The last time we returned from the Eastern Bay of Plenty we stopped on the way. As you do.

We fetched up at Millton Vineyards, missing any signage that might have dissuaded us. It was just over two years ago, and it was, as we found out later, the middle of harvest.

Eventually someone came out to the cellar door. He apologised for the wait, saying he’d been busy (oops, we thought), and introduced himself as James Millton (double oops). We thought he’d send us away, and who could blame him.

Instead he sat us down, drawing a couple of tasting glasses of freshly pressed grape juice for the girls, and ran us through his range. That kind of personal approach works well for us. We ended up buying several bottles of special occasion stuff, the Chenin Blanc in particular standing out.

We’d long finished our purchases from that day, or so I’d thought. Recently though we’ve cleared out the spare room for B₂ - part of the recent renovation work - and our last box of wine was among the final stack of relocated stuff in the living room waiting for a new home.

And in there was this bottle of Clos de Ste. Anne Millton 2005 The Crucible Syrah. Which of course we could find a new home for. Once we’d finished saying the name. We’ve been rehoming it this evening, warming and decanting it before pouring, and soon (I can’t wait!) we’ll provide a similar service for its smaller brother, the Essencia Chardonnay.

The syrah is perfectly balanced; peppery, as you’d expect, but full and smooth. My vocabulary is defeated. It was fucking good. And a nice birthday treat for me.

Recommended. And so is Millton.

raoidean: blog wine
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