Huia Vineyards Wine Tasting at Table Wine Asheville North Carolina

New Zealand’s Huia Vineyards – Try 3 For Free Wine Tasting

Saturday, June 3 from 2-5 pm – I used to sell the wines of New Zealand’s Huia Vineyards, and I loved them!  The wines left the market for a bit, but they’re back and they’re better than ever.  These are unique, non-formulaic New Zealand wines, and you’ll recognize that when you taste them.  From their crisp and minerally Sauvignon Blanc and their fun and playful “Tangle” White Blend to their rich and creamy Pinot Gris, these are world-class wines at great prices.

Huia Vineyard Tasting at Table Wine in Asheville, NC.

Huia’s pristine organic and biodynamically tended vineyards.

Huia Vineyards was started in 1990 by Claire and Mike Allan and they released their first wines in 1997.  They immediately hit the world market with a bang and they haven’t slowed down since.  Today, all of their estate vineyards are certified organic and all of their wines are made in a very natural fashion — native yeasts, long fermentations, and minimal sulfur additions.  Whatever they’re doing, I suggest they keep it up.  Join us as we taste through this fascinating and delicious lineup of wines.  Up first, it’s the Estate Sauvignon Blanc, and it’s unlike any other I’ve ever tried from New Zealand.  Far from the grapefruit bomb that many a Kiwi Sauvie have become, this wine is elegant, restrained, mineralic……….it actually calls to mind Sancerre.  Up next, Huia’s second label is called Hunky Dory………I know, kinda’ cheesy, but the wine is great.  The Tangle White Blend combines Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, and Riesling to create a “mostly dry” white wine laced with floral and ripe fruit notes.  To finish, the Estate Pinot Gris could have easily fooled me into thinking it was from a top flight Alsatian producer.  Good lord, talk about rich, textured, and full bodied………yet, there’s a vein of refreshing acidity present to hold it all together.  Bravo Huia!  Sound good?  Stop by this Saturday to taste, learn, and save big on all of the featured tasting wines.

The Wines
All of the featured tasting wines are on sale the day of the tasting: take 10% off if you mix any 3, 15% off if you mix any 6, or 20% off if you mix any 12.

1. 2016 Huia Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough, New Zealand) – Talk about a masterpiece of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc!  From Huia’s certified organic, practicing biodynamic estate vineyards, the wine is fermented in a combination of stainless steel and neutral French oak.  The oak component really adds a beautiful texture to the wine and it also contributes more aromatic and flavor diversity.  Guava, lime, gooseberry, green herbs, mineral, and on and on and on…….
Tasting Price: $19.79 on mixed 3-packs | $18.69 on mixed 6-packs | $17.59 on mixed cases

2. 2016 Hunky Dory Tangle White Blend (Marlborough, New Zealand) – I’m not a huge fan of the name, but I guess this is a commonly used phrase in New Zealand.  Who really cares right?  The wine is hugely delicious!  A combo of 53% Pinot Gris, 43% Gewurztraminer, and 4% Riesling, again from certified organic vineyards, the wine is almost dry.  It explodes out of the glass with exotic notes of honeysuckle, jasmine, lime and apple and proceeds to delight the palate.
Tasting Price: $14.39 on mixed 3-packs | $13.59 in a mixed six pack | $12.79 in a mixed case

3. 2016 Huia Pinot Gris (Marlborough, New Zealand) – This one really impressed me when I tasted it a couple weeks back.  I’m a total nutter for Alsatian Pinot Gris, and this one is a dead ringer.  From old, organically tended vines, the wine is fermented 50/50 with native and organic yeasts in a combination of stainless steel and neutral oak.  Post-fermentation, the wine was left on the lees for a bit to soften and add complexity.  The resulting wine is a 95 pointer in my book.  Rich, just off-dry, and possessing lovely notes of white peach, golden apple, spice and a creamy texture, this is just screaming for crab cakes or richer seafood preparations.  I’ll eat it if you bring it!
Tasting Price: $20.69 on mixed 3-packs | $19.54 in a mixed six pack | $18.39 in a mixed case

Josh Spurling
Owner/Operator at Table Wine

Try Three for Free Wine Tasting - New Zealand White Wines

Try Three For Free Wine Tasting – New Zealand White Wines

Try Three For Free Wine Tasting this Saturday, July 30th – Drop by any time between 2-5 p.m to sample some top New Zealand white wines!  Let us start by saying that New Zealand does more than just Sauvignon Blanc.  In case you didn’t know, one of the top Chardonnay producers in the Southern Hemisphere calls New Zealand home, and yes, we will be pouring one of their award winning Chardonnays this Saturday.  If you love world class White Burgundy, do not miss you chance to try the otherworldly 2011 Kumeu River Chardonnay.  In addition, we’ll pour you samples of two of Marlborough’s top rated Sauvignon Blancs, including one from the original winemaking/viticultural team at Cloudy Bay, New Zealand’s most famed producer.  Heck, we might even sneak a Central Otago Pinot Noir into the mix, but you won’t know unless you join us.  Stop by, taste, learn and save up to 20% off on all of the tasting wines.

