Food and wine go hand in hand, so we were pleased to come across Matakana’s Runner Duck Estate which is complemented by Plume restaurant. Husband and wife team team Farida and Clyde Cooper swapped a successful business in Mumbai, India for a small patch of vines just north of Auckland, NZ where they pursue their passion for food and wine. This is a small boutique estate they only have three hectares of vines and three hectares of Olive grove with a bit of good old kiwi bush thrown in. Farida oversees the restaurant while Clyde takes care of the wines.
We arrived at the tasting bar on a late Saturday afternoon and were taken through the wines by Farida herself. She explained the local Runner Duck estate wines are predominantly reds, however they do bring in grapes from Marlborough to make Sauvignon Blanc under their own Plume label. It was a fun, relaxed tasting where we could sit comfortably, nibble on their delicious fresh bread and estate grown olive oil and ask lots of questions.
A must visit if you’re heading to Matakana. While we were there one of us had a peek into the Plume restaurant kitchen – it smelled amazing when we were tasting and I suspect we will be back for a lazy long lunch.
Runner Duck Estate Pinot Gris $36 NZD
Gorgeous honeysuckle on the nose, apricots and pears on the palate – delicious and refreshing.
Runner Duck Estate Rosé $25 NZD
Created from Syrah and Cabernet Franc this is delicious lemon sherbet on the nose, and rounded berries on the palate. I’d say this would be medium bodied Rosé, crisp, round and European in style.
Plume Sauvignon Blanc $28 NZD
This screams NZ Sauvignon – gooseberries and lime on the palate with a touch of tropical passionfruit. Sauvignons tend to get a bit of flack having suffered the over-popularity Chardonnay had in the 90s, with the market overrun with below average examples. Thankfully this did not disappoint.
Runner Duck Red 2009 $40 NZD
If you like your wines easy drinking, this one is for you. This is made from a blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Pinotage all grown and hand tended at the estate. Medium bodied, a bit of spicy leather, well balanced tannin and good fruit. No worries!
Runner Duck Syrah 2009 $45 NZD
This medium bodied wine offered lovely fruity cherry with a hint of saltiness. Farida advised that this is good with spicy food. I’d heard that red wine with spice doesn’t work because the tannin and chilli intensify each other – maybe not with this one? Although I can’t say as we just did a straight taste. Anyways wine and food matching is a whole new level.
Runner Duck Black Velvet 2010 $45 NZD
This wine is lovely, a lot more savoury that the Syrah, offering blackberry and leather. This is made from a ‘Bordeaux’ style blend of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Merlot. Frieda explained that 2010 was an extraordinary vintage, it was very long, hot summer with good rainfall, perfect conditions for grape growing.
Runner Duck Passion 2010 $50 NZD
Made with 100% Syrah this wine is elegance embodied. Gorgeous floral incense on the nose, with cassis and blackberry, balanced with a touch of savoury earthiness and spice. This wine has a good tannins, and acidity with a fantastic lingering finish that goes on and on. Personally this was my favourite wine of the tasting. Great with or without food.
For more information visit Runner Duck