World Of Wine Summer 2020-2021

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SUMMER 2020/21 NZ$9.95

CAM’S BEST OF 2020 WORLD’S TOP DROPS WITHOUT LEAVING NZ DELICIOUS NEW RECIPES

BY DONNA HAY

+ the perfect wine matches

Summer TAKE A

CELLAR DOOR ROADIE

100+

WINES TASTED AND RATED ISSN 2624-3342

9 772624

334007

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12 NZ

Winemakers to watch



OPTIMAL WINE CARE THE INTEGRATED COLUMN WINE CABINET PROVIDES THE IDEAL ENVIRONMENT FOR YOUR PRECIOUS COLLECTION

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CONTENTS SUMMER 2020/21

Photo: Janet Blackman

ON THE COVER: Lake Wanaka, New Zealand PUBLISHED BY The Intermedia Group Ltd PO Box 109 342 Newmarket, Auckland New Zealand

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

08 Small Sips

What’s hot and happening in the NZ wine industry

12 Cellar Doors

Where to find our best winery experiences

16 Twelve Winemakers to Watch

The NZ wine industry is in some great hands

26 Becoming a Master Sommelier

Cam’s journey through the world of wine

36 Donna Hay’s Deliciously Simple Summer Recipes Plus the perfect wine matches

41 Tasting Notes

42 Sauvignon Blanc 46 Chardonnay 50 Pinot Gris 52 Sparkling 54 Aromatics 56 Rosé 58 Pinot Noir 63 Riesling + Port

64 Cam’s Best of 2020

Nine favourite wines from the year that was

66 The Last Drop

Cam gets contemplative on the NZ wine industry

GROUP PUBLISHER Paul Wootton pwootton@intermedia.com.au ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Craig Hawtin-Butcher craig@intermedia.com.au EDITOR Josie Steenhart jcsteenhart@gmail.com SALES DIRECTOR Brigitte Kolver bkolver@intermedianz.co.nz ph: 027 294 5113 PUBLISHING ASSISTANT Eclypse Lee elee@intermedianz.co.nz ART DIRECTOR Adrian Tipper atipper@intermedia.com.au

28 How to Build a Winning Wine List

Whether you’re a restaurateur or budding amateur

30 The World’s Top Drops Without Leaving NZ

The best international wines you can get right here

32 The Importance Of Storage

Treat both your everyday and beloved vintage wines right

34 Gifts For Wine Lovers

Cam’s picks of what to give (or get) this Christmas

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Photo: Janet Blackman


“Elegance is when the inside is as beautiful as the outside.” COCO CHANEL

New Zealand ’s premier vintage Methode Traditionnelle, the ‘crown jewel ’ in our sparkling wine collection is here. AVAILABLE AT FINE WINE RETAILERS, DISCERNING RESTAURANTS AND ONLINE AT WWW.QUARTZREEF.CO.NZ


Cameron Douglas, MS: A WORD FROM

th e Master W

e really are blessed to be living in such a special, beautiful place. The wine world of Aotearoa has great diversity in every major region - from Northland and the stunning Bay of Islands to the rugged and mesmerising landscapes of Otago and Southland there is a lifetime’s worth of exploration available. There’s no question 2020 has been a year of challenges, with changes around every corner and new habits to adopt, but the opportunity to rediscover New Zealand and visit places that were always on those lists has become a reality. Early in the lockdown, my wife and I came up with the plan to, when released, visit every New Zealand wine region – to visit as many producers as possible and evaluate their current releases, and walk in as many of the vineyards as we are able. We are well underway. An extra benefit is being able to support local businesses along the way - a cool way to give back to our community. A sommelier’s beverage repertoire is more than wine and some of the more interesting finds so far have been a solid range of locally produced spirits, beers, ciders and vermouths. I encourage you to get out there and – like us – rediscover our big blue backyard. From the steampunk museum in Oamaru and the farmer’s market in Hawke’s Bay to lunch at the Duke of Marlborough in Russell we can make summer 2020/21 count amongst our best. Cameron Douglas, MS

