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Worldof Wine VOLUME 3 SUMMER 2019/20

CAMERON DOUGLAS MS

CAM’S BEST OF

2019

RAISING A TOAST TO

Summer 108 WINES

Tasted & rated

SIMON GAULT’S BBQ FAVOURITES

+ the perfect wine matches

SWAP YOUR DROP

Delicious alternatives to tried-and-trues


KITCHEN PERFECTION INTRODUCING THE INTEGRATED COLUMN WINE CABINET

fisherpaykel.com


CONTENTS SUMMER

32 Protect Your Precious Wines

 uitable spaces to store your S investment

34 Easy Cheesy

Wine/cheese matches to ensure you’re a cheeseboard master

36 Simon Gault’s BBQ Favourites

43 Tasting Notes

Mist off the vines at Gibbston Valley winery, page 15

What’s hot and happening in the NZ wine industry right now

11 Top Cellar Doors

70 Cam’s Best of 2019

16 A Family Affair

72 The Last Drop

06 A Word From The Master Musings from New Zealand’s only Master Sommelier

08 Small Sips

Cameron happy to be arriving at Sommit Northland, page 6

Plus the perfect wine matches

 here to find our best winery W experiences

The Le Brun family’s long history in producing premium bubbles

44 Sauvignon Blanc 48 Chardonnay 54 Pinot Gris 56 Sparkling 58 Aromatics 60 Rosé 62 Pinot Noir 68 Other Reds

Eight top drops from the year that was

 am gets contemplative on the C NZ wine industry

18 Liquid Gold

Domain Road’s vines are rooted in gold, literally

22 Wine Tour

COVER DESIGNED BY ANNABELLE ROSE

PUBLISHED BY The Intermedia Group Ltd PO Box 47195 Auckland 1011 New Zealand MANAGING DIRECTOR-PUBLISHER Dale Spencer dspencer@intermedianz.co.nz

Sip your way from one end of NZ to the other

24 Viva L’Italia

 hy Italy is a firm favourite for W Master Sommelier Cameron

26 Swap Your Drop

 elicious alternatives to Kiwi D tried-and-trues

EDITOR Josie Steenhart jsteenhart@intermedianz.co.nz

28 A New Wine Order

SALES DIRECTOR Jacqueline Freeman jfreeman@intermedianz.co.nz ph: 0212 867 600

Up the ante on your drinking experience

4 WORLD OF WINE – SUMMER 2019/20

How to order wine like a pro

30 Gold-Standard Glassware Keeping the grass down the Kiwi way at Ostler wine, page 22


Cameron Douglas, MS: A WORD FROM

th e Master W

elcome to the World of Wine Volume 3. The life of a Master Sommelier is always busy keeping up with what’s happening and what’s hot – new grape varieties making fabulous wine, the latest cocktail making a comeback and is Rosé still the number one wine poured in most bars and restaurants? To stay abreast of all that’s happening in the market locally and overseas, there’s a lot of travel involved and many wines to be tasted. I make a point of being in every New Zealand wine region regularly, as well as international destinations. This year has been pretty exciting. Among other things, in April I co-presented in New York with Oregonian Bree Boskov (Master of Wine) to wine buyers and sommeliers on the special characters of New Zealand and Oregon wines. I also spoke about Pinot Noir and the effects of whole bunch used in wine ferments to an audience of Pinot enthusiasts in Toronto – and as I write this I am sorting my presentation on regional New Zealand Chardonnays for SommCon – a prestigious conference held twice yearly – this time in San Diego. Here at home in New Zealand I enjoy hosting Sommit with Stephen Wong MW – the NZ Winegrowers’ initiative that twice yearly brings sommeliers from a bunch of different countries to Aotearoa to examine our industry in full geek manner. As a wine judge I travelled to the UK again to judge at the world’s largest wine competition – Decanter Wine Awards. Can you imagine 200 judges working through 16,000 wines in five days? More recently I chaired a team of judges at the largest Riesling wine competition in the Southern Hemisphere – the Canberra International Riesling Challenge. This show is now in its 20th year and the entry of 500 wines included some excellent examples. An especially exciting result was our own Central Otago winery Domain Road (which you can read more about on page 18), which won best dry Riesling. As an examiner for the Court of Master Sommeliers I am in different cities around Oceania and the USA assisting in

6 WORLD OF WINE – SUMMER 2019/20

proctoring the different levels of rigorous exams sommeliers go through to be at their professional best. The Fine Wines of New Zealand Programme (an Air New Zealand initiative) continues to recognise and benchmark the best local wines. It’s open to all wine producers in New Zealand – being one of seven judges (six MWs and one MS) who select the best is a highlight of my professional year, and I always enjoy the other activities associated with this organisation. If you haven’t yet tasted any wines from Masi (Veneto, Italy) then be sure to read through my reviews later in this issue – lovely wines and some excellent summer drinking and gift ideas. I got to know the land, air, soil, people and wines of this brand and others on a research trip to the north-east of Italy recently, which you can also read about on page 24. Be sure to visit my website (camdouglasms.com) soon and check out the many other wine tasting notes – there’s likely to be a few (at least) to add to your next wine adventure. What’s a new wine variety worthy of attention here in New Zealand? Fiano. Check out the Jenny Dobson version, and my suggestions for other ‘NZ alternatives’, on page 26. And is Rosé still one of the most poured wines this summer? You bet it is. Oh and being a sommelier is about more than just wine! We are involved in all beverages… Following the worldwide trend, I’m doing research on the tastiest cocktails to try this summer – a Negroni is my wife’s current favourite (she can be traditional). A super classic using gin, red vermouth and Campari. Cameron Douglas, MS


s p i s Small

WHAT’S HOT AND HAPPENING IN THE NEW  ZEALAND WINE INDUSTRY RIGHT NOW

SERIOUSLY STYLISH GLASSWARE Pairing wine expertise and refined design, the Jancis Robinson collection is the result of a truly collaborative cross-disciplinary partnership between celebrated product designer Richard Brendon and worldrenowned wine expert Jancis Robinson. Individually mouth-blown by skilled artisans but still dishwasher friendly, the set features a single wine glass, two decanters and a stemless glass for either water or wine. ateliernash.co.nz

CHILL OUT Those serious about wine and good design will be writing to Santa for a Fisher & Paykel wine cabinet, designed for the discerning customer and combining sophisticated, practical design with optimal storage and display solutions for their wine collection. With sizes to store from 38 to 144 bottles, the stylish stainless steel cabinets provide a stable temperature and humidity environment for wines of any variety or colour. fisherandpaykel.co.nz THE COOLEST WINE COOLER This year Huski’s wine cooler took out multiple design and product awards, and it’s not hard to see why. Not only does it look good, it keeps wine chilled for up to six hours and the ‘stay-dry’ surface means zero condensation, so no wet hands or picnic blankets. Just in time for summer, the New Zealand owned and operated company has released the cooler in silver or rosé brushed stainless steel or powder-coated matte white and black stainless steel. huski.co.nz MAUDE GETS A MAKEOVER Central Otago’s Maude Wines have upped the ante for the new year with slick, contemporary new bottle labels in graphic black and white. Co-owner Sarah-Kate Dineen says the final concept is “an ode to Maude’s mountainous surroundings, and shows we’ve matured and evolved as a company, wine and brand but doesn’t take away from our roots. maudewines.com

8 WORLD OF WINE – SUMMER 2019/20

WHAT’S ON

Wellington Wine & Food Festival 1 February, 2020 wineandfoodfestival.co.nz

Marlborough Wine & Food Festival 8 February, 2020 wine-marlboroughfestival.co.nz

North West Wine, Beer & Food Festival 15 February, 2020 thehuntinglodge.com

Nelson Wine & Food Festival 16 February, 2020 nwff.co.nz

North Canterbury Wine & Food Festival 8 March, 2020 ncwineandfood.co.nz

Wairarapa Wines Harvest Festival 14 March, 2020 wairarapaharvestfestival.co.nz


SEIFRIED NELSON 2019 SAUVIGNON BLANC

SHINES ON THE WORLD STAGE

-AWARDEDCHAMPION SAUVIGNON BLANC & BEST WINE - NELSON - AT -

NEW ZEALAND WINE OF THE YEAR 2019 GOLD - NZ Wine of the Year 2019 GOLD - NZ International Wine Show 2019 GOLD - China Wine Competition 2019 GOLD - AWC Vienna 2019, Austria GOLD - MUNDUS VINI 2019, Germany

In 1971 our father Hermann arrived in New Zealand with a dream of making great wines. He and our mother Agnes, pioneered modern winemaking in the Nelson region, planting the first vines and in 1976 producing their first wines. Now over 40 years later we celebrate their vision, and the arrival of the next generation, our children, who are growing up in the vineyard and winery. Our family, and dedicated team are proud to craft internationally renowned wines in this special corner of the world. Wines made for sharing. Second Generation Winemakers Nelson, New Zealand

WWW.SEIFRIED.CO.NZ @seifriedestate


TOP

Cellar Doors WHICHEVER WINE REGION OF NEW ZEALAND YOU’RE EXPLORING, THERE’S A WINERY WORTH A VISIT. HERE ARE SOME OF CAMERON’S TOP SPOTS TO STOP

VILLA MARIA, 118 MONTGOMERIE RD, MANGERE, AUCKLAND Villa Maria is one of the key New Zealand family wineries that form the history of, and contribute heavily to, the current success of our wine industry. Sir George Fistonich bought his first vines (from his father) in Mangere in 1961, and together with his wife Gail set about creating the Villa Maria story. The company was run by this determined couple alone until the 1970s, when expansion and the couple’s vision saw the burgeoning of the world-renowned brand we’re proud to acknowledge today. It remains 100 percent family owned – a rare thing. The Villa Maria Ihumātao vineyard, home to the winery and cellar door, is sited five minutes from Auckland International Airport – in fact, it’s one of my favourite places to bring travelling wine friends for lunch and a break from travel or while they are transiting from overseas to another wine region of New Zealand. It’s positioned on the edge of the Manukau Harbour within a shallow, sheltered volcanic crater, which alone makes this a unique vineyard site. As you enter the gates and drive down through the vines (avoiding the resident

pūkeko) a sense of calm and relaxation falls upon you, and you feel the connection to the past and present; the tūrangawaewae of this special place. At the cellar door, the friendly, knowledgeable staff will present Villa Maria’s award-winning wines, and the Vineyard Café opens out into the vines. In warmer months, you can wander around the vineyard and lake. The menu is prepared and served with the same attention to detail that is accorded to the wines. The actual Cellar Door site also houses several high standard function areas – Sir George and his team host events including wine tastings and are great supporters of the

sommelier profession in New Zealand. I’ve attended a family wedding in this delightful environment as well as many vineyard concerts featuring artists both local and international. Make sure you try a range of the wines on offer – the classics like the Keltern, Taylor’s Pass and Seddon Vineyard Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs are world class, and don’t forget to step out of your comfort zone a little with a couple of my favourites - Left Field Albariño or the Kidnapper Cliffs Cabernet Merlot.

TE AWA ESTATE, 2375 STATE HIGHWAY 50, RD5, HASTINGS, HAWKE’S BAY Part of the Villa Maria stable of wineries and on-site experiences is the Te Awa Estate winery, restaurant and cellar door in Hawke’s Bay. Located along State Highway 50 in Flaxmere (at the foot of Roy’s Hill) the grounds and outdoor areas are expansive, evoking memories of youth – climbing trees

and rolling in the grass. The outdoor areas are perfect for a picnic-style lunch with views of the famous Gimblett Gravels vineyards, or head indoors for something a touch more formal. The cellar door and restaurant are both rustic and modern. Executive chef Stephen Tindall creates fresh, locally sourced food from shared plates, bites and boards to Chef ’s Selection menus for eight or more people. With only lunch on offer (between 11am and 3pm), I recommend you book. The remaining time is set aside for events. Each of the daytime experiences at this site are finely tuned, with every detail of the cellar door service expertly managed by Brittany Turlock and restaurant service by Marius Roth. Head chef and assistant to Stephen is Leyton Ashley.

Must-try dishes include the Ora King salmon crudo with wild fennel and Granny Smith apple and the honey- and thymegrilled chèvre with crostini – or from the main course section the Ovation lamb shoulder slow-cooked with parsley and cumin salsa. Wines for tasting include Te Awa Estates, Esk Valley, Left Field, Kidnapper Cliffs and Vidal Estate – so more than a few to sample. Must-try wines include Te Awa Single Estate Syrah, Vidal Estate Soler Chardonnay and Esk Valley The Terraces Red Blend. Recently the winery has expanded to include winemaking for Esk Valley and Vidal Estate wines. All in all, a wonderful place to visit through summer 2020.

+64 9 255 0666 cellarshop@villamaria.co.nz villamariawines.com

+64 6 879 7602 enquiries@teawa.com teawacollection.com

WORLD OF WINE – SUMMER 2019/20 11


TOP WINE DESTINATIONS

WAIRAU RIVER WINES, 11 Rapaura Road, Rapaura, Marlborough Along the Rapaura Road in Marlborough there are a number of notable wineries and welcoming cellar doors – some with restaurants specialising in dishes designed to enhance their particular wines. Amongst these, a favourite is Wairau River Wines. Phil and Chris Rose were among the first early grape growers in the region – the Rose name has been part of the area since 1870 when Phil’s great grandfather moved to New Zealand. They began their wine story as grape growers from the late 1970s, deciding to release wine under their own label in 1991. With over 25 vintages completed, they know their land, the region and wine, and all five Rose siblings and their partners are now involved, ensuring the legacy. As the company and wine brand grew in popularity through the last two decades, so too did their investment in vineyard holdings. They now hold 13 vineyards across the Wairau Valley area, with the range of wines reflecting the diversity. Wairau River includes classically styled Sauvignon Blanc, beautifully aromatic Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer (Gold Medal and Trophy at the NZ Wine of the Year and New World Wine Show competitions), classy light red fruit-scented Rosé (Gold Medal at the Marlborough and New Zealand International Wine Shows), precise and pure fruited Riesling, rather delicious Pinot Noir and weighty Viognier and Chardonnay. The increasingly GLADSTONE VINEYARD, 340 Gladstone Road, RD2, Carterton, Wairarapa A little over an hour’s drive from Wellington, north-east over the Rimutaka Hills, you’ll pass through the small township of Carterton (great local coffee). Carry on along the Gladstone Road and you’ll find the vineyards and tasting room of Gladstone Vineyard. What’s clear as you enter through the main gate is that the deep-rooted and well-tended vines have been here for a while, enhancing the picturesque setting and smell of sweet air. Planted in 1986 by the Kernohans, the site grew from a 2.7 hectare vineyard to over 18 hectares over the next 20-plus years. Fast forward to 2018, and new owners Eddie McDougall (and a consortium called The Flying Winemaker) take over – keeping much of the philosophy and system of vineyard management, but also ushering in their own vision for the land and brand. Visits to the tasting room provide both a great vineyard experience and wine tasting opportunity. I recommend trying the Single Vineyard Dakins Road Pinot Noir 2018 while enjoying the selection of cheeses and charcuterie from the Gladstone kitchen.

12 WORLD OF WINE – SUMMER 2019/20

significant varieties Syrah, Grüner Veltliner and Albariño are now also part of the portfolio. The tasting room itself is spacious and relaxed, with vineyard views, an outdoor area for kids to play and welcoming sofas with plenty of reading material. All their current release wines are available through the cellar door, along with a few gems and library releases from time to time, or just ask if there is something in particular you’re interested in. We lunched in the adjacent restaurant

recently and enjoyed the service and selection of dishes – highlights included the hot smoked salmon salad, double-baked blue cheese soufflé and the brown sugar pavlova. We matched these tasty offerings with the Reserve Viognier 2018, the Reserve Syrah 2016 and the Reserve Botrytis Riesling respectively. +64 3 572 9800 cellardoor@wairauriverwines.com wairauriverwines.com The outdoor tasting and luncheon space is especially inviting through the long hot days of summer, with a petanque court and plenty of space for the kids to play, and there’s a welcoming fire in the function room on cooler days. They’ll serve you lunch or even let you BYO a picnic if you accompany it with wines you purchase from them. It’s also available for corporate and other events with marquee space easily accessible. Plus there’s vineyard accommodation available for folks who, like me, enjoy taking their time to explore the region. Gladstone Vineyard now manages and collaborates with several premium vineyards and growers across the Wairarapa and Hawke’s Bay, diversifying the estate’s portfolio of wines. I recommend you relax and try a number of the offerings when you visit – but your selection should include all the Pinot Noir on offer, as well as the Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris. +64 6 379 8563 sales@gladstonevineyard.co.nz gladstonevineyard.co.nz


