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BORN IN 1783 CRAFTED FOR TODAY Schweppes 1783 Unique natural flavours, beautifully balanced and expertly crafted. Inspired by the master.

Enjoy Responsibly


Victoria Wells

Editor – Drinksbiz

The benefit of experience THERE'S A subject that keeps cropping up in the drinks industry: experience. The experience of a product, the experience of a venue, even the experience of the person serving you. One chap with a lot of experience is Matt Whiley. As the co-owner of the award-winning Scout bars in London and Sydney, ‘Europe's Best Mixologist 2019’ and generally a drinks industry legend, he knows a thing or two about providing an experience for his customers. From incorporating locally foraged ingredients in his menus, to teasing upcoming cocktails in beautifully curated detail on Instagram, Matt shares how he approaches his work and has some advice for up and comers on page 28. Niche and personalised experiences are big news too: new international research from IWSR (pg 23) shows that features like monthly subscriptions or 'meet the maker' events are helping consumers to connect with their favourite drink categories. Experience of a product is something

the team at Wellington brewery Garage Project knows a lot about. Since launching nearly eight years ago by creating 24 beers in 24 weeks, each with its own detailed and unique tap label artwork, the Garage Project cans and bottles have

Another newly released book is the story of Dunedin brewer Richard Emerson. In Richard Emerson: the Hopfather, writer Michael Donaldson traces the life of the passionate brewer who has been profoundly deaf since birth, yet overcame all the odds to become one of the leading lights in New Zealand craft brewing and build a hugely successful and iconic brewery. I've had the pleasure of co-hosting several beer dinners with Richard in the past, and was always struck by how easily he could connect with everyone in the room – from the novice beer drinker to the seasoned connoisseur keen to geek out with a brewing legend. And after all, when it comes to a great experience, that would have to be one of them!

International research shows monthly subscriptions or ‘meet the maker’ events are helping consumers to connect with their favourite drink categories become legend. Now, a new book, The Art of Beer, tells the story of 100 of those beers and their artworks. Garage Project co-founder Jos Ruffel explains how the art has become such an integral part of the beer drinking experience they offer people (page 82).

Enjoy the issue, Victoria.

My picks 2016 Saint Clair Premium Cabernet Merlot Malbec A dry, full-bodied red made from grapes grown on Hawke’s Bay’s famed Gimblett Gravels, and chosen for the Gimblett Gravels Annual Vintage Selection. It’s a must-try, and at just RRP $25, incredible value to boot. Mac's Rockaway Pacific Pale Ale Because I'm over winter. And when I poured this into a glass the tropical aromas rose up to meet me, and suddenly things looked a little brighter. El Dorado Special Reserve 15YO With a flavour profile that spans coffee, candied orange, dark chocolate, vanilla and tropical fruit, how could you resist? A sip to savour on a chilly winter evening.





Karen Boult +64 21 320 663 EDITOR

Victoria Wells +64 27 575 9021 DESIGNER

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Out & About


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Industry News


International News


Non-Alcoholic News



Feature: A change of pace28 Beer & Cider Report WINE


Opinion: Michael Donaldson 56 Beer & Cider News

58 Associate Member (NZ)


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Out & About Bollinger La Grande AnnĂŠe 2008 arrives The latest release from Champagne Bollinger was unveiled in New Zealand at a glamorous dinner at Mantells in Auckland in late May. Bollinger La Grande AnnĂŠe 2008 was also launched at events in Wellington. Diners were joined by Guy de Rivoire, Global Export Director for Champagne Bollinger, who was in New Zealand to launch the wine to trade and consumers with distributor Negociants. Kerre McIvor and Clive Weston Cameron Douglas MS and Janet Douglas

Simon Gault and Fern Vesey-Dean


Guy de Rivoire of Champagne Bollinger

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Diary Dates AUGUST



Thursday 1 – Saturday 31 August

Thursday 17 – Saturday 19 October

Saturday 9 November

American Express Restaurant Month – Auckland

BREWNZ 2019 – Wellington

Hawke’s Bay Wine Auction

The theme for this year’s Brewers Guild Conference is “A Sustainable Future: caring for our people and our planet”. It will cover a range of industry topics around the path to a more sustainable future, including water disposal, recycling, and mental health. Will also include brewery tours and the Mashing In industry-only night.

A chance to purchase some very special wines and art with auction proceeds donated to Hawke’s Bay’s Cranford Hospice. Celebrating 28 years this year, the event will offer more than 40 lots of wine from the region’s most talented winemakers, many of which are being specially blended.

International guest chefs will join some of Auckland’s best for four weeks of dining experiences across the city. More than 100 restaurants are taking part in this year’s event. Friday 9 – Saturday 10 August

Beervana – Wellington More than 50 breweries will be at Wellington’s Westpac Stadium for the two days of Beervana, featuring local and international brewers. The event is held over two sessions per day.

SEPTEMBER Wednesday 4 September

Hawke’s Bay Wine Celebration – Auckland A chance to try some of Hawke’s Bay’s finest new release and classic wines and meet the winemakers in a regional evening showcase of boutique and estate wineries in Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter (also to be held in Wellington on 11 September). Tickets include tasting samples and canapes. Exclusive trade session will be held 2pm-5pm – contact for details. Wednesday 11 September

Hawke’s Bay Wine Celebration – Wellington The showcase of Hawke’s Bay wines comes to Wellington’s Harbourside Function Centre. An evening of sampling new release and classic wines from a range of the region’s boutique and estate wineries. Tickets include tasting samples and canapes. Exclusive trade session will be held 2pm-5pm – contact adele@ for details. Tuesday 24 September

New Release Tasting – Nelson Nelson winemakers come together for an evening to showcase their new release wines from across the Nelson-Tasman region.


Friday 15 November Saturday 19 October

NZ Cider Awards – Nelson

Hawke’s Bay A&P Bayleys Wine Awards

The national awards for New Zealand cider makers. This is the only awards programme in New Zealand dedicated solely to cider and is judged to international standards.

The oldest regional wine awards in New Zealand return for 2019, recognising the best wines made from 85% Hawke’s Bay grapes. Over 90% of Hawke’s Bay wineries (including multinational wine makers with vineyards in and out of Hawke’s Bay) enter this competition. Comedian Urzila Carlson will MC the awards dinner. Tickets available now. Friday 25 October

NZ International Wine Show 2019 Awards Dinner – Auckland The top awards in the country’s largest wine judging competition will be announced in Auckland. The Awards, now in their 15th year, are open to wines from any country and made from any grape variety. Thursday 31 October – Sunday 3 November

Saturday 16 November

NZ Cider Festival – Nelson New Zealand’s cider producers will gather for the fourth year of The NZ Cider Festival at Founders Heritage Park. A family-friendly day of cider, local artisan food, music and kids’ activities.

Taste of Auckland Taste of Auckland returns to Queens Wharf with chef Marco Pierre White headlining the 2019 event. New restaurant zones and features are planned for the festival. For exhibitor or sponsorship details contact Lemongrass Productions on 09 3779 224 or sales@

Sunday 17 November

Toast Martinborough One of New Zealand’s most famous wine and food festivals, Toast Martinborough marks its 28th year in 2019. The one day multi-site event takes place in the boutique wine village of Martinborough, with 10 vineyard sites participating.

*AC Nielsen Data; 02 June 2019

New Zealand’s favourite* Riesling now has a


50 years

of fine wine

As Australian wine family Taylors marks 50 years, it continues to build its reputation for innovation and fine wines… A VISION of new world winemaking combined with old world finesse was at the heart of Taylors Wines when it began 50 years ago, and it continues to drive the Australian family-owned winery today. As the Taylor family celebrates its 50th anniversary as winemakers, it is marking the milestone with a fresh look across its portfolio of wines and two new varietals in the Taylors Estate range to launch in New Zealand for spring 2019.

Fine wine inspiration Planting vines in South Australia’s Clare Valley in 1969 was a bold move for a family originally in the pub business, but it was a decision inspired by some of the world’s finest wines.

In the early 1960s, the Taylors owned around 150 pubs and hotels in New South Wales. But as Australians became more interested in good wine, Bill Taylor Snr and his two sons could see an opportunity for a new business. Determined to find out how the best wines were made, they headed to Bordeaux to visit some of France’s greatest houses and returned to Australia convinced the family’s way forward would be in wine. Today, Taylors company director (and third generation Taylor) Justin Taylor, says that trip to France set the

“What my father and grandfather discovered was that we could be proudly new world, proudly Australian winemakers, but deliver old world finesse in these wines.” – Justin Taylor 14 DRINKSBIZ AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2019

The Taylor family (L-R) Clinton Taylor, Bill Taylor, Mitchell Taylor, Justin Taylor.

family’s future path. “What my father and grandfather discovered was that we could be proudly new world, proudly Australian winemakers, but deliver old world finesse in these wines. Once that philosophy was set, the foundations were set for the Taylor family.” The Taylors chose the Clare Valley – with its terra rossa soils and wide diurnal temperature range – as the place where they could best deliver on their winemaking philosophy. Having sold the pubs, they planted 230 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, and waited. It was a huge commitment, but one that paid off handsomely in 1973 when the first release Taylors Estate Cabernet Sauvignon won gold in every national wine show it entered. “We were recognised almost instantly for our Cabernet Sauvignon,” says Justin Taylor. “This dedication to a region, to a grape variety – it all came to life in this 1973 Cab.”

The rise of Taylors Estate While Taylors Wines today encompasses several labels across a range of tiers, Taylors Estate remains the foundation. It was created to be a proper ‘old world’ style estate


in the Clare Valley, and every bottle is still crafted there. The Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz were the first wines ever released and remain the heart and soul of the business, although the range has grown to include several varietals, with the two latest – a sparkling and a Rosé – to launch in New Zealand in September. Taylors Estate has been a popular choice for New Zealand consumers since it was first introduced on this side of the Tasman nearly 30 years ago. Its red wines perform strongly here: Taylors Estate ranks #1 in the $11+ category for Cabernet, Merlot and Shiraz1. “When people think of Taylors wines, it’s Taylors Cab Sav,” says Justin Taylor. “It’s a go-to and the quality it delivers for the price has always been exceptional.” In September, Taylors will build on the recent momentum in the sparkling and Rosé categories, adding a Pinot Noir Chardonnay Brut Cuvée NV and Pinot Noir Rosé to the Taylors Estate range in New Zealand. The two wines are already popular across the Tasman and with the significant growth of the sparkling and Rosé categories here (the $15-$20 Sparkling category is up 15.6% on the previous year, while Rosé in the same price category is up 23%2), Taylors is confident the well-crafted wines at an everyday price point will be just as appealing to New Zealand consumers.

Taylors Estate in New Zealand Current core range in NZ Taylors Estate Shiraz Taylors Estate Merlot Taylors Estate Pinot Noir Taylors Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Taylors Estate Chardonnay

Coming September 2019 Taylors Estate Pinot Noir Chardonnay Brut Cuvée NV

This sparkling wine is crafted in the traditional bottle fermented style from the classic varieties of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, creating a wine of elegance and finesse. It displays clean, vivacious citrus flavours with an underlying creamy character and a delicate mousse – all hallmarks of fine sparkling wine. Taylors Estate Pinot Noir Rosé 2018

Crafted in the classic Provence style, this new Rosé from Taylors is dry, with a fresh, crisp acidity and a delicate palate of strawberry and red berry fruits. It is a vibrant varietal expression that retains elegance and finesse.

The two wines will also feature the new 50th anniversary label design that Taylors has unveiled across its wines.

Building a Legacy Taylors has also marked its half century achievement with the release of its finest wine ever made – The Legacy 2014 – of which just 1080 bottles exist, and with a price tag of RRP $1000 a bottle. Inspired by old world wines and created to embody the founding philosophy of Taylors Wines, the

Legacy is predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon, with small parcels of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Taylors Chief Winemaker, Adam Eggins, says creating the wine was a wonderful journey. “The Legacy was designed to be one of the most complete expressions of wine ever tasted… to resonate every sense as it goes across your palate. It’s a focus on complexity: there are 24 different components built into The Legacy and each one brings different elements.” Justin Taylor describes The Legacy’s release as a feeling of coming home. “This represents our 50 year journey… as generation four comes in. Our role as family members as much as anything is as baton holders – we’re to build a business for the next generation. “Fifty years down the track we’re a top 10 Australian producer by value in Australia, sending our wines to 40-50 countries around the world. It’s a story I’m always so proud to tell because it’s really just one of getting in and having a go and committing yourself to excellence and achieving it.” Taylors Wines are distributed in New Zealand by Taylor Brown 09 447 3801 1 IRI NZ GROCERY MAT 02/06/18 2 IRI NZ GROCERY MAT PERIOD W/E 02/06/19



Going up? AUCKLAND’S HIGHEST rooftop bar has opened in the CBD at the Four Points by Sheraton hotel on Queen Street. The Churchill, which specialises in gin and champagne, sits on the 20th floor and offers panoramic views of the city.

NZ International Wine Show on tour THE NEW Zealand International Wine Show 2019, in association with its principal sponsor Nissan NZ, will be showcasing the top award-winning wines from the 2019 competition at a number of events around the country in October. The Gold Medal and Trophy winning wines will be available for sampling in Auckland, Hastings, Wellington, Blenheim, Christchurch and Dunedin, providing winemakers and consumers with the chance to taste the wines from around the world. Event details are available on the NZ International Wine Show website. 16 DRINKSBIZ AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2019

The space is designed to celebrate the beverage traditions of the 1920s and has Art Deco touches throughout, as well as intimate seating areas and a private mezzanine for small groups. The menu includes more than 160 gins, or guests can create their

own gin and tonic from the 10/10/10 menu, which offers 10 varieties of gin, 10 artisan tonics and mixers and 10 botanicals. The Churchill also offers a seasonal bar menu.

Lion refreshes Alcohol&Me website Lion has launched a new website for its Alcohol&Me training programme, which aims to help educate Kiwis around safe and sociable drinking. The company originally created Alcohol&Me in 2012 as an internal staff training programme, which later evolved into an external offering for New Zealand businesses via a face-to-face

facilitated workshop. Over 4,000 employees have taken part in the training to date, with Fulton Hogan, PwC and Colliers International among more than 80 New Zealand organisations who have incorporated Alcohol&Me into their internal training over recent years. Research commissioned by Alcohol&Me in 2018 found most Kiwis don’t know what a

standard drink is and couldn’t accurately say how many are in the most common alcoholic beverages. Three quarters were also unfamiliar with the nation’s recommended healthy drinking guidelines*. The Alcohol&Me programme provides free evidence-based advice to help people make informed choices about how they drink alcohol. Lion says 30,000 people have already engaged with the online programme, the equivalent of 19 Kiwis completing Alcohol&Me online modules every day. It hopes the website relaunch will get even more Kiwis involved. Lion does not take any profit from Alcohol&Me, with all funds reinvested into running the programme.​ *The research was conducted by research agency Fiftyfive5 in November 2018, surveying 797 adult New Zealanders.



Archie Bros coming to Newmarket Westfield BRI to build new Research Winery in Blenheim

CIRCUS-THEMED ARCADE bar, Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq, will open in Auckland in September as part of the new Westfield development in Newmarket. It’s the latest opening in Auckland by Australian group Funlab, which launched minigolf themed bar Holey Moley on Auckland’s Viaduct in late 2018. Funlab also has two Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq venues in Melbourne. The bar, described as “an all immersive hub of ‘kidult’ fun”, will have an American-style diner as well as dodgem cars, carousels, bowling, mini-rides and arcade games. Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq will be open to the public from 19th September 2019 and will be located at 277 Broadway in Newmarket.

New CEO at Antipodes Water Antipodes Water Company has announced the appointment of Angela Buglass as Chief Executive Officer. Buglass most recently held the position of CEO at Trilogy International Ltd, owners of essential natural products and home fragrance consumer brands: Trilogy, ECOYA and Goodness, which are sold in

almost 25 countries. Buglass has had significant executive experience both in New Zealand and overseas, working with companies such as L’Oréal, Estee Lauder Companies and Procter & Gamble. Chair of Antipodes Water, Shane Lamont, said: “We are delighted that

following a robust external appointment process, Angela has joined the New Zealandbased management team. The future strategic growth of Antipodes Water in both the domestic and export markets will continue to be the focus under Angela’s leadership.”

Bragato Research Institute (BRI) has announced its national Research Winery will be built at the Marlborough Research Centre on the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) campus in Blenheim, with the aim of being operational for vintage 2020. “We’re delighted to be able to announce our location… alongside Plant and Food Research, New Zealand Winegrowers and Wine Marlborough,” says MJ Loza, CEO of Bragato Research Institute. “The Marlborough Research Centre has been a key supporter of our establishment from day one and I’m pleased the vision – to be co-located with key research and industry organisations – will become reality.” A broad project team including winemakers, suppliers, expert consultants and researchers with experience operating other research winery facilities had input into the design. With capacity for over 100 research fermenters, the facility will enable more of the industry’s research trials to extend to look at possible impacts on finished wines. The Research Winery will trial winery equipment and technologies, winemaking processes and sustainable winemaking and winery operations. It will also provide commercial research winemaking services to suppliers and industry.

Vintage 2019 update New Zealand Winegrowers is hailing the 2019 vintage as “small but stunning”, crediting a warm summer with what it says was a superb vintage for New Zealand’s wine regions. Figures from NZW show that 413,000 tonnes of grapes were harvested during Vintage 2019, and although smaller than anticipated, it says the quality of the harvest is being touted as exceptional across the country. 18 DRINKSBIZ AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2019

New Zealand Winegrowers CEO, Philip Gregan, says a high-quality harvest is good news for the industry as export growth continues, with an increase of 4% to $1.78 billion over the last year. “We have an international reputation for premium quality and innovation. Every vintage is different, but winemakers are excited about the calibre of wine that will be delivered to the bottle and we are confident 2019 vintage wines will be enjoyed by

consumers around the world.” However, with Vintage 2019 the third smaller-than-expected harvest in a row, volume growth is expected to be constrained. “Smaller vintages in 2017 and 2018 meant wineries had to work to manage product shortages, and many of our members hoped for a larger harvest this year. Another smaller-than-expected vintage will mean more supply and demand tension overall,” says Mr Gregan.


Build-up to Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year National Final 2019

SIX REGIONAL competitions have now taken place around New Zealand and the national finalists are getting ready to battle it out for the title of the Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year. The National Final will be held in conjunction with the Bragato Conference 2019 in Hawke’s Bay and the practical test day for the Young Vits will take place on 26 August at Te Awa. This will be a big step up from the regional competitions, as competitors will be tested in-depth on all aspects of being a viticulturist, with some unexpected challenges thrown in to test their leadership skills. Prior to the competition day itself, the

contestants will have had have three weeks to complete their AGMARDT national final report. Finally, they will give a speech on a given topic in the main theatre at the Bragato Conference. The national winner will be announced at the Bragato dinner on 29 August and they will not only take the title of Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year 2019, but will win an amazing prize package. This includes a Hyundai Kona for a year, an Ecotrellis Travel Grant, Bahco golden secateurs, a leadership week, and cash. The winner will also go on to represent the wine industry in the Young Horticulturist of the Year Competition in November. The six national finalists are:

AUCKLAND/NORTHERN Jake Dromgool, The Landing

HAWKE’S BAY Nick Putt, Villa Maria

WAIRARAPA George Bunnett, Craggy Range

MARLBOROUGH Ben Richards, Indevin

NORTH CANTERBURY Zoe Marychurch, Pegasus Bay

CENTRAL OTAGO Simon Gourley, Domaine Thomson

Update: Tonnellerie de Mercurey NZ Young Winemaker of the Year 2019 Contestants in the NZ Young Winemaker of the Year competition are in the middle of preparations for the regional competitions taking place throughout August in Hawke’s Bay (open to all contestants in the North Island), Marlborough and Central Otago. The winner from each of these regional events will go through to the national final to be held on 17 September at NMIT in Marlborough. An awards dinner will take place that night at Wither Hills and Drinksbiz looks forward to announcing the full results in the October-November issue. For more information contact: 20 DRINKSBIZ AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2019


New Zealand’s Hopfather THE STORY of New Zealand brewer Richard Emerson and his creation of the now iconic Dunedin brewery Emerson’s is brought to life in a new book by award-winning beer writer (and Drinksbiz columnist) Michael Donaldson. Richard Emerson: The Hopfather was released in August and tells the story of a boy who was born profoundly deaf but never let that get in the way of building a brewery that helped lead the explosion of craft beer in New Zealand and gave him an almost cult-like following. Author Michael Donaldson explains how the book came about… I first ‘met’ Richard Emerson through his iconic Pilsner. It was Christmas Eve and my wife and I were in the Martinborough Hotel, road-tripping to visit my brother for the holidays. The many Emerson’s Pilsners consumed that night put me firmly on the path to writing about beer. I met Richard in 2011 when we made a 200 litre brew for the Beervana media brew competition … beer writers were paired with brewers to concoct something for a friendly competition. When I was asked who I’d like to brew with I just about shouted: “Richard Emerson!”.

