Joelle Thomson's Amazing Value Picks: Reds from the winterless north
by Abby Jones
Reds from the winterless north
By Joelle Thomson
Hinemoa Wines is a small brand from the sunny north at Omaha Beach, 74 kilometres north of Auckland. This beautiful seaside spot is better known as a weekend and holiday region than a wine one and it’s in the Rodney District. It’s only a hop, skip and a jump for Aucklanders to get away from the big smoke, but the climate is warmer than in our biggest city.
Higher temperatures year round provide more heat for late ripening grape ss, such as Syrah, Malbec and even mid ripening Merlot, which can all flourish in this part of the world, in a good vintage. The 2015 and 2016 wines recommended this week are from lovely warm, dry years. The 2012 is showing beautiful savoury development and represents a stellar bargain buy at this price.
Together, Auckland and Northland are the third smallest wine region in New Zealand with 392 hectares of vines (which also includes Waiheke Island). The two regions that are even smaller are the Waitaki Valley in North Otago with 58 hectares of vines and the Waikato and Bay of Plenty, which together have just 15 hectares.
Star wine of the week
2016 Hinemoa Wiremu Syrah $
Dark, spicy and delicious. This tasty Syrah is made from grapes grown at Omaha, north of Auckland. It’s a dry, full bodied, big wine with its dark fruit flavours and spicy personality. This is a complex and multi faceted wine, which is lovely drinking now and for the next two to three years.
2012 Hinemoa Moana Syrah Merlot $
Omaha Beach is home to a lot of impressive things, including some of this country’s swishest seaside homes away from home and wines like this one, which is a blend of Syrah and Merlot. The Syrah provides the notes of black pepper and spice while Merlot contributes softness and this wine’s plush mouthfeel. The aging has been done for you with this wine, so drink this wine now or soon.
2016 Hinemoa Moana Malbec Merlot $
Here’s a juicy little number from Omaha Beach north of Auckland. Malbec’s dry, dark and fruity flavours put forward big spicy flavours while Merlot’s softness rounds out the palate, adding flesh and a smooth finish.
Drinks well now and in the near future.
2015 Hinemoa Estate Niko Malbec Omaha Beach $
Deep ruby, clear and youthful on the rim with powerful dark fruit flavours and a bold spicy overtone. Complex layers of dark fruit flavours give this wine its shine and X factor. Very good quality from a surprising corner of the wine planet – Omaha, north of Auckland.
Joelle Thomson is a wine writer, journalist and author. She’s an avid lover of wine and currently writes for Capital magazine, Good magazine, NZ Winegrower, Drinksbiz, and her own site,www.joellethomson.com.
She also teaches, works in radio, and more, so we've enlisted her help to sniff out our amazing value wines!