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#WineWednesday - Left Field Albarino

Left Field Albarino.JPG

It's #WineWednesday and I've got a treat in store...

By no means the only delight in the range, this one stood out to me for many reasons....

A New Zealand Albariño, this traditionally Spanish treat is a welcome surprise to come from down here, aside from the masses of Sauvignon, for me it's always exciting to find something else, especially when it tastes this good...

I was lucky enough to meet wine maker Richard Painter last summer when he was visiting the UK. He makes up half of the talented team (along with Ant Mackenzie) responsible for crafting this sophisticated collection of wines.

Richard's worked in a number wine regions around NZ as well as the USA, and despite his youth (all relative in the world of wine!) his experience and passion for crafting these fantastic wines is second to none.

Apart from the taste, structure and overall interest this wine provides ...of which I'll come to later...

What really struck me is the creative approach Te Awa give to their Left Field range.

Described as their 'whimsical approach to exploration, creativity and imagination is embodied in Left Field wines. It is the birthplace of the unexpected, the weird and the wonderful'.

You feel part of this fanciful imagination as soon as you lay eyes on the bottle. The unique labels were intricately designed off vintage etchings by renowned Kiwi designer Aaron Pollock and capture the quirky nature of the brand with stories of creatures, events and inventions. Each illustration serves as evidence of Left Field’s link to Te Awa, the windmill, an obscure symbol of just where they were first discovered … or even imagined.

“The design process was one of the most exciting projects I’ve worked on. We kept challenging ourselves to create the most unexpected, absurd combination of characters; from a Squid Crab to a Flamingo Recluse. These images would then fuel folklore justifying their existence. The more characters we invented the more our imagination and ideas grew. I created each illustration by splicing and cutting together multiple vintage etchings, and then had them re-illustrated into a unifying style. I see them as archaeological mash-ups.” Aaron Pollock, Designer

The wine has a distinct voice and personality, which is recognisable well beyond the label. The wines stand out through their imaginative stories and it's super to see a winery not only challenging in terms of their marketing but also challenging the consumer. Daring them to step into the magical world they've created. Turns out wine isn't so stuffy after all, and can be accessible, something can be created that can be loved equally as much as something that's steeped in 500 years of terroir and history.

“What is really exciting for Left Field wines is that the new brand design has corresponded with two fantastic vintages in the bottle, 2013 and 2014. These wines show great finesse and generosity, and are eminently drinkable.” Richard Painter, Winemaker

I would highly recommend you take five to watch their video and delve into their world...

A wandering mind once visited the Left Field of the Te Awa vineyard only to discover these serendipitous creatures

...and when you've watched that, go and hunt down a bottle of the albariño'll be worth it, I promise!

The nose shows aromas of citrus flowers, melon and peach; the palate shows some richness and weight and is backed by stone fruit and lime on the finish. I couldn't ask for more from this wine, it excites me every time I take a sip...

Have a look at the Left Field Albarino 2014 fact file.

Find out more about the Left Field range.

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