He was a brewing god – and also the godfather of New Zealand craft brewing. I knew he was deaf (as a result of his mother contracting rubella while pregnant) yet I wasn’t prepared for how hard it would be communicating with him in a noisy brewery – and by hard, it was more Richard who suffered as I asked him to repeat himself time and again. He later commented I had a slightly “hard-to-read” face, which didn’t help matters. Reading faces is something he talks about in revealing detail in the book and something we can all learn from. Since then, he was always available to comment on stories and to help with other books I’ve written. Four years ago, we talked about writing his biography – but I was in the middle of another book and had to decline. We agreed to come back to it sometime in the future and thank god we did – because it’s a story I’m honoured to have written. My respect for Richard has only grown for understanding how damn hard his life has been. I’ve got so much respect for his relentless positivity and refusal to be limited by his disability. But the

other heroes of his story are his mother Ingrid and late father, George. Their determination to see their son succeed against the odds and the ‘tough love’ approach to his life are the real heart of a great Kiwi story.

Richard Emerson: The Hopfather RRP $45. Penguin Books NZ.

Good vibes at Pernod Ricard In June, 500 employees of Pernod Ricard NZ joined 19,000 colleagues from across the company’s global offices in helping local community groups. ‘Good Times from a Good Place’ was held for the ninth edition of Responsib’ALL Day, Pernod Ricard’s annual Sustainability and Responsibility initiative. Activities took place in Auckland, Blenheim, Hawke’s Bay, Wellington and Christchurch as part of global efforts to encourage Pernod Ricard’s employees from more than 85 countries to reimagine the way in which they use, dispose of and minimise waste. The New Zealand staff took part in a range of activities, including working with Auckland City Mission, building furniture from pallets for a community garden, planting native plants, cleaning up microplastics and rubbish, and creating nesting rafts for dabchicks. Pernod Ricard across the Pacific also offers ‘Willing to Give’ to all employees, an initiative that provides every team member the opportunity to spend a working day to volunteer with a charity of choice.



The Solstice concept As the global trend towards organic and biodynamic wines grows, French company Saverglass has introduced a unique new silhouette tailored to showcase the qualities of these wines. The Solstice range has been specially designed to highlight and identify organic and biodynamic wines (while equally suited to premium wines of all varieties) and makes Solstice a vessel designed in harmony with the contents and designed around balance, naturalness and excellence. The new and innovative Solstice range is available in four design options, with antique green and flint offerings in each. Choose from Solstice Moon Rising and Solstice Descendant Moon, with each of these options available with either a Plate Wine finish or Cordon finish. The designs reinterpret the oval vats, which are particularly popular in biodynamics, while the contemporary range also offers long tapered necks reminiscent of those of carafes and sets the bottles apart. Find out more – visit or call Karen on 09 522 2990.


Evolving lifestyles drive alcohol innovation – IWSR GLOBAL CHANGES in consumer behaviour, technology, economics and even environmental stewardship are helping to drive evolution and innovation in the beverage alcohol industry, according to the latest IWSR Drinks Market Analysis’ annual Global Trends Report. The report examines developments and identifies opportunities around the world for the beer, wine, spirits and the mixed drinks market. Among the key current and emerging trends identified by IWSR analysts’ on-theground research are:


More niche and localised flavours are starting to gain traction

Global Sophistication • New entry-level brands are helping aspirational consumers in developing markets to discover unfamiliar beverage alcohol categories. • In developed markets, premiumisation and an attitude of “less but better” is driving consumers towards crafted products – often with a hyper-local spin. • More niche and localised flavours are starting to gain traction (for instance, spirits made with locally foraged botanicals). • Increasingly niche and personalised experiences are helping curious consumers to connect with their favourite drink categories (e.g. monthly subscription clubs and experiences such as “meet the maker” events at craft distilleries and breweries). • Wine education continues to spread in developing markets, especially throughout Asia.

Lifestyle and Ethical Choices • The rise in consumer interest in wellness has fuelled development of no- and low-alcohol products, and “better-for-

you” beverages that are low-calorie, sugar-free, gluten-free, and that feature natural nutrients and healthy ingredients. • Consumers are looking for ways to decrease their environmental impact on a micro level, such as adopting plant-based diets, reducing air travel, shunning plastic waste and consuming water and other natural resources more responsibly. Some consumers now expect drink brands to hold themselves to similar standards throughout the production chain. • People are also gravitating to companies and brands that are more authentic in their support of charities or local communities.

Digital Engagement • Personalised and interactive marketing campaigns are becoming key.

• Technological innovations, such as smart labels, are changing the way consumers interact with products, companies and brands.

Social Experience and Inclusivity • Drinks tourism, pop-up events, festivals and interactive spaces are encouraging people to plan drinks-led experiences. • In today’s restaurant scene, themed cocktails and unique food and drink pairings can be a core component of the dining experience and may even provide a route into novel cuisines. • Macro social and economic changes bring new participants into the drinks market, and as a result, products evolve to accommodate the newcomers’ needs and preferences.

Beam Suntory invests in new Kentucky distillery Beam Suntory broke ground on a new craft distillery in Clermont, Kentucky in late July, as part of a larger US$60 million investment to re-establish the James B. Beam Distilling Co. in the town, which encompasses the production operations for the flagship Jim Beam brand, as well as small-batch brands like Basil Hayden’s and Knob Creek, next generation brands, and the visitor experience. The James B. Beam Distilling Co. was the company’s name immediately following Prohibition and will serve as the name of Beam Suntory’s Clermont operations going forward.

The new Fred B. Noe Craft Distillery, named for 7th Generation Master Distiller Fred Noe, will serve as a functional production facility to explore new fermentation and distillation techniques and provide opportunities for education and hospitality. As part of its tourism investment, Beam Suntory will elevate its visitor experience in Clermont to include behind-the-scenes tours across the family of brands, a tasting room, and customisable experiences.



Winners in Spirited Awards 2019 THE WINNERS of the 13th Annual Spirited Awards were announced in New Orleans in late July during Tales of the Cocktail, the world’s premier cocktail festival. This year’s festival hosted attendees from 38 countries, with more than 400 events developed specifically

for bartenders, distillers and other spirits professionals. As part of Tales of Cocktail, the Spirited Awards have become one of the most prestigious and coveted honours in the industry since their creation in 2007.

2019 Spirited Awards winners International Categories

International Bartender of the Year Monica Berg – Tayer and Elementary, London, UK Best International Brand Ambassador  Joe McCanta, Grey Goose Best International Bar Team Licorería Limantour – Mexico City, Mexico Best International Cocktail Bar  Atlas Bar – Singapore Best International High Volume Cocktail Bar  Schumann’s Bar – Munich, Germany Best International Hotel Bar  Manhattan at Regent Singapore – Singapore Best International Restaurant Bar  Hawksmoor Spitalfields – London, UK Best New International Cocktail Bar Foundation  MAYBE SAMMY – Sydney, Australia

Global Categories

Best Bar Mentor  Ivy Mix and Lynnette Marrero Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient  Fords Gin Officers’ Reserve World’s Best Cocktail Menu  Trick Dog – San Francisco, CA World’s Best Spirits Selection  Atlas Bar – Singapore World’s Best Bar  Dante – New York, NY Helen David Lifetime Achievement Award  Javier De Las Muelas Philanthropy Award  Speed Rack Timeless American Award  Napoleon House – New Orleans, LA Timeless International Award  El Floridita – Havana, Cuba For a full list of winners visit

World’s Best Bar: Dante – New York, NY

Asahi to buy Carlton & United Breweries Japanese brewing company Asahi Group Holdings (AGH), announced in July it had reached an agreement with Anheuser-Busch InBev [ABI] to acquire the Carlton & United Breweries [CUB] business in Australia for AUD$16 billion [approx. ¥1.21 trillion]. The deal includes CUB’s Australian brands, as well as the rights to commercialise 24 DRINKSBIZ AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2019

ABI’s global and international brands in Australia. The proposed deal would bring together some of Australia’s best known brands across the alcohol and non-alcohol categories, including Schweppes, Solo, Asahi and Peroni along with Carlton Draught, Victoria Bitter, Great Northern and Pure Blonde.

Peter Margin, Executive Chairman, Asahi Beverages said: “This is an exciting proposition for our business, and will support our vision to be the first choice in beverages.” The deal will be subject to regulatory approval within Australia, and is expected to complete in Q1, 2020.


World’s fastestgrowing spirits brands revealed THE WORLD’S top 100 fastestgrowing spirits brands, categorised by their respective case volume growth last year, collectively grew by 11%, compared to total global category growth of 0.8% in 2018, according to the latest IWSR Drinks Market Analysis Global Database. Those 100 leading brands, across all the major spirits categories, represent 690.5m nine-litre cases of the world’s total 3.17bn cases of spirits. The top-selling brand in the world, which is also the product that added the most cases to its total volume last year, was Korea’s Jinro soju, growing 6.4% to a total of 80.9m cases. (Interestingly, Jinro sells 47m more cases than the nextlargest brand in the world, Officer’s Choice whisky, which posted 33.8m cases last year, an increase of 5.6%.) The majority of brands that top the list of fastest-growing are national or regional products, including soju, baijiu, and Indian whisky. “Though we saw a decline in beer and wine consumption last year, brands in the spirits category continue to enjoy great consumer loyalty,” says Mark Meek, the IWSR’s CEO. “It’s particularly interesting to see the growth of gin brands, the category which experienced the largest gain in global beverage alcohol consumption in 2018.” Find the full list at *Absolute volume growth is calculated on the actual increase of the number of nine-litre cases that each brand grew (regardless of brand total volume size) globally between 2017 and 2018. In some instances, these may be brands that grew quickly from a relatively small base of total case volume. Percent change, represented here, is based on the brand’s total global volume growth 2017 to 2018.

Top 50 Spirits Brands, Ranked by Absolute Volume Growth*

Source: IWSR 2019

% Change 2017–2018






Jinro Soju


National Spirits


Imperial Blue Whisky

Pernod Ricard



Royal Stag Whisky

Pernod Ricard




Chum Churum Soju


National Spirits



McDowell’s Whisky




Tanduay Rum





Magic Moments Vodka

Radico Khaitan




McDowell’s Brandy





Officer’s Choice Whisky





Jing Jiu Baijiu

Jing Brand

National Spirits



8 PM Whisky

Radico Khaitan




Bangalore Malt Whisky

John Distillers



6.4% 19.4%



Gordon’s Gin


Gin and Genever



Tito’s Vodka





Original Choice Whisky

John Distillers




Nemiroff Vodka





Sterling Reserve Whisky




Royal Green Whisky





Men’s Club Brandy




20 Blender’s Pride Whisky

Pernod Ricard





Flavoured Spirits


22 Urozhay Vodka








Aperol Aperitif Royal Challenge Whisky


24 Jim Beam Whiskey

Beam Suntory



25 Mansion House Brandy





Thai Beverage

Other Spirits

27 G.S.M. Blue Gin

Hong Thong

San Miguel

Gin and Genever



28 San Miguel Gin

San Miguel

Gin and Genever


29 Yanghe Baijiu

Jiangsu Yanghe

National Spirits

30 Johnnie Walker Scotch





Tanqueray Gin


Gin and Genever



Alfonso Brandy





33 Jack Daniel’s Whiskey




34 Zubrówka Vodka




35 Jameson Whiskey

Pernod Ricard



36 Yamskaya Vodka




37 Pervak Vodka

Global Spirits



38 Grand Royal Whisky

International Beverages Trading







40 Velho Barreiro Cachaça





Khortytsa Vodka

Global Spirits




Seaman Schnapps

Nigeria Distilleries

National Spirits

Stareishina Brandy

43 Crown Royal Whisky



44 Arkhangelskaya Vodka

Beluga Group


33.3% 6.7% 123.1%

45 Haywards Whisky




46 Bagpiper Whisky








48 Ballantine’s Scotch

Courrier Brandy

Pernod Ricard





Flavoured Spirits




Baileys Cream Liqueur

50 Soplica Vodka




A chance to Redeem yourself NEW SODA brand Redeem is offering a range of kefir-based soda drinks that are low in sugar and calories and made with all natural, organic and vegan ingredients. Redeem was founded by Angus Allan, who created dairy brand The Collective. To make the soda, kefir cultures (a SCOBY comprising 30 different culture strains) are fermented and brewed with water, sugar and fruits, including ginger, raisins and lemon. Each bottle of Redeem contains 20-30 calories per serving, less than 1.15% of alcohol and less than 1.5% sugar. “By using a natural fermentation process, we’ve created a delicious culture-rich beverage that’s full of gut-loving probiotics. It’s a soda you can feel good about drinking,” says Allan. The brand has a strong sustainability focus, with the sodas bottled in glass and cardboard packaging, with paper labels. It has achieved a certified organic status and is working towards a certified B-Corp accreditation as part of its commitment towards a more sustainable, ethical and progressive approach to business.

Redeem is also a member of the 1% for the Planet initiative, donating 1% of its sales to Trees that Count, funding the planting of native trees throughout New Zealand Redeem sodas are available in four flavours: Natural Ginger, Charcola, Raspberry Hibiscus and Mandarin Yuzu. RRP $3.99 for 250ml and $9.99 for 750ml bottles.

Winter warmer from Six Barrel Soda Co New from the folk at Six Barrel Soda comes a Limited Edition Spiced Blackcurrant soda syrup. It’s made with New Zealand blackcurrants, cinnamon, star anise, nutmeg and pimento. It has a rich, full currant taste with a warm backbone of spice. Ideal for winter drinks – mix with hot water for a non-alcoholic mulled wine option or add to cocktails for a fruity boost. Six Barrel Soda Spiced Blackcurrant, 500ml RRP $19.50 Six Barrel Soda Co.

New green hemp and Manuka kvas

Just the tonic New Zealand company Greenleaf Organics has released a new range of tonics as part of its growing health and wellness product offering. Switchel is an apple cider vinegarbased functional beverage that combines raw and living ingredients. It is available in five flavours: Lemon, 26 DRINKSBIZ AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2019

Turmeric, Beetroot, Pineapple, and Grapefruit. “We are delighted to finally share our Switchel range, which houses some unique taste profiles alongside a breadth of health benefits, with the little ‘wellness village’ that our brand has created,” says Greenleaf Organics co-owner, Chantel Priddy. Greenleaf Organics Switchel RRP $5.50.

New Zealand’s first and only brewer of the traditional Russian beverage kvas has created a new version using green hemp and Manuka. Kvas is an ancient lacto-fermented drink, made using traditional Russian coriander-flavoured rye bread as a base. Jack and Sabina Bristow of The Kvas Company have used sustainably farmed, organic Canterbury hemp in their new kvas, along with Manuka. The new Brod Green Hemp and Manuka Kvas is refreshing, with a yeasty, citrus tang. All Brod Kvas products are vegan and made with natural, organic and wild harvested ingredients.


A change of pace Victoria Wells talks to global superstar bartender Matt Whiley about foraging, sustainability, and why he wishes he could put his phone down a bit more… CRICKET’S LOSS was definitely the drinks industry’s gain when Matt Whiley swapped his pads to pour pints nearly 15 years ago. The former English cricket professional (and now globally acclaimed bartender) had played for Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire for five years until injury took him out when he was 24. It was pure chance that when a friend needed help at his Nottingham bar, Matt stepped up to the crease. “I was incredibly useless at bartending but I had a lot of fun so I decided that I wanted to do a few more shifts and see where it took me,” he says. Where it took him was on an entirely new career trajectory that has seen him awarded Europe’s Best Mixologist 2019, named one of the 1000 Most Influential Londoners, and a finalist for International Bartender of the Year at the Spirited Awards 2019, among many other accolades. Now based in Sydney, he’s the co-owner of award-winning bar Scout London (#28 in the World’s Best Bars 2018), where he returns every couple of months, and the recently opened Scout Sydney, which he owns with Sydney restaurateur Maurice Terzini. Matt consults to bars globally through his businesses Talented Mr Fox, and the newly launched Weapons & Toys, which he runs with Scout London co-owner Rich Woods. He published his first book, 28 DRINKSBIZ AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2019

The Modern Cocktail in 2018, and owns award-winning London based gin brand Wolf’s Nose. Matt was getting ready to come to New Zealand for the ‘Eat Drink Love Ponsonby’ festival, in association with Federal Merchants and William Grant & Sons, when we spoke in late July. He and local bar identity Philip Spector were presenting a five-course cocktail degustation using ingredients the pair had foraged locally – a topic close to Matt’s heart.

A foraging philosophy For Matt, making use of what grows nearby just makes sense. “Definitely seasonal and from within your surroundings is my philosophy,” he says. “There’s produce that is available to us everywhere. Be that trees, weeds in the grass as you walk along a walkway or things that the council have planted.

And when you pick it and eat it, it tastes better.” That approach to drink making is evident in the new ‘Ecö Systems’ menu at Scout London. “It’s about using all the waste from the local businesses that are in our area and immersing ourselves in the city eco-system, and then also the woodlands and forests, and oceans and streams,” explains Matt. He employs a local forager who brings his discoveries into the bar almost daily for the Scout staff to taste and experiment with. “I think for the guys who work for me it’s incredibly rewarding and also thought-provoking to come into work and for your boss to tell you it’s okay to be creative and to come up with new ideas. “We try to keep our menu as stable as possible, so we’re not wasting paper and card by reprinting all the time, but if something has come into season and


tastes incredible then we’ll look to see how we might incorporate it.” Scout Sydney’s new menu (due to launch in September) will be different, but Matt says local ingredients are part of what both bars are about. “It might not be intrinsically linked with the PR story of what we’re working on, but we’ll always forage and pick and source our ingredients locally.” He says these elements of a drink can provide an instant connection between the customer, the neighbourhood and the wider community. “To be able to tell a guest that this ingredient is from this part of Sydney and we went and picked it yesterday, or this is from a farmer called Jack who grew it for us… it’s a much better talking point than just mass-produced food that doesn’t taste of anything.” Having moved to Australia with his wife in late 2018, Matt has had to get to know a whole new world of wild food. “It’s been brilliant for me to immerse myself in a different culture as well as different ingredients and learn a lot more,” he says. “There’s a different discovery every day.”

Sustainable practices Foraging taps into the sustainability ethos seen increasingly across the drinks industry today. For Matt, addressing waste is something every bar should be looking at as simply good business practice. “I think our industry is incredibly wasteful; how we go about our ingredients,” says Matt. “The population is growing and we can’t keep up with production of food so it’s something we all have to be mindful of and integrate into every bar so we can live a prosperous future, rather than putting buzz words on a menu to get some press. “For me, it all starts with the ordering process. If you order too much you’re going to be wasteful. Focus on how much you’re ordering, order at the right times… really work on how much produce you need in the building.”

The social side Things have certainly come a long way from when Matt started his bartending life with a BlackBerry phone that had no internet capability. Scout has a slick social media presence that is integral to the business – beautifully styled shots of

new drinks, intriguing prep videos and other enticements pop up regularly on Instagram for the London and Sydney bars, as well as on Matt’s own Talented Mr Fox account. “It’s a totally different world we live in now, where everything revolves around social media,” he says. “I wish I could spend less time on my phone, but it’s kind of a necessity, it’s a way of engaging. We do tests with Scout

“If we showcase some prep of what we’re making on our Instagram Stories, that cocktail will spike over the next 72 hours...” social media… if we showcase some prep of what we’re making on our Instagram Stories, that cocktail will spike over the next 72 hours. It definitely plays a role in how people drink.” As well as being an essential brand tool, the online world has also opened up bartending to those starting out. “When I started bartending there were probably five cocktail books and if you could find them you could do some research,” he laughs. “Now there’s so much information available online. Sometimes I meet junior

bartenders who have only been in the industry a year and I’m astonished by their level of knowledge. Our industry is getting so much traction from the information that people have at their fingertips.”