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NEW

FRENCH TRADITION, GROWN IN NEW ZEALAND. MÉTHODE TRADITIONNELLE | SPARKLING WINE


s p i s Small

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

NEW WINE FESTIVAL Central Otago’s acclaimed wine and food will take centre stage in Wānaka next year with the launch of new festival Ripe. Established to attract Kiwis to Wānaka, Ripe is designed to celebrate the region’s viticulture industry and local culinary scene. Maude, Amisfield, Māori Point, Ceres, Mishas and Akarua are among the local wineries taking part, supported by food from the likes of The Stoaker Room and Hook plus beers from Wānaka brewery bEffect. Held at Corbridge Estate on March 21, 2021 over Otago Anniversary weekend, Ripe will also host celebrity chef Nadia Lim and live music from the Jordan Luck Band as part of the festival’s entertainment lineup - with more vineyards, producers and entertainers to be announced. ripewanaka.nz

NZ ORGANIC WINE AWARDS Central Otago is proving the place to be to try some of New Zealand’s best organic wines, with Amisfield named Organic Winery of the Year and Peregrine taking out Wine of the Show for its 2019 Pinot Gris at this year’s NZ Organic Wine Awards. In its seventh year, the NZ Organic Wine Awards had entries from more than 40 vineyards in 2020, with 46 Gold, 49 Silver and 52 Bronze medals awarded. The overall champions from each category are listed below: • Pinot Noir: Amisfield Breakneck Reserve Pinot Noir 2017 • Sauvignon Blanc: Walnut Block Collectables Sauvignon Blanc 2019 • Riesling: Amisfield Lowburn Terrace Riesling 2019 • Pinot Gris: Peregrine Pinot Gris 2019 • Chardonnay: Seresin Estate Chardonnay 2018 • Sparkling: Quartz Reef Méthode Traditionnelle Late Disgorged Vintage 2010 • Syrah: Terrace Edge Syrah 2015 • Rosé: Zephyr MK1 Rosé 2019

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CELEBRATED CHEF MONIQUE FISO JOINS THE BOOK CLUB Chef Monique Fiso’s stunning book Hiakai (also the name of her iconic Wellington Restaurant) may well be one of the most important and valuable culinary reads to appear in Aotearoa recently. Hiakai covers modern Māori cuisine, tikanga, traditional preparations and cooking, with around 30 recipes included. I first met Monique some years ago when she was working at a restaurant in Auckland – her talent and core passion for food was noteworthy even then. I got to know her a lot better while she was cooking in Michelin-starred New York restaurant The Musket Room (I wrote the wine programme then so encountered Monique’s dishes a lot for wine and food pairing requirements). Now, as her own restaurant Hiakai enters its third year of operation, I’m privileged to curate her wine list and contribute in a small way as the restaurant’s reputation grows and gains world acclaim - in 2019 TIME magazine named Hiakai as one of the ‘100 Greatest Places’ in the world. Hiakai tells the story of this exceptional woman’s culinary journey. - CD



SMALL SIPS

UNCHARTED TERRITORY A new release from celebrated winemakers Giesen plays tribute to the part of the Marlborough region where the three Giesen Brothers discovered an affinity for the fine wines the area is known for. This adventurous Marlborough range, Uncharted, offers a chance to make any occasion extraordinary with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc, sophisticated Chardonnay, and an elegant Pinot Noir. Uncharted launches with a very special preview of the range directly from Giesen’s online store, and the inside word is that the wines are excellent – very generous and particularly so for their price point, which will sit in the $25 bracket. giesen.co.nz REFRESHING DEBUT STRAIGHT OUT OF LEFT FIELD Renowned for their creative approach and outside the box thinking, award-winning New Zealand winemakers Leftfield are celebrating the release of a summer-friendly new wine fizz - LF Seltzer. A fancy fusion of unique Leftfield wines, sparkling water and natural botanical flavours, LF Seltzer is available in three flavours - Yuzu, Mint & Cucumber with Sauvignon Blanc, Pear & Ginger with Pinot Gris and Strawberry & Hibiscus with Rosé. leftfieldwines.com DONNA HAY BACK WITH DELICIOUS NEW BOOK From Australasia’s best selling cook comes a stunning new book featuring 224 pages of the super fresh, super fast recipes she’s loved for. Donna Hay’s latest tome, Everyday Fresh, arrives just in time for summer, and features recipes that showcase her signature ethos - ‘simple made special’. Turn to page 36 for three deliciously simple recipes from Everyday Fresh, complete with Cam’s top wine matches.

