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Mt. Beautiful Wines were showcased at our recent Wine Review Council in Temecula, California. Although some of the reviewers were familiar with these wines, this was my first introduction to this New Zealand grown and produced wine. After a two-year quest to find an undiscovered area conducive to supporting a vineyard, David and Leigh Teece purchased farmland in the North Canterbury area of the South Island of New Zealand in 2003. The land, situated between two rivers and located seven miles inland from the South Pacific Ocean, has a variety of microclimates and 23 different types of soil. The towering Mt. Beautiful protects the eponymous winery from the coastal winds. Vines were planted from 2003 to 2005, and the first wine was produced in 2007. All their wines are made from estate-grown grapes and the vineyard is certified sustainable.
The Wine Review Council had the pleasure of tasting five Mt. Beautiful wines. Each council member was assigned one of the wines to research and brought an appetizer to pair with the wine. I selected three of the wines for this article that I thought were representative of the winery. And, the best part, the prices are very reasonable for this of quality wine.
2017 Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc, Canterbury, New Zealand ($15.99)
The color in the glass was a soft straw yellow. The aromatics were floral and citrusy. Atypical of most New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs, the flavor was not particularly grassy, although there were some verdant subtleties. Tropical fruit is on the palate and when paired with a cream cheese salmon spread, the wine’s refined creaminess shone through. The finish was fresh and crisp.
This rosé’s color is medium salmon pink. The nose is a perceptively floral with a touch of citrus. A not too sweet strawberry flavor is enhanced by hints of watermelon, and the finish is brightly acidic. The paired tomato ricotta tart enhanced the wine’s creamy mouthfeel and nicely balanced the berry fruit flavors.
2016 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir, Canterbury, New Zealand ($27.99)
Medium ruby color in the glass, with cerise and violet aromatics, this wine was a big hit with the council. The dark cherry flavors, light herbal notes, and sophisticated tannins were perfectly complemented by a ham and duck egg quiche pairing.