Tips from a pro Matt’s advice to those starting out is to seek knowledge and keep asking questions. “I do most of my creativity through research, so my biggest things would be to read books, seek people out, ask and learn every single day. “And sometimes the younger generation don’t really like criticism – but [taking it] it can be one of the most valuable tools that you can have in your arsenal. Actually listen to criticism and take it on board because it’s a learning tool for how you can get better.” And as the industry adapts to the growing trend of moderation and mindful drinking, Matt remains confident that bartenders will be a part of whatever comes. “Our role might change a little bit with what we serve people but we’ve still got a strong role to play – it’s still part of the culture of socialising, going out, having food, being in an environment where you’re outside your home. We’ll always have a role to play in fulfilling the need of every guest that comes through the door.” @talentedmrfox DRINKSBIZ AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2019 29


Even more reason to join Liquorland There’s never been a better time to join Liquorland, with the move to an annual profit share rebate for all Franchisees. Every Liquorland Franchisee now has the chance to maximise their share of an annual rebate, under a new programme announced by the company. The new annual rebate payments will be over and above the current operating model and have been achieved without any changes to supplier or Franchisee cost structure. Liquorland, owned by Foodstuffs, had been assessing whether to become members of the Foodstuffs Co-operatives, but at the recent Liquorland Conference, CEO Brendon Lawry announced that they have chosen not to pursue this, largely due to the duplication required to run a national programme across two separate co-op operating systems.   “Instead, we have been able to present a different solution that delivers the membership advantages without running two different operating standards,” says Lawry. “What we have delivered is a structure that achieves all of the advantages of Foodstuffs ownership and, importantly, delivers a rebate that lifts the profitability of Liquorland today versus yesterday.

This is about setting up the best platform for our Franchisees to improve and grow their current networks, as well as new Franchisees being in a position to recognise the financial impact that is only possible with the support long-term from Foodstuffs. “Without a successful and engaged Franchise network we don’t have a successful brand or business,” continues Lawry. “Our Franchisees are the key to Liquorland’s success and the decisions as to who comes on board are some of the most significant the team and I make every day.”

Rewarding performance

Liquorland Franchisees will now receive an annual rebate based on a set of formal performance measures. While these measures already exist within the Liquorland framework, there hasn’t been any formal reward associated with them until now. The key measures are around Core Range compliance, promotional programme execution and adherence to Liquorland brand standards.

Under the new scheme, the more each Liquorland store supports its relationship with key preferred suppliers, stocks the core range and delivers the key promotional and marketing campaigns, the larger the available rebate pool becomes. Brendon Lawry says the new system is already making positive progress. “We are seeing a step change in support for core range, up-weight of key programmes in-store and very positive general engagement.”

A strong model for future growth

Two years ago, Liquorland set its long term-strategy around Success, Sustainability (financial and environmental) and Responsibility, and Brendon Lawry says the new rebate scheme addresses both Success and Sustainability. “These are obviously crucial in the fast-paced retail environment and the new performance measures will enable our Franchisees to be the best they can be,” he says. “We currently have people approach us regularly about joining Liquorland, and that has already accelerated as people discover the model is even stronger and more sustainable.”

Become a Liquorland Franchisee Dave Yurak on 027 457 2210


If you are a customer focused retailer with a passion for our industry, now is an exciting time to join us. Liquorland is New Zealand’s premium liquor franchise with over 115 stores nationwide. Liquorland benefits include: • Excellent supplier terms • Support office expertise in operations, merchandise, finance, IT and marketing • Annual profit share rebate • Fly Buys, Airpoints and Click & Collect • Ongoing product and service training • National promotional and marketing programme • Nearly 40 years’ experience as a Franchisor • Alignment with Foodstuffs NZ • New Zealand’s most preferred liquor retailer*

If you’re interested in becoming a Liquorland franchisee please email or phone Dave Yurak on 027 457 2210 * Shopper Tracker Statistics 2019.

The Red


Winter weather calls for big reds, so Joelle Thomson recommends some great new releases, including a bunch of the very best from the great Gimblett Gravels


UNDER $20 2016 Unison Gimblett Gravels Rocky Red Hawke’s Bay RRP $14.99 Unison Vineyard

Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon come together in this lightly oaked entry level red, with its tasty flavours of juicy red plums and lively fresh finish. 16/20 2017 Q Malbec Australia RRP $18 to $20 Procure

Johnny Q (Querisa) is the former chief winemaker at Yellowtail and is now the owner of the outstanding value Q wines range. It includes this Malbec, which is new in this country. Its deep purple colour and dry full-bodied flavours of blackberry, black cherry and bold fruit cake spiciness combine to make a super tasty, great value wine that over-delivers big time. 17.5/20 2015 Johnny Q Shiraz Viognier RRP $18.99 Procure

I love this Aussie blend of Shiraz with its smidgeon (less than three per cent) of Viognier, which adds deliciously aromatic flavours. It’s a bold red and bone dry. A little Viognier goes a long way and winemaker Johnny Q has done a great job here. The only question is: how does he do it for such a modest price? 17.5/20

2017 Taylors Estate Shiraz RRP $18.99 Taylor Brown

Good quality, great value Shiraz rarely gets better than this full-bodied, bold and fruity red from Taylors in the Clare Valley in Australia’s northern Barossa. It’s a consistently good wine thanks to the warm and dry climate each year, which produces ripe, dark, richly fruity and spicy grapes. 17.5/20

Johnny Q (Querisa) is the former chief winemaker at Yellowtail and is now the owner of the outstanding value Q wines range.

2017 Cypress Hawke’s Bay Merlot RRP $19.99 Cypress Wines

This deeply coloured, smooth Merlot combines great taste and value. It’s made with grapes grown on vineyards at the bottom of Roy’s Hill; on the same soil as the Gimblett Gravels but not part of the Gimblett Gravels Winegrowers Association. 16.5/20

RRP $20 to $30 2016 Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel Cabernet Sauvignon RRP $22.99 Pernod Ricard

Jacob’s Creek has taken a page out of the whisky manual in ageing this full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. The Double Barrel range of wines uses aged whisk(e)y barrels for second maturation. These barrels impart flavoursome notes to the wine. It’s an interesting concept that has legs, if you’ll excuse the pun, because this wine is smooth and bold, drinks well now and has another five to six years up its sleeve, for those willing to age it. 18.5/20 2016 Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel Shiraz RRP $22.99 Pernod Ricard

A tasty next level Shiraz from Australia’s largest wine brand, in South Australia. It has lots of spicy bells and whistles from the boldness of ripe Shiraz and notes of cedar and wood from the double barrel maturation. The extra dollars are definitely worth it in this full-bodied, smooth, mellow and toasty Shiraz. 18.5/20



2017 Yalumba Samuel’s Collection Barossa Shiraz RRP $24.95 Negociants

Barossa Valley is the world HQ of Shiraz and Yalumba one of its oldest producers. The Samuel Collection honours Yalumba’s founder, Samuel Smith. This Shiraz was fermented with a combination of wild and cultured yeasts and then matured for 10 months in hogsheads, barriques and octaves; 15% new French, Hungarian and American oak. These elements have combined to create a wine with a deep ruby colour, a full body, dry fruit-forward flavours and notes of spice, cedar and mellow characters, due to the ageing process. Very good quality and great value for money. 17.5/20 2017 Peter Lehmann The Barossan Shiraz RRP $24.99 Giesen

This Barossan is made with grapes grown on a range of vineyards throughout the Barossa Valley. It was fermented on skins for two weeks with a portion of the wine going through barrel fermentation and matured in a combo of French and American oak for 12 months before bottling. Drinks well now and can age for up to 10 years. 18/20


If you’re looking for the next level in Shiraz, then meet the 2017 Sons of Eden Zephyrus Shiraz from South Australia 2016 Jim Barry Cover Drive RRP $26.99 Negociants

2017 Taylors Jaraman Shiraz RRP $31.99 Taylor Brown

It’s the ultimate cricket lover’s big red with its evocative branding, and this 100% Australian Cabernet Sauvignon is good quality too. It’s a blend of grapes from South Australia’s Coonawarra and Clare Valley, home to Jim Barry winery. It is dry, deep in colour and has pronounced black fruit flavours with a spicy finish. 17.5/20

This wine combines the best of two regions: grapes grown in the Clare Valley north of Adelaide, and McLaren Vale to the south. Vineyards in these two regions of South Australia provide grapes with great fruit concentration, spicy flavours of pepper (one of the hallmarks of the Shiraz/Syrah grape), big smooth tannins and a long finish. 18.5/20

RRP $31 to $40 2017 Sons of Eden Marschall Shiraz RRP $31.99 RMWP

Australian winemaker Corey Ryan was at the helm of Villa Maria Estates (with Kiwi Alistair Maling) for several years before heading back to his home in South Australia for family reasons and to start this brand with his viticulturist friend, Simon Cowham in 2000. The Sons of Eden wine brand has now grown to over 10,000 cases, including this fleshy, approachable Shiraz, which drinks well now and can age for up to a decade. 18.5/20

2017 Vidal Soler Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Sauvignon RRP $34.99 Villa Maria

This big, dark, brooding Cabernet Sauvignon is made from close planted vines grown on the Omahu Gravels vineyard, part of Gimblett Gravels. Yields were low in these naturally arid soils of stones and sand, and flavour concentration is high, which is evident in each sip of this tasty red. It was fermented in open top fermenters and matured for 18 months in French oak barriques, 45% new. This wine begs for a decade in a wine cellar. 18.5/20


2017 Vidal Soler Gimblett Gravels Syrah RRP $34.99 Villa Maria

A warm season with low rainfall provided good conditions for high quality grapes with low yields that were hand-harvested to optimise quality. The grapes in this wine come from two vineyards on the Gimblett Gravels: Twyford Gravels (64%) and Omahu Gravels (36%). This deeply coloured, highly aromatic Syrah has pronounced dark fruit flavours of black plums, cherry skins and exotic spice, such as cardamom. It was aged in French oak barriques for 18 months and drinks well now with good cellaring potential for the long haul. 18.5/20 2016 Cypress Hawke’s Bay Terraces Syrah RRP $39.99 Cypress Wines

Like many full-bodied New Zealand reds, this wine is made only in years when the grapes are in top condition. They’re grown on a north-facing slope in Hawke’s Bay from the MS Syrah clone and were handharvested, destemmed by machine, then wild fermented and matured in barrel for 20 months. This deeply coloured, richly flavoursome, youthful Syrah drinks well now and has a long life ahead. 17.5/20

RRP $41 and above 2017 Sons of Eden Zephyrus Shiraz RRP $47.99 RMWP

If you’re looking for the next level in Shiraz, here it is. A bold, deep purple, fullbodied wine made with grapes from the Barossa and Eden Valleys by winemaker Corey Ryan. Its massive depth comes from its refreshing high acidity, bold fruit, and spicy, savoury flavours. Drinks beautifully now and has ageing potential for the long term; 10 years plus. 19/20 2015 Pegasus Bay Maestro Merlot Cabernet Malbec RRP $52.99 EuroVintage

It’s no mean feat making full-bodied reds from late ripening grapes grown in North Canterbury, and the winemaking team at Pegasus Bay does a superlative job with Maestro, which is made only in the warmest years. It’s full-bodied, dry and is a three-way blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon with a dash of Malbec for depth, colour and spicy aromas. A stunning wine now and for the long haul. 18.5/20

2018 Sam Harrop Onetangi Syrah Waiheke Vineyard RRP $55 Mineral

Winemaker Sam Harrop made this dark, dry and full-bodied Syrah from the Carter Vineyard on Waiheke Island; one of this country’s warmest winemaking regions. It’s a big, dark, toasty and youthful Syrah with lovely ripe fruit flavours and a long life ahead in a cool dark cellar. 19/20 2016 Cape Mentelle Shiraz RRP $80 to $90 Moët Hennessey

Hand-harvested grapes, wild and innoculated yeast fermentations and up to 80 days on skins to gently extract colour are among the reasons that this wine is such a beauty. It was left on lees, un-sulphured, for several months after fermentation and was bottled unfined with a light filtration and minimal sulphur. Zingy acidity adds freshness to this dry, full-bodied red with its big smooth, gamey flavours and long finish. 18.5/20

The Red Numbers • Pinot Noir is the most planted red grape in New Zealand with 5,653 hectares nationwide, most of it in the South Island • Merlot is the second most popular red in the country with 1,186 hectares planted (a decline from 1,369 hectares in 2009) • Syrah is the third most popular red grape with a modest 435 hectares nationwide, but a significant rise from 293 hectares in 2009 • Cabernet Sauvignon is the fourth most popular red grape with 249 hectares, a decline from 517 hectares in 2009 • Cabernet has declined because it is a late ripening grape, which struggles to ripen in this country • Malbec makes up a small proportion of the country’s grapes with just 119 hectares - a decline from 156 in 2009 • Source: NZ Winegrowers’ Annual Report 2018.



Gimblett Gravels Annual Vintage Selection 2016 The Gimblett Gravels Winegrowers Association (GGWA) Annual Vintage Selection is a collection of 12 top quality reds made from grapes grown 100% on the Gimblett Gravels in Hawke’s Bay. Each year since the 2008 vintage, the GGWA has 12 wines selected independently to represent Gimblett Gravels, in order to chart the evolution and progression of the wines from the terroir. This year, as with previous selections, the wines have been chosen from a blind tasting by Master of Wine Andrew Caillard. The 2016 line-up includes eight blended reds and four Syrahs. The 2016 vintage was challenging: cool and wet in spring followed by moderate crops with more cool weather and slow growing through summer followed by unusually high temperatures in January 2016 with a record of 13 days above 30°C. Note: Arranged by RRP.

2016 Saint Clair Premium Cabernet Merlot Malbec RRP $24.99 Negociants

2016 Mission Estate Jewelstone Antoine RRP $37.99 Mission Estate

Winemakers Hamish Clark and Kyle Thompson made this dry, full-bodied red from Cabernet Sauvignon (66.7%), Merlot (20%) and Malbec (13.3%). It’s intense in colour, aroma and taste, thanks to the Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec in the blend, which add impressive colour and taste. It was aged for 10 months in French oak, 33% new. It drinks beautifully now and can age for 10 years plus. 18.5/20

Mission Estate has a long history as the oldest continuously operational winery in New Zealand and winemaker Paul Mooney has been at the helm of winemaking here for several decades. He blended Cabernet Sauvignon (41%), Cabernet Franc (33%) and Merlot (26%) to make this big dark red, which he matured for 18 months in French oak, 50% new. It’s complex, spicy and full-bodied. 18.5/20

2016 Craggy Range Syrah RRP $31.99 Vintners

This is one of the most modestly priced wines in the 2016 line-up of Top 12 Gimblett Gravels reds. Winemaker Matt Stafford gave this 100% Syrah an impressively long maturation of 16 months in French oak, 20% new. 18.5/20 2016 Babich Irongate Cabernet Merlot Franc RRP $35.99 EuroVintage

Winemaker Adam Hazeldine blended three grapes to make this dry, full-bodied, flavoursome red from Cabernet Sauvignon (54%), Merlot (40%) and Cabernet Franc (6%), which he matured for 13-14 months in oak, 40% new barrels. It’s a top quality red with firm, smooth mouthfeel, high acidity, ripe fruit and lots of time up its sleeve. Cellar it. 18.5/20


2016 Stonecroft Cabernet Sauvignon RRP $41.99 Stonecroft

A rare 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, made by winemaker Dermot McCollum, who gave this wine an impressive 20 months of ageing in French oak, 35% new. Big, dark, dry and full-bodied. Give it time or decant. An impressive wine. 17.5/20


2016 Vidal Legacy GG Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot RRP $51.99 Villa Maria

2016 Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Syrah RRP $62.99 Villa Maria

Winemaker Hugh Crichton gave this wine an impressive 20 months in French oak, 60% new, which means it’s a wine for the long haul. It’s a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (80%) and Merlot (20%); a combination to make every Left Bank winemaker in Bordeaux green with envy, thanks to Cabernet’s late ripening nature. Merlot adds the softness, flesh and approachability to this wine, which drinks well now and can age for up to and beyond 10 years. 18.5/20

Low cropped Syrah vines, great winemaking and long ageing combine to make this one of my favourite choices of the Top 12 list. It’s spicy and complex now and will age for the long haul; 10 years plus. It drinks beautifully now too and deserves your best big red wine glass. 18.5/20

2016 Sacred Hill Deerstalkers Syrah RRP $55.99 Quench Collective

One of the Bay’s best winemaking duos created this blockbuster Helmsman. Tony Bish and Jenny Dobson gave this classic blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (56%), Merlot (22%) and Cabernet Franc (22%) an impressive 17 months in French oak, 50% new. It’s big, bold, dark, rich and brooding. Decant and drink now, or cellar for 10 to 15 years plus. 18.5/20

This is a great wine. Winemakers Tony Bish and Jenny Dobson teamed up to make this 100% Syrah from grapes that were hand-picked over two weeks and the finished wine was aged for 16 months in French oak, 25% new. It’s an impressively confident low amount of new oak for such a big wine, which provides the fruit flavours with plenty of room to breathe. 18.5/20

2016 Sacred Hill Special Selection Helmsman RRP $69.99 Quench Collective

Craggy Range Sophia has risen to become one of New Zealand’s most sought after great reds For distributor details see Distributor Index on page 81.

2016 Babich The Patriarch RRP $72.99 EuroVintage

The Patriarch is made in honour of the late Josip Babich, founder and patriarch of this outstanding Auckland winery, which now sources grapes from Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough, but which began life in the hills of West Auckland. This is a blend of Merlot (40%), Malbec (33%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (27%), which combine to create a full-bodied, fleshy red with intense colour, dark fruit and spice flavours. It spent 16 months in French oak, 45% new and is a great red for the cellar. 18.5/20 2016 Vidal Legacy GG Syrah RRP $75.99 Villa Maria

Winemaker Hugh Crichton gave this big dark, dry and full-bodied Syrah a long ageing time of 20 months in French oak, 43% new. It’s impressive now and drinks well when decanted, but is really a wine for the long haul. 18.5/20 2016 Craggy Range Sophia RRP $132.99 Vintners

Sophia has risen to become one of New Zealand’s most sought after great reds and is a blend of Merlot (58%), Cabernet Franc (23%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (19%), which winemaker Matt Stafford treated to 18 months in French oak, 45% new. This wine is dry, full-bodied, dark and youthful with lots of time up its vinous sleeve. Ideally, it suits being cellared for up to a decade. 18.5/20 DRINKSBIZ AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2019 37


Top Picks Great new releases as selected by our wine writer, Joelle Thomson

2017 Lime Hill Wairarapa Pinot Noir RRP $49-$50 Johner Estate

To say this wine is “small” is an understatement. It’s made from grapes grown on a tiny .9 hectare hillside vineyard east of Masterton at 280 metres above sea level and modelled on Burgundian vineyard growing methodologies. This means the vines are planted at high density (6000 vines per hectare). It’s on the road between Masterton and Castlepoint on clay and limestone soils and was established in 2013 as a joint venture between winemaker Karl Johner, owner of Johner Estate, his winemaker Raphael Burki and Mark McKenzie of Maungahina Stud. This is the second vintage and is a great wine from a tricky year. Pale in colour and anything but in flavour, it has savoury, earthy aromas from 10.5% whole bunches and 12 months in 25% new French oak. A silky, elegant new Pinot Noir. 19/20

2017 Vasse Felix Filius Cabernet Merlot RRP $27-$30 Negociants

2018 Craggy Range Gimblett Gravels Chardonnay RRP $39.99 Vintners

Vasse Felix is one of the big names in high quality wine from Western Australia and was established in 1967 in Cowaramup by Dr Tom Cullity, a pioneer of the Margaret River wine region. This is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (94% of the wine), with the balance Merlot. It’s a classic Aussie Cabernet with its notes of mint, and great structure. Dry, with big, smooth tannins, fresh dark fruit, chocolate and dried herb flavours. A delicious next level wine. 18.5/20

Craggy Range has a new winemaker with the arrival of Julian Grounds from Western Australia. He introduced these two great whites (this wine and the one below) to a team of wine tasters in the middle of the year. This wine is a white highlight for me. It’s flavoursome, dry and balanced beautifully by vibrant freshness and creamy flavours. This Chardonnay also has fruit-forward flavours of citrus and stonefruit – think nectarines and white peach – and a long finish. 17.5/20

2017 Craggy Range Les Beaux Cailloux RRP $139.99 Vintners

2018 Palliser Pinot Noir RRP $46-$49 Negociants

Les Beaux Cailloux is French for “the beautiful stones”, which is Craggy Range’s name for the winery’s Chardonnay block on the well-known Gimblett Gravels; an area much better known for growing red grapes than white. This wine makes a great case for whites from the Gravels too. It was first made in 2011 but production took a break until 2016, due to vineyard replanting. This is the second vintage from new plantings and was picked relatively early with 19 brix (the sugar measurement in grapes at ripeness), which retains freshness and acidity to balance its full body. It’s a great white with a long life ahead – or a short one, if poured into a good glass and enjoyed right now. 19/20 38 DRINKSBIZ AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2019

Brand new Pinot Noir from a warm and early vintage in Martinborough, one of the smallest wine regions in New Zealand. One thing you can always rely on in Martinborough when it comes to grapes at harvest, is low crop levels. This means the wines tend to over-deliver in concentrated flavours and it’s certainly the case with this Pinot, which includes 48% of organically farmed grapes from the winery’s home vineyard. It’s light on colour with pronounced fruity aromas and a silky style. Drinks well now and will evolve well, given the chance. 18.5/20

For distributor details see Distributor Index on page 81.