WHAT’S ON Wellington Wine & Food Festival 13 February, 2021 wineandfoodfestival.co.nz

North Canterbury Wine & Food Festival 7 March, 2021 ncwineandfood.co.nz

Wairarapa Wines Harvest Festival 13 March, 2021 wairarapaharvestfestival.co.nz

Ripe Festival

21 March, 2021 ripewanaka.nz

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Corbridge Estate, Wanaka

THE ULTIMATE WINE COMPANION When tasting wines, you’ll rarely find Cam without a bottle of Antipodes within arm’s reach. There’s a reason for that. Fine water is a central element in the enjoyment of wine and cuisine - its sole purpose is to hydrate and refresh, while cleansing the palate. Unaltered from its deep source to the bottle on the table, the purity of Antipodes is its hallmark. High mineral content is common in many waters, but it has a significant drying and flavouring effect on the palate. Antipodes has a very low natural minerality comprised mainly of silica, making it the ideal table water for any occasion, not least when there’s wine involved. antipodes.co.nz


It’s what Thursdays were made for. Chilled, crisp and clean. Passionfruit, mango, with hints of sweet pea. Now what cheese will I try? Maybe them all.

Yealands Reserve Sauvignon Blanc.

INSPIRED BY THE COAST


Wine away a weekend HIT THE ROAD THIS SUMMER TO SAMPLE SOME OF NZ’S BEST CELLAR DOORS

W

ith the restrictions on international travel, we’ve been given the chance to rediscover beautiful Aotearoa, with all its glorious landscapes, adventures to embark on and interesting places to visit. Summer 2021 activities are coming online fast, and it’s looking like many of us will be out and about enjoying some of the best of our own big blue backyard. New Zealand wine people are a part of this backyard, with many of them offering the chance to visit them in person and enjoy some of their particular brand of hospitality. Somms need to keep their finger on the pulse of the world of wine and beverages, and there’s no better, more authentic or enjoyable way to do this than to travel to the source. We’re usually headed overseas many, many times a year – and we have no intention of not

travelling – so we’ve been enjoying even more in-depth explorations of our own fine wine regions. Recent stops throughout the North and South Islands have reminded us of some cellar door experiences, and introduced a few we weren’t familiar with. Overall, the offerings are fun, varied and top notch. First impressions really make a difference and a cellar door experience should be more than the opportunity to taste wine. Everything from arriving, the greeting and overall hospitality are a part of the package and it’s exciting to see so many doing a great job. Cellar doors need to sell food if they’re going to offer wine by anything more than sample, so these offerings have become an important layer in the overall experience – if it’s done well it will be remembered and recommended. I’ve recently enjoyed selections

PEGASUS BAY Stockgrove Road, Waipara, North Canterbury Located in the Waipara Valley no more than an hours’ drive north of Christchurch is the Pegasus Bay winery and cellar door tasting room. Named after the large nearby bay and the winged white horse of ancient myth - Pegasus Bay has been growing and producing fine wine for more than 30 years. A visit to the property offers more than the cellar door experience, with an opportunity to meander through and explore the vast grounds with several hectares of landscaped gardens and walkways. The cellar door typically has 15 or more wines open for tasting, which is quite a large offering, and with a selection of aged wine for sale there’s quite the story to be told through the wine and by the staff. While there are many wines I could recommend from the Peg’ Bay portfolio, the Bel Canto dry Riesling, Prima Donna Pinot Noir and Maestro Merlot Malbec are among my favourites. Also, be sure to try wines from their Vergence label – the ‘White’ is a fascinating blend of six different varieties. Pegasus’ beautiful, award-winning restaurant (with outdoor seating that extends into the garden) has switched from lunchtime a la carte to a premium events venue, with guests able to hire out the space for weddings, work events and special occasions. This season they’re also putting on a number of their own events open to the public such as the enticing ‘Collab Sessions’ - delicious collaborations with guest chefs on a 5-course lunch complete with matched aged wines from the Pegasus Bay cellar. Open seven days from December 1st. There’s a nominal tasting fee of $10. +64 3 314 6869 info@pegasusbay.com pegasusbay.com

