Oz, Chris Stroud (marketing manager –
Europe, New Zealand Winegrowers),
Sir Alexander Lockwood Smith
Sir Alexander Lockwood Smith,
NZ High Commissioner to UK
On Friday 6th may Oz Clarke, writer, actor and broadcaster, was inducted into the The New Zealand Hall of Fame at a brief ceremony at the top of New Zealand House. Sir Alexander Lockwood Smith, the New Zealand High Commissioner, made the presentation.
‘Oz Clarke inducted in to New Zealand Wine Hall of Fame
Oz Clarke, the man who helped put New Zealand Wine on the map, will be inducted into the New Zealand Wine Hall of Fame on International Sauvignon Blanc Day, Friday May 6.
Oz is the first person in the UK to receive this honour, and only the second non-Kiwi (after Australian David Hohnen in 2006) to be recognised for having made major contributions to the development and enhancement of the domestic and export-based wine industry in New Zealand.
A passionate New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc enthusiast and advocate, Oz will be presented with his certificate of membership fittingly on International Sauvignon Blanc Day, at New Zealand House in London.
“There had never before been a wine that crackled and spat its flavours at you from the glass,” Oz said at the inaugural International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration, held in Marlborough earlier this year, where he captivated the audience as a keynote speaker with his first memories of tasting New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
Oz first visited New Zealand in 1987 as a guest overseas judge at the inaugural Air New Zealand Wine Awards, the country’s premier national wine competition. He came again a few years later to judge, and has been a regular keynote speaker at the triennial Pinot Noir International events held in Wellington since 2001.
Commenting on Oz’s induction, the chairman of the New Zealand Wine Hall of Fame Trust, Bob Campbell MW (who, incidentally judged on the same panel as Oz in 1987) said:
“Oz is special to Kiwi winemakers because, in 1984 he was among the first to recognise that Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc had added a new style and flavour to the world of wine, and he never stopped saying it to anyone who would listen. Then, in 2001 he rated our best Pinot Noirs as being up there with the best of Burgundy – not better than but comparable with and complementary in style.”
« On personal and regional levels, Oz has taken the time and trouble to get to know our wine people and their terroirs, and the synergies are such that we have come to regard him as an honorary Kiwi.”
Celebrating London’s first Muslim Mayor – Sadiq Khan
Crémant de Loire Rosé, Lamé Delisle Boucard
Last night we opened a bottle of the Crémant de Loire Rosé from Lamé Delisle Boucard to celebrate the election early on Saturday morning of Sadiq Khan as the new Mayor of London and the first Muslim to be elected to the post. Sadiq Khan was elected by a landslide despite a very unpleasantly racist campaign by the Conservatives that has been subsequently widely criticised by various senior Conservative figures. Despite these tactics Khan has been impressively dignified.
Lamé’s Crémant Rosé is made from 70% Cabernet Franc and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and spends 24 months sur latte. Lovely delicate strawberry and raspberry fruit.
Proud to be a Londoner!
Franck Champeau – Domaine Champeau, Pouilly-Fumé
Domaine Champeau, Pouilly-Fumé
(above and below)
I was quite surprised to find a substantial Pouilly-Fumé domaine in the Wines Unearthed section of this year’s London Wine Trade Fair. The Wines Unearthed section described as ‘unsigned talent from the world of wine’ was for producers not represented in the UK.
Domaine Champeau is based in the village of Saint-Andelain and has 20 hectares of vines – the vast majority being Sauvignon Blanc but they also have 1.40 ha of Chasselas for AC Pouilly-sur-Loire. This makes them the largest producer of Pouilly-sur-Loire – the much reduced appellation for Chasselas that used to be the dominant grape variety here – albeit essentially for the production of table grapes. The domaine was founded in 1942 when Franck’s grandparents started with just 1.70 ha of vines. He and his brother, Guy, are the third generation to run the domaine.
I met Franck Champeau on the stand. Unfortunately like so many other Loire producers he has been hit by the recent late April frosts, especially that of early in the morning of Wednesday 27th April. « We have lost 50% of our crop, » Franck told me, « and overall throughout the appellation the loss is 50%. »
I was impressed with the wines I tasted with Franck – in particular the mineral 2014 Silex and and the attractively concentrated 2015 Pouilly-Fumé. For anyone looking for that relatively rare beast – a Pouilly-Fumé not imported into the UK – should take a look at these wines.