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Monthly Archives: June 2018

  • Bladen Wines: Hospitality and Handcrafted Wines

    Dave and Christine Macdonald own and run Bladen Wines, situated in the Marlborough region of New Zealand. Bladen is named after the Macdonald's children, Blair and Deni, who were toddlers when the vineyard was founded.

    In 1989, Dave and Chris left the city behind to chase their dream of establishing a vineyard and winery. The family embarked on a national tour to find the ideal winegrowing region in New Zealand and the perfect vineyard location. Dave and Chris are amongst the pioneers of the Marlborough winegrowing region where they ultimately settled, with only eight wineries in the district when Bladen started.

    Dave and Chris have developed a reputation for creating cool climate wines of exceptional quality. Only 8 hectares of vines have been planted by hand at Bladen. All other grapes used to produce their wines are sourced from tiny vineyard blocks owned by friends. Almost every grape is checked before marking it into the final wine production which adds to the real handcrafted essence of the wines.

    RECENT AWARDS

    This has been a great year for Bladen with many award successes.

    Cellar Door of the Year
    In November, Bladen was awarded the Trophy for Wine Marlborough's "Cellar Door of the Year" for 2017, jointly shared with Hunters Wines. On the same evening, Dave was awarded the Trophy for Wine Marlborough's "Cellar Door Personality of the Year" for 2017 shared, with Kimberly Matthews from Brancott Estate.

    New Zealand International Wine Competition 2017
    Gewurztraminer 2017 - Gold
    Pinot Gris 2016 - Gold
    Pinot Rose 2017 - Silver
    Riesling 2017 - Silver

    Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2017
    Gewurztraminer 2017 - Gold

    Marlborough Wine Show 2017
    Gewurztraminer 2017 - Silver

    Canterbury A&P Show New Zealand Aromatic Wine Competition 2017
    Pinot Gris 2016 - Gold
    Pinot Rose 2017 - Silver

    Royal Easter Show Wine Awards
    Pinot Gris 2016 - Gold

    WINES

    Sauvignon Blanc 2017
    £13.99

    A bottle of Bladen Sauvignon Blanc 2016

    Light-straw with a green hue and a bright clarity. Lifted aromas of grapefruit and lemon zest, with subtle notes of stone fruit, mown grass and red capsicum. Layers of citrus and passionfruit on the palate with an underlying core of wet rock minerality. This wine has a fine texture, with a long refreshing finish.

    Bladen's Sauvignon Blanc is an accurate reflection of a true Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc but remains incredible value for money.

    Pinot Gris 2016
    £15.99
    Currently out of stock

    A bottle of Pinot Gris 2016

    Light-straw in colour. A medium bodied wine with complex aromas of spiced pear, nougat, toasted almonds and quince aromas, a creamy texture and plenty of ripe fruit flavours which persist on a long, full finish.

    Pinot Noir 2015
    £19.99

    A bottle of Bladen Pinot Noir 2015

    Deep-ruby colour, on the nose lifted red cherries and plum with a delicate aniseed and cinnamon note. A medium bodied wine with prominent red fruit flavour’s, spicy oak and savoury complexity. Gentle tannins and lingering acidity give velvet like texture with a fine finish.

    Pinot Rose 2017
    £13.99

    Bladen Rose 2017

    Salmon-blush with a pink hue. Lifted red fresh fruit notes, such as strawberry and raspberry on the nose with a touch of thyme and fresh herbs adding to the complexity. Juicy watermelon and fresh summer fruits on the palate, with a hint of creaming soda. The palate is crisp and refreshing, with a dry finish.

    Gewurztraminer 2015
    £15.99

    Bladen Gerwurtzraminer 2015

    A bright straw colouration leading to a nose of rose petals and Turkish delight. A full mouth feel with a rich texture and palate of lychee and gentle citrus. A balanced sweetness and floral tones.

    Riesling 2016
    £13.99

    Bladen Riesling 2016

    Light-straw in colour with a green hue and a bright clarity. Aromatic notes of lemon, lime and apple on the nose with intriguing ginger and nutmeg spice notes. Medium bodied with layers of citrus fruit, zest and spice overtones.