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ranging from simple platters through to full gourmet degustation menu fine dining. The sorts of things that make a difference are attention to details - ensuring bottled water and good good coffee are available, making sure the loos are spotlessly clean, that all hygiene practices and Covid-19 tracing is part of the routine, that the parking arrangements are straightforward. Wineries taking their cellar door offerings seriously sometimes charge for tastings – the added benefit is having trained staff offer a guided experience (valuing high quality staff is an important part of any business). Most, if not all, providers deduct the tasting cost when a wine purchase is made. So add wine tasting and cellar door exploration to your summer travel itineraries – whether close to home or during your Aotearoa wanderings. W


TOP WINE DESTINATIONS

LUNA ESTATE 133 Puruatanga Road, Ponatahi, Martinborough One of the most important wine regions in Aotearoa is the Wairarapa. Some of the early wine pioneers of New Zealand established vineyards here and some of the very first Pinot Noir vine cuttings were also planted here in the early 1880s. Of the many fine wine producers there today, Luna Estate is one to know and visit. About an hours’ drive north east of

Wellington over the Rimutaka Hills along highway 53 and just outside the main square of Martinborough is the Luna Estate winery and tasting cellar door. Wines for tasting are from the estate and single vineyards sites each showcasing their own distinctive profile, flavours and textures. It’s not just a cellar door so feel free to stay and enjoy a glass of wine with some of the fine food - I recently sampled a few dishes from the new Asian-inspired summer menu – all rather delicious.

Outside there are landscaped gardens to explore and a play area for children and canine companions. If you are planning a visit this summer, be sure to try the Blue Rock Syrah, Eclipse Chardonnay and Estate Pinot Gris. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 11:00 am; lunch Tuesday through Friday and dinner Friday and Saturday evenings. +64 6 306 9360 cellardoor@lunaestate.co.nz lunaestate.co.nz

BRANCOTT ESTATE HERITAGE VINEYARD 180 Brancott Road, Fairhall, Marlborough The first dedicated Sauvignon Blanc vineyard in Marlborough was established in 1979 at the Brancott Estate. The sudden increase

in popularity and now world demand for New Zealand’s most important variety started at this place. After winning gold at the Easter Show in 1980, first exports to the United Kingdom in 1982 and winning the coveted Marquis de Goulaine trophy New

Zealand Sauvignon Blanc was catapulted to international wine stardom. You can experience the brand, the history and the 21st-century chapter of the Brancott story at the architecturally designed Heritage Vineyard site, which offers stunning elevated views overlooking the Marlborough landscape and historic vines. Available for hosted private tastings as well as events and functions, the alfresco area is ideal for pre-dinner festivities of up to 50, the main dining area provides panoramic views for an idyllic backdrop to any seated event of 60 -70 people or standing up to 120, and The Board Room offers privacy for business meetings or dining for smaller groups. While it is a dedicated event venue, currently all of the key brands are available for glass pour and enquiries for events will include a tasting of the Estate, Showcase, Letter and Chosen Rows wines. There are many fine wines produced through the portfolio, but if you’re keen on a recommendation then be sure to try the Chardonnay from the Letter series and Sauvignon Blanc from Chosen Rows. Brancottestate.com Instagram: @brancottestate

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TOP WINE DESTINATIONS

AMISFIELD 10 Lake Hayes Road, Queenstown The Amisfield cellar door and restaurant is an easy 10-minute drive from Queenstown airport in Central Otago. The atmosphere and the staff are welcoming and attention to detail is obvious. The story of Amisfield and the key vineyard site begins in 1999 when founder

John Darby managed to purchase an old Merino Station in the Cromwell Basin through the Kawarau Gorge (this is also the winery location). The wines are not only delicious, but cellar worthy too - their reserve range and R.K.V Pinot Noir are fantastic. My favourite wine currently from the range is their 2016 vintage Méthode Traditionnelle.

The dining at Amisfield Bistro has won awards – deservedly so. There’s a four-course lunch available – the paua pie is a must-try – and a five- or seven-course dinner – with wine selection easy to arrange. Recently, Tony Stewart, from the iconic Clooney in Auckland, and (even more recently) Marek Przyborek, an awarded sommelier, have added strength to the team. At the cellar door a $10 tasting fee is deducted from your wine purchase - a private bespoke style tasting can also be organised if you are serious about fine wine discoveries. +64 3 442 0556 cellardoor@amisfield.co.nz amisfield.co.nz

DESERT HEART 182B Felton Road, Bannockburn, Central Otago The majestic, rugged and weathered landscapes of Central Otago are breathtaking and wines

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from the region are world class. The increase in cellar door opportunities mean you can taste some of that delicious wine, enjoy some beautifully prepared food and take-in some of those amazing views all at the same location.

