Thornbury Wines at Decanta


Another excellent tasting event at Decanta Tapas Bar in New Plymouth on Tuesday evening.

Simon Fell, Winemaker for Thornbury Wines came along and introduced wine club members and guests to his “Seven Wines from Five Regions.”

Jasmine and Alissa from Villa Maria assisted with as usual awesome service from the team at Decanta, pouring wines and serving delicious tapas matched to 4 of the wines.

Simon has been with Thornbury for 10 years now, and before that had years of experience in Bordeaux, California, Chile and Australia.

We started the evening with Simon introducing himself, his background as a winemaker, the Thornbury philosophy and some technical information on each of the wines as wee tasted througg the lineup of his seven wines! (plus one from Villa Maria as a comparison.)

Simon’s approach to wine making is by choosing parcels of fruit from selected vineyards in Gisborne, the Hawke’s Bay, Marlborough, Waipara and Central Otago.

Each wine is made to exhibit the best of each grape variety and the influence of the climate and soil types in those regions, on those grapes.

Simon also wants to make these wines accessible to as many wine lovers as possible and is able to produce them at Villa Maria in Auckland, and market them in the $15 – $25 range through supermarkets, wine stores and for purchase online.

Thanks to Simon for his presentation and to John and the team at Decanta – as always well worth the trip into town from home!

Here are the wines in order with my brief tasting notes* – click on each wine to visit the Thornbury website for more information or to purchase online.

Thornbury Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (Marlborough) matched with a Calamari / Salsa.
* Pale straw, tropical fruit, some green savoury characters, fresh acidity, crisp & juicy.

Thornbury Pinot Gris 2016 (Waipara)
* Pale onion skin coloured, spice, pear, apples, slightly oily / textured, nice finish.

Thornbury Riesling 2015 (Waipara)
* Straw with hints of green / gold, sweet nose of citrus & stonefruit, lemons and limes, lovely acidity / sweetness balance.

Thornbury Chardonnay 2015 (Gisborne) matched with Mild Creamy Curry Chicken Nibbles.
* Lemon / gold, stonefruit whiff of vanilla, layered, slight creaminess, tart  grapefruit citrus on the finish.

Thornbury Rose 2015 (Hawke’s Bay) (70% Merlot / 30%Pinot Gris)
* Soft salmon pink, red berries and florals in the nose, strawberries soft acidity, lighter style, pleasant.

We then compared the Villa Maria and Thornbury Pinot Noirs

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Pinot Noir 2015 (Marlborough) matched with Mini Beef Herb & Mushroom pies.
* Soft cherry red in colour, spice, dark berries and cherries, soft silky tannins, subtle oak, long fruit /spice finish.

Thornbury Pinot Noir 2015 (Central Otago)
* Darker cherry coloured, black berries, spice, herbal, rich fruit in the nose and on the palate, some earthy characters, complex, layered, elegant.

Finally a big dark brooding red…

Thornbury Merlot 2015 (Hawke’s Bay) matched with Lamb-burger sliders.
* Dark purple / indigo, plums and black berries, smoke and chocolate, lashings of sweet dark berry fruit, smooth tannins, a big bold mouthfilling wine – my pick of the night!