelly.co.nz

Brennan Central Otago Trio 2016 ($29) (4 stars)
The Brennan family have been growing grapes in Gibbston since 1994, and I’m a huge fan of their blended whites, particularly when they contain a gorgeous 57% gewürztraminer, 35% racy riesling, and an 8% splash of muscat like this one. You get foxy florals, mandarin, lychee, rose petal, and lashings of lovely citrus in the mouth, AND there’s a smidge of natural sweetness to carry these flavours for hours!
www.brennanwines.com

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