top of page
  • Writer's pictureCarlos Sarmiento

Pork loin with walnut-tarragon pesto & strawberry-red wine sauces & 2019 Craggy Range Te Kahu Wine

Updated: Dec 20, 2022

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

Today’s posting introduces probably the most distant wine I have ever had to date. An exquisite Bordeaux blend type of wine from New Zealand.

(Photo courtesy Craggy Range)

Craggy Range crafts single-vineyard, terroir-driven wines, setting the benchmark for the high quality New Zealand wines.

Founded in 1997, by Terry Peabody and his wife Mary, Craggy Range consists of two estate properties, Te Muna Road Vineyard and Gimblett Gravels Vineyard as well as two wineries: Gimblett Gravels and Giants.

(Photo courtesy Craggy Range)

New Zealand has a proud heritage and commitment to the land. The farming practices at Craggy Range go above and beyond New Zealand’s requirements for Sustainable Farming.

Among Craggy Range’s impressively diverse portfolio of wines includes varietals such as: Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Syrah, and red blends that include: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot and Petit Verdot.

(Photo courtesy Craggy Range)

To pair their well-rounded Bordeaux style red blend wine, I decided to try a new dish that is based on two appetizing types of sauces that, combined with a sip of the Te Kahu wine, will render a memorable morsels of flavor with every new bite.

Let‘s get cooking!

Menu: Grilled mustard-rubbed pork loin with walnut-tarragon pesto sauce, strawberry-rosamary-red wine sauce, sautéed rainbow carrots chips and baby yellow potatoes mash.

Wine pairing: 2019 Craggy Range Te Kahu Gimblett Gravels Vineyard Red Blend

(Hawkes Bay, New Zealand)

Serves 4

Ingredients Pork:

  • 1 and 3/4 pounds of pork loin (split open/cut horizontally)

  • 4 tablespoons of yellow mustard

  • Sea salt & cracked pepper

  • Cooking twine

Walnut Pesto:

  • 1 cup of pan roasted walnuts

  • 1/2 to 3/4 cups of extra Virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh tarragon

Strawberry wine sauce:

  • 1 cup of fresh strawberries (blended to create a thick strawberry juice)

  • 1/2 cup of red wine

  • 1 large rosemary sprig (cut in two small pieces)

  • 1 large shallot, finely minced

  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons of raw sugar

  • 1 tablespoon of extra Virgin olive oil


  • 1 cup of rainbow carrots (precut like ridged chips)

  • 2 tablespoons of extra Virgin olive oil

  • Sea salt & crack pepper

Mashed potatoes:

  • 1 (24 ounce) bag of baby Dutch yellow potatoes

  • 2 tablespoons of butter

  • 4 tablespoons of heavy cream



  • Place all ingredients in a blender and blend to desired consistency (I opted for a smoother, creamy sauce texture), set aside.

Strawberry-wine sauce:

  • In a medium seized sauce pan, heat olive oil on medium high heat. Ade shallots and cook for 5 minutes.

  • Add wine and stir. Add rosemary sprigs and cook until wine is reduced by half. Stir in vinegar and sugar.

  • Add strawberry juice and stir well, cooking for an additional 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove rosemary sprigs and set aside.


  • In a medium sized frying pan , heat up olive oil on medium heat. Add carrots and quickly stir for about 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and toss for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.


  • Boil baby potatoes until fork tender. Drain and place potatoes in a big mixing bowl. Optional, but highly recommended, peel potatoes once cooked.

  • Add butter and cream and mash, mix well until desired consistency. Set aside, but keep warm.

Pork loin:

  • Season all sides of the pork with salt and pepper. Spread some of pesto sauce on inside part of pork loin.

  • Fold pork loin back (horizontally) so that it’s a long piece. Tie cooking twine at both ends of the loin and in the middle. Rub outside of loin with yellow mustard.

  • Grill loin to desired doneness (at least 145 degrees F). Let meet rest for 10 minutes before removing twine and cutting it in 1 inch thick slices.

Serve it up!

When you have two different yet distinctive sauces to serve in the same plate, the artform of plating becomes intersting, hopefully fun.

What I truly enjoyed about this recipe was deciding which sauce to try first, first alternating between one another and even tried them together. Delicious! You be the judge.

Place a nice scoop of mashed potatoes on the third top part of a plate. Next, arrange two or three slices of pork loin in the isle of the plate, slightly on top of the potatoes.

On one corner, between the potatoes and the pork, nestle a few pieces of the rainbow carrots. Continue by pouring some of the pesto sauce in between the pork loin slice and just a little on the side.

Finally, drizzle some of the strawberry-red wine sauce along the bottom third of the plate and serve.

Bon appetit! Enjoy!

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

About the wine…

The fruit for Te Kahu is grown in the Hawkes Bay Gimblett Gravels Vineyard, which enjoys one of the warmest, driest, most sundrenched climates in New Zealand.

Stony gravel in the soil forces the vines to fight for water, giving the grapes a particular vibrancy.

2019 Craggy Range Te Kahu Gimblett Gravels Vineyard Red Blend

(Hawkes Bay, New Zealand)

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

Tasting notes:

Deepest crimson red. Brooding aromatically with notes of cassis, black olive, dried tobacco and the faintest hint of roasted hazelnut.

The palate is alive with rich, ripe red to black fruit, with a midpalate that speaks volumes to the warm and long ripening period.

A perfect example of medium-bodied Bordeaux style blends from the Gimblett Gravels.


54% Merlot

27 %Cabernet Sauvignon

10% Malbec

7% Cabernet Franc

2% Petit Verdot

Food pairing: Ideal with charcuterie and roasted or grilled meats dishes.


92 Points Wine Enthusiast

Thank you to Kobrand Wine & Spirits For providing this special blend from New Zealand.

For more information, visit:

For finding and purchasing this wine, check out Kobrand Wine & Spirits’ retail locator from

Just click on the link and enter your zip code and local stores and restaurants that feature these wines will show up!


Decorative wine drip collar ring provided by:

(Special discount promo code: CFW15)

(Photo courtesy Craggy Range)

58 views0 comments


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page