TOP WINE DESTINATIONS

WILD EARTH WINES AND THE STOAKER ROOM BISTRO & BAR, 180 State Highway 8B, Cromwell, Central Otago Exploring any part of the Central Otago region comes with many jaw dropping moments – spectacular landscapes of amazing contrasts, vineyards scattered in unlikely places producing wines of great character and quality – and intensely flavoured stonefruit. As the region has grown into a tourism mecca many of the smaller townships have developed their own signature venues and story. On a recent visit to Cromwell I came across The Stoaker Room and Bar – a venue that encapsulates this, and packages the modern food and wine messages of the region. Located on the state highway 8B just before the bridge that crosses over Lake Dunstan SMITH & SHETH CELLAR DOOR AND HERETAUNGA STUDIO, #2 The Courtyard, Village Exchange, 4 Te Aute Road, Havelock North, Hawke’s Bay Whether you fly into Hawke’s Bay, drive in or arrive on a cruise ship the views, welcome and atmosphere are delightful. The weather always seems a little warmer as well. Wine and cellar door experiences around the Bay are all different – with special attributes that make them well connected to the land, people and story of Hawke’s Bay. A recent and unique tasting room experience I engaged in was the Smith & Sheth Cellar Door and Heretaunga Studio. The owners and operators are Steve Smith – a Kiwi Master of Wine based in Hawke’s Bay and specialising in viticulture, winemaking and a love of fine wine – and Brian Sheth, a native of the USA and entrepreneur also with a love of fine wine. Together they created the Aotearoa NZ Fine Wine Estates LP company in 2016, and this year they opened a tasting room and immersive wine experience. Located in the centre of the Havelock North township (and part of the Village Exchange) the tasting room and studio bring together the wines, land and people for three

towards Alexandra and Bendigo vineyards, it’s named ‘stoaker’ for the retired French oak Burgundy wine barrels once used in crafting Pinot Noir, that are now converted into wine barrel cookers. They can be used to steam bake, steam grill or smoke almost any dish. The ribeye, pork belly and fish are three must-try recommendations. There is an art to using these barrels correctly – watching the cooks on site is lesson one. The space itself is relaxed and friendly with a choice of couches, low or hightop tables and an open-air feel – ideal for the summer months. It’s also the cellar door for Wild Earth Wines – a story that predates the Stoaker Room considerably. Established in the early 2000s, Wild Earth Wines have found their way onto many wine lists around New Zealand and been recognised on the wine competition stage as well. My first encounter with this brand was more than a decade ago when I was introduced to the wines and met Quintin Quider (the founder and owner of Wild Earth). I was immediately taken by his passion for fresh New

brands: Lowburn Ferry Wines from Central Otago – fantastic Pinot Noir; Pyramid Valley Wines from Waikari North Canterbury – biodynamically managed vineyards specialising in soulful and harmonious Chardonnay and Pinot Noir; and the Smith & Sheth CRU wines from Hawke’s Bay specialising in Chardonnay, Albarino, Syrah and a Cabernetled blend (Cantera). A Sauvignon Blanc from the Waihopai Valley in Marlborough also forms part of this wine range. The tasting room itself is sleek and welcoming with comfortable couches seated around the tasting room space, staff who know everything about the Smith & Sheth CRU

Zealand seafood and delicious wine – I still remember how delicious the wines were with fresh barbecued paua burgers. Their flagship wine is Pinot Noir and one I highly recommend you imbibe; the older vintage wines are complex, hold onto a core of fruit and speak to the region and variety easily. The younger examples show of the promise to come if you cellar properly or pair with food (decanting recommended). All wines produced by Wild Earth are available at their Cromwell Stoaker Room site, including an excellent aperitif style and citrus laden Riesling, lush and silky textured Pinot Gris with fruit spice and flavours of whitefleshed orchard fruits, and a weighty, creamy, textured and not too oaky Chardonnay. The Rosé is a must-try wine as you relax into the dining space or outside on the bean-chairs. Local winemaker Jen Parr crafts all the wines. The Stoaker Room Bar and Bistro is an easy 50-minute drive from Queenstown, 40 minutes from Wanaka and 20 minutes from Alexandra. The Stoaker Room Bar and Bistro restaurant@thestoakerroom.co.nz +64 3 445 4841 thestoakerroom.co.nz Wild Earth Wines wine@wildearthwines.co.nz +64 27 552 02 99 wildearthwines.co.nz wines available for tasting (using the Jancis Robinson wine glass) and some excellent local food options including fresh oysters, cheeses and olives. The tasting room turns into a wine bar in the evenings, offering a genuinely relaxed yet glamorous environment. Across the corridor from the tasting room is the Smith & Sheth Heretaunga Studio. I recently visited the space to experience wine in a different and unexpectedly luxurious way. The studio is a first for Hawke’s Bay and New Zealand, offering a unique wine experience. It begins with the sound of a Maori karanga (as you enter a darkened room this alone immediately captures your attention and catapults you to another place and time). The emphasis is on touching the five senses with an audio-visual journey through the regions that produce the wines, then enjoying wine tasting from barrels into Zalto glasses with opportunities to discuss and learn about New Zealand wine as the experience unfolds. With room for only eight guests at a time, this experience is highly recommended. +64 6 650 5550 info@smithandsheth.com smithandsheth.com

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TOP WINE DESTINATIONS

DOMAIN ROAD VINEYARD / DEFIANCE VINEYARD CELLAR DOOR, 263 Felton Road, Bannockburn, Central Otago Along the Felton Road in Bannockburn, Central Otago, is the entrance to the Domain Road’s Defiance vineyard and cellar door. Domain Road Vineyard was established by Graeme and Gillian Crosbie in the early 2000s when they purchased an old fruit orchard and converted it to vines, purchasing adjacent land when that became available. Domain Road itself runs somewhat parallel to Felton Road with vineyards and housing separating the two. The Crosbies grow Riesling, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and have recently added a Rosé. All the wines are made by Pete Bartle, a very talented winemaker for several brands throughout the Central Otago region, and the day-to-day vineyard management is executed by Fiona Johnman. Central Otago is home to five very different wine producing sub-regions, one of these being Bannockburn – an old gold mining town. This is recognised as one of the warmest sub-regions of Central Otago with much of the soil made up of loam over schist gravels (holding the warmth of the day’s sun). It was mined extensively in the 1860s for gold – so other soils are washdowns from sluicing when entire hillsides were eroded away for the precious metal.

Parts of the Domain Road Vineyard rest on some of this gold mining residue. Because these were actually untouched by gold diggers, other soils types on the site include a heavier, more fertile loam mix with calcium and gravel deposits. Most of the Domain Road Pinot Noir is grown on the untouched soils, whereas the Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc thrive on the exposed schist gravels with some pipeclay from mining. The Domain Road wines are made to reflect the special soils and continental climate of the region. With a core of pure fruit contrasting naturally higher acid levels and a mineral floral layer the wines are complex and delicious. Such is the quality that earlier in 2019 I was happy to award their Dry Riesling the Best

New Zealand Riesling trophy at the Canberra International Riesling Challenge. The same wine also took trophy for the best Dry Riesling of the whole competition. The Cellar Door is uniquely positioned – a short drive up the hill quickly provides you the elevation to view the vineyard and catch some of the team tending the vines. Most of the current release wines are opened for tasting and if you ask nicely, you might also discover some older bottles to add to your purchase (note: there is no food on site for purchase).

MAUDE WINES TASTING ROOM, 76A Golf Course Road, Wanaka Tucked away in the Maungawera Valley, a little off the beaten track and just outside the township of Wanaka, is the vineyard of Maude, family owned and operated over two decades. The steep, terraced site with a natural west to east flow faces the majestic Mount Maude. Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris are specific to different parts of the vineyard to take advantage of morning and afternoon light, the diurnal day night temperature shift being important to each variety.

Winemakers Sarah-Kate and Dan Dineen developed their winemaking careers in the Hunter Valley, Australia through the 1990s before returning to New Zealand to fulfil their dream of making excellent Pinot Noir. They have achieved this with the multiaward winning wines they produce. Located along Golf Course Road just above the township of Wanaka, the Maude Wines Tasting Room is in a great location, and has its own parking. The view across the lake to the mountains is stunning, from both indoors and out. Comfortable chairs and big tables encourage a relaxing tasting experience, and bean bags and a petanque court are available on the lawn if you want to linger longer. Sarah-Kate and Dan had the opportunity to open the tasting room in 2018. During the day it’s dedicated to wine tasting, accompanied by a simple and dedicated menu – a tick-box card provides the opportunity to taste some or all of

the wine selection, or relax and enjoy wine by the glass. A really nice attribute of the space is that it actually feels laidback and welcoming – more like a restaurant experience than a tasting room. The staff are all knowledgeable and can discuss the wines professionally. In the evening, the facility reverts to Bistro Gentil, a French-themed restaurant. On a recent visit to the region I spent time in the vineyard and the tasting room. Among the high-quality wines offered are two different Riesling expressions – I preferred the dry, with the off-dry a very close second preference. The Maude Estate Pinot Noir is an outstanding expression of the variety - the winemaker’s vision and the soils, sweet clean air and the core of authenticity that is Central Otago. The now notable vine age delivers some spectacular fruit, and a single vineyard range will be available sometime in late 2019. I enjoyed a sneak preview of these wines, and suggest you keep an ear out for when these wines become available.

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+ 64 3 445 4244 wine@domainroad.co.nz domainroad.co.nz

+64 3 443 2299 tastingroom@maudewines.com maudewines.com


TOP WINE DESTINATIONS

PEGASUS BAY, Stockgrove Rd, Waipara, North Canterbury The Pegasus Bay vineyards, restaurant and cellar door tasting room are located on the same beautiful site along the Stockgrove Road in Waipara North Canterbury. Established in the 1970s by Ivan and Christine Donaldson, the Pegasus Bay brand is well known throughout New Zealand and globally. Most definitively a family business, with Matthew as chief winemaker, Edward the marketing manager and global ambassador, Paul as general manager and Michael sales manager. Each of the Donaldson’s siblings have partners who are also part of the family enterprise – for example, Belinda, Edward’s wife, manages the on-site restaurant. The cellar door is one of New Zealand’s finest, with a team of enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff opening the wines for sampling and discussion. I love that they have some large format wines for sale (magnums and bigger), as well as library release wines from time to time. It’s quite spacious, and I find it easy to take my glass, move to a quiet space and write notes on the wine. The estate wines are where you should actually start your taste experience, finishing with the opera-themed Reserve wines (a small fee for tasting is refunded when you purchase).

GIBBSTON VALLEY WINES, 1820 State Highway 6, Queenstown Driving away from Queenstown heading into the Kawarau gorge is a picturesque and charming journey. The first of the dramatic landscapes delivers you into the Gibbston Valley – home to the Gibbston Valley wine site. You’ll know you’re close when you see people bungy jumping off a bridge nearby. The first commercial vineyard in Central Otago was established in the early 1980s by Alan Brady. It wasn’t until 1990 that the Gibbston Valley Wine brand was launched along with a winery, tasting room experience and restaurant. As the popularity of the site grew, along with the need to find more space to store

Behind the cellar door walls is the winery, where all the ferment action takes place and you get views of this working facility and barrel hall. Though tours of the winery are not on offer, the staff can discuss any aspect you’re curious about.

barrels and age wine properly, a cave was blasted into the hill out of solid schist rock. Today, this is the largest wine cave in New Zealand and can be toured when you visit. Another special feature of the Gibbston Valley location is an outdoor concert space where local and international artists perform. As the brand has grown over the last 40 years, so too has the range of wines. The initial Estate range has been expanded into Single Vineyard expressions, Reserve wines and – a recent addition to the portfolio – the Gold River and Bendigo Uncut range. Vineyard resources have expanded into different parts of the region. The wines themselves feature Pinot Noir as the flagship variety, with Riesling, Pinot

Next to the tasting room is the beautiful, award-winning restaurant. It is both elegant and welcoming, and has really delicious menu offerings, including much drawn from local sources and their own gardens. We love the thoughtful selections and usually prefer to dine with company to ensure we don’t miss any of the treats. The outdoor seating extends into the gardens, making for leisurely summertime meals. Bookings are recommended. There’s no wine from the Pegasus Bay portfolio that I wouldn’t purchase and cellar, share with friends or wrap as a special gift. I must admit the Bel Canto Riesling is a favourite – and one of Pegasus Bay’s most notable. With its precise citrus, limeflower and white-fleshed tree fruit core, intense minerality and long dry finish, this wine has got to be one of New Zealand’s finest examples of the style. The Virtuoso Chardonnay is also all charm and elegance, with a quiet power and complex detailed finish. The Prima Donna Pinot Noir is everything the name suggests – attentionseeking flavours, expressive tannins, a core of fruit and a long finish. +64 3 314 6869 info@pegasusbay.com pegasusbay.com Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay spread across the portfolio. Many of the wines are award-winning and sell through quickly, so I suggest you don’t hesitate when you taste something that appeals. At the cellar door, a team of confident, welltrained staff will look after your wine tasting requirements – from time to time there are some rare wine available – the team can also offer advice shipping overseas. The dining space is large with indoor and outdoor options to suit the equally dramatic Central Otago weather – in the summer it can be scorching or warm, balmy and fun to be outdoors. In the cooler weather it’s cosy by the fireplace. The cellar door menu offers platters and light meal options, while the main dining room has an extensive à la carte menu and will give you the opportunity to linger over the tasty food/wine pairings. If cheese is your thing, they also have an onsite cheesery where you can explore more experiences for enjoying their wines, and a bike hub will allow you to work off the excesses. No time to properly cover the glorious new lodge and spa here – I shall simply say WOW. W +64 3 442 6910 info@gibbstonvalley.com gibbstonvalley.com

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A Family

Affair

THE LE BRUN FAMILY HAS BEEN MAKING MÉTHODE TRADITIONELLE IN MARLBOROUGH FOR 40 YEARS, BUT ITS HISTORY IN PRODUCING PREMIUM BUBBLES GOES BACK MUCH FURTHER...

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he No.1 Family Estate wine journey began in New Zealand in the 1970s, but the Le Brun family’s winemaking history reaches back more than 335 years to the Champagne region of France, with the first record of a Le Brun planting vines in Champagne in 1684. From a young age, Daniel Le Brun was immersed in the family vineyards and Champagne production in the village of Monthelon. He studied winemaking and oenology at the Champagne school in Avize. After listening to tales from seasonal grape pickers he visited New Zealand, saw the huge potential and decided to emigrate. Considering he was the eldest son, his decision came as a deep shock to his family and neighbours. “I was convinced right from the start that New Zealand could produce a world-class sparkling wine,” says Daniel. Arriving in New Zealand in 1975, Daniel began investigating the regions, with a view to planting his first Méthode Traditionelle vineyard. When he made his way down to Marlborough “his excitement at what he discovered was palpable and unstoppable,” says Daniel’s wife Adele. “The writing was on the wall – he saw in Marlborough a combination of climate and soils that could create a MéthodeTraditionelle to rival those wines of his native Champagne.” But first, a wedding. Kiwi Adele and Daniel were married in 1979 in Rotorua, and in June 1980, daughter Virginie was born. Four months later the time was right, and the family

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moved to Marlborough, and in possession of his Rotorua-grown nursery vines, Daniel finally planted his first Méthode Traditionelle vineyard, under his first venture, in Marlborough’s Wairau Valley. Daniel’s second Méthode vineyard in Marlborough, and his second venture, No.1 Family Estate, is the only winery in New Zealand dedicated exclusively to the production of Méthode Traditionelle, or as it was referred to then, Méthode Champenoise. “There were no Champagne varietals grown in Marlborough at the time,” says Adele. “It was predominantly Müller-Thurgau, a small amount of Sauvignon Blanc and some Riesling.” “When Daniel first arrived in New Zealand, the growing techniques and production

Daniel Le Brun, winemaker and owner

methods used in Champagne were unknown here. He was a pioneer for classic Méthode Traditionelle as a commercial venture and became known in the industry as the ‘crazy Frenchman’.” Some of the ‘crazy’ label was brought about by him planting his vines close together to put them under stress, which ultimately produced better quality fruit. Another ‘crazy’ moment was the shock and horror he caused by unearthing a hill, where Daniel built two underground cellars in which his future Méthodes would undergo their second fermentation in the bottle, in cool and stable conditions, as is the norm in Champagne. The only New Zealand sparkling wines available on the market at that time were created in a ‘soda stream’ method, by adding CO2 to create the bubble. Champagne bubbles, or mousse, are created during the second fermentation inside each bottle. The Champagne method should take at least two and a half years from picking the grapes to release. Daniel was also the first winemaker to import Champagne yeast into the Southern Hemisphere as well as specialised equipment from the region, which included a machine for disgorging the frozen plug and gyro pallets that gently tilt and turn the bottles, replicating the riddling process - once done painstakingly by hand. “Which incidentally Daniel did by hand for the first couple of years in Marlborough,” adds Adele. “In the early days it was impossible, unlike


The No.1 Family Estate cellar door in Marlborough

now, to purchase suitable (classical) Méthode Traditionelle varietals from growers,” says Adele. “After planting our 30 acres in 1980 it took three years before the first harvest. Daniel worked tirelessly. After spending the day setting vineyards for absentee developers, he continued after hours, from 5pm until sometimes past midnight on our own vineyard. There were no weekends for the Le Brun family. The neighbours called me ‘the widow’.” “The challenges along the way have been varied and plentiful, as in any pioneering venture over a 40-year span. From the Rogernomics economic policy in the 1980s and backlash from the Rainbow Warrior to reinventing ourselves as No.1 Family

The Le Brun family, from left: Virginie, Daniel, Adele and Rémy

Estate, New Zealand’s only Méthode Traditionelle specialist.” Fast-forward those 40 years, and No.1 Family Estate is still the only winery in New Zealand committed exclusively to producing premium Méthode Traditionelle wine, but noone is calling Daniel crazy these days. Just like his family who still reside in Champagne, Daniel has continued the family tradition, becoming an award-winning Champenoise winemaker. His passion shines through in his work as he produces some of the highest quality Méthode Traditionelle in New Zealand. “Looking back over four decades in Marlborough, there’s a sense of achievement seeing Daniel’s dream of Marlborough grow and become a reality,” says Adele. “The whole team at No.1 Family Estate, who are all considered family, share the same vision and dedication to quality, in particular Lee Dobson who joined us aged 17. With mentoring and education support by Daniel, Lee is now our winery manager and works alongside Daniel in the winemaking team.”

