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Rick Stein Impressed By Te Awa Sauvignon Semillon!

Rick Stein Impressed By Te Awa Sauvignon Semillon!

It's a long way from his beginnings at a Cornish fish restaurant in the seaside town of Padstow to creating a five-course degustation at a luxury resort on the other side of the world, but that's exactly what international food celebrity Rick Stein achieved at a sold-out event last weekend at Kauri Cliffs, in Kerikeri.

Spanish flavours permeated the menu as Stein was inspired by a country he loves which is also the focus of his new book and upcoming TV series.

But while the menu boasted dishes like baked scallops with pimenton piquant, chorizo and crisp breadcrumbs, a small stew of clams, prawns and home-salted blue cod, potatoes, leeks and aioli, beef-rib chops and orange caramel creams – it was the wine matches, in particular the 2010 Te Awa Sauvignon Blanc Semillon (SBS) which made a huge impression with Stein.

“We were very excited to match our wines with the world class food of Rick Stein” enthused Te Awa winemaker and General Manager Ant MacKenzie.

“The first course paired our new Te Awa Sauvignon Blanc Semillon with Rick's Mussels in Tomato Vinaigrette, not the easiest wine and food match, but one that the SBS was definitely up to – in fact it was the match of the evening!” he says.

“Rick clearly enjoyed the dry and complex nature of the wine which allowed the sweetness of the tomato to come through”.

MacKenzie went on to say. Te Awa is one of a number of Hawke's Bay producers dedicating high quality fruit to this classic white blend from Bordeaux.

While crisp and tropical, the sauvignon blanc from Hawke's Bay is often seen to be more robust in nature than the southern styles and lends itself perfectly to processes like wild yeast ferments and barrel-maturation. An injection of Semillon can lend a slightly creamy, nutty, hay-like character to the limey acidity and minerality present in the sauvignon.

“The opportunity to elevate Sauvignon Blanc through the addition of a portion of Semillon has given us a sophisticated, Super Sauvignon blend” adds MacKenzie.

“The beauty of this blend is in its versatility as both a food wine and an aperitif. I love that it can be enjoyed young as well as developing beautifully in the cellar - something traditional, fruit-focused Sauvignon Blanc struggles to do” he says.

“This blend is also perfectly suited to the gravel based soil on our Te Awa vineyard, and sits comfortably alongside the iconic Te Awa Cabernet Merlot – which was brilliant with Rick's beef chop too by the way...”


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