New Zealand Wines
Posted 08 May 2002 - 07:16 PM
I'm not that familiar with New Zealand wines and was wondering what more knowledgeable folks have to say about them. What are some of your favorites? How do they compare to Australian wines?
Posted 08 May 2002 - 09:42 PM
There are many good Sauvignon Blancs. I really like Kumeu River Chardonnay.
Posted 09 May 2002 - 01:22 AM
Central Otago pinots are typically darker than your average burgundy, but have excellent pinot character, and will only get better - the vines are very young. They are boutique wines though, produced only in small quantities, and they are often relatively expensive. Felton Road makes excellent chardonnay and riesling too.
Marlborough, at the top of the South Island, is classic sauvignon blanc territory, but is also starting to produce good pinot (much of which was originally planted for sparkling wine - I like Pelorus, the Cloudy Bay fizz, a lot). I've had Jackson Estate (who are renowned as among the top SB producers in NZ nowadays) and Forrest Estate, both good if not worldbeating, and sensibly priced for decent pinot, about GBP 10. Isabel Estate is also well-liked by some judges I trust.
In the North Island, Martinborough and Ata Rangi are maybe the two best-known NZ pinot producers. I haven't tried either, but they come highly recommended.
NZ is pinot-mad at the moment, and they are really starting to produce some exciting wines. I think it is probably the most promising New World country for pinot noir - most other places where the grape is grown are too hot to make really elegant, complex wines. Try them.
So far as the comparison to Aussie wines goes, NZ is much cooler than most of Oz, so the wines will tend to be less about power and more about subtlety. You wouldn't find anything like a Barossa shiraz or a Coonawarra cabernet from NZ. If you've ever tried Tasmanian wine, though, there is some comparability there (On Tassie wine, if you ever get chance to try the Pirie sparkling wine from Pipers Brook, do so - it's fab).
Posted 09 May 2002 - 06:00 AM
as suggested, pinots are all the rage out of NZ these days. however, the pinots i've tried were borderline horrible. it might be interesting to try a few different producers though, as there has got to be a decent there somewhere!
sauv blanc: brandcott, cloudy bay (the 97 was incredible, and could probably be credited with starting the NZ SB rage, but they have gotten weaker and weaker), allan scott, babich, stoneleigh, villa maria, nautilus, goldwater, giesen.
Posted 09 May 2002 - 06:07 AM
Posted 09 May 2002 - 06:14 AM
i don't recall the producers. in all fairness, only 2 or so. but both weren't good, so even that small sample was an indication. if you can recommend a producer i'll track it down.
Which NZ pinots have you tried, tommy? My experience is quite the reverse, they are consistently good (although, as I mentioned above, not perhaps as complex as they will be in a few years, as the vines get older).
Posted 09 May 2002 - 06:22 AM
Posted 14 May 2002 - 07:07 PM
- Frank Zappa
Posted 16 May 2002 - 08:44 AM
Posted 27 March 2003 - 10:52 AM
Perhaps Craig can update a bit also some insight into the Chianti Classico harvest of 2002. CC is my favorite style of wine so I am keeping my fingers crossed.
Posted 27 March 2003 - 11:20 AM
wrote Roger Voss in the Wine Enthusiast.
The brightest spot in Italy was Tuscany, which missed both the bad weather in the north and the cool weather in the south. Stefano Campatelli, director of the Brunello di Montalcino consortium, was optimistic, predicting “optimal quality in the wines,” while Francisco Mazzei at Castello di Fonterutoli in Chianti Classico was “more than satisifed with the quality of the wines in 2002.” Most positive was Nicolò Incisa della Rocchetta, who was almost lyrical in his comments: “The grapes were perfect,” he said. “It should be a top-vintage year.”
In Central Italy he cautions the need for a rigorous selection of grapes during harvest, predicting 2002 to be only a two star vintage. Tuscany’s coastal area of Bolgheri echoes the same caution. ’We’ve all been spoilt with a row of good vintages, this year Tuscany is up against a difficult harvest, it’s still early to say,’ says Bolgheri producer Enrico Santini.
It is safe to say this is an uneven vintage that requires caution. Comments and tasting notes are all over the place. Needless to say producer comments are more positive than those of the critics.
That Antinori is giving up 300,000 bottles of easy profit by not making Tignanello should speak for itself.
Posted 31 March 2003 - 09:04 AM
That Antinori is giving up 300,000 bottles of easy profit by not making Tignanello should speak for itself.
No Tignanello - would that be beause of the Sangiovese or the Cab. Sauvignon grapes? And how good do they have to be, to make the cut?
Posted 31 March 2003 - 09:11 AM
How good is a good question. There have been many so-so vintages of Tignanello. They must really be bad to not make it at all. They have loads of technology to make up for all sorts of problems and if even that can't save them they must not have much to work with.
Posted 24 June 2004 - 10:12 AM
2003 Pegasus Bay Riesling approx. $39.95 Cdn$
Stelvin closure. Straw yellow with intense Rose's lime cordial aroma. Medium-bodied, richly textured, and full of lime and apricot flavours with a long lingering finish of honeycomb. ***(*) 3.5 stars out of 4.
2002 Pegasus Bay Sauvignon/Semillon approx. $39.95 Cdn$
Pale straw with complex aromas of mineral, smoke, and gooseberry leaf. Full-bodied, concentrated, and complexly flavoured with smoke, hints of malo, zesty acidity, and minerally gooseberry fruit. ***(*) 3.5 stars.