“This year celebrated 20 years since the launch of our Cuvée No.1. It is renowned throughout New Zealand and has received multiple trophies, gold medals and five star awards since its release on Bastille Day in 1999. “Of course the accolades accumulated over the years are a testament to the quality of our Méthode Traditionelle, but it must be said, apart from those who called Daniel the ‘crazy Frenchman’, there were those who were happy to see Marlborough attracting the attention of French wine growers, many of whom gave us incredible support and lifelong friendships to this day.” Carrying on the family traditions, Adele and Daniel’s son Rémy has joined the winemaking team and is mentored by both Daniel and Lee. He is currently finishing his bachelor’s degree in viticulture and oenology and is managing the vineyard in Marlborough, making him the 13th generation of Le Brun family vignerons. Previously working as an actress, daughter Virginie has also joined the family business, as global brand ambassador in London from 2013 to 2017 and now as the domestic and international sales director. “Family has always been at the core of what we do,” says Virginie. “To quote mum, ‘we are first and foremost a family business’.” “Mum and papa have achieved remarkable success, not only as pioneers but as individuals who set benchmarks in their fields. So it is with absolute certainty I say, I could not have a better mentor than my mother, and I know that is the same for Rémy with papa.” “Our history as a family producing Méthode Traditionelle (and Champagne, in France) runs many generations deep. It reflects that we as No.1 Family Estate remain not only true to our lineage in Champagne, but also our dedication to quality control and our belief in Marlborough as the Champagne of the Antipodes.” W

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Liquid Gold

GROWING GRAPES ON FORMER GOLD-MINING CLAIMS HAS HELPED PRODUCE SOME 24-KARAT WINES FROM DOMAIN ROAD VINEYARD

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We always used to tell people there’s bound to be a little bit of gold in every bottle, especially in the Pinot Noir, as that’s grown on those gold-bearing gravels,” laughs Graeme Crosbie, who owns Domain Road Vineyard in Bannockburn, Central Otago, with wife Gillian. The “Dunedin-born and bred” couple have a lifelong connection to the area. “Bannockburn is a place that independently both our families have had some sort of contact with over the years,” says Graeme. His great-grandfather built gold dredges up in the Nevis, while Gillian’s mother was a teacher at the local school for a time. They have owned a house in Bannockburn for more than 30 years, and holidayed there for many years prior to that. Fascinated by the growth of vineyards and the wines they produced, when an old apricot orchard in nearby Domain Road came up for sale, the pair decided to try their hand at developing their own vineyard. “Gillian and I had a long interest in wine, and with our connection to the area, it really came about as a meeting of those two things, in that the wine industry moved to Bannockburn and we had the interest and the opportunity to purchase into a property – with some other people originally but we eventually bought everybody out and have been running it ourselves for over 10 years now,” says Graeme. The now tiny settlement of Bannockburn was an important and bustling town during the gold rush of the 1860s. Domain Road Vineyard overlooks an historic area known as ‘The Sluicings’ where stunning land formations are a legacy of the gold mining activity. The environmental devastation created by the early gold miners, who literally washed away entire hillsides while sluicing for gold, has inadvertently been a godsend for growing grapes. It left behind good quality loam over free-draining schist gravel and pipeclay, popular with the early miners for making tobacco pipes. Both of these, along with the climate, which provides hot summers and cold winters, make for excellent wine-producing grapes. Domain Road’s Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling grapes thrive on the section of the vineyard land that was once mined for gold, while their Pinot Noir grows on land undisturbed by gold mining activity. “The Domain Road vineyard actually has three titles, but the title where the Pinot Noir is, the person that owned that didn't actually mine on that site, he was a gold miner elsewhere, which meant that the largest area of that particular vineyard was never actually worked for gold,” explains Graeme. “So it has its original gravels and soils on the top, which is quite important for Pinot Noir. “There will be gold there, there’s gold pretty much everywhere in Bannockburn” says

Graeme and Gillian Crosbie with vineyard dog Lucy

Graeme. “Where the vineyards are is very, very fine gold, it would take a lot to extract it and would ruin the vineyard.” When the global financial crisis hit the industry in 2009, the Crosbies might have been tempted to start digging under the vines for gold nuggets, but instead went against the mood of the moment by purchasing a second block of land to develop into vines. “We saw an opportunity to look around our region to see if there was any other land available that we could expand into, and we found a bare piece of land on Felton Road that hadn’t been developed, of very good quality, and we were fortunate enough to purchase that,” says Graeme. “It was a difficult time in the wine industry and people were either meeting those challenges with downsizing, selling land or trying to produce more entry level and cheaper wines, which I never saw as being a direction for us.” “We were really swimming against the tide of the times, so we came up with the name

The Domain Road vineyard

‘Defiance’ for the new vineyard – we were defiantly going where no one else wanted to tread at the time.” This trailblazing ‘defiance’ is a key point of difference for Domain Road Vineyard. “I think it’s our determination as well to just be producing at the premium level, the premium end of winemaking, so even our estate wine is not an entry-level wine, and none of our wines are,” says Graeme. “There are a few people still doing this in Central Otago, but it’s becoming fewer and fewer, most have some sort of entry level Pinot Noir especially now, it just seems to be the way of it.” “Pinot Noir is the main wine of our region, and I guess another point of difference for us is that only 50 percent of our plantings are Pinot Noir, whereas others can be anything from maybe 70 to 100 percent. “Gillian and I have always had a fairly wide palate of wine that we like and so we’ve produced 10 wines out of 14 hectares, so it’s quite a number, it’s a little bit unusual.” Despite having only half their vineyards planted in Pinot Noir, Graeme says the wines produced from it are still their “standouts”. “We do three Pinot Noir wines not including a Rosé, which is also 100 percent Pinot Noir – two single vineyards and then Bannockburn Pinot Noir which is a blend of grapes from both vineyards. “The next one for us is Chardonnay, a newer wine, but it's one I've always liked – we didn't plant it originally because in the early 2000s there was a move against Chardonnay and it was very hard to sell, so we actually planted Riesling instead. “And Riesling is also a variety I guess would be next in line for me, because we produce some really excellent Rieslings. We think our Riesling has an interesting point of difference because of that gold-mined land it grows on.” W

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ADVERTORIAL

Outstanding Wine Experience at Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa A STAY AT CENTRAL OTAGO’S NEWEST LUXURY LODGE WOULDN’T BE COMPLETE WITHOUT AN OUTSTANDING WINE EXPERIENCE – EXACTLY WHAT’S ON THE MENU AT QUEENSTOWN’S GIBBSTON VALLEY LODGE & SPA.

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ADVERTORIAL

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inemaker Christopher Keys says the Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa’s Essential Wine Experience is a perfect opportunity for guests to get up close to what the winery team does. “At heart, it shows the beautiful reality of creation. Winemaking is an annual cycle of activity. Our idea is to satisfy those who have a curiosity about what it’s all about.” Exclusive to Lodge guests, the experience takes individuals through the working core of Gibbston Valley, including the winemaking facilities and iconic Wine Cave. “There’s nothing else like it. In the cave the atmosphere is peaceful and contemplative: just you and hundreds of barrels of Pinot Noir lining the walls. Then we’ll take you into the Winery and even through the Chef’s Gardens to see where some of the ingredients for your lunch will be sourced. This is all about showcasing the quality of our people and primary ingredients.” Guests will then enjoy an entertaining short film on the winegrowing process in the Lodge’s private theatre. “It’s visually spectacular. Of course being filmed in Central Otago it’s impossible for it not to be – but the film also captures all the colour and life of harvest and winegrowing.”

A winemaker will then lead a tasting through Gibbston Valley’s finest premium and Single Vineyard releases. “We’ve got an extensive cellar with a wide range of wines. It’s going to be interesting and it’s going to be good. We’ll allow for all preferences, probably only kicking you out if you want a Merlot.” The experience ends with a convivial lunch. Executive Chef Anthony Gradiska delivers enticing seasonal produce from the Winery’s organic gardens, expertly paired with wines. “You’ll get a very clear and close impression of the seasons and styles of Central Otago. We want to host people the way we’re accustomed; deeply informative, but super friendly and relaxed.” For those keen to take their wine experience to new heights, a guided helicopter trip is also available, stopping at spectacular sites and all the Winery’s major vineyards. Gibbston Valley’s new venture features 24 luxury villas set amongst its Le Maitre home block vineyard, a striking central lodge building and separate spa. Exclusive biking and walking trails are dotted on the surrounding 1000-acres of privately-owned land. For further information and bookings go to gibbstonvalleylodgeandspa.com.

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Wine Tour

SIP YOUR WAY FROM ONE END OF THE COUNTRY TO THE OTHER VIA THIS NATIONWIDE GUIDE TO OUR FINEST DROPS

TRUE NORTH Northland remains a small yet important region with a handful of wineries continuing the story of viticulture and wine. Marsden Estate has shown its value to the New Zealand wine industry overall with value and consistently well-made wine. Ake Ake, Paroa Bay and The Landing produce wines with warmth and generosity, representing the region’s dedication to the production of fine wine from Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Syrah. The Auckland wine region reaches as far north as Matakana, south to Clevedon and across the water to Waiheke Island – it’s a key centre for fine wine production. The region supports many varieties – from Bordeaux-style red blends and Syrah on Waiheke Island to Pinot Gris from Matakana. Brick Bay, Cable Bay, Tantalus Estate, Mudbrick, Stonyridge, Man O’ War and Puriri Hills are among many quality producers. World class Chardonnay from Kumeu River and the third most recognised winery brand on the planet Villa Maria (based at Ihumãtao in Mangere) are two cellar door and wine tasting experiences that should not be missed. The Waikato and Bay of Plenty form a single wine region. Once well known for its aromatic wine production, it is now home to only two estates. Gisborne’s own wine story began in the 1800s with early settlers producing wine

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for their own consumption, and by the 1920s it was well into significant volumes for commercial sales. Gisborne is home to the Millton family – James and Annie are pioneers in biodynamic viticulture practices and unquestionably set a benchmark in this important method. A few of my favourite wines from producers in the region include Tohu, Toi Toi, Odyssey Wines, Huntaway, Spade Oak, Coopers Creek, Matawhero and Millton Vineyards. Hawke’s Bay is a beautiful place to visit – with warm summers, mild winters and a stunning landscape. It contains a range of different soil types, from free-draining river stone soils to red metals and limestone,

which ensures Hawke’s Bay is able to ripen a wide variety of grape types and make some excellent wines. Many notable producers are situated here – examples include Elephant Hill, Clearview Estate, Bilancia, Te Mata Estate and Pask with their Syrah stories; great Cabernet-led blends and Chardonnay from Villa Maria, Sacred Hill, Esk Valley, Craggy Range and Te Awa Estates. Be sure to look out for some great wines from Radburnd Cellars too. North east of Wellington is the Wairarapa, where the important sub-regions of Gladstone, Masterton and Martinborough are located. Every producer in the region seems to have a fascinating story underpinning their Ostler, Waitaki Valley, North Otago


Marsden Estate, Kerikeri, Bay of Islands

Neudorf Winery, Upper Moutere, Nelson Tasman

brand, and some marvellous wines to try. Very fine Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir and Syrah are made here. No story of the region is complete without mentioning Ata Rangi, Palliser Estate, Dry River, Escarpment, Martinborough Vineyard and Schubert wines. A few producers you need to add to your shopping list are Gladstone Vineyard, Luna Estate, Big Sky, The Elder, Brodie, Julicher and Urlar. LOOKING SOUTHWARD Nelson is a small wine region, but punches well above its weight for quality, style and consistency. For at least the last 20 years, Nelson wine has earned many wine awards at international competitions, been listed on many wine programmes and been recognised with placement on the Fine Wines of New Zealand list. Soils vary from old riverbed on the valley floor to more clay-based in the hills. Neudorf wines consistently impress with their complexity, precision and true expression of site. Their Chardonnays and Pinots Noir are investment wines, and fans of more aromatic styles should also try their Albariño and Riesling. Other regional producers of note include Blackenbrook (for their Gewürztraminer); Aronui and Brightwater, all producing, among other varieties, great Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. There’s no doubt in my mind that Nelson is a significant contributor to New Zealand’s wine story.

There's a lot to see and do in Marlborough, from Peter Jackson’s airplane museum and a handmade chocolate factory to numerous local breweries and a fascinating wine scene. It will take you more than a couple of days to get the full picture of Marlborough and if, for example, you're a fan of Sauvignon Blanc (like me), it’s not difficult to find examples of high quality, diverse and interesting expressions of our most famous variety. I highly recommend producers such as Zephyr, Churton, Mahi, Auntsfield, Dog Point, Greywacke and Clos Marguerite. The Méthode Marlborough group and its growing membership of key sparkling wine producers is an important player in the wine fabric of the region. Many examples of these Méthode Traditionnelle wines will rival anything you may have tried from the Northern Hemisphere. No.1 Family Estate, with their family roots in the Champagne region of France, are leaders in a growing list of bottle-fermented sparkling wine producers. Cloudy Bay (Rosé), Huia (Blanc de Blancs) and Nautilus are three other noteworthy producers. Te Whare Ra, The Darling, Giesen, Clos Henri, Foxes Island, Love Block, Clos Marguerite, Blank Canvas and Two Rivers are among my favourites in a long (and growing) list of fine Marlborough Pinot Noir producers. The vineyards that make up the wine region of Canterbury are located mostly north of Christchurch – an easy one-hour drive from the airport. Many are on the valley floor, but as you travel north you‘ll notice some on hillsides or nestled between undulating hills. If you make an appointment to visit the Pyramid Valley or Bell Hill sites then some spectacular hillside viticulture can be viewed. Soils are mainly limestone, gravels and clays and a semi-continental climate produces some outstanding and delicious wines.

Anything from Pegasus Bay, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Black Estate, Pyramid Valley, Bell Hill, Greystone Wines, Bellbird Spring, Mt. Beautiful, Tongue In Groove Wines and Waipara Hills are great examples from talented winemakers. The Waitaki Valley region of North Otago offers some amazing landscapes and is a photographer’s paradise. There’s plenty of old-fashioned hospitality in the township of Kurow and some fascinating vineyard sites to explore. You can count the number of wine producers on one hand, but don’t let that stop you visiting the area. The landscape may be challenging and dramatic, but it is also beautiful and interesting. The soils are greywacke and limestone threaded. Pinot Noir from Ostler and Valli is among the best in New Zealand. Central Otago as a tourist destination is without question one of New Zealand’s most popular, but as a wine region it attracts many visitors as well. Its continental climate, schist, quartz and weathered soils along with dramatic geography challenges grape growing and winemaking, but delivers some fascinating and delicious wines. With many producers of fine Pinot Noir, Riesling, sparkling wines and Chardonnay, there’s a lot to explore. Maude, Misha’s Vineyard, Wooing Tree, Stewart Town, Quartz Reef, Prophets Rock, Peregrine, Rockburn, Akitu, Burn Cottage, Ceres, Grasshopper Rock, Hawkdun Rise, Lamont, Ruru, Perseverance Estate, Mondillo, Nevis Bluff, Judge Rock, Two Paddocks and Mount Edward are all leader producers. At the 2019 Canberra International Wine Challenge, Domain Road Wines from Bannockburn won best New Zealand Riesling and overall Show Trophy for best dry Riesling. W

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Viva

L’Italia! DESPITE VISITING DOZENS OF VINEYARDS AROUND THE WORLD EACH YEAR, ITALY REMAINS A FIRM FAVOURITE

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Masi Campofiorin Corvina, Rondinella & Molinara 2015, Verona, Italy

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o trip to Italy would be complete without a wine experience. It doesn’t matter if that experience is at a café table sipping an Aperol spritz, dining at a pizzeria enjoying a glass of table red or visiting a winery tasting room. Wine is ingrained in the culture of the people with almost every major city or town devoting land to vineyards across Italy’s 20 regions. With 900,000 registered vineyards and over 1,000 registered grape varieties, Italy is one of the most challenging and exciting wine countries. One of the more fascinating wine regions to visit is Veneto, in the north-east corner of the country. In addition to being home to the Romeo and Juliet of Shakespeare’s Verona and the romantic city of Venice, it extends the love stories with incredible wine landscapes. The Veneto is where delicious wines such as Valpolicella and Amarone originate. Both these wines are red blends using the native Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara varieties. What makes them different from other red wines around Italy is that some producers make use of a process called ‘appassimento’ – select bunches of grapes are placed on bamboo drying mats, then stacked in dedicated drying rooms and allowed to dehydrate away a portion of the juice. When the berries reach a particular state of shrivel they are reunited with the rest of the non-dried fruit and fermented, which gives the wine characteristics of increased richness, power and flavour.

