I was researching a column last week for the Spectator and I came across a bottle that made me go weak in the knees – Stonecroft Old Vine Gewurztraminer from Hawkes Bay.
Now before you fire up your boozemobile for a midnight run to Manitoba you do need to know a couple of things.
Firstly it is a Gewurztraminer which will appeal to a relatively small segment of readers. Secondly, it is from the famed Gimblett Gravels.
This is an estuary on the east side of New Zealand, about an eight hour drive from Aukland, around the sleepy but quite pretty town of Napier. They make some great Bordelais style reds there, although for my money their best wine is their very pure Syrah. This is a wine completely unlike any syrah you’ve ever had. It is why the popes seized farmland in the Rhône to grow the stuff.
Anyway, the flat gravel was wasteland until somebody decided to plant vines a couple of decades ago. Almost no Hawkes Bay wines reach Canada, except the Oyster Bay Merlot which confuses the issue because Oyster Bay is on the south Island. (You need to read the back label closely to find out the source of the grapes.) Even fewer Hawkes Bay whites get here. Both are quite popular in England where they command a highish price, typically around 20 to 40 UKP.
So there I am in the Grant Park MLCC and there alone on the shelf is the Stonecroft Gewurztraminer… It was the work of a second to stuff it in my cart, and a very pleasant afternoon and evening ensued.
Bravo to the MLCC for listing this gem. I haven’t seen it anywhere else in Canada. If you’re a fan of Gewurz this is a must-drink. And if you’re curious about why folks like me maunder on and on about Hawkes Bay here’s one of the many reasons.
Stonecroft Gimblett Gravels Old Vine Gewurztraminer $35
Item # / UPC 13398 / 9421013360287