Joelle Thomson

Journalist, wine writer and author

“Bolly” does it again Pinot Noir plays a starring role in a much anticipated new release wine from Bollinger, explains wine writer Joelle Thomson PINOT NOIR is such a popular red that many wine lovers are surprised to find it is the heart and soul of some of the world’s best bubbles. One of those is the new 2008 Bollinger La Grande Année, launched in New Zealand in late May. The commercial director of Champagne Bollinger, Guy de Rivoire, did a whirlwind tour of Auckland and Wellington to introduce the new “Bolly” to importers, restaurateurs, retailers and wine fans. Guy de Rivoire told me that the famous champagne house had always been flattered (not to mention surprised) by tv show Ab’ Fab’s completely independent promotion of “Bolly” but that the House itself had never used the abbreviation until recently, after realising how many people had embraced Patsy and Eddie’s catchcry: “Bolly, sweetie darling”. Bollinger’s New Zealand distributor, Negociants, (which has imported Bollinger since 1986) held exclusive dinners and lunches in Auckland and Wellington to showcase the new 2008 vintage wine. The 2008 Champagne Bollinger La Grande Année is a blend of 71% Pinot Noir and 29% Chardonnay from 18 different vineyards, mainly in Aÿ and Verzenay for Pinot Noir and Le Mesnil-surOger and Cramant for Chardonnay. It was 100% fermented in oak and aged for six years. It has eight grams of dosage per litre: dry, in other words. All of the company’s vintage wines (those made from grapes grown in a single year) are fermented in oak: older oak – no new wood flavours here, as the aim is gentle, slow oxidative fermentation rather than wood character. The vintage bubbles are also aged for significantly 40 DRINKSBIZ AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2019

Another factor that gives Bolly an edge, in my book, is that it relies more on Pinot Noir than Chardonnay.

longer than the legal minimum of three years set down for vintage champagne by the Comité interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne (CIVC). The vintage wines are drier than most champagnes too. This means less sweetness at dosage (when champagnes are topped up after being disgorged; that finicky process of removing lees sediment from bottles after ageing). All of this – the dryness, the longer ageing, the oak fermentation – adds up to better quality champagne that doesn’t rely on sweetness for flavour, but rather on the inimitable combo of freshness from lees ageing as the decomposing yeast cells break down, adding complex flavours. Another factor that gives Bolly an edge, in my book, is that it relies more on Pinot Noir than Chardonnay. These two great grapes are the key ingredients in champagne, along with Pinot Meunier. Pinot Noir gives body and savouriness and that’s what makes Bolly great. I love many Chardonnay-dominant champagnes, but

there’s something about Pinot bubbles that woos me. Bollinger was founded in 1829 and right from the start produced drier champagnes than its counterparts. It’s no surprise then, that in 2005 Bollinger bought Champagne Ayala, another brand known for dry bubbles. This Bollinger tasting opened a few eyes, including my own, in another way too. We tasted just four wines but it felt like six, due to the fact that two were served twice: first from standard 750ml bottles and, secondly, from magnums. Talk about a difference. I preferred the bubbles from the bigger bottles both times. Dry champagne is great champagne, provided it has enough oomph, body and power, which is where long lees ageing comes in. If you need an excuse to drink a great wine, here it is: 2008 Champagne Bollinger Grand Année. Negociants

@makers.anonymous Enjoy Responsibly



Tohu Whenua series – gift of the land A new series of premium single vineyard wines that champion artisan winemaking and intimate knowledge of the land is now available from Tohu Wines. TOHU WHENUA series is a range of eight wines, each carrying the name of a Tohu vineyard: Whenua Awa in the Upper Awatere Valley, Marlborough or Whenua Matua in Upper Moutere, Nelson. The varietals include Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, Albariño and Pinot Blanc and the wines are priced from RRP $29.99 to $41.99. “This is a special release for us and follows on from our celebration last year of 20 years since we launched the world’s first Māori-owned wine company,” says Rachel Taulelei, CEO of Tohu’s parent company, Kono. “The Whenua series is a gift from our land. Each wine in the series is an expression of the uniqueness of our tūranagawaewae, our standing place, and our connection to the land.” The wines’ labels are also inspired by traditional tukutuku (decorative panelling) patterns. Tohu chief winemaker, Bruce Taylor, says the Tohu Whenua wines are made

“As kaitiaki, guardians of our lands, we have spent a lot of time on our vineyards, understanding and nurturing each of the blocks.” – Bruce Taylor, Tohu chief winemaker from select parcels that represent the true characteristics of the land. “As kaitiaki, guardians of our lands, we have spent a lot of time on our vineyards, understanding and nurturing each of the blocks,” he says. “The grapes for the Whenua series are carefully selected from individual blocks. From there, the winemaking style is traditional and artisanal, allowing the distinctive characteristics of the grapes and the terroir to speak for themselves.” “The Tohu Whenua series is not only about showcasing excellent wine, it is also about sharing our story, our journey and our values,” says Ms Taulelei. “We have a rich history that has defined the Tohu purpose and vision.” The Kono sales team has embraced the principle of manaakitanga to guide how they introduce Tohu Whenua to trade partners, with a series of personalised tasting sessions held across Aotearoa. “They are sharing the stories of the people and the land behind the wine,” says Ms Taulelei. “People who enjoy premium wine also enjoy knowing the background of the wine and the people who have created it.”


Our Whenua Single Vineyard wines are a signature of the land and our love for it. As tangata whenua of Te Tauihu at the top of the South Island, we honour our ancestry, our environment and our future.


Unique sake at Masu

Yalumba chairman honoured with Maurice O’Shea Award

AUCKLAND RESTAURANT Masu has partnered with Queenstown-based, internationally awardwinning boutique sake producers, Zenkuro Sake to produce an exclusive sake for the Federal Street eatery. Zenkuro brewer David Joll, Masu chef Nic Watt and Fumi Nakatani, Masu’s Restaurant Manager and New Zealand’s only certified sake educator, teamed up to make the sake, which launched in late July. “At Masu, we pride ourselves on using the freshest, locally sourced ingredients, aiming to educate our diners and bring them on a journey of discovery. To be able to partner with a local sake supplier that is world class and can help us tell a whole new and unique story is a natural and exciting fit,” says Nic Watt. He says the sake has a versatile flavour profile that will pair with sashimi, robata grill items and other signature dishes at Masu. Zenkuro Sake is New Zealand’s first and only sake brewery. It produces a ginjo and junmai style of sake using water sourced from the Southern Alps. Zenkuro won its second top medal on the world stage last year at the London Sake Challenge, hot on the heels of winning gold and silver at the last event, held in 2016.

The Proprietor/Chairman of Australia’s oldest family owned winery, Yalumba (1849), Robert Hill Smith, has been awarded Australia’s prestigious Maurice O’Shea Award. Instigated by the McWilliam wine family in 1990 and named to commemorate one of Australia’s most iconic and revered winemakers, Mount Pleasant’s Maurice O’Shea, the award recognises the incredible service and contribution people or organisations have made to position Australia as a world leader in winemaking, cultivation, innovation and technology. Previous winners have included Max Schubert AM (1990), James Halliday AM (1995), Dr Wolf Blass AM (2000), and The Australian Screwcap Initiative (2012). Appointed Managing Director of Yalumba in 1985, Hill Smith was appointed to the board in 1988 and was named Chairman in 2015. He has been at the helm of Yalumba’s growth and success, formally recognised

for building a world-renowned wine education program (the Working with Wine Fellowship); protecting and enhancing the natural environment; wine export development via his international distribution business, Negociants; regional and community development and championing varietal and clonal diversity via establishment of the industry-leading Yalumba Nursery. A thought leader, creative marketer and proud South Australian, Hill Smith has given back to industry through his contribution on numerous industry bodies including the Winemakers Federation of Australia (WFA now AGWI) and as a foundation member of Australia’s First Families of Wine (AFFW) amongst others. “I accept this honour realising my name now sits alongside many incredible people who have served our Australian wine world with style, persistence and success,” said Hill Smith.

Jeff McWilliam with Robert Hill Smith

Taylors Wines launches wine app Family-owned Taylors Wines has refreshed its wine portfolio and launched a new mobile app to bring the winery to life for consumers. Its Taylors Estate, Jaraman and St Andrews ranges have been given a new look for the winery’s 50th anniversary and users can discover the history behind the 50-yearold winery through an AR animation feature. “This is an exciting new step into how devoted drinkers engage with Taylors Wines,” says third-generation Managing Director and Winemaker Mitchell Taylor. “The new application will give Taylors wine drinkers the opportunity to learn more about our family, our winery and the wine they are 44 DRINKSBIZ AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2019

enjoying. And we have some exciting plans to further develop the app experience in the future.” The mobile app allows wine drinkers to unlock the AR experience using the ‘scan’ feature with any bottle of Taylors Wines. Upon scanning and recognising the bottle, the application automatically initiates the animated AR feature of Taylors history. Purchasers of The Legacy 2014 (Taylors new super-premium Cabernet blend) will also be able to access the ‘verify’ feature to ensure the wine is authentic and unopened. The Taylors Wines mobile app is available on the Apple App and Google Play stores.


NZ vineyards in World’s Best NEW ZEALAND’S Rippon and Craggy Range vineyards were named amongst 50 of the world’s best at the inaugural World’s Best Vineyard Awards, announced in London in July. Rippon placed at #8 and was also named ‘Best Vineyard in Australasia’, while Craggy Range placed #11. Zuccardi Valle de Uco in Argentina was named ‘The World’s Best Vineyard’, taking the #1 spot and the title of ‘Best Vineyard in South America’. The judges described it as an: “Architectural gem of a winery complex, stunning views of the Andes range.” The Top 50 list was based on votes cast by The World’s Best Vineyards Academy, which is made up of nearly 500 leading wine aficionados, sommeliers, and luxury travel correspondents.

Chardonnay soars at New World Wine Awards Chardonnay entries have hit a new high at this year’s New World Wine Awards, with more than 180 wines submitted in the category. “It’s the first time in the awards’ 17-year history that the Chardonnay class has outpaced other popular varietals, overtaking New Zealand’s white-wine darling Sauvignon Blanc, and equalling Pinot Noir entries, to lead across all the classes,” says Chair of Judges Jim Harré. Approximately 90% of the Chardonnay wines and 70% of the total 1,420 wines entered in the New World Wine Awards this year are from New Zealand, with the balance from topproducing regions in France, Italy, Spain, Australia and the USA, among others. More than 170 wineries are represented. Mr Harré says this year’s numbers signal a big shift following a particularly successful year for Chardonnay in the 2018 awards. “Winemakers have been developing modern-style Chardonnay over recent years and we are now seeing the results.

These entry numbers are a sign of winemakers’ confidence in the quality of their Chardonnay, and of changing consumer tastes as more people embrace new versions of this old favourite.” Entries to the New World Wine Awards must retail for $25 or less, and there must be at least 4,000 bottles (or 2,000 for emerging varietals) available for sale through New World stores. A panel of 17 expert judges and seven associate judges will assess the entries and make collective scoring decisions according to the internationally-recognised 100point system. The ‘New World Wine Awards Top 50’ will be rewarded with distribution through New World stores nationwide. The best of the Top 50 will then be tasted once again by the entire judging panel to determine the Champions of each main varietal and an overall Champion Red and Champion White. The full results will be announced later in the year.


Fine wines at Hawke’s Bay Wine Celebration Don’t miss the opportunity to experience 37 of Hawke’s Bay’s boutique and estate wineries under one roof at the Hawke’s Bay Wine Celebration, to be held in Auckland and Wellington. Come along for a chance to really get to know Hawke’s Bay’s talented winemakers and wine experts, learn about their wines and chat about anything and everything from tasting tips to what’s hot from upcoming vintages! The more than 200 wines on show will include delicious Chardonnays, aromatic whites, red blends and Hawke’s Bay’s iconic Syrah. Whether you’re a Sommelier, Wine Buyer or a wine enthusiast wanting

to learn a little more, there will be something for everyone – including new release wines and special classics. Six new wineries are joining the line-up this year, including AC Wines (led by winemaking royalty Alwyn Corbyn, formerly from Ngatarawa), and Hancock & Sons, the new wine company started by John Hancock, founder of Trinity Hill. Other newbies to keep an eye out for include Alchemy Wines, Silverton Estate, Petane Wines and Bostock Organic Wines. These exclusive evenings, including tasting samples and canapés, will be a true celebration of Hawke’s Bay wine with

Hawke’s Bay Wine Celebration Trade and Hospitality sessions will be held from 2pm-5pm at both events. Invitation is by request only, contact for more information. Consumer tickets available through



4 September, 6pm-9pm Generator@GRDAKL, 12 Madden St, Wynyard Quarter

11 September, 6pm-9pm Harbourside Function Centre (Formerly Mac’s) 4 Taranaki St, Te Aro

special guests EIT proudly showing off their winemaking classes and courses, and the Hawke’s Bay Wine Awards pouring their “hard to come by” trophywinning wines. There is also a fabulous Hawke’s Bay weekend getaway for two up for grabs, so don’t miss your chance to win from the folks at Hawke’s Bay Tourism who will be on-hand to tell you all about Hawke’s Bay. Meet the Wineries: AC Wines Alchemy Wines Alpha Domus Askerne Babich Wines Beach House Wines Black Barn Vineyards Bostock Wines Church Road Clearview Estate Craggy Range Cypress Wines Easthope Family Wines Elephant Hill Esk Valley Estate Hancock & Sons Lime Rock Wines Linden Estate

Mills Reef Mission Estate Paritua Wines Pask Winery Petane Wines Redmetal Vineyards Sacred Hill Sileni Silverton Estate Smith & Sheth Stonecroft Te Awa Te Awanga Estate Te Mata Estate Tony Bish Wines Trinity Hill Unison Vineyards Vidal Estate Villa Maria Estate.




Makers Anonymous stands out with new Prosecco Set to stand out from the crowd with its impactful graffiti bottle design and clever play on words, wine brand Makers Anonymous launches a new varietal, Prosecco, in September. Each varietal has its own word play – with gold graffiti type scribbled over the label to create rebellious brand descriptors, Prosecco is overwritten to read ‘Poser’. This approach gives Makers Anonymous the opportunity to behave unlike any other wine brand, championing creativity and enticing conversation. That’s because Makers Anonymous believes that it’s not what goes into the wine that matters, it’s what you get out of it. Taking cues from the fashion industry, Makers Anonymous is building a cultural community that lives and breathes on social media and plays in the real world; popping up unexpectedly at parties, shows and openings and creating a visual, visceral world for its followers, co-creators and culture seekers.

Makers Anonymous Prosecco

A versatile sparkling white wine made in a slightly off-dry style from Australian grown Prosecco. Aroma and palate... This Prosecco is fruity and enticing, perfect for an evening that’s only just beginning. Appealing with aromas of fresh pear, lemon and orange blossom with some subtle toasted almond notes. A super crisp wine, with bright acidity and flavours of fresh apple and pear. Enjoy with… Good things come with time, so make sure to serve well-chilled. Prosecco is approachable and fun, so can be enjoyed while celebrating the little things in life, or the big. Treat yourself by pairing this Prosecco with prosciutto, stuffed mushrooms, seafood, fried fare and spicy Asian dishes. If you’re feeling more laid back, dial it down with some potato chips or buttered popcorn. Ideal drinking window... Why wait? Live in the moment. Drink this wine at peak freshness, within 1-2 years. Makers Anonymous Prosecco 11.7% ABV. Available 2nd September 2019

Pernod Ricard

Winejobsonline sources best harvest staff worldwide

Auckland Wednesday 22nd August Wellington Thursday 23rd August Book tickets at

Auckland Wednesday 22nd August Wellington Thursday 23rd August Auckland Wednesday 22nd August Book tickets at Wellington Thursday 23rd August Auckland Wednesday 22nd August Book tickets at

Wellington Thursday 23rd August Auckland: 4 September BookGenerator@GRDAKL tickets at

Wellington: 11 September Harbourside Function Venue Trade session 2pm-5pm Invitation by request Apply to Public session 6pm-9pm $50pp includes tastings and canapés Book tickets at

37 Hawke’s Bay Wineries • 200+ wines

RECRUITMENT FOR the 2020 harvest is now underway and New Zealand’s premier wine industry jobsite, winejobsonline, is in its 16th year of sourcing harvest staff from around the world for the country’s winemakers. The high quality and quantity of applicants being received through the site confirms New Zealand’s attractiveness as a location for wine industry workers to gain experience. It is estimated that close to 10,000 job applications will be received from 30 different countries as winemakers recruit staff over the next three to four months. Winejobsonline offers various harvest/vintage packages, and placing a job advertisement on the site is straightforward, stress-free and extremely costeffective. Employers can monitor advertisement views and applications and the volume of applicants ensures they have a wide range of jobseekers from which to choose. Find out more at

The Family Tree The Rose Family have pioneered and nurtured their vineyards for over 40 years and produce an outstanding family of award-winning wines. The very best that Marlborough has to offer.


The River's Edge

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A time of growth at te Pā Family Vineyards The te P whanau expands with its new Montford Estate range of wines

te Pā vineyard, Marlborough

The team at te P Family Vineyards of Marlborough have been working hard over the last few years, adding more premium wines to the flagship te P range, kicking off new product launches, including the P Road range which is flying off shelves across the country, and unveiling a fresh new look for its Koha line. With the latest addition to the family, Montford Estate, the team at te P offers wines of heritage, quality, authenticity, provenance, and exceptional value.

te Pā: Home for 800 years

Haysley MacDonald, owner of te P Family Vineyards, is a direct descendant of the first M ori people to arrive in New Zealand, some 800 years ago. They settled on the Wairau Bar area in Marlborough and ever since, his people have lived on and from, the land. This is a family of intergenerational farmers, growers, kai moana gatherers, and hunters. Haysley took the reins when he planted grapes on his family land near the Wairau Bar in 2003, going on to launch the te P brand in 2011 to critical acclaim. Today, te P has over 400 hectares of vineyards planted across the Marlborough region, including the picturesque home vineyard in the lower Wairau Valley, a large vineyard on the undulating slopes of the Awatere Valley, plus several smaller pockets planted throughout the worldfamous wine region. te P has grown to include the full range of New Zealand’s most popular wine varietals, and in late 2018, Haysley and chief winemaker Sam Bennett launched the te P Reserve Collection, which features single vineyard, handpicked wines that reflect their terroir through a pure-fruited expression of Marlborough’s best sub-regions.