The tannins are fine yet abundant, the texture smooth and silky, the flavour concentrated and delicious. One of the premiere producers (as well as the key developers of the appassimento process) is Masi (available in New Zealand). Another of the famous wines from the region is Soave. Soave is a place, as well as a wine style – a white wine made from the Garganega grape (often with a little Trebbiano). Soave is made in many different styles, but the one we mostly encounter in New Zealand is a dry style with moderate weight and flavours of yellow stonefruit and citrus (sometimes a little pineapple) and a crisp, refreshing finish. A really great summer wine, and a nice alternative to Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling. Pinot Grigio is a distinctive and well recognised variety from Italy. It is the leaner, racier and more mineral version of Pinot Gris. The region of Veneto and further north into the Trentino and Alto-Adige regions provide the right growing conditions for this variety. Aromas and flavours are of crunchy green pear, apple and citrus with a core of minerality and crisp refreshing finish. It is also a lightweight wine similar to a drier Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc. Grigio is a great summer drinking wine, delicious served alongside seafood, shellfish and baked root vegetables. W Photo credits: Cameron Douglas

Visually engaging with a dark ruby core, crimson and reds. Aromas of wild red berries, dark cherries and plums. A second layer in the bouquet reveals scents of steel, iron and graphite, leather and preserved red berry fruit core. The palate shows off flavours the nose suggests with wild red berries, preserved cherry, brown spices and leather. A light violet floral note, firm tannins with a velvet texture and lengthy finish. POINTS: 93 RRP $39

Masi Costasera Amarone Classico, Corvina, Rondinella & Molinara 2013, Verona, Italy Immediately engaging bouquet, powerful yet smooth, aromas of dark berries, soil, oak, brown spices and cocoa powder. Distinctive, complex, fruity, rustic and original. On the palate – harmonious, detailed and complex with a core of fruit contrasted by minerality, baking spices, firm tannins and medium+ acidity. A delicious wine well suited to classic protein-rich cuisine. Best drinking from today and through 2023. POINTS: 95 RRP $99

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p o r D Your SWAP

THIS SUMMER IS THE PERFECT TIME TO TRY OUT SOME LESS FAMILIAR BUT NO LESS DELICIOUS ALTERNATIVES TO KIWI TRIED-AND-TRUES

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ew Zealand’s love affair with wine has been built on the pioneering spirit of those who planted vines in the early 1800s and more recently in the 1970s. Our modern pioneers have given us some amazing opportunities to fall in love with Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Riesling and the Cabernet family. All our original vine material has been imported – New Zealand has no indigenous grape varieties. Our winemakers are constantly innovating – and some newer plantings are gaining traction. If you’re keen to try a new wine style or variety have a look at these: Albariño has its first homes in Spain and Portugal (Alvarinho) – this white wine has aromas and flavours of peaches and citrus – a decent level of acidity and a natural saline sensation. The texture mouth-watering, generous, fruity and totally fun. I find it a great alternative to Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. It can be made with or without oak so is a versatile wine to try with lightweight seafood dishes, baked kumara and pasta with prawns. Hawke’s Bay, Gisborne and Nelson are producing some great examples. Grüner Veltliner is native to Austria. The aromas and flavours should include pineapple, apple and citrus, distinctive white pepper, white hay, snow pea and radish, along with naturally elevated acidity. This wine is great as an aperitif or paired with veal schnitzel, fried foods like chicken and even simple forms of

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sushi. A natural alternative to Sauvignon Blanc with local producers in Marlborough, North Canterbury, Otago and the lower North Island. Arneis is a variety native to northern Italy, with cool climate aromas and flavours of pears and apricots, white peach and citrus. It has an abundance of acidity and no oak in sight so is a wine to try in place of dry Pinot Gris, Riesling and unoaked Chardonnay. Another versatile pairing choice – try risotto, fresh cheeses, pasta with chicken and even pizza. Not too many growers in New Zealand but do try Coopers Creek from Gisborne – it’s fantastic. Fiano is another Italian finding a fan base in New Zealand. With aromas and flavours of fragrant spices, peaches and golden kiwifruit, a steely acid line and soft savoury herb layer, this is a wine I highly recommend you try. A natural alternative to Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc, this wine is great with shellfish, pork and veal dishes as well as tofu burgers with onion and tomato. Tempranillo is Spanish – records show it has been grown there since as early as the 800s. It’s a deeply coloured wine with rich dark red fruited flavours, loads of brown spices and dark plum, a meaty, violet, very textured wine that offers an interesting alternative to Syrah, the Cabernets and bolder Pinot Noirs. In New Zealand you’ll find it mainly in Hawke’s Bay and Auckland. It’s a great match for anything red that comes off the barbecue, fuller, richer foods such as smoked seafood risotto and even pulled pork or hard cheeses. W


Dry River Craighall Tempranillo 2016, RRP $65

Coopers Creek The Little Rascal SV Gisborne Arneis, RRP $21.99

Leftfield Gisborne Albariño, RRP $17.99 Waimea Estates Grüner Veltliner 2018, RRP $29.99

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r e d r O Wine A New

HOW TO ORDER WINE LIKE A PRO

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f you’re handed the wine list and you don’t usually make the choices, you can treat it as fun, or a bit off-putting, especially if the list is more than a couple of pages long, full of unfamiliar names, or you’re in the company of someone who really knows their stuff. You like wine, but will usually pass to someone else to choose. Here’s some handy information (focused on New Zealand wines) to give you the confidence to have a go yourself. There are very reliable regional variety selections even if you don’t recognise producers, for example a Northland or Hawke’s Bay Syrah; A Wairarapa, Nelson, Marlborough or Otago Sauvignon Blanc; Hawke’s Bay or Canterbury Chardonnay; and Pinot Noir from nearly all of New Zealand’s wine regions. Some of the better recent vintages include ’13, ’14 & ’15 (all rather decent), some ’15, ’16 & ’17 (quite decent) and ’19 looks like a real cracker. If you’re not sure about price versus quality ask the staff, but if they aren't able to help, choose the middle price range. Ideally the sommelier will have let you know changes or deletions when handing over the list – it’s embarrassing when you order a wine only to find out it’s not available. Make your selection and advise the sommelier – feel free to ask their opinion if you have a couple in mind. The bottle will arrive and be presented, label facing you for reading and approval before the opening process can begin. It’s okay to touch the bottle to check the temperature is cool enough – whites and reds no warmer than 12°C and sparkling 5°– 8°C. With a nod from you the server needs to open and pour a little. It’s important to smell and taste the sample – not all wines are textbook perfect, and this is the right time to identify a fault. It’s actually the reason for tasting the wine – not to see if you like it.

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Some possible issues include rotting apple smells, nail-polish or vinegar (oxidation), an old library book (faulty cork/cork taint), or burnt matches (possibly too much preservative) – any of these and you may want to reject the wine. Just ask for a fresh bottle or choose something different. When you approve the pour for the rest of the table you have sealed the contract and purchased the wine. What if there’s no fault, you just don’t like the wine? My suggestion is you try the wine with dinner – it may surprise you. Though in some cases good customer relations may dictate the restaurant does take it back, if you’ve ordered it and it has been opened, it’s yours. W


Gold-Standard

e r a w ss Gl a UP THE ANTE ON YOUR DRINKING EXPERIENCE WITH A WINE GLASS OF QUALITY

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rom the 1950s to 1970s, a glass known as the ‘Paris goblet’ seemed to be standard in pubs, dining rooms and many households. This little gem had a full capacity of 100ml, meaning there was little to no chance of swirling the wine to extract aroma, discover complexity and absorb the story of provenance. Changes in glassware choices began to emerge from the 1980s, when the world of wine was also changing. Magazines dedicated to wine and critics’ voices on quality, provenance and style became more common; and the evolution of the World Wide Web now ensures the modern era of wine awareness. The enjoyment of wine is now inextricably linked to the glassware used. The shape and composition of the glass, surface area, effects of the swirl on the bouquet and aromas and details such as a fine rim to deliver onto the palate are just some of the factors that influence how a specific wine or variety will be perceived by the taster. Mouth-blown glassware is naturally going to be more expensive, but delivers better wine experiences for the taster, with thinner glass and often exceptionally thin rims. Stemless

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versions deliver almost exactly the same taste experience, the actual difference being that the action of the swirl is limited and the angle of approach – nose to glass – may be more acute. Holding the glass bowl is also going to impact temperature. Some of the brands readily available in New Zealand and providing executive wine experiences include Riedel (Austria), Jancis Robinson (Czech Republic), Eisch (Germany), Zalto (Austria), Spiegelau (Germany) and Plumm (Australia). These are all designed to showcase a variety or style beautifully, and can make fantastic gifts. If you’re really focused on maximising your wine experience always handwash your glassware in warm water with a little detergent, then rinse thoroughly. Jancis emphasises that her glass is dishwasher proof – my response is yes, great that the glass is safe in the dishwasher, but it may then have the taint of the detergent baked into it. Hand polish with a dedicated cloth (not your dish towel) slowly, polishing the bowl first, then stem and finally base. Separating the bowl from the stem will happen often if you polish by twisting the bowl and stem in opposing directions. W


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1. Eisch SensisPlus Superior Bordeaux glass RRP $50 hancocks.co.nz 2. The Jancis Robinson ‘One Glass for Every Wine’ wine glass RRP $85 ateliernash.co.nz 3. Spiegelau Authentis red wine glass eurovintage.co.nz 4. Eisch SensisPlus Superior Burgundy glass RRP $50 hancocks.co.nz 5. The Jancis Robinson ‘One Glass for Every Wine’ stemless glass 2-pack RRP $129 ateliernash.co.nz 6. Spiegelau Authentis Champagne glass eurovintage.co.nz

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s e n i W s ou Preci Protect Your

ENSURE YOUR COLLECTION IS WELL CARED FOR WITH A SUITABLE SPACE TO STORE YOUR INVESTMENT

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iscovering wines that you love to drink is one of life’s pleasures. Collecting a few (or many) bottles to put away for a later time requires research, currency and a suitable space to store the investment. Once wine is in bottle it needs to be looked after correctly. It should be held in an environment that protects its integrity of aroma, flavour and structure – so that when the bottle is eventually opened it lives up to your expectations. Wine will age and evolve no matter how you store it, so the best approach to storage is one that enables maximum positive development. The main factors that influence a wine’s rate of ageing include its exposure to heat, light, vibration and other movement. The perfect storage environment is one that ensures these conditions are favourable. Wine should be kept in a constant cool temperature when stored – around 12.5° Celsius is best – and at a relative humidity of around 60% (not generally achievable in the hall cupboard, and definitely not in the kitchen next to the fridge). Remove as much UV light attack as possible – a dark space is best – and be sure

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the washing machine, dishwasher, coffee machine or refrigerator are not transferring heat and vibration into the wine. The obvious and best solution to these challenges is either a dedicated room, or a space that you can close off. If it’s within your means install an air conditioning unit (these range in price from $200 to about $5k). If this kind of cellar arrangement is not available to you, a wine fridge is another – and perhaps the best – modern solution to wine storage. Research and development into wine fridges has excelled in the past few years to the extent that your kitchen can now house a hundred-bottle wine fridge, creating close to the exact environment of a wine cellar. Here in New Zealand, our own Fisher & Paykel have stepped into the wine arena. Earlier in 2019 I was invited to view and comment on a design for a 90-bottle domestic kitchen wine storage and refrigeration unit that could well be a game changer for keen collectors. Having the ability to keep a collection close by and correctly stored and protected is something I’m pretty excited about. W


FREE download or stream Main Divide NZ Music Compilation Vol.04 Spotify and Soundcloud Main Divide NZ Music Compilation Vol.04 www.maindivide.com/music


y s ee h C y s Ea WINE/CHEESE MATCHES THAT WILL ENSURE YOU’RE A CHEESEBOARD MASTER THIS SUMMER

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ine and cheese are natural partners. The protein goodness in cheese and tannins in red wine have been romantically linked for decades. The creamy, voluptuous richness in a soft cheese and the full-bodied roundness of Chardonnay or Viognier are made for each other. Cheese has been part of Kiwi culture for as long as I can remember. From my childhood memories of Marmite and cheese on toast or mum’s freshly made cheese scones on Sundays to mac ‘n’ cheese as a side dish to just about anything – our love of cheese is ingrained. Today, our homegrown and aged cheese selections win international prizes. There are many bespoke cheese producers in New Zealand crafting some amazing interpretations on the classics as well as turning out some new and exciting cheese sensations. Cheese as an appetiser, with the main meal, before dessert or after requires some forward planning if wine is to be served alongside. Here are some basic matches and rules of thumb. Pinot Noir + Gruyère Gruyère is a Swiss hard cheese. It’s a little bit sweet, a little bit salty and quite tangy. Great for the leftover Pinot Noir when the main meal is done. Gruyère is not a heavy cheese, nor is it too rich, so Pinot Noir is an ideal partner. Pinot with two to three years bottle age can be perfect. I would recommend the Lawson’s Dry Hills Reserve 2015. The acidity in both the cheese and wine as well as the weight and intensity of both are similar. Gamay and St Laurent reds also work well. Pinot Gris + Edam Edam cheese is delicious. Originating in the Netherlands, it’s a soft cheese with a weighty, rounded texture, useful on cheese boards and in cooking. Pinot Gris wines that also have a rich rounded texture, a core of fruit and even a little oak maturation are an ideal match. The oak in the wine and protein in the cheese have a separate affair while the mild tang of the cheese and fruit core of the wine fall in love. The Domain Road Defiance Pinot Gris 2018 is my suggestion.

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lightweight – the high acidity contrasts the gentle crumbly texture of the cheese, and the cheese highlights the floral and citrus flavours in the wine. Try it with the West Brook Marlborough Riesling 2017.

Chardonnay + Époisses or triple cream These two cheeses are weighty, very creamy and the warmer they get the more intense and delicious they become. The rind in both cheeses does have a light bitterness which needs to be tamed with the right wine. A fullbodied, weighty, oaky and rich Chardonnay is the ideal match. The Tony Bish Fat & Sassy 2018 Chardonnay for example has all the attributes to work with this cheese. It’s also a very tasty wine on its own. Riesling + ricotta Ricotta is an Italian whey cheese made from sheep, cow or goat’s milk. Ideal for snacks, salads and even desserts, it’s a bit like cottage cheese and when served direct from the fridge it is crisp, cool, simple and satisfying. Riesling is the ideal wine as it’s also

Sauvignon Blanc + chèvre French for goat’s cheese, chèvre is an essential cheeseboard component pre-dinner. Tangy, robust, slightly salty and with a mealy creamy texture. Sauvignon Blanc is an ideal partner – the cheese contrasts the acidity, both wine and cheese have potency, power and intensity. A great example wine to pair with chèvre is the Greywacke Wild Sauvignon 2016. Gewürztraminer + stinky cheese What’s stinky cheese you ask? Well it’s any cheese that pongs when it gets warm, and needs its own fridge. Examples are Epoisses, ameribella, blues or Stilton. So a wine that’s going to have any chance of competing is Gewürztraminer. In an off-dry or late harvest style Gewurz’ has the power, intensity, weight and richness to contrast most stinky monster cheeses. I suggest the Pegasus Bay 2016 Gewürztraminer is up to the task. Cabernet Sauvignon or blends + gouda or cheddar Gouda is a mild, yellow cheese originating from the Netherlands, made from cow’s milk. Originating in the English village of Cheddar in Somerset, cheddar is a palateawakening natural cheese. Both have a lot of protein and fatty richness that requires a wine with bold tannins, acidity and power to match. Cabernets or blended red wines led by Cabernet are ideal. Church Road Tom 2015 is an excellent way to find harmony with gouda and cheddar. Syrah + all the cheese listed above Syrah is one of the wines that twists and turns around most cheese types and styles, though it’s not great friends with super stinky or blue cheese when it’s old (over 10 years). Two great examples of cheese and Syrah matches are The Landing Syrah 2015 with Gruyère and Bilancia La Collina Syrah 2016 with fresh farmer’s market Parmesan. W


stevebirdwines.com

tuku.nz


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Extracted from Summer with Simon Gault, published by Penguin Random House NZ, RRP $50.00. Text © Simon Gault, 2019. Photography © Vanessa Lewis, 2019

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WINE AND FOOD

Herb-crusted Lamb Chops with

Summer Salad Serves: 6 INGREDIENTS → ½ cup finely chopped fresh herbs (mint, parsley and marjoram) → 2 cloves garlic, crushed → zest of 1 lemon → 1 tbsp lemon juice → ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil → 1kg lamb cutlets SUMMER SALAD → 1 red capsicum → 1 yellow capsicum → 500g different coloured and shaped tomatoes → 200g bocconcini → ½ cup basil leaves → ¼ clove garlic, minced → ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil → juice of ½ lemon

Anybody can wreck lamb cutlets without a recipe so try this method and save yourself a heap of grief — and, with the price of lamb, some money as well. The nice thing about lamb cutlets is that each one comes with its own handle. If the occasion requires a little more formality, paper napkins for grasping the cutlet are an optional extra! Combine the herbs, garlic, lemon zest and juice, and extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl. Pour the marinade into a large zip-lock plastic bag or flat container with a lid. Mix the cutlets in the marinade and refrigerate until you are ready to BBQ. Heat the BBQ, cook the chops for about 2 minutes each side. They don’t take long. Set aside and serve with the Summer Salad. Summer Salad Preheat oven to 160°C.

Cam’s Wine Match

This tasty dish requires a wine that will contrast and match the sweetness of lamb, smokiness and caramelisation of the meat from the barbecue, the garlic and green herbs. An excellent wine match is a Villa Maria Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2018. The core of fruit in the wine creates the link to the food matching the sweetness of the meat while contrasting and absorbing the char from the BBQ with oak and wood spice. The power and intensity of the food with its garlic and herb layers is easily matched by the power of the wine and tannins melt away with sweet meat protein.

To roast the capsicums, grease a baking tray with olive oil. Cut the capsicums in half and remove the seeds and core. Lay the halves on the tray and cook for 10–15 minutes, or until soft and the skin has started to blister. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. When the capsicums have cooled, peel the skin off (it will come off easily). Slice the roasted capsicums thinly. Cut the tomatoes into different sizes, some into chunks and some into slices. Place in a large bowl. Add the bocconcini to the tomatoes. Tear the basil and add to the salad. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad, gently toss and place in a serving bowl or on a platter.

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WINE AND FOOD

on m l a S r e p Newspa Silly Malcolm’s

Serves: 6

INGREDIENTS → 2 lemons → 2 whole sides of salmon (approx. 1.2kg total), 1 with skin on and 1 without, pin-boned → 2 tbsp horseradish cream → 1 tsp tarragon, chopped → fennel fronds → 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

This is a recipe that Malcolm, a dear friend of mine from the USA (who Hazel named ‘Silly Malcolm’), prepared for me. It’s a variation on the French en papillote method, using newspaper instead of parchment paper. First-rate New Zealand-farmed salmon is readily available and always appears in our summer menu planning. In my view, this is a BBQ pièce de résistance for summer. If you can get it, my preference is and always has been Akaroa salmon. The fennel fronds add a little bit of theatre when opening the package to serve. Soak six sheets of newspaper in water and place on a flat surface. Lay a large piece of baking paper on top. Thinly slice 1 lemon and lay it over the baking paper (make a shape the same size as the salmon fillet). Lay the side of salmon with skin on, skin-side down on the lemon. Mix the horseradish cream and tarragon together, then spread over the salmon fillet. Lay half the fennel fronds on top. Place the skinless side of salmon on top. Peel the other lemon, making sure that all the white pith is removed; to do this, chop the top and bottom off the lemon then run the knife from the top of the

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Cam’s Wine Match

Salmon will remain oily and rich in texture whether raw or cooked. For this dish in particular the wine has to form a bond with the lemon, the rich texture and flavour of the salmon and the horseradish. The Villa Maria Sur Lie Pinot Gris 2018 is an ideal pairing. Its fleshy texture – along with subtle leesy spice and flavours of pears and apples – has enough power and richness of its own to deliver a great match.

lemon over the flesh to the bottom. Keep moving around the lemon until all the skin is removed. Cut superfine slices, as fine as tissue paper, and lay the slices over the top of the salmon. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle over the extra virgin olive oil. Lay the remaining fennel fronds on top. Heat the BBQ. Wrap the salmon in the baking paper, then

wrap the newspaper around the baking paper. Place the salmon parcel on the preheated BBQ. Keep checking the parcel and when the newspaper starts to dry out have a squeezy water bottle on hand to wet it. Cook for 30–40 minutes. Place the parcel on a large tray to serve. Be very careful when opening the parcel as steam will escape and can easily burn you — so stand back and enjoy the aroma!


