Free-Spirited New Zealand Tasting Pairs Nobilo Wines with Adventurous Foods

Nobilo Toronto pouringPhoto Credit: Melissa Pulvermacher

By Melissa Pulvermacher

A huge trend in the Canadian wine market right now is not only New Zealand wines, but more specifically, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc with its grassy notes and aromas of gooseberry and tropical fruit. It’s been pretty easy to identify for consumers and the demand from the LCBO is still on the incline.

Trends exist for multiple reasons, but there is something to be said about a wine that easily identifies with a large group of people. A beautiful aromatic wine that finishes refreshing and clean obviously isn’t very difficult for everyone to enjoy.

Following that trend, I found it an absolute pleasure to join the Constellation Brands team at the Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill on Yonge and Front in Toronto, Ontario with Nobilo’s Senior Winemaker, Dave Edmonds.

Dave Edmonds joined Nobilo in 2002 and it quickly became very well-understood that he not only feels Marlborough is home, but he truly identifies with the vineyards and flavor profiles of the wine. Dave’s passion is a true asset to the Nobilo team.

Founded in 1943 by Nikola Nobilo, a New Zealand immigrant from the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia, 300 years of winemaking technique and agricultural passion was brought to a place that had great potential to produce memorable wines.

Nobilo Toronto bottlesPhoto Credit: Melissa Pulvermacher

Nobilo wines are sourced from premier vineyards within the Marlborough region. Nobilo produces predominately Sauvignon Blanc from the Awatere Valley and Pinot Noir planted on clay soils on north-facing slopes in close proximity to the sea.

Nobilo’s 2014 Regional Collection Sauvignon Blanc is now on LCBO shelves for $16.95. This wines has great value. The nose is all pineapple with a lean and crisp palate. Traditional gooseberry, lifted aromats, passion fruit and clean acidity.

We were given the opportunity to taste a barrel sample from a Regional Collection 2015. With a lower cropping vintage, the impact was noticeable on the palate. Concentrated aromas of melon and lemon grass. More subdued than the 2014, but the fruit was still present on the palate. This wine was less indicative of a traditional Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, but was elegant and quite promising.

Nobilo Toronto bottles boatPhoto Credit: Melissa Pulvermacher

The Yonge and Front O&B’s incredibly talented Executive Chef, Tom Riley, also from New Zealand, was the perfect person to craft NZ-style dishes to complement Nobilo’s wines. The Regional Sauvignon Blanc wines were paired with a Smoked Tomato Soup, which although a very brave pairing, illustrated the concept of acidity in food complementing the acidity in a wine.

It was a real treat to taste the 2014 Nobilo Icon Sauvignon Blanc, which is currently unavailable in the Ontario market. The nose was elegant with hints of that indicative herbaceous character, but the freshness of the wine really came through. The textural significance was noticeable along with a flinty minerality and citrusy finish. This wine is priced at approximately $24.95.

Chef Tom Riley paired this wine with a Fogo Island Crab Kina pasta dish and he hit it out of the park. The rich sea urchin and crab were indulgent, while the Sauvignon Blanc completely cleansed the palate and complemented the preserved lemon included in the dish.

The main course, Roasted Lamb Rump with minted potatoes, peas and saffron labna was paired with a vertical tasting of the Nobilo Icon 2010, 2013 and 2014 Pinot Noir. The 2013 vintage is currently available in LCBO Vintages for $29.95.

All three of the Pinots were more masculine than expected from Marlborough. The 2010 had a fig and bramble character with silky tannins and great weight to pair with the lamb. More dark fruit than red berries and a tertiary nuttiness. This was really showcases the wine’s aging potential.

The 2013 had more red berry fruit and was quite flamboyant in style. Red cherry, and juicy tannins dominated this pretty and delicate Pinot Noir.

The lunch was concluded with a Passion Fruit and Vanilla Cheesecake with stewed tamarillo. We revisited the 2014 Regional Collection Sauvignon Blanc to pair with the dessert and the tamarillo acidity and passion fruit characters in the cake complemented the wine very well.

Nobilo Toronto dessertPhoto Credit: Melissa Pulvermacher

Nobilo is truly producing high value, consistent quality wines. The Sauvignon Blanc wines are spot on flavor profiles, while the Pinot Noir wines were pleasantly surprising with their weight and concentration.

Dave reiterated that Nobilo is not trying to emulate anyone, they are simply trying to showcase the fruit of their vineyards and the real potential for Marlborough wines… which, might I add, is being done phenomenally well.


Melissa PulvermacherMelissaPulvermacher-1
WSET Sommelier & Writer

Melissa Pulvermacher is an inspired wine enthusiast educated through the prestigious Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET).