Posted 06 July 2004 - 01:02 AM
Posted 07 July 2004 - 05:33 PM
NZ Sauvignon Blancs and Rieslings are among my favs. Bring 'em on.
Posted 07 July 2004 - 07:57 PM
Hopefully it shouldn't be too difficult for the NZ winemakers to increase their exports. Seems that their products are gaining in notariety as well as becoming more mainstream for the general wine drinking public. Between restaurants and the wine media, it should be a relatively simple task to increase demand to meet the tidal wave of incoming wine at the shore.
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Posted 24 August 2005 - 09:44 AM
My indirect shopping continues as (non-drinking) friends will be off to New Zealand next month for holidays. So, I have an opportunity to take advantage of their goodwill, 1.5 L per person exemption, and long ropy arms to acquire a few bottles of New Zealand's up-and-coming Pinot Noirs.
Apart from a recent WS article saying "Central Otago", information and Canadian supply are both somewhat slim . I currently have or have access to the following Pinot production:
So, I invite your suggestions on other interesting Pinot Noir producers that I should ask them to watch out for. Thank you in advance.
Posted 26 August 2005 - 08:45 AM
Posted 26 August 2005 - 08:56 AM
I'm really hoping to find something from the more obscure New Zealand producers that may have little to no exposure outside of the immediate region.
Posted 27 August 2005 - 05:24 AM
A lot of good pinot noir comes from Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa, and Central Otago wineries, bad news for the budget-conscious, as areas such as Martinborough in the Wairarapa already command high prices for almost all their wines. Marlborough (and to a lesser extent neighboring Nelson) also produces good pinot noirs, and more sporadically, individual wineries in other areas.
Because NZ is a beer-drinking country which started making wines, small wineries with limited production are more likely to be selling to people on their customer list rather than selling to the local market at the cellar doors. Some sell exclusively to export markets.
some reviews to look at...and a few names to add to your list, though I couldn't comment on availability or value for money.
Matua Valley Wairarapa
Coney Wines (v. new, haven't heard anything of them)
Te Kairanga Martinborough Reserve
Walnut Ridge Martinborough
The Big Picture in Cromwell, Otago, specializes in tastings and sales of Central Otago wines.
Akarua (in Bannockburn)
Black Ridge (in Alexandra)
Carrick (in Bannockburn)
Chard Farm (in Gibbston Vly)
Dry Gully (only makes pinot noir) (in Alexandra)
Felton Rd. Block 5, if you can find it...but also Felton Road pinot noir
Gibbston Valley Reserve
(another Gibbston Valley winery is Amisfield Lake Hayes, very new winery, and I haven't heard anything about their wines)
Kawarau Estate Reserve
Mount Edward Central Otago (in Gibbston Vly)
Olssen's of Bannockburn
Packspur (in Cromwell)
Peregrine Central Otago (in Gibbston Vly)
Valli PN Colleen's Vineyard
Waitiri Creek (in Gibbston Vly)
...and having done all that typing and totally run out of steam, I now discover somebody better qualified has done a better job of it...so check out Central Otago and also Marlborough (click "NZ Wineries" on the bar at left) at Cuisine magazine's site!
Posted 27 August 2005 - 07:36 AM
You might find it worthwhile to check out Thor Iverson's travelog cum tasting notes covering a trip he and his wife took in early 2003. (I've linked to the final installment because it's the only one with a complete index.) He's a fine writer (used to do the wine column for the Boston Phoenix) and a reliable taster and they visited any number of wineries, some obscure, some well known, including a few that produce what sound to be exquisite pinot noirs. The only problem is you'll want to hop on a plane and see for yourself.
The couple returned to NZ earlier this year and he's currently in the process of posting installments from that trip. Here's the most recent. Don't recall him raving about any pinots yet (most of the visit so far has been to warm-climate regions).
edit: Coming installments will be posted on the Wine Lovers' Discussion Group.
Edited by carswell, 27 August 2005 - 07:41 AM.
Posted 03 September 2005 - 01:50 PM
Even more than the notes on individual wines/wineries (and there are scattered mentions of Pinot Noir), I was interested by the general trend of his comments. The NZ wine industry is still very young, and a LOT of wineries are only 10-15 years old, or even less. I expect that the resources of even a high-flying boutique winery mean that they will have more variation in their wines/years than bigger wineries (guess alert). And then there are all those people who started up wineries without doing the headwork....
I've had some good and some poor wine while I've been in NZ this time (not many absolute duds, partly because I made the decision to mostly stay away from the under $NZ18.00 area). I do think the overall quality has improved, (although 2004 wasn't a great year, especially for reds). So much of the best wine is exported that you probably have a better selection (though at higher prices) than I do here in NZ (though I admit I'm not shopping at specialist outlets - the local wine shop now sells beer, a few wines, and Indian candies...).
Posted 07 September 2005 - 12:50 PM
I forwarded Carswell's information along to the travelers before they left, but chances are slim that they'll want to check mail while vacationing. Well, maybe I'll get lucky.
Thank you Helen and Carswell for the additional information.
Posted 11 September 2005 - 04:36 AM
Just had a bottle on Friday night. Quite nice with beautiful aromas and flavors.
Drinking nicely now but should develop over the next few years.
For value, Matua Valley is pretty good.
Posted 16 September 2005 - 06:40 AM