XXXXXXX WINE AND XXXXXX FOOD

FIZZ

Si’s

Serves: 2 INGREDIENTS → 1 orange → watermelon, chopped into 12 x 2cm cubes → ice cubes → 30ml peach schnapps → Prosecco, to serve → pomegranate arils (or pearls), to serve You could prepare the glasses beforehand with the orange segments and watermelon cubes and freeze them. When the guests arrive just add the peach schnapps, Prosecco and pomegranate arils. Peel the orange by cutting off the top and bottom, and running the knife from the top to the bottom around the orange, removing the skin and all the white pith.

Cut segments carefully from the orange and divide between two glasses. Add 6 watermelon cubes to each glass. Next add some ice cubes and divide the peach schnapps between each glass. Top the glasses up with Prosecco and sprinkle over the pomegranate arils.

Cam’s Wine Match

In reading this recipe you might react the same as me and say, ‘Yum, I’ll have one of those’. This great summer cocktail uses Prosecco to flesh out the flavours of orange, peach and pomegranate. For a local twist, replace the Prosecco with Villa Maria Méthode Traditionnelle 2016 or the Villa Maria Lightly Sparkling Rosé.

WORLD OF WINE – SUMMER 2019 39


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g n i t s a T s Note

BY CAMERON DOUGLAS, MASTER SOMMELIER

WORLD OF WINE – SUMMER 2019/20 43


on n g i v Sau Blanc

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f Sauvignon Blanc was to have a soundtrack to describe its pungent bouquet, impact on the palate with laser beam acidity and distinctive, totally recognisable fruit flavours, ‘Eye of the Tiger’ by Survivor (from the 1982 Rocky III movie) is what’s playing in my mind right now. Not only does Sauvignon Blanc have a distinctive and very recognisable beat and rhythm, it often hits the palate with a core of energy and style that makes it, well, a bit like a great song. New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc has some specific signatures on the nose and palate. Classic Marlborough expressions include aromas of fresh herbs like basil, white orchard fruits such as apple and white peach, always a citrus layer of grapefruit and often a salty air/wet stone taste. The Marlborough style is a ‘classic’ and many fans of this wine expect this in each bottle they buy. The same could be said of its fans around the world as well. For a different expression and regional signature, look also to the wines from Nelson, Canterbury and Otago. Each of these captures the core of Sauvignon Blanc, but has its own rhythm and layers in the melody – from a silty chalk-like texture from North Canterbury, a stony, gravelly, calm and sophisticated story from Nelson to a core of minerality and pristine pure fruit flavours from Otago. Made throughout the North Island as well, the silty soil moments and riper tropical fruit and less citrus drive from Wairarapa versions, tropical and weightier examples from Hawke’s Bay, Gisborne and Auckland and intense fruity expressions from the Hauraki Gulf and Northland. Sauvignon Blanc is a great match with foods that are lightweight, high energy and have a noticeable freshness or higher acid content. Be sure to add shavings of parmesan cheese, chilled freshly steamed asparagus and apple to your next salad. And always an excellent match with fresh oysters or mussels.

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TASTING NOTES SAUVIGNON BLANC

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Summerhouse Sauvignon Blanc 2019 Marlborough

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Classically styled Marlborough SB with flavours of passion fruit and white peach, lemongrass, wet stone and white flavours. Juicy and flashy texture with a core of fruit and contrasting acidity. Balanced and well made, ready to enjoy from today and through Summer 2021. POINTS: 90 RRP $19 summerhouse.co.nz

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Rapaura Springs Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2019 Marlborough

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Pyramid Valley Sauvignon+ 2019 North Canterbury

Exacting aromas and flavours include fresh citrus and a leesy spice, white peach and grapefruit, a gentle stony and chalky earthy layer and lifted floral moments. Crisp, refreshing and dry on the palate with flavours that mirror the nose, especially grapefruit peel, sweet lemon and apple. Pristine acidity and lengthy finish. Well made, balanced and ready to enjoy from today and through 2023. POINTS: 94 RRP $28 pyramidvalley.co.nz

Smith & Sheth CRU Sauvignon Blanc 2019 Wairau, Marlborough

Intense, fruity, quite pungent and varietal with aromas and flavours of fresh pineapple and basil, a sting of grapefruit, lemon and white peach. A touch of fruit spice, lees and hay. Loads of texture from plenty of acidity with a flinty salty layer. Well made, vibrant and ready, in fact delicious! Drink now and through 2022. POINTS: 94 RRP $28 smithandsheth.com

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Enticing and sophisticated bouquet of SB with aromas and flavours of passionfruit and apple, a touch of gunflint and lemon, wet stone, lemongrass and hay. Juicy, fleshy and quite delicious on the palate. Flavours reflect the nose with a core of passionfruit, sweet Cape gooseberry and lemongrass, loads of crisp refreshing acidity and a long finish. Drink now and through 2021. POINTS: 94 RRP $19 rapaurasprings.co.nz

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Wairau River Sauvignon Blanc 2019 Marlborough

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Unmistakable aromas of tropical fruits and citrus, sweet grass and wet stone. On the palate – flavours of pineapple and passionfruit, red apple and peach. Additional flavours of lemongrass and galangal, wet stone and minerals. Crisp and dry on the finish. Drink now and through 2022. POINTS: 92 RRP $20 wairauriverwines.com

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Greystone Sauvignon Blanc 2018 North Canterbury

Varietal SB greets the nose with a sweet herb and angelica leaf tease. Golden kiwifruit, apple and grapefruit follow close behind. No mistaking the sweet sweaty lift of barrel ferment and lees as well as natural ferment flintiness. A youthful reductive note swirls away easily. Very citrusy and crisp on the palate with lees and barrel flavours to follow. Grapefruit, apple and peach to finish. Youthful and delicious, lengthy and exciting. Drink now and through 2022. POINTS: 94 RRP $29 greystonewines.co.nz

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TASTING NOTES SAUVIGNON BLANC

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Steve Bird Sauvignon Blanc 2019 Marlborough

Yealands Single Block M2 Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Marlborough

Powerful, exotic and varietal aromas of SB with tropical fruits of mango and passionfruit then apple and grapefruit. Fresh herbs, wet stones and a touch of salt. Luscious, fruity, fresh, crisp and just dry. A core of fruit adds a creaminess to the texture, plenty of acidity adds contrast. Balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2021. POINTS: 93 RRP $24 stevebirdwines.com

Powerful and distinctive bouquet with a savoury, sweet herb and fruity aroma package. Apple and citrus, sweet hay and dried herb, some gooseberry and yellow plum, a light sweet sweat layer and leesy undercurrent. High acid, crisp, dry and lengthy. Balanced and well made, a lovely example. POINTS: 93 RRP $27.95 yealands.co.nz

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Opawa Sauvginon Blanc 2019 Marlborough

Pungent, fruity and packed with aromas of sweet herbs, fresh tropical fruits and citrus. Vibrant on the palate with a crunchy refreshing texture, flavours of grapefruit, red apple, peach and sweet herbs. Lengthy finish and well made. Drink now and through 2021. POINTS: 90 RRP $22.50 opawawine.com

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Villa Maria Platinum Selection Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Marlborough

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Nautilus Sauvignon Blanc 2019 Marlborough

Pungent yet elegant, pure fruited bouquet with aromas of ripe red apple, passionfruit, citrus, golden kiwifruit and pineapple. A layer of fresh green herb and wet stone. A stain texture is contrasted by electric acidity, a core of fruit and fresh herbs Lengthy pure fruited finish. Great balance and length. Drink now and through 2020. POINTS: 92 RRP $25 Nautilusestate.com

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Softer, more complex bouquet of Sauvignon Blanc with aromas of ripe yellow fruits, sweet red apple, a white flower moment and gentle aged-on-lees-derived apple pie suggestion. Tasty, textured, crisp and just dry on the palate. Flavours of lemon and grapefruit emerge alongside some red apple, peach and dried pineapple. Plenty of acidity, some spice and generous weight equal a very desirable flavour and texture profile. Totally drinkable today and through 2022. POINTS: 92 RRP $24.99 villamariawines.com


TASTING NOTES SAUVIGNON BLANC

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Domain Road Sauvignon Blanc 2017 Central Otago

RT Wines Wild Waves Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Marlborough

Very distinctive bouquet – vibrant, fruity and loud. Aromas and flavours of lemon zest and sweet grapefruit, some pineapple and white peach, crushed stone minerality and white spice. Highish acidity, slightly salty, highly textured, light weight with lengthy finish. Lush, fresh and delicious. Drink now and through 2023. POINTS: 94 RRP $23 domainroad.co.nz

Varietal and gently spicy with aromas of herbs and citrus fruits, some grapefruit and apple then a light saline moment. A modern expression of SB with a more delicate set of flavours, but still showing cool climate acidity and intensity. Balanced and well made, a wine to consider cellaring to discover its evolution over the next 3–6 years. POINTS: 90 RPP $18 rtwines.co.nz

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Seifried Sauvigon Blanc 2019 Nelson

Aromas of tropical fruits and white peach, sweet herbs, hay and nettles then stony soil suggestions. Very crisp, youthful and refreshing acid line, flavours of tropical and citrus, white stone fruit and herbs on the palate. Lengthy finish, lots to like, well made and not quite ready. Best enjoyed mid-summer 2020 through 2022. POINTS: 93 RRP $18 seifried.co.nz

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Ara Single Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Marlborough

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Aromas of lemongrass, sweet hay, grapefruit, mango and pineapple. Crisp, dry, fruity and ready with flavours of apples and citrus fruits, tropical notes of passionfruit and pineapple. Herbaceous grassy notes begin to emerge on the finish. Balanced and well made, drink now and through 2021. POINTS: 89 RPP $20 arawines.co.nz

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Paroa Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2019 Bay of Islands

Classic SB aromas with sweet hay, herbs and gooseberry, tropical fruits of pineapple and mango and sweet grapefruit. Juicy, fleshy, ripe and delicious on the palate. Flavours mirror the nose with plenty of acidity and a steely refreshing finish. Best drinking now and through 2021. POINTS: 90 RRP $29 paroabay.com

WORLD OF WINE – SUMMER 2019/20 47


I

f you haven’t yet had the chance to see the Studio Nash movie on New Zealand wine, A Seat at the Table, I can highly recommend it (also now showing in flight on Air New Zealand). It showcases some of New Zealand’s wine journey over the past 40 years and discusses how we sit alongside our wine counterparts in France. In the film, Chardonnay is the main wine of discussion – why this variety, along with others, is especially important to our wine future. If you think you’re not such a great fan of Chardonnay then perhaps it’s time to take another taste. The ‘old school’ big, creamy and buttery style is still out there, loaded with oak and priced to meet all budgets, and it has a solid fan base. The new, modern and very expressive versions of Chardonnay are what’s making wine critics, sommeliers and lots of readers like you take notice. So, what’s changed? It’s not so much change for change’s sake as it is the work being completed in vineyards – different canopy management, clone to soil matching, sustainability of soil and moisture management as well as attention to harvest times and winemaking practices. The biggest change I’m experiencing is on the palate – pure fruit aromas and flavours, less new oak, larger format oak, the use of concrete and wooden egg fermenters and the role of yeast in flavour production and texture are making their marks. New Zealand Chardonnay is beginning to read like a novel you simply can’t put down – no longer a Wilbur Smith blockbuster but perhaps a series of intriguing mysteries. To demonstrate, have a taste of any of the following wines soon: Vidal Soler Chardonnay 2018, Domain Road Defiance Chardonnay 2018, Aged Kumeu River Chardonnay, Lamont Chardonnay 2017 and pretty much anything Tony Bish makes.

y a onn d r a h C 48 WORLD OF WINE – SUMMER 2019/20


TASTING NOTES CHARDONNAY

1

1

and concentration. Fine wood tannins, medium acidity, satin texture and flavours of stone and tree fruits that match the nose, the citrus note of grapefruit returns. Long finish with baked custard, cashew and spice. A lovely wine with a great future. Drink from 2020 and through 2024. POINTS: 93 RRP $40 smithandsheth.com

Matahiwi Estate Chardonnay 2018 Hawke’s Bay

Aromas of toasty oak with vanilla and whipped cream, roasted peaches, apple and grapefruit. A layer of cashew nut oak and whisper of butter add complexity and length. Dry, weighty, toasty oak, a touch of smoke and fruit flavours that reflect the nose. Balanced and well made, fine tannins and lengthy finish. Drink now and through 2022. POINTS: 92 RRP $23 matahiwi.co.nz

2

3

4

Wooing Tree Chardonnay 2017 Central Otago

Completely enticing bouquet of Chardonnay with aromas of baked nectarine and peach, white-fleshed fruits and grapefruit. Mild yet distinctive oak with aromas of baking spice and a touch of vanilla. On the palate the aromas repeat as flavours with a cashew, brazil nut and toasty oak layers. Fine wood tannins, medium+ acidity. Great balance and length. Drink now and through 2025. POINTS: 94 RRP $38 wooingtree.co.nz

2

Pyramid Valley Chardonnay 2018 North Canterbury

An attractive bouquet of Chardonnay with distinctive and specific aromas of white-fleshed orchard fruits, wild flowers and a core of minerality suggesting limestone and clay. Oak spices begin to punch through as the wine relaxes in glass. Fresh, tense and equally specific on the palate – flavours of lees and peach, citrus and soil, oak spice and flowers. Dry, balanced, youthful, natural, balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2024. POINTS: 94 RRP $40 pyramidvalley.co.nz

3

Smith & Sheth CRU Chardonnay 2018 Heretaunga, Hawke’s Bay

Attractive bouquet of Chardonnay with aromas suggesting baked custard and peach, vanilla and new oak, yellow apple, baked stones and ripe grapefruit. Dry, weighty, firm, youthful and tense on the palate. Flavours match the nose, but this wine is more about texture and power, length

5

Greystone Waipara Chardonnay 2017 North Canterbury

4

5

Floral, fruity, some wood accents and earthy/mineral layers. Creamy, weighty, complex and layered on the palate. Flavours do reflect the nose, but this wine is more about texture and synergy. Medium+(ish) acidity, moderate use of oak with fine tannins and wood spices, a core of yellow fruits and apple, some wild flowers and intriguing harmony. Well made with a lengthy finish. Drink now and through 2024. POINTS: 94 RRP $39 greystonewines.co.nz

WORLD OF WINE – SUMMER 2019/20 49


TASTING NOTES CHARDONNAY

6

10

Brennan Wines Chardonnay 2016 Central Otago

Vidal Legacy Chardonnay 2018

A very different and exciting bouquet of chardonnay with lees and wood smoke beginning, then lemon peel, apple and lemon custard aromas. These ideas follow through to the palate with a seamless transition, abundant acidity and measured use of oak. Well-made and lengthy, complex and very individual. Drink now and through 2024. POINTS: 95 RRP $35 brennanwines.com

6

Seductive, enticing, complex and glamorous bouquet of Chardonnay. Aromas of roasted cashew and yellow peach, baked golden apple then grapefruit, a cheesy, whipped cream moment and easy to spot wood spices. On the palate – tense, vibrant, weighty, youthful and dry. As complex and glamorous as the bouquet suggests with flavours of white and yellow orchard fruits, wood spice and a flinty, leesy, toasty harmonious core. Quite youthful with a refreshing acid line, very fine wood tannin layer, lees spice and mineral finish. Delicious now though I do recommend decanting, even better in 2021. A wine of investment that will be the talk of many fabulous dinner parties through to 2030 and probably beyond. POINTS: 96 RRP $59.99 vidal.co.nz

7

7

State of Flux Chardonnay 2018 by Yealands Estate

Complex and textured bouquet with aromas and flavours of a lees-centric and pure fruited core. Fine, layered, chalky and fruity on the palate. Flavours are floral as well as fruity with medium+ acidity and some very fine fruit tannin detail. Balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2021. POINTS: 93 RRP $39.95 yealands.co.nz

8

10

8

Yealands Reserve Chardonnay 2018 Marlborough

Fresh, fruity, varietal and quite complex on the nose with aromas then flavours of white peach and grapefruit, a touch of quince then vanilla and gentle wood smoke. Balanced by contrasting acidity and gentle sweetness of oak and alcohol. Overall a well made wine with decent length and immediately drinkability. Enjoy from today and through 2023. POINTS: 90 RRP $18.95 yealands.co.nz

9

9

Vidal 1888 Chardonnay 2016 Hawke’s Bay

Tasted over two days the bouquet and palate of this wine develop into a fine example of Chardonnay, Hawke’s Bay and fine wine-making. Aromas of a gun flint and grapefruit peel, apple and lemon, white peach and oak wood. Dry, youthful and expressive with tart citrus and white fleshed stone fruit flavours then ripe red apple and sweet vanilla oak. Great texture and length, balanced and well made. A Premier Cru Chablis style. Drink now and through 2026. POINTS: 95 RRP $120 vidal.co.nz

50 WORLD OF WINE – SUMMER 2019/20

11

Vidal Soler Chardonnay 2018

A bouquet that is slow to reveal its story. Aromas do emerge of blackened blackberry, dark plum and fresh cigar tobacco. Marmite and meat, a sweet toasted wood scent accentuated with aromas of clove and vanilla, then dried herb and baked bell-pepper. A complexity unfurls after many minutes in glass. Youthful, tense, firm and dry with flavours reflective of the nose. Abundant fruit and wood tannins with plenty of acidity. Complex, lengthy finish. A wine that should be in your cellar – will age and harmonise over the coming 3–5 years. Ideal drinking 2024 through 2034. POINTS: 96 RRP $34.99 vidal.co.nz

12

Villa Maria Reserve Chardonnay 2017

11

12

Quietly complex bouquet with aromas and flavours of yellow peach and baked red apple, wood spices and vanilla custard. Dry, creamy spicy and delicious. Flavours reflect the bouquet, with layers of delicate wood tannins, medium+ acidity and a core of fruit and texture. Lovely power and balance, great length. Drink now and through 2026. POINTS: 94 RRP $39.99 villamariawines.com


m t b e a u t i f u l . c o. n z

Visit Mt. Beautiful Two Rivers Café & Wine Tasting Room 11 Hall Street, Cheviot , Open Daily 8 am – 4 pm, +64 3 319 8505 Featuring a diverse menu of fresh and local meats, cheeses and produce along with Mt. Beautiful’s full portfolio of wines.

