by Patrick Sandeman


& CO SAUVIGNON 2009 Hawkes Bay by Gabrielle Simmers it IS!



‘..with texture, depth and cool, calm class, this is a wine that will relax you in a moment…be a furlong ahead of the pack and drink this sensational wine’ Matthew Jukes


We make little, or in fact, no apology for the reference to Cloudy Bay, New Zealand’s most famous and best-selling white wine, or the fact that we are offering the &CO SAUVIGNON 2009 for a second time. The fact is our first shipment was so well received by the journalists, trade and customers alike, that it sold out almost immediately.


We now have our second shipment of this outstanding Hawkes Bay Sauvignon and for those of you who have not yet tried it, it blows almost every other NZ Sauvignon cleanly out of the water, and that includes the more expensive Cloudy Bay.


This is the second in a run of New Zealand bottles you must taste. Gabrielle Simmers and Greg Collinge own one of the most exciting vineyards I’ve ever seen, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I visited them earlier in the year and was thoroughly taken by their luxury Millar Road retreat. And Co is made by Gabrielle and it’s one of the most alluring, complex sauvignons in the country. A single site wine, from Hawke’s Bay (not Marlborough, where the Sauvignon lake resides), with texture, depth and cool, calm class, this is a wine that will relax you in a moment. There are no frenetic, attack-of-the-fruit-bowl flavours here, just seamless, mellifluous joy. The closure is a crown cap (like a beer bottle) and the label is ultra-chic, in fact, it is so ‘out there’ that the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has recently selected a bottle to be included in a major upcoming exhibition entitled How Wine Became Modern. Be a furlong ahead of the pack and drink this sensational wine.  Matthew Jukes, Money Week


Having gone on about wine names last week I shall say nothing about this one except that I haven’t got it wrong: it is called ‘& Co’ (without the quote marks). As that’s all it says on the front label, I suspect it’ll be displayed more often with its back label on view. The bottle also has a crown-cap. The wine is the first release of an intriguing and delicious New Zealand sauvignon blanc from organic vines planted on calcareous gravels in Hawkes Bay in 2003 and 2004. It’s very aromatic with a varietal grassy note but with exotic notes of spice, passion fruit, smoke, honey and honeysuckle too. The palate is full and ripe, but structured, with a Graves-like smokiness and fresh finish. 13.7% abv. A propos of nothing, I reckon the winemaker Gabrielle Simmers has the wine world’s longest legs. Joanna Simon


Yes, this new estate really is called & Co, although the owner-winemaker is the more conventionally named Gabrielle Simmers. This is the first release from her nine-hectare, north-facing, calcareous gravel hillside – and it’s some debut. Very aromatic with a Sauvignon grassy note, but dominated more by spice, passion fruit, smoke, honey and honeysuckle. The palate is full and ripe but structured, and the finish is fresh with a Graves-like smokiness. Nearly forgot to say: the bottle is clear glass with a crown cap.