|Set in the north of New Zealand’s South Island, Spencer Hill winery produces about 50,000 cases every year. The wines are produced with grapes grown at their 30 ha vineyards as well as with grapes sourced from outside. Champagne Indage Ltd. is importing a selection of Tasman Bay wines. “It is wonderful to be here and have our wines in India,” says Philip Jones, owner and winemaker of Tasman Bay wines.|
Brinda Gill has the story.
The wines with tasting notes by Jones are Sauvignon Blanc – very crisp with a good acidity, fresh fruit flavours of gooseberry and a range of tropical flours; Chardonnay – very famous for its crisp, fresh taste as well as citrus, vanilla and oak flavours; Pinot Gris – an unusual wine with apple, pear and spicy flavours; Pinot Noir – a light red wine with beautiful raspberry and strawberry flavours; and a Merlot that is different and has fruity flavours.
The white wines are fermented at 11°C; the must is kept very cold to extract fresh fruit flavours, while the red wines are fermented with natural/native yeast (no yeast is added during fermentation) to make for wines with greater complexity.
Keeping with his philosophy of doing whatever it takes to make a good wine and make a wine that the consumer would enjoy drinking, Jones says that the Sauvignon Blanc is a blend of wines made from grapes from Nelson, which has a cool climate with the possibility of rain during harvest and Marlborough, which has a drier climate. The blend brings together the attributes of the grape variety grown in these two regions, with different climatic conditions, and makes for a wine that is refreshing, crisp and fruity with length and complexity.
Looking back over 18 years, to the time when he started Tasman Bay wines, Jones says that the New Zealand wine industry at the time was poised as India’s wine industry is today, producing wines that were very simple to taste. And, just as New Zealand’s wine industry has grown in the past two decades and marked its presence on the international wine map, he feels, the Indian wine industry too will start producing premium wines of greater complexity and make its mark. Meanwhile, he hopes that the Indian government will lower its taxes on imported wines as there is great potential for increased wine consumption in India.