January 30, 2023
Right Place. Right Time.
We’re exploring the power of time and place and how it influences the final wine in the bottle with Right Place. Right Time. comparative tastings. You can savour the intricacies of each unique growing season and explore the power of time as wine experts guide you through an exploratory tasting flight of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from carefully selected vintages to discover the nuances that time reveals.
We caught up with our Senior Sommelier, Louise Dabisza to better understand the effects time and place have on a bottle of wine and what to expect from our new exploratory tastings.
Tell us about the effects of time and place on a bottle of wine.
Time and place can have varying but delightful effects on the final wine in the bottle. Time is the most important factor considering that certain grape varieties when aged will gain complexity and richness in flavours, where a newer wine will be brighter. The place where the grapes are grown also has a significant impact on the final product, different soil types can provide different flavour profiles. A clay-based soil tends to give the grapes more intense flavours whereas sandier soil can produce more highly aromatic wines.
What can guests expect from the Right Place. Right Time. comparative tastings?
We’ll walk you through a flight of five wines including our Estate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from 2010, 2013, 2020, 2021. You’ll explore the rich 2010 Estate Chardonnay against the bright 2020 along with the smooth 2013 Estate Pinot Noir against the well-structured 2021. We cap it off with our elegant and coveted 2020 Stewart Family Reserve Pinot Noir. Wine Club members can enjoy this tasting with their preferred discount.
Can you provide some tips for guests on what to look for when tasting the wines?
The comparative tasting is available daily, on the hour, and I would allow 45 minutes for your tasting experience. Once here, you will be presented with five wines including two of our Estate Chardonnays, two of our Estate Pinot Noirs and one of our Stewart Family Reserve Pinot Noir. You will taste the 2010 Estate Chardonnay and 2020 Estate Chardonnay first to discover the nuances of time in each of the wines. Watch for notes of sweet floral, honey and hazelnut underpinned with rich tropical fruits and biscuity, sizzled butter notes in the 2010 Estate Chardonnay. Juxtaposed with the bright and refreshing 2020 Chardonnay displaying fragrances of honeydew, lemon, yellow apple and Asian pear which are accompanied by subtle notes of fresh-baked brioche. You’ll then explore our Estate Pinot Noir starting with the 2013. From this wine, you can expect cherry-scented fruit with enticing mingling notes of clove, allspice and hints of dried leaves. Thanks to nine years of cellar time this Pinot delivers notes of dried herbs, potting soil, mushroom and truffle on the palate and a smooth, supple mouthfeel. You’ll compare the 2013 with our 2021 Estate Pinot Noir which displays aromas of cherry, wild strawberry, sage and black tea notes which are complemented by a medium-bodied, well-structured mid-palate rich in tannin and bursting with flavours of cherry and cocoa on the finish. We complete the tasting flight with our coveted flagship wine, the Stewart Family Reserve Pinot Noir. Here you’ll look for aromas of cedar and pinewood with spicy notes of black pepper. Expect a plush palate of blackberry, cocoa and toasted hazelnut.
Wine Club Members also have the option to add the 2010 Estate Dry Riesling to our regular Estate or Collector wine features, and will also enjoy their preferred discount. In this vintage, watch for aromas of honeydew melon, green tea, beeswax, combined with lean mineral, pine and petrol notes. You’ll note the age of this wine presents subtle fruit notes such as lemon citrus preserve, smoke, pine forest and dried basil.
Which of the comparisons would you say are your favourite? Why?
I honestly can’t say that I can pick a favourite. There’s something to enjoy in all the wines. The entire flight is a true exploration of the nuances that time reveals in a wine. Almost like breaking into a time capsule to explore what was happening 10 – 11 years ago and comparing it to today. It’s a sensory journey. The great part is that if you do find a favourite, or you’d prefer to explore at home, you can take the comparisons home with you to enjoy or to share with friends and family. We have Right Place. Right Time. gifts sets available in the Wine Shop and on quailsgate.com.
Speaking of the effects of time on wine, can you talk to us a bit about cellaring wine and how best to do that?
You’ll want to ensure the wine you are cellaring is age-worthy, meaning that it can spend a few years on the shelf and develop interesting and elegant characteristics. Certain wines, like a Rosé for example, are meant to be enjoyed now rather than cellared. Wines with tannin, acid and flavour are best for cellaring. Our Estate Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Old Vines Foch are great examples. Cellaring wine takes good storage, patience and sometimes a little willpower helps too. Typically when storing your wine, the cellaring space should be in a cool area (ideally 13 degrees C), dark (no heat source or direct sunlight) and vibration free (under your stairs or moving them from one area to another is not ideal). Heat will age the wine prematurely or even cook the wine. Cooler temperatures will age the wine slower. If your wine has corks the humidity should be set at 60% and the wines should be on their side. Higher humidity can cause mold and degradation of the labels and glue. Lower humidity will cause corks to dry out sooner resulting in the loss of precious wine. Twist-off wines can be stored upright for extended periods worry-free from cork taint or space limitations.
And of course, it’s always best to stock your cellar with wines you, your friends and family love as you will likely be the ones enjoying them in the end. As wine is something we are very passionate about at Quails’ Gate, we love talking about it so don’t be shy to ask lots of questions when you visit.
Join us at Quails’ Gate today to taste the days gone by while exploring the promise of something worth savouring. Book your Right Place. Right Time. comparative tasting or shop our Right Place. Right Time. gifts sets at quailsgate.com and get a taste of time and place.