Melissa is an active feature columnist with Natalie MacLean and a writer for her own website – Recipes and Red Wine.

In addition to her writing, Melissa acts as a Sommelier, a freelance wine consultant and founder of The Vino Enthusiasts Wine Club in Southern Ontario.



Nobilo Toronto sailboatPhoto Credit: Mymi Myriam

By Mymi Myriam

Last week, I attended a Nobilo Wines tasting and luncheon at Toronto’s Oliver & Bonacini Café and Grill. Despite the heat of that August day, I was excited about the tasting.

Once I arrived, I was welcomed by Michelle and Adrienne from Constellation Brands into a beautiful dining room where a few people were already gathered.

Nobilo Toronto chefPhoto Credit: Mymi Myriam

I took my place at a large table and started salivating as I read the menu and which wines would be served, when suddenly Nobilo’s Chief Winemaker, David Edmonds, came over to introduce himself.
He had a firm handshake, kind eyes and that wonderful New Zealand accent.

He went around the room, welcomed each guest and eventually took his place at the table.
For the next 2 hours or so, he took us on a captivating journey, speaking to us as a winemaker, a New Zealand native, a father and a “bon vivant.”

To start the luncheon, we were served Nobilo’s 2014 and 2015 Regional Collection Sauvignon Blanc to accompany a smoked tomato soup with miso crème fraiche. The 2015 was a sneak peak at the vintage from a tank sample.

Nobilo Toronto soupPhoto Credit: Mymi Myriam

I was curious to see how the acidity from both the tomatoes and the wines would combine, so I took a big spoonful of soup, then a sip of wine… it was delightful. The smokiness of the soup actually softened the acidity, adding length to the wine and the crème fraîche added a supple mouth-feel.

Nobilo Tornto pastaPhoto Credit: Mymi Myriam

Next came the 2014 Icon Sauvignon Blanc, served with Fogo Island Crab Kina, butter and preserved lemon pappardelle. The richness of the pasta transformed the mouth-feel of the wine into a velvety texture. The saltiness of the Kina (New Zealand sea urchin) and the sweetness of the crab were lifted by the wine’s acidity. This was my favorite pairing, and one that I will replicate.

Nobilo Toronto meatPhoto Credit: Mymi Myriam

The main course was a roasted lamb rump with minted potatoes, peas & saffron labna and was served with the 2010, 2013 and 2014 Icon Pinot Noirs.

Since Pinot Noir is often considered to be a “lighter” red, I wondered if it would stand up to the meaty flavor of the lamb. But, as I savoured the wines, I discovered an undeniable masculine and robust quality that made this combination just as mouth-watering as it sounds.

Nobilo Toronto posterPhoto Credit: Mymi

We ended this sumptuous meal with a lovely piece of passion fruit and vanilla cheesecake with stewed tamarillos. The cake was luscious but light and was served with the 2014 Regional Sauvignon Blanc.

Normally after such a meal, I can never indulge in dessert but the refreshing acidity of the wine cleansed my palate after each bite, allowing me to have more cake. Sinfully great!

Nobilo Regional Collection Sauvignon Blanc




Nobilo Regional Collection Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Marlborough, New Zealand




Nobilo Regional Collection Sauvignon Blanc 2015



Nobilo Regional Collection Sauvignon Blanc 2015
Marlborough, New Zealand




Nobilo Icon Sauvignon Blanc 2014


Nobilo Icon Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand




Nobilo Icon Pinot Noir 2013



Nobilo Icon Pinot Noir 2010
Marlborough, New Zealand




Nobilo Icon Pinot Noir 2014



Nobilo Icon Pinot Noir 2013
Marlborough, New Zealand



Nobilo Icon Pinot Noir 2010




Nobilo Icon Pinot Noir 2014
Marlborough, New Zealand



You can see see pictures and videos of a Nobilo Wines tasting held in Canada’s national capital.



Mymi Myriam
Sommelier & Musician

Mymi is a sommelier, singer-songwriter, musician and voice-over artist with a serious and contagious passion for wine, food and music.

When asked why she is so enthusiastic about wine, she replies, “Wine connects so many elements of life that I absolutely love. From growing herbs and vegetables to cooking, eating, travelling, entertaining, studying. There is always something new to learn in the world of wine. Sharing my knowledge with people, no matter their level of expertise, is something I sincerely enjoy.”

Her qualifications include certifications from The Court of Master Sommeliers, The International Sommelier Guild, The Society of Wine Educators, The Ontario Wine Council and most recently, The French Wine Society.  As a professional musician, she shares her knowledge of wine in an entertaining, down-to-earth, and unpretentious way.

She is completing the French Wine Society’s Master Level program, is in the early stages of creating a food/wine/music show is currently recording her first all-French album. Mymi is a regular contributor to



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