Pā Road: The rising star of New Zealand wine

The P Road range was launched by te P in late 2016, and has become synonymous with quality, acclaim and value for money. The inaugural 2014 P Road Pinot Noir won the Wine of the Show at the Marlborough Wine Show in 2016, which set the scene for the range before it was even launched to trade. As one of the fastest growing New Zealand wine brands, the rise of the P Road range can be attributed to a track record of awards and reviews, strong sell-out rates, classic branding, and a proactive nationwide distribution partner with Beverage Brothers, who support the brand in-stores and with sales partners. Available nationwide in grocery and liquor outlets, P Road is fast becoming a household name.

Koha: Fresh new look embraces Kiwi hospitality

Traditionally te P ’s export-focused brand, Koha is a carefully curated range of wines that offer a taste of the small island nation from which it hails. In early 2019, the Koha label was refreshed to create

a sophisticated, pared back look that highlights the intricate silver fern leaf, and allows the quality of the wine to speak for itself. The new label has been well-received by trade and wine lovers alike, and Koha is now carving out its own niche and picking up pace domestically, as a beautiful Pacific-inspired brand that encourages wine drinkers to share it with family and friends and to embrace the spirit of Kiwi hospitality.

Montford Estate: Pure-fruited wines from NZ's heartland

The journey of te P and its growing family of wines continues with the introduction of the Montford Estate range. With a beautiful story from the heartland of New Zealand, the wines are purefruited, with a simple, honest, and refined label to showcase the best of regional New Zealand. Find it in outlets across New Zealand from August 2019 onwards, launching with a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc (RRP $19.99), Marlborough Pinot Gris (RRP $19.99) and Hawke’s Bay Merlot Cabernet (RRP $24.99).


Cold comfort


Warming brews, refreshing ales and punchy ciders are all on the menu (and in the chiller) this winter



Note: Beers and ciders are listed by % ABV

Beer Garage Project Weird Flex 3% ABV, 330ml RRP $4.50 Garage Project

Grapefruit, cucumber and celery combine in this clean, sparkling sour beer created especially for Burger Wellington 2019. Weird Flex is kettle-soured and infused with fresh grapefruit, cucumber, celery and a touch of salt to make an approachable, refreshing beer. Serve it as a contrast to richer dishes (a hefty burger, for example), or pair with delicate seafood. Garage Project Golden Path 4% ABV, 330ml RRP $4.99 Garage Project

A juicy, hazy, hop bomb with a surprisingly restrained alcohol content. Another Garage Project creation for Burger Wellington 2019, this hazy IPA has a generous addition of Golden Naked Oats and Mosaic, Columbus and Strata hops for a flavoursome beer with balance and body.

Steinlager Pure Ultra 4.6% ABV, 330ml 12-pack RRP $24.99 Lion

The Fermentist KPA (Kiwi Pale Ale) 4.8% ABV, 500ml RRP $7.99 Lion

The new lower carb offering from Steinlager even has a sleeker label design. Boasting 50% less carbs, you’d be forgiven for expecting a compromise on taste, but it has perhaps even more flavour than the original. It seems to be slightly more malty and with a subtle bite. As well as the reduced carbs, it’s also dialled back on the alcohol content, making this a more sessionable lager too, and one that will no doubt find many fans.

The Fermentist’s KPA (Kiwi Pale Ale) arrives in a big 500ml bottle with a beautiful, gold-accented green label. The nose is floral goodness, while it pours very pale and golden in the glass. The flavour is a burst of muted fruit with good bitterness to balance. This is a very drinkable IPA that would pair well with salty snacks or delicately spiced dishes.

Mac’s Rockaway Pacific Pale Ale 4.7% ABV, 330ml 6-pack RRP $14.99, 12-pack RRP $26.99 Lion

Dreamy days on a South Pacific beach seem far away in the depths of winter, but Mac’s are bringing back the summer vibe with their Rockaway Pacific Pale Ale. A golden drop in the glass, this is a very drinkable, sessionable ale. There is an ever so slight haze and subtle hints of citrus to maintain freshness. Would be a brilliant accompaniment to seafood and fish dishes.

Stangen Schwarz 4.9% ABV, 500ml can RRP $2.50 Beer Labels

A new addition to the market from Germany, this is one of three releases from Stangen now available here (also a Weiss and a Lager). Pouring a deep, reddish black, this approachable beer has a subtle roasty aroma and flavours of roasted coffee. Stangen Weiss 4.9% ABV, 500ml can RRP $2.50 Beer Labels

This German beer presents in a sleek, modern can. It’s a cloudy wheat beer in true Bavarian style. A lightly fruity aroma leads to a refreshing, easy drinking beer.



Baltika Three to Mango 5% ABV, 440ml RRP $3.99 Q Liquid

Panhead Sucky Monmon 5.2% ABV, 330ml 6-pk RRP $19.99 Lion

There’s a super-fruity nose on this Russian beer, but not just the tropical fruits and pine you’d expect: it’s more floral, with hints of lemon and even strawberry. It pours very pale with flavours of dried mango and hints of lemon cheesecake. Would pair well with Thai food.

This new release seems a bit of a departure for Panhead. Arriving in a stylish silver can, there’s a graphic on the front of a terrifying blue creature and it’s not until you read the label that you find the beer is dedicated to bad tattoos. (“No regerts”, anyone?) The beer itself is a take on Japanese lager and is light, crisp and refreshing. It has all the right hallmarks, with a touch of biscuity malt and lipsmacking freshness. Pair with Japanese dishes, or bar snacks of edamame beans and lots of salt.

Garage Project Kuro 5% ABV, 330ml RRP $4.50 Garage Project

A Japanese-inspired black lager, brewed with pilsner malt, special debittered black malt, rice syrup, Kuro Sato (Japanese black sugar) and tamari. Smooth and dark with a subtle touch of umami. Kuro was created for Burger Wellington 2019 to pair with any rich, juicy, caramelised burger, or to contrast with lighter seafood burgers without overwhelming them. The Fermentist American Brown Ale 5.2% ABV, 500ml RRP $7.99 Lion

The Fermentist is a brewery based in Christchurch’s Sydenham and it’s developed an excellent line in interesting takes on classic styles. Their American Brown Ale is all roasted chocolatey malts on the nose and pours a deep brown. The sweet notes continue on the palate, with the roasty character particularly pronounced. A real winner of a winter beer. Savour at the end of the night, or pair with a chocolatey dessert.


Baltika Gold #5 5.3% ABV, 450ml RRP $2.99 Q Liquid

Saint Petersburg’s finest return with a golden offering that brings to mind a summer’s afternoon next to the Baltic seashore. This is a classic light lager with fruit at the back of the mouth and light hop characteristics. Crisp and refreshing, Baltika continues to produce crowd pleasers that will find plenty of fans in Kiwi consumers.

Black Dog ‘Bean Me Up’ Mocha Stout 5.4% ABV, 30L keg DB

A collaboration between Black Dog’s brewers, the Wellington Chocolate Factory and Wellington institution Havana Coffee Works, with each contribution evident from the first drop. The stout has chocolate and coffee in abundance and a bitter leather and tobacco finish. The brewers recommend ordering it slightly ahead of time and letting it come up to temperature to really release the flavour profile. An excellent winter beer. Stangen Lager 5.4% ABV, 500ml RRP $2.50 Beer Labels

A golden full-bodied lager from German brand Stangen. Light and refreshing, it is rounded in the mouth with a hint of sweetness. Baltika Rye Ale 5.6% ABV, 440ml RRP $3.99 Q Liquid

A rich, deep brown beer with notes of sweet malt. Malted rye has been substituted for some of the barley, giving it depth and a rounded character. It’s easy drinking with a rye finish that's reminiscent of whiskey. A good winter warmer of a beer.


Emerson’s Hazed and Confused 5.8% ABV, 330ml RRP $4.49 Emerson’s

Sprig & Fern Belgian Saison 5.8% ABV, 888ml RRP $11.99 Sprig & Fern

Epic Gin Boss Juniper IPA 6.2% ABV, 440ml RRP $7.99 Epic Brewing

What’s this? Have Emerson’s gone all ‘cool-kid’ on us? Their Hazed and Confused arrives in a psychedelic purple can looking more like a Jimi Hendrix album cover than their usual low-key Dunedin fare. It says ‘Cloudy IPA’ on the can and it’s just that in the glass: hazy, juicy, hoppy and packed with citrus and pine. It still retains that Emerson’s drinkability though – an excellent example of the veteran showing the new kids how it’s done.  

A very easy drinking take on the classic Belgian Saison. Arriving in Sprig & Fern’s new 888ml bottle, it pours a tawny golden brown in the glass. The usual saison spice and fruit is dialled back, but it retains much of that wheaty character that marks it as a Flanders brew. A delicious drop. Serve with green-lipped mussels or a cheese and cured meats platter.

While the rest of the crowd goes hazy or sour with their IPAs, Epic has embraced the fragrant botanicals you’d usually find in gin. This creation comes as Epic brewer Luke Nicholas’ gin business, Hidden World, really hits its straps. His wife Wendy now manages the gin side of things and the beer is named after her: “Gin Boss”. Made with juniper berries, cardamom and Mandarina hops from Germany, this is a light, effervescent drop that sparkles on the tongue.

Good George Fog City Hazy IPA 5.8% ABV, 946ml RRP $16.99 Good George

Anyone who’s spent a winter in Hamilton will know the city’s propensity to regularly blanket itself in thick pillows of dense fog. As a tribute, Waikato brewers Good George have produced ‘Fog City’ – an on-trend hazy IPA. The lack of filtration to create the haze has left a smooth, creamy IPA with fine pine and citrus flavours.  

Black Dog Lone Wolf Citra ‘Single Hopped IPA’ 6.2% ABV, 30L keg DB

Wellington brewers Black Dog have really gone for it with this one. The amber drop has a huge, pungent burst of pine and resin on the nose that says ‘this is a serious IPA’. It’s focused on the Citra hop (grown in Yakima, Washington), which has trademark grapefruit, lime and tropical flavours. There’s a big bitterness that slams into the back of the jaw and really lets you know you’ve got a connoisseur’s IPA in your hand.

While the rest of the crowd goes hazy or sour with their IPAs, Epic has embraced the fragrant botanicals you’d usually find in gin, for its Gin Boss Juniper IPA.

Epic Hop Farmer IPA 6.2% ABV, 330ml RRP $5.99 Epic Brewing

This new brew from Epic was made initially for the Smith’s Craft Beer House NZIPA competition in Queenstown, using Pacific Jade and Nelson Sauvin hops. The Sauvin shines through with its juicy, tropical aroma leaping from the glass and filling the mouth with refreshing hoppy flavour that lingers. Deep Creek Strength Mountain IPA 6.5% ABV, 440ml RRP $7.99 Hancocks

A limited release from Deep Creek’s ‘Totem’ range of West Coast style IPAs. This style of beer is called a Mountain IPA, inspired by the Rocky Mountain ranges in the USA. Unfiltered, with citrus upfront, a touch of honeydew and a balanced underlying bitterness.



Deep Creek Sensei Hazy IPA 6.5% ABV, 440ml RRP $7.99 Hancocks

Sensei is the third release in Deep Creek’s ‘Haiku’ range of Hazy IPAs and is made with all New Zealand hops. Juicy aromas of papaya and pineapple run through on the palate, on top of a juicy malt base. Panhead Rat Rod Hazy IPA 6.5% ABV, 330ml 6-pk RRP $24.99 Lion

Panhead says that in hot rodding, a Rat Rod is a “chopped, low slung, rough and rusty special, designed for ‘go’ more than show”. I think they’re being a little tough on their hazy IPA, which is a genuine delight. The haze is subtle, but the taste it generates cannot be mistaken. The sweet citrus flavours come across as a fizzy, juicy jumble and send you back to the glass for more. Would pair well with most barbecued meats or spicy Thai curries. Recommended. ParrotDog ‘Terry’ Coco-Cacoa Stout 6.5% ABV, 440ml RRP $8.99 ParrotDog

This chocolatey stout is made with dark malts, coconut thread and cacao nibs. It pours rich and dark with a luxurious chocolate aroma and a bitter/sweet palate. Ideal winter drinking.


Emerson’s Fall on Deaf Ears has been created to coincide with the release of a new book about the Dunedin brewery’s founder, Richard Emerson. Emerson’s Fall on Deaf Ears 6.6% ABV, 330ml can RRP $5.49 plus keg Emerson’s

Sprig & Fern Game Changer 6.7% ABV, 888ml RRP $12.99 Sprig & Fern

This East Coast IPA has been created to coincide with the release of a new book about Emerson’s founder Richard Emerson. Written by award-winning beer writer (and Drinksbiz columnist) Michael Donaldson, Richard Emerson: The Hopfather tells the story behind the man and the brand. (See page 21 for more.) Fall on Deaf Ears East Coast IPA is a balance of English malt and American hops, and fermented with Richard Emerson’s favourite yeast strain, 1968 London ESB. It has a rich malt sweetness, citrus and fruity American hop character and a little hop bitterness.

This US Strong Pale Ale was brewed as Sprig & Fern’s entry in the annual West Coast IPA Challenge. It is packed with hops for a bold, juicy flavour.

Epic Tank Sample IPA 6.6% ABV, 440ml RRP $8.99 Epic Brewing

This is Epic’s second Hazy and they call it a “new interpretation” of what a Hazy IPA can be. Cyro Citra hops give it a delicious citrus twist. Hazy, juicy and with low bitterness, it’s a super refreshing drop.

Baltika Chocolate Stout 7% ABV, 440ml RRP $3.99 Q Liquid

This is a delicious dessert of a beer. The nose is boozy with heaps of chocolate, calling to mind an after dinner liqueurfilled chocolate. It’s a deep, ruby-tinged black in the glass and the rich chocolate flavour fills the mouth. Sunshine Brewing Saison du Brut 7% ABV, keg only Vintners

This Viognier barrel-aged Brut Saison was created to blur the lines between hop and vine. It’s light and bright with a refreshing dryness. There are aromas of stone fruit from Hallertau Blanc hops, fruity esters from French saison yeast and a subtle oak character from ageing in ex-Viognier barrels.


Sawmill Weizenbock 7.8% ABV, 500ml RRP $11.99 Sawmill Brewery

Sawmill have quietly become one of the best breweries in the country, and their Weizenbock is a clear demonstration of why. Essentially a winter wheat beer, Sawmill have packed in all the good wintry flavours they could. Out of the typically classy Sawmill bottle emerges a rich, complex deep brown beer with chocolate and coffee notes smuggled in via the roasted malts. A little sweetness is cut through by spicy citrus and you’re left shaking your head at how drinkable this brew is – even with its big 7.8% ABV. Recommended. ParrotDog ‘Janice’ IIPA 8.5% ABV, 440ml RRP $8.99 ParrotDog

Part of the ParrotDog ‘Reincanation’ line-up, ‘Janice’ is a big, bright and lively IIPA packing a tropical, citrus punch on the nose that persists on the palate. Refreshing and bursting with zesty and lush hop character.

CIDER Monteith’s Dark Fruit & Cider 4.5% ABV, 330ml 12-pack RRP $27.99 DB

Peckham’s Phantasmic 8.4% ABV, 330ml RRP $5.99, 750ml RRP $19.99 Peckham’s

Monteith’s Dark Fruit & Cider is a double proposition. The brewers suggest mulling it with spices, honey and orange, and it really delivers a spicy winter warmer that’s perfect for the colder months. Or, you can drink it chilled over ice. In this form it pours a dark pink and makes you think you’re in for one of those highly perfumed fruit ciders. On the contrary, delicious flavours of plum, blackcurrant and blackberry come through, without excessive sweetness. Recommended.  

Nelson artisan cider makers Peckham’s continue to produce interesting, true ciders and expand the form even further. With their Phantasmic, they’ve taken Kingston Black, Knotted Kernel, Browns, Harry Master’s Jersey and Chisel Jersey cider apples and matured the juice in apple brandy barrels. After 10 months in oak the result is a complex drop that remains highly drinkable, but with care at 8.4% ABV. An excellent aperitif.

Zeffer Plum & Ginger Infused Cider 4.8% ABV, 1L RRP $12.99 Zeffer

A new limited seasonal release cider made with crushed Hawke’s Bay apples, dark plums and infused with ginger root. The cider pours a pretty pink in the glass and has a lively aroma of apple and ginger with a deeper, almost earthy plum note. There’s restrained sweetness on the palate, tending to dry, with a warming character from the ginger. The Fermentist Cider 5% ABV, 500ml RRP $7.99 Lion

The Fermentist, as the name suggests, isn’t just about beers – it’s about fermentation in all its wonderful forms, and its cider doesn’t disappoint. Pouring ultra-pale and straw-coloured, this cool and slow fermented drop is a tart, slightly grassy number that really packs a punch. Will really come into its own in summer.

Peckham’s Gone West 9.4% ABV, 330ml RRP $5.99, 750ml RRP $19.99 Peckham’s

Along the same lines as the Phantasmic, Peckham’s have pushed the boat out even further with their Gone West. The cider apple has been restricted to just Kingston Blacks but the wild yeast remains, imparting that unmistakable Peckham’s musk. The Gone West is then aged for 10 months in bourbon barrels, bringing it up to a substantial 9.4% ABV, and adding distinctive whisky notes around the edges of this dry, earthy cider. The two size formats are a bonus.

For distributor details see Distributor Index on page 81. DRINKSBIZ AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2019 55


Michael Donaldson

Beer Writer of the Year, journalist and author

A visit to the dark side Winter is synonymous with dark beers, but some punters can be reluctant to try them. Michael Donaldson explains why there’s no need to be afraid of the dark.

LIKE THE infamous dark side of the moon, the dark side of beer is largely misunderstood. For instance, the dark side of the moon is not, in fact, always dark: it gets ample sunshine. It’s known as the ‘dark side’ because it always faces away from Earth and so we don’t see what’s there – hence all the conspiracy theories about what might be there, like Russian bases or aliens. And so it is with dark beer too – a lack of understanding is responsible for theories that simply don’t hold up to scrutiny. Probably the most often repeated phrase I’ve heard is simply: “I don’t like dark beers”. That has a lot to do with early exposure to Guinness. The charry, thinbodied Dublin icon is not to everyone’s taste (though there are plenty who love it), but to define all dark beer by the benchmark of Guinness is a big mistake. There’s nothing to be afraid of when it comes to dark beer. The usual stereotypes – that it’s heavy, high in alcohol and is going to make you fat – are all disproven. It’s better to think about dark beer in terms of flavours, rather than colours and their connotations. When malt is kilned at higher temperatures and for a longer time relative to pale malt, you get dark colours and an array of flavours ranging from biscuit to chocolate to coffee, to that charry Guinness note. How these malts are used, along with other additives (‘adjuncts’ they call them in the brewing world) such as cacao nibs, cocoa, coffee (espresso, cold brew, raw beans), vanilla 56 DRINKSBIZ AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2019

and spices will determine the final flavour and mouthfeel. The beauty of dark malts is that they can handle having adjuncts thrown at them. Dark beers are a more forgiving and welcoming canvas than lager or pilsner, so brewers can indulge their passion for creativity. Dark beers age well too, with oxygen exposure taking dark malts on a journey that includes characters such as raisin, tobacco, cold tea, leather, vanilla and port or sherry. They love being in barrels too (bourbon, whisky, Pinot Noir, Shiraz),

Dark beers love being in barrels too, where they can take on an extra layer of decadence. where the beer can take on extra layer of decadence. Dark beers are like the desserts of the brewing world and there are plenty out there now with all sorts of cute flavours, like cherry, peanut butter and chocolate mousse. Finally, a common question around dark beers is the difference between a porter and a stout. After all, they look the same to the untrained eye. Put it this way: they are from the same family, brothers in fact, but with different personalities. Porter is the gentler, quieter brother, while

stout is the more abrasive, louder one. To really understand the difference we have to go back to the 18th century when porter was popular in Britain. There was plain porter and a stronger version called stout porter. Over the years, brewers started to drop the word ‘porter’ altogether, so punters were left with a choice of ‘plain’ or ‘stout’. One of the ways stout split properly from porter was thanks to Guinness, which started life as a stout porter. Back then, brewers paid tax on the malt they used rather than the alcohol content, so to get around paying too much tax, Arthur Guinness brewed his stout porter with less malt but added roasted, unmalted (and untaxed) barley, which gives Guinness its distinctive ashy note that was out of character for the style. To get a real handle on porter try Emerson’s London Porter for a great introduction. It’s easy-drinking and smooth, with a hint of bitter chocolate and a surprisingly light and dry finish. On the stout side, did you know Oyster Stout was a Kiwi invention? According to beer historian Michael Jackson it was dreamed up in Southland more than 100 years ago. Nowadays, plenty of breweries try their hand with oysters, clams, mussels, and even kina. The ultimate expression is Three Boys Oyster Stout, where the briny character blends with the chocolate and caramel malts to create a modern, sumptuous flavour. Dark and mysterious the beers may be, but at least they’re no longer misunderstood.


