It's a rare treat to taste 6 consecutive vintages of a wine and an even rarer experience to be lead through the line-up with the winemaker.
So we were delighted to have Alastair Maling, the Head of Winemaking for Villa Maria and Master of Wine, host a very special evening as we tasted the evolution of Pinot Noir from the Southern Clays vineyard.
The Southern Clays region of Marlborough has been a revelation for quality and Alastair Maling and his team at Villa Maria have made some of the finest examples in the last few years.
The Standouts of the evening were the 2012 - the youngest wine in the lineup - the 2010 and 2008 vintages. the 2012 showed vibrancy in its acidity and red fruit indicating its ability to cellar beautifully. As the wines developed the primary fruit characters dropped away and the tannins softened leaving textual, chewy wines with great depth and slightly more earthy flavours.
With such impressive wines we enlisted our Michelin Chef Philip Reynolds to create two matching dishes for the oldest and the youngest...to illustrate the different flavour profiles found as this wine develops in the bottle.
This was an incredible food and wine experience and our appreciation goes out to Alastair for his expertise and wonderful wine, Philip for the exquisite food, and all those who came along to the evening.