The Wines
On all tasting wines, save 10% off by the bottle, 15% off when you mix six of them, or 20% off when you mix a case or more of them!

1. 2014 Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough, New Zealand) – This is just classic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc!  With an exuberant nose of exotic citrus/tropical fruit notes along with that classic green herbal edge, it’s a great wine for the money.  For fans of bigger brands like Kim Crawford, Brancott, and/or Nobilo, give this one a shot.
Tasting Price: $13.49/bottle | $12.74 on mixed six packs | $11.99 on mixed cases

2. 2015 Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough, New Zealand) – Dog Point consistently produces one of the highest rated Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs, and the 2015 is no exception.  Stephen Tanzer of Vinous Media rated the new vintage 92 points making it the highest rated New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc of the year for that publication.  It really comes as no surprise to us as Dog Point Vineyards is owned and operated by the original team from Cloudy Bay, the estate that put Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc on the map.  If you are a serious Sauvignon Blanc lover, don’t miss your chance to try this one!
Tasting Price: $21.59/bottle | $20.39 in mixed six packs | $19.19 in mixed cases

3. 2011 Kumeu River Chardonnay Estate (Auckland, New Zealand) – This legendary, Auckland-based winery is one of the greatest Chardonnay producers on the planet.  Time after time, their Chardonnays have been pitted against much more expensive Chardonnays from Burgundy and elsewhere and they have consistently prevailed.  Click here to read more about that.  This is a very special and rare opportunity to try Chardonnay greatness at no charge.  At 5 years old, this wine is in its sweet spot showing rich fruit, complex secondary notes, and refreshing acidity.  Taste it for yourself and see!
Tasting Price: $32.39/bottle | $30.59 on mixed six packs | $28.79 on mixed cases

Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc

Wine of the Week – 2014 Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc

Wine of the Week – 92 Point Rated New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc For Less Than $20!!!  On sale through Tuesday, August 18th unless we run out first – Dog Point Vineyards is the project of Cloudy Bay alumni Ivan Sutherland and James Healy, former viticulturist and chief winemaker for New Zealand’s most famous Sauvignon Blanc producer.  Started in 2005, shortly after the two left Cloudy Bay, Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc was an immediate success and the wine consistently garners 90+ point scores from all of the major trade journals.  The 2014 Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc, rated 92 points by Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast, might be their best to date.  We just picked up the last 6 cases of this one from our distributor, and it’s our new Wine of the Week.  Here’s the deal:

2014 Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc – On Sale Through Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

Regular Price: $23.99/bottle

Sale Price: $19.99/bottle or $18.99/bottle (Over 20% off) on solid six packs!

After leaving Cloudy Bay, Ivan and James began making wines with fruit from Sutherland’s vineyards which were planted in the 70’s and 80’s.  These are some of the oldest vineyards in the Marlborough region, and all of them are farmed using organic principles as established under the New Zealand Sustainable Winegrowing Program.  This combination of experience, old vines, and clean farming practices result in one of the region’s most distinctive Sauvignon Blancs.

One of our biggest complaints about New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is that so many of them taste extremely similar. Grapefruit, grapefruit, grapefruit all the way!  It’s not that we find that flavor unpleasant, we just think that Sauvignon Blanc is capable of so much more, and Dog Point’s version exemplifies this.  On the nose, it offers up a lovely mix of green apple, honeydew melon, nectarine, and passion fruit combined with classic notes of fresh cut grass and green herbs.  As enticing as that sounds, the palate is even better and it is what sets this wine apart from the other upper echelon New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs.  There is a balance and harmony in the texture of this wine that makes it downright chuggable.  Ripe, smooth, and fleshy, but still bright and zesty, the aromas continue on the palate, and all of those flavors linger from some time on the finish.

Like we said, we’ve only got 6 cases to sell, and with the heat of August upon us, we can’t think of a better white wine to sip.  Even better, enjoy this one with sushi, ceviche, or other fresh and light summer fare.  To place your order/reserve your wine, just stop by or email us at and we’ll take care of the rest.

Wine Spectator: 92 points
“A smooth, fleshy mix of honeysuckle, ripe melon, dried mango, peach and nectarine flavors, with a squirt of lemon juice. Succulent and complex, offering a whiff of smoky tea and celery leaf notes on the finish. Drink now.”