New on the shelf

When whisky meets beer

Richard Emerson: The Hopfather by Michael Donaldson.

HALLERTAU BREWERY and craft spirits distiller Thomson Whisky have teamed up to launch a limited edition Whisky Barrel Aged Double Stout. They’ve combined brewing and barrel ageing techniques to create the Double Stout,

A fantastic insight into the story of Dunedin’s Richard Emerson and how he overcame the barriers of his profound deafness, discovering a passion and skill for brewing, and going on to establish what is now one of New Zealand’s iconic breweries. Read more page 21. Penguin NZ – RRP $45

which has a malt bill of Gladfield NZ Ale Malt, Crystal, Chocolate, and roasted barley. After brewing, it was put down to age in ex-Thomson whisky barrels. Full-bodied, rich and savoury, the Double Stout has aromas of bitter chocolate,

dense espresso and char from the oak barrel. On the palate there is lingering coffee, oak and whisky character. Hallertau Thomson Whisky Barrel Aged Double Stout. 10% ABV, 330ml RRP $8.99. Hallertau

DB to add Kingfisher

Future and past from Steinlager

DB Breweries has confirmed it will add Kingfisher Beer to its New Zealand portfolio from February 2020. It will distribute Kingfisher to New Zealand and Australia. Kingfisher is owned by United Breweries, an Indian conglomerate based in Bangalore. Peter Simons, DB’s Managing Director, says Kingfisher will be an exciting addition to DB’s product offering and the company has been chosen to distribute the product because of its ability to drive growth in the premium beer category. “United Breweries were impressed by DB’s footprint in New Zealand, and know that brewing, marketing and selling high quality premium beer to Kiwi adults is in our DNA. We are excited to be taking on the brand and are preparing to lift its profile as part of our wider portfolio.”  Kingfisher beer was launched in 1978 and is the prevalent beer of choice in India. It is available in 52 countries.

There’s something old and something new from Steinlager as it introduces a new lower carb Steinlager Pure, and revives its iconic white can for the upcoming Rugby World Cup. Steinlager Pure Ultra is a full-flavoured lager with 50% less carbs at 4.6% ABV. It’s available now for RRP $24.99 per 12-pack. Meanwhile, rugby fans will be reassured to see the return of Steinlager’s white can for the Rugby World Cup, which kicks off in Japan in September. The white can was first produced in 1981 and was also revived for the All Black’s successful 2015 Rugby World Cup campaign. RRP $22.99 per 12-pack.



The Art of Beer The chaps at Garage Project undertook the unenviable task of selecting just 100 of their more than 400 beers in a showcase of the incredible art that has adorned the bottles and cans over the past eight years. It’s a behind the scenes look at the brews and the art, with plenty of hidden treats and little known facts revealed along the way. Read more page 82. Penguin NZ – RRP $42


Sunshine Brewing – 30 years young New Zealand’s original craft lager is marking 30 years since its creation and still enjoys its place in the sun at Gisborne’s own Sunshine Brewing IN THE late 1980s, when New Zealand’s beer landscape was dominated by big breweries, a little bit of Gisborne sunshine radiated onto the brewing scene. Not content with the mainstream beers available at the time, Geoff Logan and Gerry Maude had decided to reinvigorate the brewing industry in Gisborne and embarked on a mission to create a beer from all natural ingredients – a beer that championed flavour over profit. In September of 1989, Sunshine Brewing and its flagship beer Gisborne Gold were born.

Gisborne and beyond Gisborne Gold was a sessionable, golden, all malt lager brewed with only malt, hops, yeast and water. It was made to be a flavour-driven beer that could quench thirsts on the beach after a surf, or once the tie came off in the fancy big city bars. Thirty years on, the country’s oldest independently made craft lager continues to do just that. Little did they realise, but Geoff and Gerry’s dream of a Gisborne beer would put them and their small brewery in the vanguard of a new age in New Zealand beer. After its launch, Gisborne Gold steadily won over the locals then expanded to Wellington, where early adopters at Bar Bodega, The Malthouse and Regional Wines soon discovered it and helped fuel demand for more independent beers. Gisborne Gold quickly cemented its place in New Zealand’s beer history and remains a beloved brew today.

The sun still shines Back in Gisborne, 2019 has been a big year for the still independently owned Sunshine Brewery. It has invested heavily in its operations with a new brewery manager (Dave Huff, previously of Hallertau), a new state of the art brewhouse (the first from American Brewing Equipment to be commissioned in New Zealand) and new branding across the range, to reflect Sunshine’s philosophy and origins. “We’ve been heavily focused on where we're heading in the future and positioning ourselves to remain at the forefront in an increasingly competitive industry,” says General Manager (and

Brewer Dave Huff (right) with assistant Josie Hicks at Sunshine Brewing

Gisborne local) Joe Williams. “It’s nice to be able to take a moment to reflect on our history as we approach our 30th anniversary, a milestone most independent breweries can only dream of.”

Going for Gold In a market known for its ever-changing trends, Sunshine Brewing’s flagship Gisborne Gold has shown incredible longevity, with its continued strong local and national following. “We’re seeing a big return of this style in the industry,” says Williams. “A no-nonsense, easy drinking lager that suits all occasions.” The beer’s style also demonstrates the skill of the brewer – without big complex malt bills or loads of hops there is nothing to hide behind: if there is a fault or a lack of balance it stands out.

“We’re lucky to have a loyal following that have been drinking it for all of those 30 years and will quickly tell us if there is the slightest variation. We’d get chased out of town if we changed it,” says Williams. “We respect that and are stoked that they still support us after all this time. “While we love pushing boundaries with our seasonal releases there will always be a place for these more sessionable styles. We now have a regular production line-up of 15 beers and produce a new special release at least once a month, but Gold will always have a special place in our hearts and in those of our followers.” Vintners

Gisborne Gold Enjoyed in the sun, since 1989. It was called “Gold” because it came first. Part local legend, part New Zealand icon – Gisborne Gold is a lightly hopped drop with a solid malt backbone guaranteed to quench any hard-earned thirst. Malt: Pilsner, Crystal Hops: Green bullet, Dr Rudi, Motueka ABV: 3.8%



Peroni recruits for NZFW ambassador ITALIAN BEER brand Peroni Nastro Azzurro is building on its New Zealand Fashion Week presence by offering aspiring fashion industry creatives a chance to be the brand’s ambassador; creating content and taking over its social media channels during the week-long event in Auckland in late August. Peroni asked entrants to submit an Instagram post responding to the brief “Show us your Peroni style”. The winner (to be announced August 19) will be judged by a panel comprising NZFW founder Dame Pieter Stewart and Peroni Brand Ambassador Admir Mullaaliu. “Effortless style, creativity and authenticity are at the core of the Peroni Nastro Azzurro brand,” says Admir Mullaaliu. “Peroni is the champion of style, so it’s a natural fit to be a part of New Zealand Fashion Week for another year, and

we’re very excited to be offering an Ambassadorship for the first time. “We want to give someone a unique opportunity and platform to take their fashion career aspirations to the next level.” The successful candidate will receive tickets to all onsite shows, event and party invitations, flights and accommodation, a dedicated assistant and Mercedes Benz cars and drivers. They will take over Peroni’s social media channels for the week, creating content and sharing a behind the scenes glimpse of NZFW as Peroni New Zealand Fashion Week Ambassador. Peroni New Zealand has been a sponsor of Fashion Week for the past three years and will again host its Peroni Bar at the 2019 event.


Rockaway from winter with Mac’s Mac’s is thumbing its nose at winter with the release of its new Rockaway Pacific Pale Ale. It’s a light and refreshing pale ale with tropical notes of citrus, peach and passionfruit and a well-balanced bitterness. Mac’s has used a unique variety of Australian-bred Galaxy hops for the tropical aroma. Combined with lager and crystal malts, plus about 25% rolled wheat, the beer pours a light-golden colour with a faint haze, creamy head of foam and light notes of citrus. Recommended pairings are crayfish and mango salad, sweet chilli chicken skewers, coconut ceviche or some fish and chips. Mac’s Rockaway Pacific Pale Ale is available in 6-packs at RRP $14.99 and 12-packs at RRP $26.99. ABV 4.7%. Lion


Corona collab supports Bali ban Corona, Parley for the Oceans and World Surf League have partnered with a series of pro-surfers and artists to create a range of limited-edition reusable bags made from Ocean Plastic, which will support the ban of single-use plastic in Bali. The bags are designed by Stephanie Gilmore, Gabriel Medina (pictured) and Rosy Hodge in partnership with artists Nadia Hernandez, Speto and Gemma O’Brien. The sale of each bag funds the donation of three reusable bags to the Balinese community, and the removal of more than 20 bottles worth of plastic from oceans and coastlines. Bali recently announced a ban of all single-use plastic, so Balinese and visitors to Bali will now have to rely exclusively on reusable bags. This initiative aims to provide local households with reusable alternatives, to help with the transition. The limited-edition bags are available to purchase online at


Monteith’s Phoenix now on tap Monteith’s Phoenix Indian Pale Ale is now available in 30 litre kegs, following its successful launch in bottle. The 5% ABV IPA was released in 2018 to mark 150 years of brewing on the West Coast and is made with American Simcoe, Chinook and Citra hops. In June, Monteith’s Phoenix IPA was the current number one selling IPA pack in supermarkets*. *Based on Nielsen Scantrack, IPA Beer segment, total NZ Supermarkets, Year to date to June 2, 2019


Sprig & Fern to open in Berhampore SPRIG & Fern Brewery has announced a new Sprig & Fern Tavern will be opening in Berhampore, Wellington in August. It will be the 12th bar under the Sprig & Fern brand umbrella and will be owned by Lee Fern, who also owns the Sprig & Fern Tavern in Hardy St, Nelson CBD. “I have been looking at expanding with the Sprig & Fern brand for a while, but was waiting for the right location,” says Lee Fern. “This site is a great opportunity to take our brand to the Berhampore community and showcase all Sprig & Fern has to offer.” The new tavern, at 461 Adelaide Road in Berhampore, will have 19 taps of Sprig & Fern craft beer and cider, including multiple limited releases and the new Sprig & Fern nitro offering. As with all other Sprig & Fern Taverns, the new Berhampore location will not offer televisions, pool tables or pokies. Sprig & Fern Tavern Berhampore is due to open mid to late August.

Drink sustAinAblY. Don’t exceed Your quotA.







e l tt o b a n i Treasure From super premium to great value options for mixed drinks, there’s an ever-growing range of rums available in New Zealand


Black Heart played a part in New Zealand’s naval history, as the official rum in the days when sailors enjoyed a free daily rum ration. UP TO RRP $50 Havana Club Añejo 3 Años 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $36.99 Pernod Ricard

Aged for three years, this rum has an intense nose of banana and smoked oak, with flavours of smoke, vanilla and chocolate. Havana Club Especial 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $36.99 Pernod Ricard

A golden rum that is rich, round and creamy with notes of vanilla, caramel and a hint of wood thanks to a second finish (double ageing) in young white oak barrels before the final blend. Black Heart Dark Rum 37.5% ABV, 1L RRP $37.99 Independent Liquor

A smooth rum, with a rich, strong flavour. Black Heart also played a part in New Zealand’s naval history, as it was the official rum in the days when sailors enjoyed a free daily rum ration.

Stolen Dark 37.5% ABV, 1L RRP $38.99 Stolen Rum

Stolen White 37.5% ABV, 700ml RRP $40.99 Stolen Rum

A lighter, smoother version of the traditionally heavy, naval-style dark rums. Stolen Dark is aged for a minimum of two years in ex-whiskey charred oak barrels. Demerara caramel provides its deep colour, along with lightly toasted sweet caramel aromas on the nose and honeyed texture.

Barrel aged for a minimum of two years and then carbon filtered to remove any trace of colour or impurities. Aromas of cocoa and fruit, which persist on the palate too, with a sweet delicate mouth feel.

Matusalem Platino 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $40 EuroVintage

A triple-distilled double-filtered white rum with a clean taste and subtle flavour. Notes of vanilla and brown sugar on the nose, smooth and creamy on the palate with fruity flavours, a hint of vanilla and a dry finish. Stolen Gold 37.5% ABV, 700ml RRP $40.99 Stolen Rum

A smooth, full-bodied and versatile gold rum. Aged for a minimum of two years in ex-whiskey charred oak barrels. Aromas of butterscotch and cinnamon spice; smooth and buttery on the palate with notes of toffee apple.

Bacardi Carta Blanca 37.5% ABV, 1L RRP $44.99 Lion

This classic Cuban white rum is a mainstay behind bars the world over. Aromas of tropical fruit with distinctive vanilla and almond notes alongside banana and apricot. Ideal for a classic mojito. Bacardi Carta Oro 40% ABV, 1L RRP $44.99 Lion

This golden rum was used in the original Cuba Libre, made to celebrate the end of the Cuban War of Independence. Ageing in toasted oak barrels gives its golden hue and mellow flavours of vanilla, buttery caramel, toasted almond and sweet banana, balanced by orange zest and a light oaky finish.



Bacardi Oakheart Spiced Rum 40% ABV, 1L RRP $44.99 Lion

Black Magic 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $44.99 Hancocks

A new release from Bacardi in which the rum is aged for at least a year in specially selected charred American oak barrels then charcoal filtered and blended with spices. It has a hint of barrel smoke, subtle dried fruit and intense sweet creamy butterscotch on the palate with a slightly peppery finish.

A blend of light and dark rums made in the Caribbean. Aromas of caramel, spice, cinnamon and vanilla lead to flavours of rich fruit cake and a long finish of vanilla and brown sugar.

Brands Ableforth’s

This British spirits brand is based in Kent, England. Founded in 2011 it also produces Bathtub Gin, Cold Distilled Absinthe and Cherry Brandy.


House of Angostura has been producing rums for 130 years and is the major producer in Trinidad today. It is best known for its production of Angostura Bitters, which was invented by the company’s founder in 1824.

Appleton Estate

Appleton Estate is in Jamaica’s Nassau Valley, where all its rums are produced. It is the oldest sugar estate and distillery in Jamaica in continuous production, with the first known documentation of rum made on the Estate dating back to 1749. Appleton Estate’s Master Blender is Joy Spence, who became the world’s first female Master Blender when she was appointed in 1997, after 16 years with the company. 64 DRINKSBIZ AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2019

Coruba Gold 37.2% ABV, 1L RRP $44.99 Lion

This 100% Jamaican blend is a versatile entry-level rum, whose golden colour derives from ageing in small oak barrels. Smooth on the palate with hints of brown sugar, nutmeg and vanilla. Coruba Original 37.2% ABV, 1L RRP $44.99 Lion

A mellow, full-flavoured rum. Aromas and flavours of molasses, cocoa and caramel, and a hint of spice. Stolen Smoked 37.5% ABV, 700ml RRP $45.99 Stolen Rum

Stolen Smoked first launched several years ago as ‘Stolen Coffee and Cigarettes’. It uses freshly roasted Colombian coffee beans, Madagascan vanilla, Moroccan fenugreek and a smoking process using American hardwood to infuse the aged Caribbean rum with layers of flavour. It has aromas of tobacco, vanilla, toffee, cacao and roasted coffee. On the palate there is deep freshly brewed coffee, vanilla, warm caramel and dark chocolate with a long smoky finish. Ideal served neat or in any rum, rye, or bourbon cocktail.

Captain Morgan Original Spiced Gold 35% ABV, 1L RRP $46.99 Lion

Spice and natural flavours are blended with Caribbean rum before ageing in charred white oak barrels. Rich vanilla, brown sugar, dried fruit, spices and hints of oak lead to a warm, fruity finish with spice and a hint of vanilla.

RRP $50 - $80 Bacardi Reserve Ocho 8 Años 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $52.99 Lion

A selection of barrel-aged reserve rums aged for a minimum of eight years are blended to make this more premium offering from Bacardi. It has aromas of vanilla, toffee, honey and caramel with toasted oak. The flavour is smooth and rich with notes of prune, apricot, nutmeg and vanilla, and a soft wood finish. Beenleigh Spiced Rum 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $52.99 NZ Wine And Spirit Merchants

This Australian rum is copper pot distilled, aged in ex-brandy vats and then infused with vanilla, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. Aromas of soft vanilla and subtle spice lead to a palate of vanilla, rich spice and a hint of citrus.


El Dorado Cask Aged 3 Years 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $52.99 Tickety-Boo

Angostura 3YO Reserva 37.5% ABV, 700ml RRP $54.99 Federal Merchants

Havana Club Añejo 7 Años 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $54.99 Pernod Ricard

This three-year-old full-flavoured caskaged rum has aromas of citrus and vanilla, enhanced by notes of chocolate and raisins. A smooth, rounded palate with coconut; fruity with a dry, rounded finish.

Aged in barrel for three years, this white rum is charcoal filtered to remove any colour from the ageing process. The rum is dry, with a rich vanilla flavour and smooth finish.

Rebellion Bay Spiced Rum 37.5% ABV, 700ml RRP $52.99 NZ Wine And Spirit Merchants

Cruzan Black Strap Rum 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $54.99 Beam Suntory

A spiced rum made in Trinidad and bottled in Australia. Aromas of toffee, raisin and light honey. On the palate, initial flavours of molasses lead to pepper, cinnamon and honey with a long finish of fruit and spice.

Robust liquorice and molasses flavours make this rum ideal for mixing into tropical cocktails: it pairs well with lemon, lime, ginger and pineapple. Its deep black hue is also great for adding colour to drinks.

A combination of barrels that have been aged and blended, with the minimum age of any barrel being seven years. A rich rum with aromas of cocoa, vanilla, cedar, sweet tobacco and lush tropical fruits. Flavours of sugarcane, chestnut and caramelised tropical fruit sit above a backbone of oak and rich brown spice. Designed to be served neat.

Skipper Dark Rum 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $52.99 Tickety-Boo

Aromas of treacle, butterscotch and honey, with hints of black pepper, espresso bean and charred oak. Buttery smooth in the mouth with flavours of crème caramel, gooey toffee and custard with pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg. Notes of cinnamon and ginger on the lengthy finish.

El Dorado Cask Aged 5 Years 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $54.99 Tickety-Boo

A deep golden-hued rum with aromas of dried tropical fruit, caramel, butterscotch and molasses. Flavours of vibrant spice, fruit, caramel and toasted coconut, fading to vanilla.

The Kraken Black Spiced Rum 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $54.99 EuroVintage

This inky black rum produced in Trinidad and Tobago is infused with herbs and spices. Aromas of nutmeg, vanilla and cinnamon lead to flavours of vanilla, dark chocolate, clove, rich fruit cake and toffee. Rich and spicy. Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $54.99 Federal Merchants

Sailor Jerry rum is distilled in the Virgin Islands and has a Caribbean influence with flavours of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and rich vanilla. It has a long, dry finish with a hint of toasted toffee. Goes especially well with ginger.

Bacardi Oakheart Spiced Rum is a new release in which the rum is aged in charred American oak, charcoal filtered, then blended with spices.



Diplomático Mantuano 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $55 Whisky Trade

A blended rum from Venezuela that is aged for up to eight years in white oak casks, previously used for ageing bourbons and malt-whisky. A dark golden colour, this rum has aromas of dried fruits (plums), oak and a delicate spiciness. Notes of dried fruit, wood and vanilla on the palate with a slightly dry finish.

Penny Blue VSOP Single Estate Mauritian Rum 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $59 Whisky Trade

Matured in a combination of ex-cognac, whisky and bourbon casks this VSOP release from the famous single estate Medine distillery in Mauritius is aged for a minimum of four years. It has a fruity, spicy and soft character, with an excellent balance of sweetness and wood-spice.

