Thursday, April 22, 2021


Decibel Wines is a project of Daniel Brennan of Martinborough, New Zealand.  Brennan is an American from a Philadelphia restaurateur family of Sicilian descent.  Decibel is the primary label of a trio that includes Testify and Giunta, wines which are aimed at lower tier pricing.

Pinot Noir is the primary grape of Martinborough, which is at the southernmost portion of the northern island of New Zealand.  It has been grown there successfully since 1975, which is about when the wine industry started in New Zealand.  The Martinborough wine country conveniently lies one hour east of the New Zealand capital, Wellington.  

To the west are the Rimutaka Mountains which shelter the wine valley from undue rains from that side; in effect, creating a favorable wind tunnel of sorts that controls vine vigor, affecting flowering and leading to lower yields.  Perfect for Pinot Noir.  The grapes are organically dry farmed in this semi-maritime climate.  The soil is clay over ancient river bed providing perfect drainage for the vines. is once again a website short on specific wine information but otherwise it's a very pleasant look/see.  The homepage prose is lovely as is the artwork.  Kudos to the designer.  It makes you want to know more and to do that you have to go elsewhere.

As pinot lovers everywhere will attest; when it's right, Pinot Noir has an elusive charm.  It's hard to put into words.  Fortunately we think we found some that pretty much nail it.  The wine is "spicy, juicy, plummy, gamey, light, dry and earthy and perfumy."  It also exhibits "dark cherry, forest floor and savory aromatics."  Or as one observer noted, "The nose is a smear of fancy strawberry preserves on a cedar cutting board.  The palate is cherries smeared on a dusty chalk board."  -Bingo!

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Hunky Dory Tangle

Hunky Dory is a project of Huia Vineyards of Marlborough, New Zealand.  Four wines are marketed under this label, a Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, rose and a blended white.  Tangle, the blended white, is the only one available in this market.  

Hunky Dory is also the name of the Allan family boat.  We're not sure how Tangle got its proprietary name.  Just a cute choice, I guess. is like so many other winery websites.  It's weak.  But it's not as bad as those that try to create interest by romanticizing its product with stupid made up stories. just doesn't say much of anything.

The back label of the wine bottle says as much as the website: The wine is sourced from Marlborough and made by the Allan family.  It's construction is 61% Gruner Veltliner, 20% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Pinot Gris, 5% Chardonnay and 4% Riesling.  It is also certified organic.

We consulted three reviews of the wine and the following is an amalgam of the three: This dry white wine has an aromatic nose of honeysuckle, quince, lemon and lime.  This bright lush citrus/tropical nose leads into a palate that adds ripe apple, pear, lychee, mandarin and spice.  Then this full flavored medium bodied white uses both minerality and acidity to balance out its component flavors and finishes with that same balance.    

4/18/21 Addendum:  We wrote this post about a month ago when we brought in our first case of Tangle.  Now we're told the Pinot Noir is available too.