North Canterbury

Beautiful wine comes from a beautiful place


TASTING NOTES CHARDONNAY

13

17

Domain Road Defiance Chardonnay 2018 Central Otago

The bouquet takes a while to reveal all it has to show – complex and detailed, youthful and fresh with a core of mineral rocks then oak and fruit. Equally complex on the palate with a lovely core of fruit and oak combinations, white-fleshed fruits, a touch of tropical fruit with a quartz-like mineral finish. A lovely wine with the finer detail needed to become a classic. Can be enjoyed now and will cellar as well. Best from 2020 through 2025. POINTS: 95 RRP $30 domainroad.co.nz

Giesen The Brothers Chardonnay 2018 Marlborough

13

Lovely bouquet and palate of Chardonnay with aromas and flavours of stone fruits, apple and grapefruit peel. A layer of oak with some spice and wood flavours, a nutty buttery note and soft creamy texture overall. Lots to like and enjoy with this wine, balanced with decent weight, medium acidity and a completeness. Ready to enjoy today and through 2022. POINTS: 92 RRP $26.99 giesenwines.co.nz

14

18

Ara Single Estate Chardonnay 2018 Marlborough

14

Pegasus Bay Chardonnay 2017 North Canterbury

Smoky, toasty, nutty, rich and complex. Equally intense on the palate with flavours of roasted stone fruits and grapefruit. A sweet nutty richness follows with cashew and brazil, spices and acidity. Dry lengthy finish with an intensity, complexity and richness that lasts long after the wine is swallowed. Delicious! Drink now and through 2030. POINTS: 94 RRP $43 pegasusbay.com

15

17

15

Pegasus Bay Virtuoso Chardonnay 2016 North Canterbury

An intense, powerful bouquet of Chardonnay with distinctive messages of oak and oak spices, Brazil nut, cashew and burnt butter. Equally intense and contrasting core of fruit with baked peach and nectarine then a sweet vanilla spice. The special part of this wine is the wild florals, citrus peel a leesy complexity which builds on the palate with each sip. Long complex finish. Decant for service. Best from late 2020 through 2026. POINTS: 95 RRP $60 pegasusbay.com

16

Selaks The Taste Collection Buttery Chardonnay

Smoky, toasty, nutty and buttery bouquet of Chardonnay. Flavours of the same on the palate with a creamy texture, moderate acidity, vanilla, yellow stonefruits and wood spices. Balanced and well made in a drink now expression. Best from today and through 2020. POINTS: 88 RRP $21.99 selaks.co.nz

52 WORLD OF WINE – SUMMER 2019/20

Many classic aromas and flavours to this Chardonnay – white and yellow peach, yellow and red apple, vanilla and soft cashew nut-oak. A light custard note as well. Creamy texture with medium acidity, weighty, fruity and dry. A balanced and well made wine with decent length and finish. Best from today and through 2021. POINTS: 90 RRP $20 arawines.co.nz

19

Monowai Estate Upper Reaches Chardonnay 2018 Hawke’s Bay

16

18

19

A big smoky, toasty bouquet of Chardonnay with aromas of wood and spices, Brazil nut and roasted yellow fruits, clove and vanilla, burnt butter and lees. Full-bodied, creamy and rich with flavours of roasted nuts, vanilla, spices and stone fruits. Nice acid line, balanced and ready. Will continue to age. Best from today and through 2024. POINTS: 91 RRP $35 monowai.co.nz


NEW ZEALAND WINE

LIGHTEN UP find your moment

Enjoy the super-premium quality of a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc in a lower alcohol option. Available in a convenient 250ml can, perfect for the summer season.

Supporting Forest & Bird to help preserve New Zealand nature for future generations. Available at your local fine wine and liquor store or online at www.toitoiwines.co.nz

@toitoiwines


TASTING NOTES PINOT GRIS

PINOT

Gris

1

Flaxmore Pinot Gris 2018 Moutere, Nelson

A distinctive and varietal bouquet of Gris with aromas of ripe pear and candied apple, some white spice suggesting pepper and a wet stone silty mineral core. A dry wine on the palate contrasted by a core of fruit, silky creamy texture and balanced even finish. Well made and drinking best from today and through summer 2020. POINTS: 89 RRP $24 flaxmore.co.nz

P

inot Gris remains a firm favourite with the New Zealand wine-drinking public. Interestingly, Gris is actually one of the more difficult wines to make because it requires the right balance between fruit sweetness and acid, which generally means allowing some skin contact giving the wine a contrasting bite or tension towards the back palate. New Zealand Gris is often best when consumed young – so be sure to finish any 2017 and 2018 wines ASAP and get stuck into the 2019s – they are looking great (note here that some examples are made for ageing – try Greywacke and Kumeu River). A quick back label read should indicate how dry or otherwise the wine will be so there are no sugar or oak surprises when you pour a glass. The better Pinot Gris examples are just dry, so a whisper of sweetness, suggesting a minerality and recognisable flavours of white-fleshed tree and stone fruits, perhaps a note of white pepper and medium acid level. If the wine label says Pinot Grigio expect a dry wine with loads of minerality and crispness.

1

3 2

Greystone Sand Dollar Pinot Gris 2018 North Canterbury

Pears and white spices, Pacific Rose apples and suggestions of leesy ginger spice, pressed flowers and a little perfume. Loads of texture, leesy spice, crisp and refreshing tree fruit flavours. Abundant acidity, firm youthful texture and a core of fruit. A lovely wine with a just-dry finish. Drink now and through 2022. POINTS: 94 RRP $29 greystonewines.co.nz

5

Steve Bird Pinot Gris 2019 Gisborne

2

Summerhouse Pinot Gris 2019 Marlborough

A really lovely bouquet and palate of Gris with aromas and flavours of just-picked green pear, ripe apple and a hint of tropical fruit. The palate also shows a touch of garden spice with white pepper and a whisper of ginger. Satin texture, nice acid line and balanced, even and persistent finish. Drink from today and through 2020. POINTS: 91 RRP $19 summerhouse.co.nz

4

4

3

Rapaura Springs Reserve Pinot Gris 2019 Marlborough

An enticing bouquet of Gris with a core of spice and ripe white-fleshed fruits, sweet flowers and gentle complexity and perfume. Flavours on the palate reflect the nose with a nice tension and grip, contrasted by a core of white orchard fruit flavours, a light baking spice layer and lengthy and just-dry finish. Drinking well now and through 2021. POINTS: 92 RRP $19 rapaurasprings.co.nz

54 WORLD OF WINE – SUMMER 2019/20

6 5

Ripe, fresh, a core of fleshy Gris fruits with pears and apples, fruit spice and lager. Just dry on the palate with a creamy texture and flavours that mirror the palate plus honeysuckle and white stone fruit. Moderate acidity, balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2021. POINTS: 89 RRP $24 stevebirdwines.com

6

Opawa Pinot Gris 2019 Marlborough

Fruity and varietal with aromas of plump ripe pear, red apple and white peach. Equally fruity and engaging on the palate with flavours that mirror the nose plus some sweet lemon. Plenty of acidity adding to a vibrant and refreshing finish. Drink now and through to summer 2021. POINTS: 90 RRP $22.50 opawawine.com


TASTING NOTES PINOT GRIS

7

11

Nautilus Pinot Gris 2019 Marlborough

Fruity, varietal and captivating aromas of fresh white fleshed fruits, whispers of tropical fruit and a dusting of white pepper. Salivating on the palate with youthful acidity, a crunchy texture with a satin topline. Flavours mirror the nose with a core of pear, apple and fresh lychee. A great summer wine – drink now and through 2021. POINTS: 92 RRP $29.95 nautilusestate.com

7

Domain Road Defiance Pinot Gris 2019 Central Otago

8

Complex, mineral, fruity, varietal and enticing bouquet of Gris. Flavours on the palate suggest preserved white nectarine, Asian pears and a range of apples. Dry with a core of fruit, mineral and spice. Balanced and well made with a long gentle finish. Drinking well now and through 2022. POINTS: 94 RRP $27 domainroad.co.nz

8

12

Yealands Pinot Gris 2019 Marlborough

Fleshy, fruity, varietal and enticing bouquet of Gris. Aromas and flavours on the palate of white flowers and pears, a touch of pineapple, loads of pear and some white spice. Medium+ acidity, fresh, juicy, balanced and ready. Drink now and through 2021. POINTS: 89 RRP $15.95 yealands.co.nz

Ara Single Estate Pinot Gris 2018 Marlborough

9

11

9

Babydoll Pinot Gris 2019 Marlborough

13

Plush, fruity, varietal and inviting aromas of Gris. Flavours on the palate range from ripe fleshy pear to preserved white peach. Just dry on the palate with a whisper of residual sweetness, a light white pepper spice and flavours that reflect the nose. Well made and ready to enjoy. Drink today and through summer 2021. POINTS: 88 RRP $17.95 babydollwines.co.nz

Three Miners Miner's Right Pinot Gris 2019 Central Otago

Fleshy, fruity, varietal and lifted bouquet of Gris. Fresh and canned pear, yellow apple and white spice. Equally enticing on the palate with a lot more white spice, core of fresh tree fruits and some citrus. Medium+ acidity and juicy refreshing finish. Drink now and through 2021. POINTS: 90 RRP $28 threeminers.com

10

10

Villa Maria Platinum Selection Pinot Gris 2018 Marlbrorough

Creamy, soft and gentle bouquet of Gris with aromas of fresh and poached pear, some apple and white peach. A touch of spice adds depth and complexity. There’s no mistaking the full, rich and spicy layers on the palate. Lush and just dry, warm and generous – dare I say it – quite Alsace-like in flavour, richness and texture. Lovely lengthy finish, persistent and flavoursome. Drink now and through 2021. POINTS: 92 RRP $24.99 villamariawines.com

In an off-dry expression this wine will appeal to many Gris fans. Aromas and flavours of white fleshed orchard fruits with a light citrus note - this is accentuated through the texture and on the back palate. Some leesy moments with a whisper of ginger spice and white pepper. Overall a lovely wine ready to enjoy today and through 2021. POINTS: 88 RRP $19.99 www.arawines.co.nz

12

13

WORLD OF WINE – SUMMER 2019/20 55


TASTING NOTES SPARKLING

g n i l k r a p S 1

No.1 Family Estate Reserve NV Méthode Traditionnelle Marlborough

O

n Christmas morning in our home, sparkling wine is how we toast the day ahead. We usually pair the wine with warm croissants loaded with smoked salmon and cheese and fresh strawberries from the local market. The wine will flow into the day ahead shared with family and friends. Our wines of choice are something from New Zealand and something from Champagne – always both. Sparkling wine any day of the week is an excellent decision, and especially in the festive season – it feels so appropriate on Christmas morning and at a second past midnight New Year’s morning. When you’re deciding on the ideal Christmas morning sparkler, there’s a New Zealand treat available to you in all price brackets – try No.1 Family Estate’s Reserve – it’s excellent and worth the splurge. Nautilus Cuvee Marlborough and Huia Blanc de Blancs are definitively complex, and Lindauer Special Reserve Blanc de Blancs is tasty. If something French is your thing then Bollinger Special Cuvee, Tattinger Brut Reserve or Ruinart Blanc de Blancs are simply outstanding choices.

1

Powerful, distinctive, individual, richly scented, complex and enticing bouquet. Baked lemon, baked peach, apple and a nutty autolysis spice. On the palate – dry, complex and packed with flavour and texture – lemon, grapefruit, stonefruit and a fine mousse. A vibrato, a crescendo, leesy layered autolysis. Delicious! Long finish. Drink now or cellar. You will not be disappointed. POINTS: 98 RRP $96 no1familyestate.co.nz

at the core of this wine with a line of sophistication and complexity. Lengthy finish with fruit flavours that reflect the bouquet. Drink now and through 2026+. POINTS: 95 RRP $47 no1familyestate.co.nz

2

4

No.1 Family Estate Cuvée Adele 2013 Méthode Traditionelle Marlborough

2

No.1 Family Estate Assemblé NV Méthode Traditionelle Marlborough

A classic blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier – presents aromas and flavours of white peaches and apples, pears and sweet lemon. A calm yet rounded and gently spicy, leesy autolysis with a developing complexity. Dry, weighty, fruity, fleshy and leesy with fruit flavours that reflect the nose. Balanced and poised for more development in your cellar, but totally drinkable today and through 2024 as an aperitif or with cured salmon, charcutérie or cold chicken cuts. POINTS: 94 RRP $32 no1familyestate.co.nz

3

3

No.1 Family Estate Rosé NV Méthode Traditionelle Marlborough

Made from Pinot Noir this bouquet shows off aromas of a fine, delicate, complex and enticing wine. Suggestions of Auckland rose and red cherry, pink apple skin and strawberry. Elegant and fine on the palate, no mistaking the energy of youth, acidity and freshness. The autolysis is

56 WORLD OF WINE – SUMMER 2019/20

5

A beautiful bouquet with delicate scents of white strawberry and citrus fruits, white flowers and a core of finely tuned leesy autolysis, complex and beguiling. Dry, tense, youthful and specific on the palate - flavours of grapefruit and white peach, lemon peel and red apple. The autolysis offers flavours of butter brioche and salty water cracker. Fine mousse, high acidity, youthful, complex and long. A fantastic example. Buy! POINTS: 98 RRP $240 no1familyestate.co.nz

5

No.1 Family Estate Cuvée NV Méthode Traditionelle Marlborough

4

Made from 100% Chardonnay and held on lees for two years - the bouquet has a distinctive, fine and precise aroma of autolysis with a core of fruit, white flowers and complexity. Dry, crisp and refreshing on the palate with layers of fruit and lees, integration, finesse and youth. Destined to age for several years to come, but also delicious today. Perhaps the perfect aperitif for summer 2020 and through 2024. POINTS: 95 RRP $36 no1familyestate.co.nz


TASTING NOTES SPARKLING

6

10

Palliser Estate The Griffin Sparkling 2015 Martinborough

Matahiwi Estate Brut Rosé NV Wairarapa

Complex bouquet of sparkling wine centred on a brioche and biscuity autolysis followed by scents of white strawberry, citrus and white flowers. Dry, weighty, fruity and very tasty on the palate. Flavours reflect the nose with a white-fleshed fruits core, a delicate mineral layer, refreshingly crisp mousse and precise lengthy finish. Aperitif style, great with food. Drink now and through 2025. POINTS: 91 RRP $52.95 palliser.co.nz

6

Distinctively floral bouquet with roses and blossom then aromas of light red fruits of cherry and raspberry. A fine, delicate, yeasty layer adds some breadth and depth. Fresh and fruity on the palate with a softly textured mousse. Flavours of red berries and cherry, some red apple skin then a light cereal note. bright, crisp, balanced and fresh. Well made. Drink now and through 2022. POINTS: 91 RRP $28 matahiwi.co.nz

7

7

Gibbston Valley Méthode Traditionnelle NV Extra Brut Central Otago

A fine enticing bouquet with an elegance and charm. Aromas suggest citrus and apple, white strawberry and blossoms. A mild yeasty autolysis builds as the wine opens up. Crisp, refreshing and dry on the palate. Flavours mirror the nose led by citrus then strawberry and white peach. Fine mousse, lengthy dry finish. Lovely aperitif and food expression. Drink now and through 2024. POINTS: 93 RRP $50 gibbstonvalley.com

11

Quartz Reef Bendigo Estate Méthode Traditionnelle Rosé NV Central Otago

8

10

8

Clos Marguerite Méthode Traditionnelle 2013 Marlborough

Bold, attractive and Champagne-like bouquet of Rosé with aromas of brioche, strawberry and light red berry fruits. Developing and complex, with layers of charm, elegance and sophistication. Fine mousse on the palate, with a series of fresh and tart light-red fruit flavours, autolysis and rose. Quite a lengthy finish, balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2023. Points 94 RRP $79 closmarguerite.co.nz

9

Huia Blanc de Blancs Traditional Method 2016 Marlborough

Really lovely toasty bouquet, aromas of crisp and toasty brioche, ripe grapefruit, peach and apricot. Complex, crisp, toasty and dry on the palate. Flavours reflect the nose with a deep and persistent autolysis. Fine textured mousse, high acidity, complex and lengthy. A truly lovely example. Drink now and through 2024. POINTS: 95 RRP $45 huiavineyards.com

12

Quartz Reef Bendigo Estate Méthode Traditionnelle Brut NV Central Otago

9

11

Striking bouquet of roses and red berry fruits, a zesty vibrato and distinctive autolysis, full and quite rich, even forceful, in its attack. Flavours on the palate show off red cherry and strawberry, red berry compote and a sweet brioche with light toasty autolysis. Crisp and refreshing acid line, abundant almost explosive mousse and a lengthy balanced and totally enjoyable finish. Drink now and through 2023. POINTS: 94 RRP $39 quartzreef.co.nz

12

Complex and alluring bouquet of sparkling wine with an intense biscuit, brioche and toasty autolysis followed by aromas of white strawberry, pear, apple and lemon. A deep-seated floral and mineral core extends the aroma profile. Bold powerful mousse, full-bodied and richly flavoured on the palate, flavours reflect the nose with a core of autolytic flavours leading to a lengthy and fine finish. Delicious! Drink now and through 2025. POINTS: 95 RRP $33 quartzreef.co.nz

WORLD OF WINE – SUMMER 2019/20 57


TASTING NOTES AROMATICS

A

n aromatic wine should always awaken your sense of intrigue because, when true to type, they have a sense of the exotic – a hint of tea rose and Turkish delight, apple blossoms after the rain, yellow spring flowers, lime flowers and the first crisp green apples of autumn. They are often overlooked by wine lovers simply because they’re unfamiliar, which is a shame because they can offer delicious options – especially for your warm summer days and evenings. When you see Riesling, check if it has a dry, off-dry or medium sweetness level – a fine Riesling will have a salivating hit of acidity to balance any sweetness. Grüner Veltliner will appeal to Sauvignon Blanc drinkers, with its white pepper, pineapple and soft herb core. Albariño may be attractive to Pinot Gris drinkers with its creamy beginning, peachy mid palate and citrus finish. Gewürztraminer is the ultimate in exotic drinking – a quality example will be floral, fragrant and reminiscent of warm, spicy apples. Fresh lychees and white or pink roses also drift through these gorgeous wines.