Appleton Estate Signature Blend 40% ABV, 1L RRP $55.99 Lion

Plantation Barbados 5YO 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $59 Proof & Co

Fifteen select aged rums (aged for an average of four years) are combined to create the Signature Blend from Jamaican rum producer Appleton Estate. This rum has aromas of rich fruit and sweet caramel, with flavours of subtle orange peel, dried apricot, fresh peach, and a hint of molasses and woody notes.

This five-year-old Barbados rum is aged in bourbon barrels for three to four years, then sent to Cognac Ferrand in France for finishing in cognac casks, which draws out notes of wood and nutmeg. It has aromas of leather and caramel with hints of cinnamon, dried coconut and vanilla. Initially sweet on the palate, with molasses and hints of leather, alongside orange rind, salted butter and allspice. The finish is sweet with fiery spice at the very end.

Appleton Estate Reserve Blend 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $57.99 Lion

Appleton’s Master Blender, Joy Spence, manages the rare ‘reserve stock’ at Appleton, two of which add complexity and depth to this blend of 20 select aged rums. The Reserve Blend is full-bodied and smooth with notes of spice and nuts, oaky honey, subtle vanilla and dried orange peel.


Black Collar Distillery Rum 38.5% ABV, 700ml RRP $59.95 Black Collar Distillery

A small batch rum made in Black Collar’s copper still in its Bay of Islands distillery. The aroma is almost creamy, with subtle butterscotch and vanilla. It’s light and smooth on the palate with more butterscotch and slight vanilla sweetness balanced by oak. The lingering, creamy finish is of vanilla and oak.

Black Collar Distillery Spiced Rum 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $59.95 Black Collar Distillery

This deeply golden New Zealand rum is made with 100% natural spices and designed to be served neat. It has aromas of cinnamon, cloves and a hint of almost raisiny sweetness. It’s smooth and rounded in the mouth with a subtle spicy kick of clove, and charred oak and sweet vanilla to balance. Gosling’s Black Seal 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $59.99 Federal Merchants

A blend of aged rums made in small batches, Bermuda-made Gosling’s has a distinctive dark colour. Rich, smooth and full-bodied with subtle butterscotch, vanilla and caramel.


One of the world’s best known rum brands, Bacardi traces its origins to the 1830s when Spanish wine merchant Facundo Bacardi Masso moved to Cuba and began experimenting with refining rum by using a proprietary strain of yeast. This, combined with charcoal filtering and ageing in white oak barrels gave Bacardi its distinctive flavour and created the world’s first clear rum. The bat logo was inspired by the bats that lived in the rafters of the first distillery that Masso established with his brother. Bacardi is owned by Bacardi Limited, the largest privately held, family-owned spirits company in the world, with a portfolio of more than 200 brands and labels.


Spytail Black Ginger Rum 42% ABV, 750ml RRP $59.99 EuroVintage

El Dorado Cask Aged 8 Years 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $64.99 Tickety-Boo

The recipe for Spytail is based on a 19th century French tradition of ageing Caribbean rum in barrels with fresh ginger and spices. Intense, rich ginger aromas sit alongside vanilla and spice, while on the palate it is smooth with a hint of vanilla sweetness, rich fruit cake spice and earthy ginger.

Aromas of subtle tobacco mix with caramel toffee alongside dried stone fruit and flambéed banana. The mouth-feel is smooth, soft and faintly sweet, with traces of oak and butterscotch.

Diplomático Planas 47% ABV, 700ml RRP $60 Whisky Trade

Murderer’s Bay White Rum 37.5% ABV, 700ml RRP $64.99 Federal Merchants

An intense white rum made from a blend of pot still, column and batch kettle rums aged for up to six years. Fresh tropical aromas of coconut and ground coffee with a palate that is slightly fruity with creamy flavours. Serve neat, or in more delicate cocktails.

New Zealand’s Dancing Sands Distillery makes this white rum from 100% molasses that is fermented on site and double distilled in a small batch copper still. It has aromas of molasses and sweet banana, with a hint of orange zest and almonds. Soft and smooth on the palate with earthy undertones and a lingering sweetness.

Mount Gay Black Barrel 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $60 Hancocks

Appleton Estate Rare Blend 12YO 43% ABV, 700ml RRP $67.99 Lion

Double ageing in deeply charred bourbon oak barrels creates an undertone of classic bourbon spices balanced with oaky vanilla and sweet caramel.

A blend of rare golden rums that have all been aged for a minimum of 12 years. This deep bronze rum has flavours of oak, fruit, cocoa, molasses, orange peel, rich vanilla and subtle coffee with a bittersweet finish.

Angostura 5YO 37.5% ABV, 700ml RRP $64.99 Federal Merchants

Five years in oak barrels gives this rum a rich golden colour, with flavours of chocolate, spice, vanilla and toasted oak leading to a warm and mellow finish. Serve as a sipping rum or use in spicedriven mixed drinks.

The Beenleigh Rum Distillery is the oldest registered distillery in Australia, commencing operations in 1884. It still operates from its original buildings on the Albert River in Eagleby, South East Queensland. It uses molasses sourced from Australia’s only remaining familyowned sugar mill and pot stills using its original copper equipment.

Black Collar

New Zealand distillery Black Collar was established in Northland in 2017. Its first launch, Black Collar Vodka, won a Silver Medal at the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Black Collar also makes gin.

Black Heart

This was the New Zealand Navy’s official rum when giving sailors their free daily rum ration – a practice that lasted into the 1950s.

Black Magic

A spiced blend of light and dark rums produced by New Orleans company Sazerac.

Broken Heart

This New Zealand brand launched several years with a gin by Master Distiller Joerg Henkenhaf, following the death of the close friend and fellow Master Distiller with whom he had first created it. Both from Germany, the pair had wanted to create a gin that reflected their new homeland. Henkenhaf has since expanded the range to include new gin expressions, as well as a vodka and the spiced rum.

Captain Morgan

The brand launched in 1944 and is named for Captain Henry Morgan, a 17th century Welsh privateer who became Sir Henry Morgan in 1673 and was named Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica in 1680. He lived on his sugar cane plantation in Jamaica until he died in 1688. The Captain Morgan brand is owned by Diageo.



Coruba rums are all natural and distilled in Kingston, Jamaica and are known for their authentic, approachable style. The Coruba brand is owned by Campari Group.


Cruzan Rum is located in Saint Croix, in the US Virgin Islands. The distillery was founded by the Nelthropp Family and has been in operation for more than 200 years. Cruzan takes its name from the word ‘Crucians’, which refers to the people of St Croix.


The distillery that produces all of Diplomático’s rum was established in Venezuela in 1959. Today, it is 100% Venezuelan and privately owned under the name Destilerías Unidas S.A. (DUSA). The company is one of the largest rum producers in Venezuela. Diplomático is distributed in over 70 countries and holds the “Ron de Venezuela” DOC (Protected Denomination of Origin).

Don Papa

A rum brand owned by Philippines company Bleeding Heart Rum Co. It is made on Negros Occidental in the Philippines and is named in tribute to Papa Isio, an historic figure from Negros who helped drive the Spanish from the island in the 1890s. The rum uses locally grown and milled sugar cane.

El Dorado

El Dorado rums are distilled in South America’s Guyana by Demerara Distillers, which operates the last remaining distillery in the country on the banks of the Demerara River. Many sugar estates and distilleries merged during the early 20th century culminating in the amalgamation of all the various stills and equipment in 1998 by Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL). El Dorado launched in 1992 and DDL became the first rum producer in the world to market a premium quality aged rum: El Dorado 15 Year Old Special Reserve.


Gosling’s is synonymous with its home of Bermuda, where it is regarded as the national drink. It takes its name from wine and spirits merchant James Gosling, who first opened a shop in the town of St George’s in 1806.


Angostura 7YO 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $69.99 Federal Merchants

Matusalem Gran Reserva 15 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $70 EuroVintage

A blend of select rums aged for a minimum of seven years at House of Angostura’s Trinidad distillery. Aromas of vanilla, molasses, coffee, spice and oak lead to flavours of chocolate, honey, toffee, caramel, coffee and roasted nuts.

A Solera rum with an intense, rich nose of wood, toasted nuts and butterscotch. It has a smooth texture with flavours of cocoa, pronounced oak and a cognac-like finish.

Helmsman Spiced Rum 43% ABV, 700ml RRP $69.99 Hancocks

This New Zealand-brand rum is made from a blend of Caribbean golden rum and spices. Initial aromas of fruitcake are followed by banana, vanilla and a hint of warm spice. A full-bodied rum with flavours of rich fruit, cinnamon and toffee. Broken Heart Spiced Rum 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $70 Broken Heart

A spiced rum from New Zealand spirits brand Broken Heart. Smooth and well balanced, it is aged three years in barrel and uses natural spices of galangal, vanilla, orange peel, cloves and cinnamon, with distinct caramel, candied walnuts and cinnamon on the palate.

Plantation Stiggins’ Fancy Pineapple Rum 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $74.99 Proof & Co

This rum was created originally by Plantation’s cellar master Alexandre Gabriel and drinks historian David Wondrich for ‘Tales of the Cocktail’ in New Orleans in 2015. It is named for Reverend Stiggins, the character in Charles Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers, whose favourite drink was “pineapple rum.” Gabriel and Wondrich infused the rinds of Queen Victoria pineapples in Plantation 3 Stars White Rum, distilled it and then infused the pineapple fruit in Plantation Original Dark rum. The distillate and fruit infusion were then blended and aged in casks. The rum has aromas of honeydew melon and a hint of Jamaican ginger cake with pineapple notes. Flavours of spiced molasses tart and crumbly shortbread accompany a juicy, slightly earthy element from the pineapple and notes of vanilla, lemon, mango and spearmint on the finish.


Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $75 Whisky Trade

Ableforth’s Rumbullion 42.6% ABV, 700ml RRP $79 Proof & Co

Pacto Navio Cuban Rum 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $79.99 Pernod Ricard

A sipping rum that is aged in small oak casks for up to 12 years. It has aromas of maple syrup, orange peel, brown sugar and liquorice, with flavours of sweet toffee fudge. Serve neat, on the rocks, or use in a premium Manhattan or Old Fashioned.

Spiced and full-bodied, Rumbullion is a blend of Caribbean rum with Madagascan vanilla, zesty orange peel, clove, cassia and cardamom. It has intense aromas of sweet vanilla and flamed orange zest with a hint of old-fashioned cola, along with cloves and cinnamon. On the palate, it is a combination of thick cut bitter orange marmalade and spices with hints of honey, cinnamon, molasses, toffee apples, crème brûlée and cloves. The finish is long with spice, cinnamon, orange and sweet vanilla.

A new release in New Zealand, Pacto Navio by Havana Club is described as “Cuban rum meeting French wine” and is said to be the only Cuban rum finished in Sauternes wine barrels. It’s a modern take on rums of the early 19th century, when the signing of the historic European peace treaty ‘El Pacto’ following years of war re-opened trade routes, including those between Cuba and France. After French wine arrived in Havana, the barrels were refilled with Cuban rum and shipped back; the rum absorbing the wine’s character on its journey. Pacto Navio was created to recapture that and is a blend of aged Cuban rum bases, distilled and aged in the San José de Las Lajas distillery near Havana and finished in Sauternes wine barrels from the Bordeaux region. It has aromas of orange zest, a honey sweetness, subtle banana and a hint of vanilla, while on the palate there are flavours of fruit cake, orange marmalade and an underlying raisin sweetness. A long finish of dried fruit, spice and sweetness.

Pusser’s Rum 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $75 EuroVintage

This Royal Navy-style rum won Best Overall Rum at the recent NZ Spirits Awards 2019. The blend is the same as it was on British warships up until the Royal Navy discontinued its daily ration in 1970. Pusser’s Rum uses five West Indian rums (three from Guyana, two from Trinidad) aged for at least three years. It has aromas of demerara sugar, molasses, dried fruits and spices, with flavours of deep vanilla and honey. Penny Blue XO Single Estate Mauritian Rum 43.1% ABV, 700ml RRP $78 Whisky Trade

This limited edition, small batch release Penny Blue XO from the Medine distillery on the island of Mauritius has been selected from mature rum stocks that have aged in a combination of ex-whisky, ex-bourbon and ex-cognac casks, giving it notes of honey, fruits and gentle spices. The palate moves into notes of burnt orange, passionfruit and spice.

Mount Gay XO Reserve Cask Rum 43% ABV, 700ml RRP $79.99 Hancocks

A blend of selected Mount Gay Cask Reserve rums aged from seven to 15 years. This robust expression has aromas of ripe banana and toast, followed by vanilla and warm spice and is rich and oaky on the palate.

A new release in New Zealand, Pacto Navio by Havana Club is described as “Cuban rum meeting French wine”.



Plantation Xaymaca Special Dry 43% ABV, 700ml RRP $79.99 Proof & Co

El Dorado 12YO 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $84.99 Tickety-Boo

This 100% pot still Jamaican rum aims to revive the quintessential rums of the 19th century with an expression of intense aromas and flavours of black banana and flambéed pineapple in the tradition known as “rum funk”. Xaymaca Special Dry has a complex, slightly smoky and meaty aroma, with fruity, herbal and sour notes building, followed by vanilla cooked banana, bitter orange peel and ripe pineapple. It’s dry on the palate, with a more floral and fruitier profile of rose water, pear, white grape and apricot, with coconut milk, allspices, bread and nuts emerging. Serve like a great dry whisky, or with a large ice cube and even a splash of pure water to reveal the smoky aromas.

The youngest expression in El Dorado’s Luxury Cask Aged Range, which are rums designed to be savoured. The 12YO has aromas of lush tropical fruit and spice with hints of honey and dark sugar. The palate is round, mellow and full-bodied with rich flavours of fruit and spice and a dry finish.

RRP $80 and above Don Papa 7YO 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $84.99 Glengarry Spirits

This small batch rum has a light, fruit aroma and is smooth and delicate on the palate with a long, rich finish. Flavours of vanilla, honey, and candied fruits.

Angostura 1919 40% ABV, 70ml RRP $94.99 Federal Merchants

A specially blended multi-award-winning rum named for an important date in the development of the rum industry in Trinidad & Tobago, as well as the wider Caribbean. After a fire in 1932, which destroyed the Government Rum Bond, the master blender of Fernandes Distillers bought the charred casks, only to discover they had been filled in the year 1919. The prized rum was blended and called “1919 Aged Rum.” A soft rum with complex toasty flavours from extended ageing in charred barrels. Pyrat XO Reserve Rum 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $94.99 EuroVintage

Made from eight premium Caribbean rums, aged up to 15 years, which are selected and blended for varying lengths of time. This rum has flavours of citrus, cinnamon, caramel and vanilla, a slightly warm bite and a smooth finish.


Plantation XO 20th Anniversary Barbados 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $99 Proof & Co

The 20th Anniversary bottling of XO rum from Barbados is aged in bourbon barrels before being shipped to France for a secondary maturation in Ferrand Cognac casks. It has hints of spicy oak on the nose, with guava, coconut and dried banana. On the palate it is spiced and creamy, with sweet vanilla notes and caramel. The finish features caramel and toasted oak. El Dorado Special Reserve 15YO 43% ABV, 700ml RRP $109.99 Tickety-Boo

A cognac-like rum with a complex nose of dark coffee, candied orange, almonds, dark chocolate, pepper and rich vanilla. It’s silky and rounded on the palate, with flavours of grilled tropical fruit and smooth, oaky spice. Diplomatico ‘Distillery Collection No. 1 Batch Kettle Rum’ 47% ABV, 700ml RRP $114 Whisky Trade

This first release in Diplomático’s ‘Distillery Edition’ is produced in a batch kettle still that has been in operation at the Diplomático distillery in Venezuela since 1959. Made entirely from sugar cane honeys, the rum is then aged in American white oak barrels. It has a bold sweet and fruity aroma with lashings of vanilla and a delicate floral note. The palate is rich with toasted caramel and ripe red fruits and a soft, lingering sweetness on the finish. A limited edition release of just 5,000 bottles worldwide.

Havana Club

The overproof version of Gosling’s original Black Seal rum is described as “muscular, but refined”.

Diplomatico ‘Distillery Collection No. 2 Barbet Rum’ 47% ABV, 700ml RRP $114 Whisky Trade

This second release from Diplomático’s ‘Distillery Collection’ comes from the Diplomático Barbet column still, which is filled with sugar cane molasses and distilled continuously. Aged entirely in American white oak barrels, this is a golden rum with notes of tropical fruit, toasted oak and fresh citrus. The long-lasting finish is slightly dry. A limited edition release of just 5,000 bottles worldwide. Murderer’s Bay 14-Year-Old Aged Gold Rum 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $114.99 Federal Merchants

This rum is fermented, distilled, aged and bottled in New Zealand by award-winning Dancing Sands Distillery in Golden Bay. It won a Masters Medal at the London Rum Masters Competition in 2016. Aged 14 years in French oak casks, it has aromas of oak with creamy vanilla bean and spice. On the palate it is a blend of caramel, cream and baking spices. Dry, yet sweet.

Gosling’s 151 Overproof 75.5% ABV, 700ml RRP $119 Federal Merchants

This overproof version of Gosling’s original Black Seal rum is described as “muscular, but refined.” Clocking in at 75.5% ABV (the ‘151’ refers to the US proof strength), it’s designed to enhance mixed drinks as opposed to serving neat; or its makers also suggest using it for flambéing desserts. Matusalem Gran Reserva 23 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $120 EuroVintage

This premium offering from Matusalem has subtle aromas of dried fruit, fresh honey and a floral hint over a sweet toffee base with notes of mango and exotic wood. The palate is creamy with liquorice, roasted almond, hazelnut and dried fruit. A sherry-like finish. Angostura 1824 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $149.99 Federal Merchants

A blend of rums aged in charred American oak bourbon barrels for a minimum of 12 years then hand-picked by House of Angostura’s Master Blender from selected casks. These rums are then hand-blended and re-casked before being hand-drawn, filtered and bottled. The 1824 has rich aromas of vanilla, honey and warming spice followed by a long complex finish. Serve as a sipping rum.

Havana Club was first created in Cuba in 1934. In 1993, Pernod Ricard S.A. and Corporación Cuba Ron S.A. launched a joint venture to produce and market Havana Club globally. It is one of the best-selling rum brands in the world.


A New Zealand brand rum that blends a range of spices with Caribbean golden rums.

The Kraken

A black spiced rum produced in Trinidad and Tobago. It takes its name from the gigantic legendary sea monster, known as a Kraken.


The Matusalem brand was founded in 1872 in Santiago de Cuba by brothers Benjamin and Eduardo Camp and their partner Evaristo Alvarez. They believed ageing was the key to making rum with the finest flavour and the name ‘Matusalem’ derives from the old Spanish proverb, “This is older than Matusalem” referring to the patriarch of the Old Testament who was said to have lived for 969 years. The Barn Swallow logo was adopted after flocks of swallows nested in the barrel ageing warehouses.

Mount Gay

Mount Gay Rum has been made in Barbados for 300 years and is the world’s oldest commercial rum distillery. It was named for Sir John Gay Alleyne, the first manager of the company.

Murderer’s Bay

The rum brand from New Zealand craft distillery Dancing Sands in Nelson’s Golden Bay. The distillery also produces gin and vodka and its spirits are made using water from an aquifer that feeds the famed Te Waikoropupu Springs, which is regarded as the clearest spring in the world.

Penny Blue

This single estate rum brand is made on the island of Mauritius at the Medine distillery, which has been producing rum since 1926. The sugar cane is grown and processed on the estate, where distilling and ageing also takes place. The rum is named after the famed ‘Penny Blue’ stamp from Mauritius, which was created in 1847 as part of the inaugural postal service. However, it contained a printing error, making the 500 stamps produced some of the rarest and most expensive in the world today.



Founded by entrepreneur Alexandre Gabriel in the mid-90s, Plantation represents an artisanal range of rums from a variety of terroirs in the Caribbean.


Pyrat Rum was launched in 1996 and is part of the Patrón Spirits portfolio. It is blended and bottled in the Caribbean. This rum takes its name from the Old English word for ‘pirate’.


This Royal Navy-style rum made in Guyana is produced in exact accordance with the Admiralty’s specifications for rum (last used when the Royal Navy discontinued its daily ration in 1970). The blend is the same as it was on British warships.