    Little Angel Sauvignon Blanc 2016
    £12.99

    Little Angel Sauvignon Blanc 2016

    Zingy tropical fruit flavours with a long finish. Fresh scented gooseberry nose with hints of lemon zest. Medium bodied and not overpowering, lively acidity and fresh fruit flavours.

    Little Angel Pinot Gris 2016
    £12.99

    Little Angel Pinot Gris 2016

    Soft and silky Pinot Gris with a well balanced palate, easy drinking, showing luscious peach and apricot tones. Creamy with hints of nutmeg.

    Visit our website to order your Bladen wines today. Don't delay - we often find our stock of Bladen Wines runs out!

  • La Couronne: the Crown of Franschhoek Part 1

    Nestled against the Klein Dassenberg Mountain in this beautiful corner of South Africa lies the peaceful gem of a wine farm, La Couronne Estate. This essential stop on any wine tour of the Franschhoek winelands boasts spectacular views of vineyard-covered slopes and towering peaks.

    History

    La Couronne means “The Crown” and pays homage to a warship built by the French Navy in 1636. The Crown transported 277 French Huguenots, escaping persecution for their faith in their homeland, to the Cape area of South Africa in 1685. The slopes of the current La Couronne farm site were settled over 300 years ago by the Huguenots who brought with them their iconic French winemaking knowledge.

    Activities

    A warm welcome by the La Couronne team, led by Eldorette Carinus and winemaker Henk Swart, awaits guests from wine connoisseurs to tourists and even to families with little ones. A variety of activities is catered for, including wedding functions, picnics, lunches, wine tastings and wine pairings.

    La Couronne's wine pairings include wine and chocolate, wine and pizza and a very South African wine and braai (BBQ) pairing.

    Award-winning Wines

    La Couronne has secured a number of awards for their wines, with the most recent medals and trophies being awarded at the International Wine Challenge 2018.

    La Couronne's Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2016 won a Gold Medal as well as the IWC Franschhoek Chardonnay Trophy. La Couronne's Limited Release Pinotage 2015 scooped a Bronze Medal, as did their Merlot Rose 2017 and their Malbec 2015 received a Commended.

    Gold Medal and Trophy winning Chardonnay 2016 is on its way to Hard To Find Wines. In the meantime, why not order these La Couronne wines while you wait.

    Chardonnay 2014
    £14.99

    A bottle of La Couronne Chardonnay 2014

    Outstanding oak and fruit integration with a full rich creamy mouthfeel of almonds and vanilla. Light lingering aftertaste of peaches and hints of citrus. This is La Couronne’s maiden vintage of this barrel fermented Chardonnay.

    Pinotage 2016
    £11.99

    A bottle of La Couronne Pinotage 2016

    A rich full bodied wine with an earthy aroma coupled with dark fruits. The palate is smooth and succulent, with touches of spice and brambles accompanying dark cherry and blackcurrant flavours.

    Merlot Rose 2017
    £8.99

    A bottle of La Couronne Merlot Rose

    100% Merlot goes in to this quality rose from Franschhoek. A deliciously delicate rose, with bright pink colouration and a subtle strawberry nose. The palate is surprisingly refreshing and dry, with soft berry flavours.

    Malbec 2014
    £14.99

    A bottle of La Couronne Malbec 2014

    Decadent aromas of dark cocoa and Eastern spices. The palate offers ripened plums and crushed berries finishing with lingering creamy oak. The La Couronne Malbec is one of only a handful of single varietal Malbec's currently to be produced in South Africa, making this a fairly unique wine. The quality of this wine shines through, with the Malbec taking on the South African terroir superbly in the shape of a depth of flavour that many Argentinian Malbec's lack.

    Do you want to learn a bit more about La Couronne's range of wines and the passions and purposes of their winemaking? Part 2 of this post will follow next month, so keep your eye on our Facebook page or the blog for that post!

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