Welcome to Desert Heart. Partners in business and in life, two of my favourite people and great friends, Denny Downie and Jane Gill, own and operate Desert Heart Estate. It’s a small, boutique vineyard, which hosts a tasting room, cellar door and the Desert Heart Kitchen. This is where their wines are created, with mindfulness and attention to detail. Boutique in size, their vineyard is just 1.1 hectares. There was a first Desert Heart site just a little further along the same road. The potential in their new property is obvious when you taste through the wine selection which currently includes Mackenzies 2012 and 2013 Pinot Noir; Seduction 2012 Pinot Noir. Also for tasting is a Pinot Gris 2019 and a brand new Rosé 2020. It makes the $5 per head tasting fee an easy investment – deducted from a bottle purchase. Jane’s hospitality expertise and chef background means the gourmet platters and small bites are a focus – on a warm day sitting out on the lawn with a glass of their finest is a chance to catch your breath and appreciate the vista. The cellar door is open Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 11.30am to 4.30pm. +64 3 445 3258 wines@desertheart.co.nz desertheart.co.nz


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Todd Stevens, Neudorf Vineyards

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Winemakers to watch CAM CATCHES UP WITH 12 OF NEW ZEALAND’S TOP WINEMAKING TALENTS

T

he measure of a great chef is taken as the combination of what they envision, create and serve as their best, by their repeat customers and by the following they generate from their notable (and often exceptional) product. The method can be used to measure a great winemaker – their understanding of site, soil, season and potential is brought to life in the bottles of wine they put their name to. We often don’t know the talented artists behind the labels - we just keep coming back for more of their work. The following is the first in a series of winemaker profiles in World of Wine. In my role as a somm and a wine writer, I travel the country and walk the vineyards, meet the people - now I’d like to introduce you to some of my friends, so you can learn their stories. These talented people are from different backgrounds across Aotearoa, and each is making a notable contribution to the New Zealand wine story. Crushing grapes and letting them ferment may seem straightforward, but making fine wine takes passion and patience - as well as thousands of tiny decisions with every crush, movement and ageing of the juice we can then enjoy.

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POPPY HAMMOND, Poppies Martinborough What inspired you to become a winemaker?

I never knew quite what I wanted to do when I left school, and while having a fun seven years working for AJ Hackett Bungy in Queenstown loved seeing the new and exciting wine industry evolving in Central Otago and so working voluntarily at Chard Farm on my days off. Both the Hay brothers encouraged me to go study. Plus the fact that they had a friend staying from Italy with the most amazing voice, who would come and sing in the vineyard in the morning. I never know quite what other calling there would have been other than that perfect one! I also loved science and art and the thought of being able to be a part of a new, exciting and phenomenal part of a New Zealand industry (we’re going back to the early 90s here - showing my age!). Which of your wines are you most proud of and why should we add it to our cellars?

JANNINE RICKARDS, Huntress Wines and Urlar What inspired you to become a winemaker?

My journey into winemaking wasn’t really down to one event - I found my enthusiasm for and interest in wine from working in the hospitality industry. In 2002 I was working for an importer of fine food and wine in Auckland who owned a winery in Hawke’s Bay. My first harvest was in 2003 at his winery and I’ve been on my journey into the intricacies of winemaking and grape growing since then. I do have memories of my grandfather opening bottles of Te Mata Estate, Cloudy Bay and Champagne on Christmas Day - I was always very excited when I could taste the wines. Which of your wines are you most proud of and why should we add it to our cellars?

Pinot Noir is totally what lured Shayne and I to Martinborough - old vines, dry farmed, deep brooding and mysterious. The 2014 and 2016 from Poppies Martinborough - don’t get me wrong they all have an exciting life ahead - but in particular these two vintages displayed the perfect texture, seamless and supple. And what we find with our Martinborough Pinot Noirs is that they hold their cards very close to their chest when they’re young and as they evolve that’s when they reveal their hand, they get richer, rounder and fuller - it’s then that they morph from being pretty and delicate to becoming more earthy, spicy and savoury.