Aromatics 1

2

1

3

Domain Road The Water Race Dry Riesling 2017 Bannockburn, Central Otago

Pegasus Bay Bel Canto Riesling 2017 Waipara Valley, North Canterbury

Minerality, citrus and intense apple, fruit spice, citrus peel and crushed rose aromas. Definitely dry on the palate with intense acidity and flavours that match the nose. Lovely long finish, tense and poised. Drink now and through 2030+ POINTS: 94 RRP $27 domainroad.co.nz

Aromas of lemon curd, white peach, apple, white rose and honeysuckle are mirrored on the palate with a tense and vibrant acidity, flavours of citrus and white-fleshed orchard fruits, a core of minerality with a saline note. As the wine opens up the complexity builds, keeping pace with flavour concentration and texture. Delicious! Drink now and through 2030+. POINTS: 95 RRP $37 pegasusbay.com

2

Pegasus Bay Aria Late Picked Riesling 2016 Waipara Valley, North Canterbury Ripe sweet fruited bouquet with aromas of lemon and red apple, orange barley sugar and peach tea. Off-dry on the palate with a distinctive sweetness, plenty of acidity and flavours that reflect the nose with tangerine and lemon, barley sugar and a little button mushroom. Totally delicious! Drink now and through 2026. POINTS: 95 RRP $30 pegasusbay.com

58 WORLD OF WINE – SUMMER 2019/20

4

Giesen Riesling 2019 Marlborough

3

4

Fantastic bouquet of Riesling with crisp green and red apple, freshly squeezed citrus juices, blossoms and wet stone mineral notes. The lower alcohol highlights some sweetness and the acid line adds a razor sharp texture through the palate. Flavours of green apple and honeysuckle emerge contrasted by a gentle sweetness. Drink now and through 2028. POINTS: 93 RRP $14.99 giesenwines.co.nz


TASTING NOTES AROMATICS

5

5

8

Giesen Gemstone Riesling 2018 Marlborough

Totally enticing aromas of Riesling with mandarin and limeflower, apple and lemon. Off-dry with a noticeable residual sweetness, refreshing acidity, a light creamy texture and flavours that reflect the nose. Drink now and through 2025. POINTS: 92 RRP $18.99 giesenwines.co.nz

Bladen Tilly Vineyard Gewürztraminer 2019 Marlborough

6

Flowers and spices, tropical fruits and white orchard fruits. Nicely intense aromas of Gewürztraminer with suggestions of pears, apples, ginger and white pepper. Offdry on the palate with flavours of flowers and stewed fruit, medium+ alcohol and moderate acidity. Balanced and well made with a lengthy finish. Great summer drinking. Enjoy now and through 2021. POINTS: 91 RRP $29 bladen.co.nz

7

6

Nautilus Grüner Veltliner 2019 Marlborough

Intrigung and complex with aromas of white orchard fruits, dried herbs, whispers of pineapple and fresh white flowers. Crisp, refreshing and dry on the palate with a youthful and tense expression. Flavours reflect the nose with precision, plenty of acidity and crunch. A youthful, lengthy finish. Drink now and through 2022. POINTS: 93 RRP $29.95 nautilusestate.com

9

Bladen Eight Rows Riesling 2019 Marlborough

Very attractive aromas of white flowers and apple, blossoms and wet stone mineral core. Flavours on the palate are equally attractive with fresh green apple, lemon and white peach. Off-dry with plenty of acidity, minerals and fruit flavours that reflect the nose. Drink now and through 2025. POINTS: 92 RRP $25 bladen.co.nz

7

Nautilus Albariño 2019 Marlborough

Captivating aromas of summer yellow fruits, especially peach, then ripe citrus peel, yellow flowers and a salty sea air complexity. Lush and delicious with silky textures on the palate, almost sweet acidity and pure fruit flavours. Transitions from peach to lemon leading to a lengthy finish. Drink now and through 2022 POINTS: 94 RRP $29.95 nautilusestate.com

8

9

WORLD OF WINE – SUMMER 2019/20 59


TASTING NOTES ROSÉ

R

osé commands a lot of shelf space in liquor stores these days – perhaps even more throughout the summer months. The new release 2019 wines from around New Zealand are looking really good, so we’re spoiled for choice. There’s no guide book written about the right colour for rosé so all colours are correct, however the pale onion skin or salmon colours appear to be more popular than the pink, rose and red versions. If the wine looks golden yellow or a brass colour it may be best to avoid it – the colours may indicate faulty or over-aged characters. The best way to find the right one for your palate is to buy examples from different producers and in different colours (or choose from this section!) and when you taste them, close your eyes and decide which is best based on aroma, flavour and texture. The flavours of light red berries and cherry, plum or red.

Rosé 1

Flaxmore Rosé 2019 Moutere Nelson

1

4

Seifried Pinot Noir Rosé 2019 Nelson

2

Lovely bouquet of rosé with aromas and flavours of red cherries and red apples, some strawberry and a touch of guava. Crisp, refreshing, fruity and balanced with plenty of engaging texture, acidity and flavour. Chill well for enjoyment over 2020 through Summer 2021. POINTS: 90 RRP $21 flaxmore.co.nz

Raspberry and cherry red in colour this vibrant looking Rosé over-delivers on aromas and flavours of raspberry and plum, crushed cherries and cold stone minerality. Crisp refreshing acidity and texture, a core of fruit and lengthy warm fruited finish. Drink now and through 2021. POINTS: 91 RRP $18 seifried.co.nz

2

Hawkdun Rise Irie’s Blush Rosé 2018 Central Otago

Close your eyes and smell the sweet summer air – a bouquet and palate that reminds me of fleshy juicy red berry fruits, sweet peach and red plum. Crisp cool climate acidity, super fine fruit tannins and persistent refreshing finish. Best enjoyed from today and through 2020. POINTS: 92 RRP $25 hawkdunrise.co.nz

5

Rockburn Stolen Kiss Rosé 2019 Central Otago

3

5

3

Toi Toi Sara’s Rosé 2018 Marlborough

From a noticeable onion skin hued appearance comes aromas of apple and red plum, a hint of starwberry, rose and saffron. Dry on the palate with flavours that mirror the nose, ultra fine fruit tannins and bright acid line show off the texture and European style this wine is. Dry on the finish with best drinking from today and through 2021. POINTS: 92 RRP $14.99 toitoiwines.co.nz

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4

Delicate, floral, light red fruit aromas of cherry and red apple with red petals and mineral core. Just dry on the palate with a crisp acid line and flavours that mirror the nose. A light leesy spice note with a lengthy fine finish. Well made, but also very youthful – needs a few months to settle. Drink from late 2019 through 2021. POINTS: 90 RRP $29 rockburn.co.nz


TASTING NOTES ROSÉ

6

Palliser Estate Rosé 2019 Martinborough

6

Strawberries and raspberries, red cherries and yellow plums. A floral note with violet and rose. Tense, youthful, fruity and dry on the palate. Fruit flavours match the nose, a wet stone minerality and fresh acidity for balance and texture. Drink now and through 2021. POINTS: 91 RRP $26.95 palliser.co.nz

10

Madam Sass Pinot Noir Rosé 2019 Central Otago

7

Plump, fruity and fleshy aromas of red cherry and strawberry, sweet rose and pink candy floss. Just dry on the palate with flavours that match the nose. Round almost creamy textures with contrasting acidity, balanced and well made, ready to drink today and through 2020. POINTS: 88 RRP $24.99 madamsass.co.nz

7

Clos Marguerite Rosé 2018 Marlborough

A lovely bouquet of Rosé with an Old World and New World blend of aromas. Saffron and peach, autumn leaves, quince and strawberry, roses and violets. Crisp, dry and luscious on the palate with textures of silk and cream, flavours of red berries, leading to a lengthy, charming and balanced finish. A very modern expression packed with flavour and personality. Drink now and through Summer 2021. POINTS: 92 RRP $29 closmarguerite.co.nz

11

Waipara Hills Pinot Noir Rosé 2019 North Canterbury

8

10

8

12

Selaks The Taste Collection Berries & Cream Rosé 2019 Hawke’s Bay

Bladen Pinot Rosé 2019 Marlborough

Fresh, ripe, lush and vibrant bouquet of light red berry fruits, rosehip tea and sweet air (just before the rain). Crisp, dry and fruity with flavours of cherry and red berry fruits, cold fruit tea and gentle fruit spice moments. Balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2020. POINTS: 89 RRP $21.99 selaks.co.nz

9

Aromas of fresh red cherries, sweet cranberry, red melon and roses. Crisp, light, refreshing and dry with flavours that mirror the nose, a fine satin texture, plenty of acidity and delicate fine chalky tannins. Overall a juicy, fleshy and tasty example. Drink now and through Summer 2021. POINTS: 91 RRP $19.90 waiparahills.co.nz

Great bouquet of Rosé with red flowers of rose and frangipane. Fruit aromas of red apple and red cherry, peach tea and some tropical fruit. Just dry, crisp and fruity, refreshing acid line and fine light tannins. Balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2020. POINTS: 90 RRP $25 bladen.co.nz

9

Campo Viejo Rosé 2018

Bright, fresh, fruity and enticing with aromas of red and white strawberry, red melon and pink apple skin. A whisper of fruit spice and fresh flower notes. Dry, crisp, fruity and fresh. Plenty of acidity contrasts the core of red fruit flavours, there’s a whisper of fruit tannins adding texture back palate. Balanced and well made, drink now and through 2021. POINTS: 89 RRP $18.99 pernod-ricard.com

11

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PinNootir

T

he Pinot Noir section in your local wine shop is likely to be one of the most extensive – and when you dine at your favourite restaurant, there is likely to be a decent choice. Pinot Noir has become one of the most popular red wine glass pours and bottle purchases. The key reasons include its familiar and potentially captivating taste profile, a structure that is not too bold, dry, tannic or acidic – and the light red fruit flavours – perhaps something just a little exotic. Pinot Noir is a natural match to many dishes, from chargrilled red meats to pasta, practically all vegan and vegetarian dishes and weightier fish like salmon and tuna. It’s not good friends with heat spices such as chilli or ginger, but can be great mates with fragrant herbs like thyme and rosemary. Aromas and flavours for this wine should be captivating enough that you become curious about the taste and texture, mouth feel and most of all enjoyability. For me the package of exotic scents should include sweet earth or limestone, mushroom or truffle, red berry fruits and baking spices with just enough toasty oak. There are many influences on the smell, taste and textures of Pinot Noir – the type of farming (minimal intervention winemaking, dry farming, organic, bio-dynamic or modern); soil type is a significant player, access to moisture and cropping levels. In the winery there are important considerations – for example the ratio of whole bunch versus de-stemmed fruit in the ferment, cold soak, barrel type, size and age of oak used. Let your search begin by exploring how different producers capture these ideas, and have a try of different regional expressions – in New Zealand at least five of our regions are producing examples with their own particular nuances. Fine Pinot Noir can be pricey (and worth it), but there are also many examples priced in a range to suit most budgets. I don’t generally recommend anything under $20 to friends – but the $26 to $39 purchase will typically deliver a great experience.

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TASTING NOTES PINOT NOIR

1

4

Quartz Reef Pinot Noir 2017 Central Otago

Complex, youthful core of fruit and wood spices. Layers of dried herb and exotic tea. Dry and equally complex on the palate with flavours that mirror the nose plus many more that emerge and evolve as the wine opens up in the glass. Firm youthful tannins and acidity to match, a core of fruit and minerality suggesting crushed rocks. Dried herb, layers of wood spice, lengthy finish, youthful and dry. Best from 2022 through 2032. POINTS: 96 RRP $49 quartzreef.co.nz

Wild Earth Special Edition Pinot Noir 2014 Central Otago

1

3

2

5

Steve Bird Big Barrel Pinot Noir 2017 Marlborough

2

Pyramid Valley Pinot Noir 2018 North Canterbury

Enticing and layered aromatics of Pinot Noir centred on aromas of cherry and preserved apple, baking spices and old roses, an earthy contextual core enhanced with oak. Tense, poised, youthful, complex and dry on the palate. Flavours of red berries and rose, oak spices and earthy qualities, a natural synergy. Fine to firm tannins and medium+ acidity. Youthful yet balanced, lengthy and complex. Drinking well now and through 2023+. POINTS: 95 RRP $50 pyramidvalley.co.nz

3

Pyramid Valley Angel Flower Pinot Noir 2016 North Canterbury

Flowers, brown spices, earth and mineral moments, tea and pressed roses – the very nature of the bouquet is one of complexity and intrigue. On the palate: complex, dry, savoury and earthy. Flavours reflect the bouquet, texture is something different – more savoury and intense with dried herb and fine tannins, a natural level of acidity and complexity. Long and intriguing finish. Well made, youthful and natural. Drink now and through 2026+. POINTS: 95 RRP $125 pyramidvalley.co.nz

A lovely core of fruit with complex layers of dark wood spices, black and dark red cherry, brown baking spices and power. Dry on the palate, a firm youthful texture from abundant tannins and acidity, a core of power and flavours of red berries and cherries. Long finish, well made and complex. Decant for service, best drinking from 2021 through 2025. POINTS: 95 RRP $65 wildearthwines.co.nz

4

6

5

Smoky, toasty and fragrant. No mistaking the bouquet of oak with toasted barrel and dark spices of oak. Fruit aromas of plums then dark cherry. Baking spices of cinnamon and cedar, vanilla and clove. A dry wine on the palate with flavours that reflect the bouquet, firm tannins and acidity to match, the core of oak and fruit add a contrasting sweetness. Bold, balanced and ready. Drink now and through 2023. POINTS: 90 RRP $36 stevebirdwines.com

6

Opawa Pinot Noir 2018 Marlborough

Distinctive and immediately captivating with aromas of white smoke and toasty oak, red berries and cherry, red apple and crushed rose. Dry on the palate with lots of youthful tension contrasted by a core of red fruit flavours and plum. Baking spices, firm youthful tannins and plenty of acidity. Enjoy from early 2020 through 2024. POINTS: 93 RRP $29.95 opawawine.com

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TASTING NOTES PINOT NOIR

7

acidity. Long complex finish. Best from now and through 2029. POINTS: 96 RRP $60 villamariawines.com

Flaxmore Pinot Noir 2018 Moutere, Nelson

Really nice bouquet of Pinot Noir with aromas of roses and cherries, red plum and cranberry. A light savoury, dried herb and stony mineral layer adds complexity and depth. Tense, youthful, savoury, fruity, lightweight and dry. I really like the texture and balance for this wine, it has just enough complexity with a core of pinosity, fine tannins and balanced use of oak. Drinking well from today and through 2022. POINTS: 92 RRP $29 flaxmore.co.nz

7

8

11

Domain Road Defiance Pinot Noir 2017 Central Otago

Fragrant and elegant bouquet showing of cherries and red apple skin, some wild raspberry and red florals; a minerality and light mushroom quality emerges after a few minutes in glass. Equally elegant on the palate with flavours that reflect the nose, fine textured tannins and medium+ acidity; a core of both fruit and mineral upon a measure of French oak. A lovely example with a lengthy and fine finish. Drink now and through 2026. POINTS: 95 RRP $65 domainroad.co.nz

8

Yealands Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018 Marlborough

Classic Awatere bouquet with a core of dried herb and savoury spices. A varietal fruit signature of cherries, plums and red apple. The oak is obvious and well-placed adding brown spices, toastiness, depth and complexity. Firm, youthful and dry on the palate with flavours the same as the nose. Plenty of tannin and acidity for structure and texture. Nice example. Drink now and through 2024. POINTS: 93 RRP $29.95 yealands.co.nz

