I have no idea whether the Hunky Dory range of organic wines (from the Riverlands district of South Marlborough, New Zealand) were named after David Bowie’s best album, but I’m going to invoke literary licence and assume they were. This one sure shares a few of Bowie’s characteristics: it’s complex, flamboyant, stylishly presented and a bit, erm… fruity.
But it wasn’t the name that prompted me to rescue it from the top shelf at Waitrose. It wasn’t the label either, although its sky blue colour does look good posed next to a bunch of mint (see above). No, it was its unusual blend of grapes that sparked my interest — Pinot Gris (55%), Gewürztraminer (35%) and Riesling (10%). It’s not often these days that I see a blend in a supermarket that I haven’t tried, so it had to be done (especially as it was on special offer, £9.50 down from £12).
My first words on tasting it are “my word, that’s a spicy one”. I don’t normally talk like someone from a PG Wodehouse book, but that’s the effect it had on me. Despite being the minority in the blend, it’s the distinctive rubberiness of Riesling that hits you first, followed by the fragrant, spicy Gewürztraminer. The Pinot has to fight to get noticed against such powerful opposition, but it gives the whole thing a subtle edge of fruitiness and light drinkability.
Honey, lime, mandarin, jasmine, ginger and apple are the dominant flavours here. I really liked it. If you fancy something a bit different, you’d do well to ring in the ch ch ch ch changes with this one (sorry).
Keep ’em peeled for my upcoming review of Bowie’s juniper-based spirits range, The Gin Genie (actually, that doesn’t exist. Not sorry).
Hunky Dory Tangle from Huia Vineyards, New Zealand: Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer and Riesling. 14% vol. £12 (£9.50 on special offer) from Watirose.