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Wine of the Week for week ending 24 Oct 2010
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Ellero Gewurztraminer 2009
Central Otago, New Zealand

I love it when a package of wine arrives at my doorstep revealing a brand new label. There are no preconceptions or expectations for the wine to live up to. It stands completely on its own merits. If the merit points are not earned, the brand is categorised in the ho-hum category. But if the merit points are earned, you want to find out more.

I wanted to find out more about the brand new Ellero Central Otago Gewurztraminer 2009. Now, as anyone who reads my blog and Wine of the Week ramblings, gewurztraminer is a particular favourite drop of mine and this one, with its beguiling perfume, richly textured spicy flavours and long lasting finish, ticked all the right boxes.

When you inhale the scent of the bouquet of Ellero Central Otago Gewurztraminer 2009, the perfume of rose petals, orange water and candied violet leave you with no doubt as to what the variety is. In the mouth the slightly oily in texture gives it a smooth seamless flow across the palate - it seems luscious without being sweet. There's a delicacy to start with then the clean, bright flavours expand beautifully without ever becoming overpowering. A backbone of ginger dominates the spicy flavours and the finish comes back to the start with an impression of rose petals and candied violets.

The Ellero website - - tells more. The grapes were harvested from 18+-year-old vines in the Bannockburn district of Central Otago with 67% fermented and aged for 5 months in a neutral 500-litre puncheon and the remainder in tank. There is no oak flavour in the wine, but perhaps the oak-aged portion adds to the lovely textural richness that accrues in the mouth. The alcohol is stated as 14.1% on the bottle and the bottle is closed with a screwcap.

The wine is available at the Lazy Dog Restaurant and Cellar Door in nearby Queensberry, and wines can be purchased online from for $24.25 a bottle (a minimum purchase may apply).

John Montero and Robert Manell Montero are the creators of this impressive new brand. They combined their family name, Manell and Montero to come up with the unique Ellero . Born in the USA, now resident in Central Otago, they own the Pisa Terrace vineyard where they grow Pinot Noir. John is the winemaker. Find out more from

On their website they have a yummy sounding recipe for Kaffir Lime Leaf Chicken Skewers that they recommend as excellent with Ellero Gewurztraminer. Meanwhile we had a surprisingly successful match with Chicken thighs stuffed with blue cheese and pears.

© Sue Courtney
17 Oct 2010

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