Huntress is still a very young brand. The 2018 (my second release) is looking great but I’m super excited to be bottling my 2019 Pinot Noir very soon. It’s looking delicious with great balance, lovely tannins and a classic Wairarapa Pinot Noir expression. It’s also a bit like me in a bottle - solid and a bit fruity, very honest with a wild undertone.

Is there any new trend or innovation in wine that’s excited you or that you’re involved in?

Wine is ever changing and is always exciting in itself, how it evolves in a glass or a bottle. Also the variability in growing seasons - every vintage brings excitement and challenges that keep me hooked like an addict. It’s great to see the next wave of younger people come in and start their own labels, with thoughtful wines and either managing small parcels themselves or supporting small honest and hardworking growers.

Being true romantics and traditionalists we’ve always used corks - we love the ceremony that takes place when opening a bottle of wine, especially one from the cellar that you’ve been nurturing, waiting for that special moment. And with cork being such a traditional closure we’ve chosen to go with its counterpart - Vinolok - a beautiful glass closure that’s so perfectly engineered to our bottles that there’s a knack to opening it! We’ve been watching Henschke in the Barossa Valley, which we respect and admire, and who have been wonderful in helping us make the leap so all of our wines are under this closure for the 2020 vintage onwards. How would you like to see New Zealand’s wine industry evolve in the longer term?

Staying true to a region’s strength, while also staying true to your individual style, avoiding fashions and trends… That’s why Martinborough is an absolute winemaker’s delight for me as not only do we get to create a ‘wine list’ within a winery, we also get to create our ‘love of our live’ aromatics like Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Riesling, to name a few… At the end of a busy day making wine or tasting tank and barrel samples what beverage do you turn to?

My husband Shayne would say our Pinot Gris - the Alsace style makes for a cuddly wine if a wine could be. Having said that I change my mind on a very regular basis - I love them all, and have no favourites. Depending on the day a good gin can be the perfect antidote.

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Is there any new trend or innovation in wine that’s excited you or that you’re involved in?

How would you like to see New Zealand’s wine industry evolve in the longer term?

Continuing in the direction of most small growers and wine brands, it’s about looking after the land you have or work with and the people that do that work. Transitioning into organic farming methods for the wellbeing of both of those and exploring individual plots to more show the uniqueness within regions by keeping our focus on quality, well-crafted wines that reflect the diversity of Aotearoa and its people. At the end of a busy day making wine or tasting tank and barrel samples, what beverage do you turn to?

Reid + Reid gin and tonic.


TODD STEVENS, Neudorf Vineyards What inspired you to become a winemaker?

Sitting in London at a desk, tapping away on an Oracle database and looking outside at the concrete and thinking, ‘there might be a better way forward’. Which of your wines are you most proud of and why should we add it to our cellars?

It’s easy to say one of the Chardonnays, given Neudorf ’s affinity with the variety, but to be honest they consistently perform and kinda do their thing. Therefore it would probably be the challenge of Pinot Noir – I’m very happy with the progress we’ve made, particularly with Tom’s Block, which I feel always over-delivers for the price point. Is there any new trend or innovation in wine that’s excited you or that you’re involved in?

We’re trialling the use of clay amphora for our 25 Rows Chardonnay as a way to show another expression to Rosie’s Block. We even tried to get a local potter to make one out of Moutere clay but no one had a kiln big enough! On a broader scope, the issue of climate change and how we adapt to that is something that’s at the forefront of our minds. It’s a broad approach, from looking into varieties that can tolerate fickle weather (eg Albariño) to measuring our carbon footprint (mapped using EKOS) and making changes to business processes (lightweight bottles, less travel, virtual tastings etc). How would you like to see New Zealand’s wine industry evolve in the longer term?

I echo the comments made above re climate change. In regards to regions and styles, I think we’ll see greater definition and celebration over time at a regional and sub-regional level. We’ll continue to evolve and pioneer - one thing New Zealand does very well. Technology will play a large role in this, as will other varietals that will broaden the New Zealand wine story. Of course Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir have given us a great platform to promote our wines internationally. I don’t see that changing anytime soon. The challenge will be for us to use those trade winds to promote the other exceptional examples from New Zealand. Obviously I’m a little biased but it would be good for the world to truly understand how good New Zealand Chardonnay is! At the end of a busy day making wine or tasting tank and barrel samples what beverage do you turn to?