Wine Enthusiast: 92 points
“Everything you’d ever want in a Sauvignon Blanc is here—and then some. Grassy, herbal, citrusy aromas set the pace, joined by some slightly feral, wooly pungency that adds even greater complexity. On the palate, it’s plump and mouthwatering without being excessively tart, and lingers gloriously on the finish.”

Kumeu River Village Chardonnay

A Gem From New Zealand’s Top Chardonnay Producer: 2009 Kumeu River Village Chardonnay

White Wine of the Week: Kumeu River is unquestionably one of the finest Chardonnay producers in the Southern Hemisphere and without a doubt the best Chardonnay producer in New Zealand.  For lovers of European/Burgundy styled Chardonnays, this offers unbeatable complexity and nuance at an incredible price. 

“If you have never tried these wines, it is time to see what New Zealand is capable of.” – Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate

“Kumeu River makes the best, most long lived Chardonnays in New Zealand.” – Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator

Strong words from two very influential guys who taste and rate wine for a living, and I couldn’t agree more with them.  Sure, you can find this wine pretty easily online, but not in this vintage.  And trust me, Kumeu River’s Chardonnays dramatically improve, broaden, and gain complexity with age.  This one is close to peak form, and it’s showing many of the traits and characteristics of White Burgundies I taste that cost at least twice the price.

Even better, I’m pleased to offer the 2009 Kumeu River Village Chardonnay at $22.99 by the bottle, $20.69 in 6-packs, and $19.54 by the case.  Regular price here is $22.99/bottle, and I guarantee you any Burgundy lover would find that price very reasonable.

The Brajkovich family are the masterminds behind the estate, and they are recognized as one of the “first families” of New Zealand wine.  With over 75 years of experience refining their methods and improving their wines, this family run, Auckland-based winery is today one of New Zealand’s finest estates.  Yeah, they make a good Sauvignon Blanc too, but Chardonnay is their specialty.

Kumeu River makes five different and this is their “entry level” version, but it doesn’t behave like any entry level wine I’ve ever tasted.  Hand harvested and sorted, and whole cluster pressed and fermented in a mix of stainless steel and older French oak, the wine underwent 100% malolactic fermentation to soften its edges.
All of this wine geek “technical talk” basically means that this is an artisanal wine crafted with much attention to detail.

That details shows in the finished wine!  Ben and I popped a bottle after work last week and immediately freaked out at how good it was.  The nose smells like $40+ White Burgundy — pear, spiced apple, lemon curd, flint, hazelnut, mineral………..shall I go on?  The palate shows similar complexity and a vibrancy and vitality that suggests this wine will continue to offer pleasure for at least another 2 to 3 years.

Sounds good huh?  The only negative to this pretty story is that we only have 48 bottles to sell.  When those are gone, it will be at least a couple of months before the new vintage of this wine will arrive.  We know it will be good too, but it won’t be as good as the 2009 is right now.

To order, reply to or call the store at (828) 505-8588.

Josh Spurling
Owner/Operator/Wine Buyer
Table Wine

New Zealand Wines, Beyond Sauvignon Blanc

The best way to learn about wine is to taste it, and we conduct one of Asheville’s Best Free Wine Tastings every Saturday from 2 to 5.  This week, we’ll taste and talk about the wines of New Zealand.  We know, the country produces wonderful Sauvignon Blancs (and we’ll of course taste one), but that’s not all they do well.  Don’t believe us?  Stop by and see what else is happening with New Zealand wines this Saturday.

First up, the 2013 Ponga Sauvignon Blanc is one of the great values in the category.  Classic aromas and flavors of grapefruit, key lime, kiwi and melon inform the nose and palate of this lively, tart and tangy white wine.  Next, the 2009 Kumeu River Chardonnay “Village” is a real treat!  From one of the Southern Hemisphere’s greatest Chardonnay producers, it is reminiscent of a really good Pouilly Fuissé with notes of delicate pear, apple, peach, spice and mineral.  And to finish up, the 2011 Clifford Bay Pinot Noir is a serious value in silky smooth and supple Pinot Noir.  Brimming with ripe cherry, strawberry and brown spices, this medium bodied red is the perfect wine to serve with roasted chicken and root vegetables.  Join us this Saturday to taste, learn, and save on some delicious New Zealand wines.

Tasting wines are 10% off by the bottle, 15% off when you mix any six of them and 20% off if you mix twelve! 

The Wines
Prices range from $10 to $22

1. 2013 Ponga Sauvignon Blanc
(Marlborough, New Zealand)

 2. 2009 Kumeu River Chardonay “Village”
(Auckland, New Zealand)

 3. 2011 Clifford Bay Pinot Noir
(Marlborough, New Zealand)