Rebellion Bay

This Australian brand uses rum imported from Trinidad.

Sailor Jerry

The distinctive hula girl on this rum’s label is the creation of Norman ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins, the man dubbed “the father of the old-school tattoo”. A former US Navy sailor, Collins set up shop in Honolulu in the 1940s, where his intricate Asianinfluenced American tattoos became highly sought after. The rum came about after his protégé, Ed Hardy, co-founded Sailor Jerry Ltd in 1999, to keep Collins’ legacy and artwork alive. Sailor Jerry rum is distilled in the Virgin Islands.

Santiago de Cuba

Founded in 1862, Santiago de Cuba is produced in one of Cuba’s largest distilleries.


Skipper Dark Rum has been produced and aged in Guyana since 1930, and still boasts the original label on its bottle.


This rum is made from Caribbean rum in a family-run distillery in France’s Cognac region. The rounded bottle with porthole embossing is a reference to the French deep sea explorers of the late 19th century.

Stolen Rum

The Stolen Rum brand was founded by two New Zealanders in 2010 and now has teams in Auckland, Sydney, New York, Los Angeles and Miami. Stolen sources and bottles its rum around the world, including the Caribbean.


Santiago de Cuba 12 Años 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $150 Hancocks

Appleton Estate Rare Blend 21YO 43% ABV, 700ml RRP $199.99 Lion

A premium sipping rum with aromas of rich caramel and sweet fruit. Initially nutty on the palate, followed by rich fruit, undertones of coffee, dark chocolate and spice, and a long finish of burnt sugar with a hint of banana.

A blend of select aged rums, all matured for at least 21 years. Flavours of citrus and spice with woody notes, alongside orange peel, deep vanilla, rich nutmeg, warm coffee, and cocoa notes. The finish is long and dry, with a gentle brown sugar sweetness.

Angostura 1787 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $164.99 Federal Merchants

A super-premium rum made from a blend of rums aged for a minimum of 15 years. It has aromas of banana, dried fruit and oak with top notes of apples. The medium-bodied palate has hints of dried prunes, sweet rounded oak and subtle toffee, leading to a long, crisp finish. El Dorado Special Reserve 21YO 43% ABV, 700ml RRP $169.99 Tickety-Boo

Described as being for “true rum connoisseurs”, this 21-year-old rum has a nose of lush tropical fruit and spice with hints of honey and dark sugar. A round, mellow, full-bodied palate with rich flavours of fruit and spice.

Mount Gay Rum 1703 Old Cask Master Select 43% ABV, 700ml RRP $199 Hancocks

The 1703 Master Select is a blend of copper column and copper pot rums from Mount Gay’s oldest reserves – ranging from 10 to 30-year-old rums – created and hand-picked by Master Blender Allen Smith. Due to the scarcity of Mount Gay’s most mature casks, the company releases just one batch annually. This rum has aromas of oak and caramel, balanced, rounded flavours of caramel, spice and toast, with a delicate finish.

For distributor details see Distributor Index on page 81.

Santiago de Cuba 12 Años is a premium sipping rum with aromas of rich caramel and sweet fruit.

Distributed by Federal Merchants & Co | | 09 578 1823


Smirnoff Pure taps into local vibes

SMIRNOFF PURE and agency YoungShand teamed up in July to create a campaign designed to heighten Kiwis’ experience of a night in with friends, by tapping into local music. The ‘Smirnoff Pure Sounds Like’ campaign was the latest development of Smirnoff’s ‘Pure Potential’ platform and set out to help Kiwis discover the music of their cities and even suburbs. Recognising that music plays a huge role in a great night in, the team at YoungShand created personalised experiences for fans across the country. “Through a partnership with local artists and Spotify, we created 28 kickstarter playlists that embody the distinct vibes of cities and suburbs all over the country,” says Tymon Rackley, YoungShand Account Director. Housed on the Smirnoff Pure Discovery website, major city centre playlists were created via artist collaborations, with the likes of Nouri, Theia and Devilskin each representing their hometowns. For smaller areas, the team tapped into Spotify listener data, pulling the top tracks from each area.

Simon Warren, Senior Brand Manager at Smirnoff NZ, says it tapped into a big part of their consumer base. “Seventy percent of our audience drink off-premise. The potential of their night isn’t dictated by bars or clubs, so we needed a way to meet them at home, helping to further enhance their experience through the music they love.” Users can add tracks to their local playlist, creating ever-evolving Spotify playlists full of the most-loved songs in any one area of New Zealand. The campaign, which launched on July 5th, is being supported by locationspecific digital and social communications, targeted Spotify radio ads and out-ofhome stickers users can scan to discover their local playlist. “Smirnoff Pure Sounds Like drives the distinctiveness of our brand by amplifying and strengthening our Pure Potential positioning, cementing us as the ultimate partner for a great night,” says Simon Warren.


New from Scapegrace – the taste of Black The











Premium New Zealand gin distiller Scapegrace is releasing a unique new addition to its range – a 100% naturally black flavoured gin that changes colour when mixed with tonic. Scapegrace Black launches nationwide in August and is the brand’s take on the popular flavoured gin category. Scapegrace achieved the black colour by using a precise blend of naturally extracted botanicals: aronia berry, saffron, pineapple, butterfly pea and sweet potato. The gin has a flavour profile that encompasses sweet, tropical, spicy, floral and earthy – and when combined with tonic it turns a striking shade of red. Scapegrace is New Zealand’s largest and most popular super premium gin. It will roll out a strong digital and social campaign in support of the Scapegrace Black launch, including ATL billboards/street posters nationwide. Scapegrace Black joins the award-winning Scapegrace range of gins, including the globally acclaimed Scapegrace Gold, which was named Best London Dry Gin in the world at the prestigious International Wine and Spirits Competition 2018. Scapegrace Black 700ml RRP $84.95


The illustration above reflects the natural flavour extracts which are used to achieve the black appearance and unique flavour profile.



Hancocks Nose Resinous with juniper and dry earthy notes; slight tropical sweetness swooping towards the end of the breath. Palate Full bodied florality with a menthol-like crispness, naturally chilling with a balanced citrus freshness and a hint of spice. Finish Candied sweet potato and pineapple. Mouth feel is luxurious, velvety and full of natural citrus oils.


Chartreuse shifts to EuroVintage French liqueur brand Chartreuse Diffusion will now be represented by Thirsty Camel in New Zealand. Ian McAteer & Associates has retired from the brand after nearly 20 years of being the New Zealand agent. The changeover took effect on 1 July. Thirsty Camel Brands are distributed by EuroVintage. Michelle McAteer, of Ian McAteer & Associates, says the company has many fond memories associated with the brand. “We would like to thank the hospitality industry for their support over the last two decades and believe that Chartreuse will complement the other brands in the Thirsty Camel portfolio.” EuroVintage

New gin and distillery for Elemental MARLBOROUGH-BASED CRAFT distillery Elemental Distillers has launched a gin and opened a new micro-distillery complete with tasting room. Elemental founders, Simon Kelly and Ben Leggett, first launched their business with a range of three bitters. The new addition, Roots Marlborough Dry Gin, was distilled and bottled at the new premises. The micro-distillery comprises three up-cycled shipping containers clad in New Zealand cedar. It has a top floor gin balcony, tasting room and vineyard views from its location in Rapaura. The pair describe the new gin as: “a crisp London Dry style with a Kiwi twist”. It was batch distilled in their boutique 200L copper pot still and uses six core botanicals: wild Macedonian juniper, Gisborne grapefruit, Hawke’s Bay coriander seed, Kaikoura kawakawa, Marlborough gorse flower and Motueka hops. In keeping with Elemental’s philosophy of using traceable individually sourced ingredients, everything in the gin was sourced from either wild, organic, native or family-owned farms and co-operatives. Elemental’s Grapefruit and Hops bitters was awarded a Trophy for ‘Best New Zealand Product in Category’ at the inaugural New Zealand Spirit Awards earlier this year.

Changes at Dancing Sands Golden Bay distillery Dancing Sands has renamed its Sacred Spring Gin to Dancing Sands Gin. The change took effect 1 July, with updated packaging and custom corks. The gin and its bottle remain the same, but now feature a new neck label, a more prominent logo and premium custom corks laser etched with a map of New Zealand. Owner and distiller Ben Bonoma says the change is to strengthen the connection between the gin and the actual distillery in Golden Bay, as well as its association with Te Waikoropupu Spring, known as “The place of the dancing sands”. He says the move is also to support international trade, as the owner of the IP associated with Dancing Sands, which exports its gin to nine countries. Federal Merchants

Four Pillars clarifies NZ distribution Australian gin brand Four Pillars has confirmed Tickety-Boo remains its New Zealand distributor, following Lion’s investment in the business. Earlier this year, it was announced that Lion had taken a 50% stake in the Healesvillebased distillery. Four Pillars and Lion have confirmed there will be no management or operational changes to the Four Pillars business, including distribution agreements both domestically and abroad. Tickety-Boo has been Four Pillars’ national 76 DRINKSBIZ AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2019

distributor in New Zealand since February 2017 and will continue in this role. Co-founder and Trade Director of Four Pillars Gin, Stuart Gregor says, “Since early 2017 we have had a terrific partnership with Tickety-Boo and there will be no change to our distribution as they have been doing a great job and will continue to do so. Sales in New Zealand have never been stronger and we look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with Kevin, Jamie and the team.” Tickety-Boo



Seasonal delights with Juno Gin Make every season divine with Taranaki’s Juno Gin. All Juno’s 2019 seasonal gins are available now either individually or as a pack of four. Juno Gin releases a small-format Seasonal Gin to celebrate the unique botanical abundance of that season. Made with pure mountain water, each batch is a moment captured in time – an an expression of Mother Nature and her moods. The four-pack combines four seasonal gins in one box, offering the ideal tasting experience for gin enthusiasts to share and enjoy with friends. Juno’s ‘Four Seasons’ pack includes four 200ml bottles (one each of Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring). Each seasonal gin is a single batch limited edition of 1000 bottles or less. The four pack is displayed in a stunning black box that reveals the unique label design of each seasonal gin. Juno Gin recognises that not only do individual palates differ, but the individual desire for a particular flavour profile varies from day to day. 

Juno Gin seeks to be responsive to the environment and to nature’s bounty. The recipe for each season is unique to that particular moment in time. Every gin heroes the botanical ingredients that are growing well and provides an opportunity to explore flavour directions, whether they be herbaceous, fruity, citrus, earthy, spicy, floral or a beautiful combination of notes. Embrace the seasons and enjoy a full flavour experience of New Zealand artisan gin.

Juno Four Seasons

Summer 2019: Tangelos and red clover (Gold at the NZ Spirits Awards 2019) Autumn 2019: Crab apples and cinnamon Winter 2019: Honey and lemon. A new release that’s perfect for spicing up your classic Hot Toddy. A collaboration with Egmont Honey has meant limited numbers. Spring 2019: Yuzu and pink peppercorns. EuroVintage

Every season made divine. Our limited edition, 2019 seasonal gins are available now. SUMMER: Tangelos & red clover. (won gold at the NZ Spirits Awards). AUTUMN: Crabapples & cinnamon. WINTER: Honey & lemon (collab with Egmont Honey). SPRING: Yuzu & pink peppercorns. Sell individually or as a pack of four. Distributed by Eurovintage.


New kombuchainfused vodka KOMBUCHA COMPANY Good Buzz has partnered with Premium Liquor Co. to create Happy Booch – a new range of vodkas infused with kombucha. The companies say it is New Zealand’s first ever 100% natural, kombucha-infused, clean vodka and has been designed to offer an alternative alcoholic beverage that’s made from 100% natural ingredients, is naturally low in sugar and contains the goodness of kombucha. “Each bottle of Happy Booch contains vodka that is made from pure New Zealand water and whey that’s been tripledistilled, contains no additives, is gluten and GMO free and is then charcoal-filtered to remove any impurities,” says Hamish Gordon, Premium Liquor Founder. “The Kombucha is also naturally fermented and brewed in the most traditional form.” The new range is available in three flavours (Raspberry Lemon, Pineapple Mango, and Lemon Ginger) and is 4.5% ABV. RRP $15.99. Lion

Glenfiddich’s new Fire & Cane Scottish distiller Glenfiddich has released the latest whisky in its Experimental Series – Glenfiddich Fire & Cane – a smoky whisky finished in sweet rum casks. It’s inspired by the early innovation of Glenfiddich Malt Master Brian Kinsman, who first ran peated spirit through the Glenfiddich stills in 2003. Fire & Cane marries smoky whisky with non-peated malts matured side-by-side in bourbon casks, highlighting Glenfiddich’s sweet and fruity signature style. The whisky was then finished in Latin rum casks. It is described as having campfire smokiness with oak and peaty notes, finished with lingering woodiness. Rich, sweet toffee merges with green fruit character, baked apple, and toasted marshmallow with soft spice. The new release joins the Glenfiddich IPA Experiment, Glenfiddich Project XX and Glenfiddich Winter Storm. Federal Merchants


QB expands offering with Federal Merchants INTERNATIONAL SPIRITS company, Quintessential Brands, has consolidated its portfolio of spirits in New Zealand with beverage distributor Federal Merchants & Co. The move took effect on 1 August. Quintessential Brands’ portfolio includes Greenall’s London Dry Gin, Bloom London Dry Gin, Opihr Gin, Thomas Dakin Gin, O’Mara’s Country Cream, Irish whiskey brand The Dead Rabbit and iconic French liqueur, Alizé. “We’ve been impressed with the performance of our Irish brands, O’Mara’s and Dubliner Whiskey Liqueur, with Federal Merchants over these past few years.” says Jon Band, Regional Director for Quintessential Brands in APAC. “By bringing our premium brands together under one roof, we are able to provide focus and support to our portfolio to a key market in the region. We are looking forward to working with the team on the wider portfolio and growing our premium brands further in New Zealand”. “We’re delighted to welcome these brands to the Federal Merchants & Co portfolio,” says Aidin Dennis, Federal Merchants & Co.’s Chief Executive Officer. “We continue to focus on brands that add real value and complement our existing portfolio and we are thrilled to be strengthening our spirits offering with these awardwinning brands from Quintessential Brands.”


Diplomatico Rum is proudly imported and distributed by Whisky Trade 0508 WHISKY |


Dominic Roskrow

UK-based world spirits expert Editor - Whisky Quarterly

A question of Irish whiskey Dominic Roskrow examines rumblings within Ireland’s whiskey industry IS IT all about to kick off in the Irish whiskey industry? Certainly, there are some dark clouds gathering and a number of people spoiling for a fight as the resurgent whiskey scene shapes its future. The micro distilling industry has been in full flow for some years now, and Ireland has been in the vanguard. Teething problems are inevitable as each territory attempts to define itself, and the problems aren’t unique to Ireland. Sweden’s producers mooted setting up an association with a definition of what Swedish whiskey should be – with an ABV of 46%, for instance. But there were concerns that such a move would stifle experimentation. In America, it’s the Wild West and some of the distilleries there are playing fast and loose with existing definitions. But Ireland is different. It has a long and proud history of whiskey making, and correctly believes that it can produce spirits every bit as good as those from anywhere else in the world. But there’s a problem: the industry is split over how Irish whiskey should be defined. In one camp there are the ‘establishment’ companies, and in the other are a significant number of historians, researchers and distillers who reckon that Irish whiskey is in danger of being dumbed down. Ireland has a rebel heart, and the signs are that the protestors won’t lie down any time soon. At the centre of the argument is the Irish Whiskey Association (IWA), which was set up to ensure consistently high standards for the Irish whiskey category. Understandably, it is dominated by the country’s biggest players, most notably Irish Distillers, which (to its credit) has gone out of its way to encourage new distillers and to offer them support. 80 DRINKSBIZ AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2019

The approach to Lambay Island

But there’s a problem: the industry is split over how Irish whiskey should be defined. But there are issues. Firstly, there was an objection to The Blackwater Distillery bringing in wash (distillery beer) from an outside brewer. It seems a petty, niggling objection, but it is forbidden under an old British law, and the Irish are understandably sensitive. Secondly, there is the issue of companies bottling whiskey they didn’t make. This is what independent bottlers everywhere else do, but it’s struck a nerve in Ireland. But if the bottlers are transparent, and the whiskey is good, surely it shouldn’t be an issue? For example, I was on Lambay, an island close to Dublin dripping in provenance and history, and maturing whiskey in quality Cognac casks provided by its

partner Camus. When you see the special relationship between the French and Irish brand owners and taste the wonderful whiskeys, it’s hard not to fall in love with this magical place. And lastly, there’s the row over pot still whiskey. Pot still has nothing to do with being made in a pot still – it relates to the uniquely Irish method of mixing malted and un-malted grain. When Googled, it's most commonly defined as a mix of malted and un-malted barley; this is lazy and wrong. The argument is over how the IWA now defines it. It allows for only a very small amount of other grains, and that, say the critics, is plain wrong. They also allege the definition is designed to suit the Irish Distillers’ recipe for its existing pot still whiskeys, and that the company is running scared of bigger tasting and exciting pot still whiskeys with a far higher percentage of other grains. This may all sound a tad anoracky, but the future of an increasingly exciting whiskey category is at stake. Expect this to run and run.


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The Art of Beer Garage Project’s label artwork has become as famous as their award-winning beer. Now, a new book offers an up-close look at 100 of the beers, their artwork and the stories behind them. Garage Project co-founder Jos Ruffell explains… On how the book came about We’d had the idea off and on for a while of doing a book, and one of the designers we’ve worked with tabled the idea of focusing on the art. Having that ringfenced theme was quite appealing to us, because all the different beers have so many individual stories, but the art had a lot of work in progress as well that’s never been shared, so we thought we could celebrate that.

On why the label art became so central to Garage Project It was a response to what we were seeing out there at the time. The craft beer available in New Zealand was very good but it was always quite safe and traditional and following that convention of ‘brewery name, beer style’. We thought we needed to bring something new to the table, so took the tack that the beer would be the hero and each beer would have its own personality and story and that would come with unique artwork as well, and Garage Project is just this little thing that’s helped it along the way. There are quite a few beers we’ve done over the years that don’t even have the GP logo.

On what art adds to the beer drinking experience In the same way that you eat with your eyes, I think you can say the same is true of drinking. There’s the beer in the glass and how it looks, but also the packaging and presentation and story. The first thing in that drinking experience is when something on the shelf catches your eye and you’re drawn to it. We think the art can tempt you into something, but also reinforce it when you hold that bottle or can in your hand. You’re thinking about what’s on the label and what’s been written – it makes it that much more of an elevated experience.

On the hidden elements Sometimes it [the artwork] is quite subtle and I’m sure there are elements of the labels that people might not get, but if you look closely it can reward that extra attention. Verbotene Früchte is a good one. We like playing with slightly surrealist imagery and that is the ingredients of the

beer: it’s a Black Forest gâteau schwarz beer that’s presented as a cake in the shape of the Bitburger glass.

On cans and bottles Each format allows you to do different things. The look you get from a printed can versus a labelled can or a shrink sleeved one can be quite different. Cabbages & Kings is a great example of the really luxe effects you can get on a printed label. The embossing and foil techniques on that were pretty new at the time – it was printed by Label & Litho… they know that they can bring something to us and we’ll be wanting to experiment with it pretty quickly!

On the process Some labels can be quite straightforward and it just comes through exactly like you had hoped and other ones are quite a torturous process. They’re usually the ones that end up being completely different from what you’d originally thought – but you have to go through that process to come out the other end with a great result.

On choosing which beers to feature It was challenging. There are 100 beers in the book but it’s a subset of the almost 400 beers we’ve produced. There’s never a straight line from the [artwork] concept through to the end result, so we’re uniquely positioned to know which of those had a more interesting story or concept that hadn’t seen the light of day. The other challenge was making sure there were some beers that are contemporary releases too, so it would feel fresh. But we had to remind ourselves that there’s always scope to come back for a sequel!

Jos Ruffell and Pete Gillespie of Garage Project


The Art of Beer RRP$45, Penguin NZ.

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DB August September 2019  

Published by Trade Media Limited. Design and hosting on Issuu by Hurst Media.

DB August September 2019  

Published by Trade Media Limited. Design and hosting on Issuu by Hurst Media.