10

11

Domain Road Paradise Pinot Noir 2016 Central Otago

Complex bouquet of Pinot Noir with strawberry and red cherry, plum, old rose, dried herb, thyme and brown spices combined with some bottle age. Equally complex on the palate with layers of flavours and textures from roses and plums to cherry and rose, tea and brown spices. Fine tannins, abundant and chalky. Medium acidity, plenty of oak, balanced and well made with a long finish. Drink now and through 2025. POINTS: 95 RRP $85 domainroad.co.nz

9

Pegasus Bay Prima Donna Pinot Noir 2015 North Canterbury

Beguiling and attractive bouquet with alluring scents of new season raspberry, plum compote and wild berries. Very youthful, raw and new with an oak centric layer on the palate, contrasting fruit, tannins need time to integrate, plenty of acidity. A wine that needs a peaceful rest in your cellar still with best drinking 2021 through 2027+. POINTS: 95 RRP $95 www.pegasusbay.com

12

9

13

Quartz Reef Bendigo Single Ferment Pinot Noir 2017 Central Otago

12

10

Villa Maria Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Pinot Noir 2013 Marlborough Fantastic complex and engaging bouquet of Pinot Noir, with flavours of wild red berries of the forest, savoury baking and wood spices and a deep engaging complexity. Dry, savoury and delicious with a core of fruit and appealing texture from fine abundant tannins and plenty of

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13

Deeply perfumed with a core of minerality and flowers then fruit and wood spices. Specific aromas and flavours on the palate include crushed rock and chalk, roses and wild raspberries, cherry and red liquorice, clove and vanilla. Highly textured with firm, youthful chalky tannins, a core of fruit with contrasting acid line, fabulous length and finish. Drink now and through 2027. POINTS: 97 RRP $85 quartzreef.co.nz


Carefully crafted on a Central Otago family vineyard WINNER OF OVER 100 INTERNATIONAL ACCODLADES

B a n n oc k bu r n • C en t r a l O t a g o • N ew Z ea l a n d www.d o ma i n r o a d . c o . n z


TASTING NOTES PINOT NOIR

14

18

Palliser Estate Pinot Noir 2018 Martinborough

Clos Marguerite Pinot Noir 2015 Marlborough

Reflecting its origins the bouquet shows off a core of minerality then fresh red berry fruit aromas, cherry and strawberry. Fine chalky tannins, ripe and refreshing acidity, no mistaking the use of oak, but well placed. Lengthy mineral based finish. Drink now and through 2026. POINTS: 94 RRP $59 palliser.co.nz

14

Engaging, complex and layered bouquet with aromas of soil, smoke, wood and fruit. Complex, textured, layered and detailed on the palate with flavours of red berries and oak, fine chalky tannins, medium+(ish) acidity, brown spices and sweetness of wood. A long complex finish. Simply delicious. Drink now and through 2026+. POINTS: 97 RRP $58 closmarguerite.co.nz

15

15

Villa Maria Single Vineyard The Attorney Pinot Noir 2015 Marlborough

Bright, fresh, sophisticated and youthful, with aromas of dark cherry, red apple and plum, some vanilla and lighter clove brown spice notes, complex and engaging. Dry, firm and youthful. Flavours reflect the nose, enhanced by elegant-yetfirm tannins and medium+ acidity. Youthful, needing some cellar time. Decant for service. Best from now and through 2026. POINTS: 95 RRP $69.99 villamariawines.com

19

Three Miners Warden’s Court Pinot Noir 2017 Central Otago

17

18

16

Giesen Single Vineyard Ridge Block Pinot Noir

20

Domain Road Pinot Noir 2017 Central Otago

2014

A complex and enticing bouquet of Pinot with layers of oak and fruit, minerality and dried herb. Fine tannins and medium+ acidity, the complexity and core of fruit and mineral flavours cushioned against some fine oak shows in the length and finish of the wine. Balanced and well made. Drinking well now and through 2025. POINTS: 94 RRP $65 giesenwines.co.nz

17

Giesen Estate Pinot Noir 2016

Varietal and quite fruity with a red cherry, red apple with soft light brown spices and gentle wood tones. On the palate, soft fine tannins, medium acidity, generous of fruit and dry. Flavours reflect the nose with cherry and plum, moderate complexity, balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2020. POINTS: 88 RRP $25.99 giesenwines.co.nz

Classic Otago attributes of Pinot Noir with spiced dark cherries, plum, dried raspberry and toasty brown spices of oak. Dry, medium weighted with firm yet ripe tannins, medium+ acidity, chalky tannins, mild smoky oak and a lengthy finish. Well made, totally enjoyable and cellar worthy. Best from today and through 2025. POINTS: 94 RRP $42 threeminers.com

16

19

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20

Lovely bouquet of Pinot Noir with aromas of dark red berry fruits, violets and roses, baking spices, dried herb and dry stone minerality; quite complex yet very youthful. Equally nice on the palate with a mix of wild red berry fruit flavours, tart dark cherry and dried raspberry. Firm youthful tannins, abundant acidity and core of fruit set this wine up for longevity. Noticeable oak and spice layers, well made with a lengthy finish. Best from 2021 through 2029. POINTS: 94 RRP $40 domainroad.co.nz


DISTINCT EXPRESSIONS OF OUR REMARKABLE C E N T R A L OTAG O W I N E R EG I O N W W W. G I B B S TO N VA L L E Y. C O M For t ra d e e n quir ies contact EuroVint a ge | eu rovi nta ge.co.nz


TASTING NOTES OTHER REDS

W

hen I’m writing wine lists, the client will be expecting red wines to be in Pinot Noir, Cabernet/Merlot-type and Syrah categories – yet inevitably the cuisine type or establishment style calls for wines that fit into none of these sections – lesser known or just less mainstream wines that are often typical in other countries, just not in New Zealand currently. These wines will have something interesting about them to warrant their inclusion on a wine list and it’s fun to feature them. These ‘other’ red wines deserve a better category. To enjoy the experience of these wines, think about what best suits the food or setting, and if none of the usual suspects were to be available what could you select? Gamay replaces Rosé; Tempranillo and Sangiovese replace the Cabernets; Mencia and Nebbiolo replace Pinot Noir; Tannat and Chambourcin replace Syrah; Saperavi and Mavrodaphne could replace Pinot Noir. The point is, when it’s time to expand your horizons, take the ‘blue pill’ and expose your palate and imagination to a vinous adventure.

OTHER

Reds

1

Aromas and flavours of purple flowers, dark raspberry, black cherry, some blackcurrant and a whisper of fruitcake. Dry, bold and powerful with abundant fine tannins and backbone of acidity, a powerhouse core of fruit and oak to match. Long finish. Don’t even think of opening this wine yet. Best from 2020 to 2030. POINTS: 97 RRP $59.99 giesenwines.co.nz

Matahiwi Estate Syrah 2018 Hawke’s Bay

Varietal, fruity, spicy and toasty. Suggestions of black currant and dark cherry, fruit spices and plum. Some white smoke and brown spices of oak. Dry, spicy, fruity, balanced, youthful and dry. A lovely wine, youthful and fresh, needs time to develop and fully integrate. Best from 2021 through 2026. POINTS: 91 RRP $30 matahiwi.co.nz

1

2

5

Matavino Barbera di Matakana 2018 Matakana

2

Vidal Soler Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 Hawke’s Bay

A bouquet that is slow to reveal its story. Aromas emerge of blackened blackberry, dark plum and fresh cigar tobacco. Marmite and meat, a sweet toasted wood scent accentuated with aromas of clove and vanilla, then dried herb and baked bell-pepper. A complexity unfurls after many minutes in glass. Youthful, tense, firm and dry with flavours reflective of the nose. Abundant fruit and wood tannins with plenty of acidity. Complex, lengthy finish. A wine that should age and harmonise in your cellar over the coming 3–5 years. Ideal drinking 2024 through 2034. POINTS: 96 RRP $34.99 vidal.co.nz

3

6

Paroa Bay Syrah 2015 Bay of Islands

3

Pegasus Bay Maestro Merlot.Cab.Malbec 2015 North Canterbury

Complex bouquet of dark red fruits led by Doris plum, blackberry and dark spiced chocolate. Toasty wood spices of clove and baked vanilla, a steely haunt adds complexity and depth. Dry with a contrasting core of red berry fruits, chocolate and wood spice. Firm to fine tannins and warming alcohol. Medium+ acidity and dark fruited core. Coming into balance slowly. Lengthy fine finish. Drink from now and through 2029. POINTS: 95 RRP $50 pegasusbay.com

4

Giesen Single Vineyard Clayvin Syrah Marlborough

Young wine aromas yet intense, varietal, quite peppery and fruity as well as complex. As the wine opens up in the glass the power and intrigue build.

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5

Fruity, toasty, smoky and inviting bouquet of Barbera. Aromas and flavours of dark berries, dark spices and oak. A meaty quality contrasted with flavours of blue and black fruits, Persian spices and dark flowers. Medium+ tannins, acidity and weight with a dry finish. Youthful and needing cellar time, a nice wine to watch develop, integrate and mature. Decant for service with best drinking from late 2021 through 2026. POINTS: 93 RRP $45 matavino.co.nz

Warm and engaging bouquet, varietal, fruity, spicy and distinctive with a savoury herb and stony saline core. Raspberry and black currant, plum and pepper. Just as engaging on the palate with firm, youthful tannins, plenty of acidity and a core of fruit with savoury tones to contrast. Youthful and still integrating, a great summer wine with lamb, beef or something vegetarian from the barbecue. Drink now and through 2025. POINTS: 92 RRP $40 paroabay.com

4

7

Monowai Estate Merlot 2017 Hawke's Bay

6

7

Refreshing lifted bouquet of Merlot – plums and cherries, fruit compote, dark spices of oak and dry stone earthy tones. Fruity, earthy, moderate weight and dry on the palate. Flavours mirror the nose, youthful textures with medium+ acidity and moderate tannins, well made with moderate finish. Still developing so no rush on drinking. Best from late 2020 through 2024. POINTS: 90 RRP $20 monowai.co.nz


“Fruity, toasty, smoky & inviting” 93 POINTS

Cameron Douglas MS

MATAVINO the Home of Barbera di Matakana Matavino is a small winery situated on the Matakana coast only 40 minutes north of Auckland where Jim’s vines are hand nurtured to produce truly boutique wines, all made on site at the cellar door by winemaker, Warren. Skillfully fermented in Italian clay amphorae to allow the true fruit flavours to come through into the wine, the Matavino Barbera di Matakana will make you feel like you’ve been transported to its origins in northwest Italy. matavino.co.nz


Fotographie by Florence

t s e B s ’ C am I

taste a lot of wine, daily – and the range is average to excellent. Wine tasting, wine judging and evaluating wine are some of the (many) reasons I chose and love my profession. Sharing ideas and geeking out with fellow wine-ophiles, or just enjoying an interesting glass with family and friends are my main hobbies. Wines I have tasted in 2019 have been as old and rare as a 1918 Champagne Bollinger tasted on site in Champagne, as fascinating and intriguing as Masi wines tasted on site in Verona, Italy, and as soul-satisfying as No.1 Estate Reserve Blanc de Blancs at home with winemaker Daniel Le Brun and his family. Whether a wine is old or rare, young and simple or complex and beguiling, it’s only ever as good as the environment, company or food that it’s presented with. Just recently I was offered the opportunity to select a bottle from my dear friend Georgia’s

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OF 2019

(shared) cellar in Los Altos California to go with dinner. I chose and opened a 1983 Cheval Blanc from St Emilion, Bordeaux (Merlot, Cabernet Franc). A rare opportunity to experience this famous Chateau, it was delicious wine because it was sound, balanced, still had fruit, acidity, fine tannins and tasted young, but mostly special because it was enjoyed in the company of special people who also appreciated the occasion. Announcing just eight great wines from New Zealand I have tasted in 2019 is difficult, with so many great wines to select, so my ultimate assessment is based on varietal correctness, noticeable purity of fruit, engaging texture, overall balance, great length and complexity. Sometimes the ‘other’ question I look for in a wine is – would I drink a glass? If all the criteria for evaluation are met and I would love to drink a glass (or three) then this is a wine I want you to enjoy as well. This list is not definitive, just examples of some standouts.


CAM'S BEST OF 2019

Top Chardonnay – Elephant Hill Salomé Chardonnay 2017, Hawke’s Bay

Named after an ancestor of the Weiss family who own Elephant Hill – Maria Salomé Ebner von Eschenbach. I have tried this wine on several occasions – in the winery, at the lodge and on my tasting table – and each time found it to be captivating, pure with a great texture and length. A very special wine to share and enjoy with friends who like to taste and discuss excellent Chardonnay.

Top Sparkling – No.1 Family Estate Reserve Blanc de Blancs NV, Marlborough

The Le Brun family have been an integral part of New Zealand wine and sparkling wine production from the early 1980s. They make only bottlefermented sparkling wine and quite frankly they are as good as I have ever encountered from any European counterpart (some are better). Their wines are complex, detailed, seductive and fine. The Reserve Blanc de Blancs is excellent – this 100 percent Chardonnay steals the show for complexity, flavours and deliciousness.

Top Pinot Gris – Greystone Pinot Gris 2018, Waipara, North Canterbury

If you’re thinking about exploring wines that are organic, bio-dynamic, vegan-friendly but must taste really good, then this wine will set you off on the right foot – it ticks all these boxes and adds a few surprises. Owned by the Thomas Family and crafted by Dom Maxwell, this wine encapsulates what great New Zealand Gris is and should continue to be – pure fruited, a tease of spice and just a little exotic, great mouth feel and long finish.

Top Sauvignon Blanc – Auntsfield South Oaks Barrel Fermented Sauvignon Blanc 2017 Marlborough

Let’s face it, finding and buying great Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand is easy. Finding an amazing SB that stops you in your tracks and asks you to slow down a little and get to know this specific wine is quite rare. At the top end of winemaking in New Zealand is a SB that has a lot of wow factor, great purity of fruit, fine texture and long finish and just enough oak tease. Crafted by the Cowley family (Ben in the vineyard and Luc in the winery) their understanding of the land and crafting wines with power and completeness is realised.

Top Riesling – Pegasus Bay Bel Canto Riesling 2017, North Canterbury The Donaldson family has been crafting excellent wine for over 40 years. Making great wine from classic varieties with one of their best and my absolute favourite – the Bel Canto Riesling. This wine is so easy to enjoy, is the perfect aperitif, entices and stimulates the palate, has great concentration, purity of fruit, flavour and length.

Top Pinot Noir – Clos Marguerite Pinot Noir 2015, Marlborough

Great New Zealand Pinot Noir can be found in most wine regions. Discovering an example that captivates, entices, is detailed and complex – then the list gets somewhat shorter. Produced by Jean-Charles Van Hove and Marguerite Dubois, this small artisan company in Marlborough demonstrates how a vineyard voice, finesse and exuberance, fine tannins and complexity can show clearly in the best Pinots Noir from New Zealand.

Top Red Blend – Esk Valley The Hillside Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Merlot 2017 Hawke’s Bay

Growing and ripening red grapes is difficult enough – making and blending excellent red wine is an art few can achieve well. Crafted by Gordon Russell and Andrew Lebioda, the Hillside wine shows how it’s done with definitive fruit concentration and flavours, firm texture and ripe tannins with a precise measure of oak. This wine encapsulates the best of Hawke’s Bay red wine in a bold, fresh and modern style.

Top Syrah – Bilancia La Collina Syrah 2016, Hawke’s Bay There are many great Syrah wines made in New Zealand, from Northland through our regions to Marlborough, fine examples can be found. The La Collina wine is at the top of its class. It has a concentration and focus only achievable at the hands of great winemakers with excellent fruit. Winemakers Warren Gibson and Loraine Leheny are the talent behind the Bilancia company. Establishing vineyards in Hawke’s Bay in the late 1990s, their focus has been to make the best examples of Syrah and Pinot Gris. The La Collina is a collector’s wine, a great drinking wine and the perfect gift. W

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p o r D t Las THE

CAM GETS CONTEMPLATIVE ON TRIUMPHS AND MANA IN THE NEW ZEALAND WINE INDUSTRY

T

he reputation of New Zealand wine on a global stage is significant: our exports reach all the major markets in Asia, the Americas, the United Kingdom, many parts of Europe and, closer to home, the Pacific Islands and Australia. The people behind our wine brands are of equal importance to the wines themselves, some building our reputation over many decades, keeping access to markets open and telling the story of New Zealand through wine. Without question the reach and reputation of New Zealand is stronger because of the work by our very own Sir George Fistonich and his Villa Maria wine brand. Even in 1962 when Sir George bottled his first wine, I’m quite certain his vision and strategy was looking 20 years ahead. In March 2019, a significant announcement confirmed this with a world first for New Zealand when an international panel from Drinks International magazine and UK-based global research company Wine Intelligence named Villa Maria in the top three global wine brands. Villa Maria was already on the top 10 list for five years consecutively. Placing first was Penfolds (Australia) and second Torres (Spain) – Villa Maria is in great company. Equally significant has been the recent announcement that Sir George was nominated

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to president of the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC), which is one of the oldest and most respected wine competitions in the world. As it celebrates its 50th Anniversary year, the role of the IWSC president has, for the first time since its foundation, been passed to someone from New Zealand. This brings great mana for our country, thank you Sir George. For this anniversary event, the IWSC will also be commemorating the 50 past presidents, amongst whom is Robert Mondavi, who was president in 1983. In 2018, a new brand for New Zealand wine was announced, Appellation Marlborough Wine or AMW, and in October this was trademarked in all the global wine markets. In order to secure membership, a producer must adhere to a strict certification process. All producers in the region are able to apply for membership and are expected to meet robust criteria. These include such details as wines having to come from grapes harvested in vineyards certified by Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand, and they must be bottled in New Zealand under NZ regulations. The main aim is giving consumers confidence in the provenance of their wine. Have a look for the AMW logo on the label of your next purchase. The current chair of AMW is Ivan Sutherland of Dog Point Vineyards.  W


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World Of Wine Summer 2019-2020  

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