I struggle with hard spirits so it’s a beer to settle the stomach and then back to wine! Ironically it is usually a ‘finished’ version of what we’ve been tasting or making.

PAUL MASON, Martinborough Vineyards What inspired you to become a winemaker?

I got a part-time job in a liquor shop one summer holidays while doing my science degree. I knew nothing about wine but the boss there had a passion for it. He would take me to tastings, give me bottles to take home and pretty soon I got hooked. At the time I was looking at what to do after graduating and making wine seemed like a fun and interesting thing to do. I wrote to every producer in New Zealand asking for a vintage job (there were a lot less then) and luckily got a gig, loved it and the rest is history. Which of your wines are you most proud of and why should we add it to our cellars?

Our Home Block Pinot Noir. I made a joke at a wine dinner that this wine was the favourite of all my children (my wife didn’t appreciate that one!). Coming from the oldest vines on the property and some of the original Pinot plantings in Martinborough makes it an extra special wine for me. I love the tannin structure in this wine – it rewards cellaring, with the development of lovely savoury richness with extra time in bottle. Is there any new trend or innovation in wine that’s excited you or that you’re involved in?

Skins ferments on Chardonnay is something we’ve been messing with the last few years. It’s only on a very small level, to be used as a blending tool, but I find the characteristics really intriguing. In some way the rise of natural wines has helped open the mind to the inclusion of some of these techniques in more mainstream wines. How would you like to see New Zealand’s wine industry evolve in the longer term?

The New Zealand wine industry is still so young and so rapidly evolving. On a finer level it’s about better understanding our specific sites, especially once we have some real vine age there. On a broader level I believe it will be about finding smaller blocks of land with really unique and special terroirs. For me I think it’s fairly naïve to think we’ve found the best viticultural dirt already. At the end of a busy day making wine or tasting tank and barrel samples what beverage do you turn to?

Beer is an obvious one but more recently I’ve been into gin. It helps having Lighthouse gin made on site. I’m loving the rapid evolution of the New Zealand craft gin scene and the use of native botanicals in creating something uniquely Kiwi.

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DOM MAXWELL, Greystone Wines What inspired you to become a winemaker?

It’s hard to pin down, but there was probably a series of things, including backpacking around wine regions. My now wife Nadia was always enthusiastic about her work and that was an inspiration to know your passion could be how you earn a living. Through all this was the desire to make something tangible. Which of your wines are you most proud of and why should we add it to our cellars?

That’s a tough question you know! While there’s a lot of pride in the wines we make at Greystone, the ‘search’ has led down a path of discovery that’s really cool to share with others. For that reason it’s hard to go past our Greystone Vineyard Ferment Pinot Noir. I find it to be our clearest expression of the season and vintage. Is there any new trend or innovation in wine that’s excited you or that you’re involved in?

Vineyard fermentations for our Pinot noir have brought a lot of fulfilment and understanding about this variety on our place. We’re halfway through a collaboration with Lincoln University to unlock some of mysteries in this wine. It’s not only excited us regarding natural microbial populations but also taught us a lot around extraction requirements and results. There’s a lot to be excited about – the rise of organics, more Pet Nats being produced and varieties such as Albariño paving the way forward. How would you like to see New Zealand’s wine industry evolve in the longer term?

You can see the micro changes happening – smaller regions and different styles starting to get footholds and interest in overseas markets. It shouldn’t be to the detriment of our larger regions – just a reminder that wine drinkers like to ‘discover’ the next thing. I think more natural fermented aromatics would be a great start. We know New Zealand can make fruit-driven pure wines, but now that vine age is providing fruit with more complexity and potential structure it’s time to listen to the vines and offer up some interesting wines. I’d love to see more support for smaller growers and wineries in the marketplace. It’s tough for them to compete but that’s where our diversity lies, and diversity is key to offering a real wine experience for our wine drinkers. At the end of a busy day making wine or tasting tank and barrel samples what beverage do you turn to?

If it’s been a full day of barrel tastings then beer is the go-to – something crisp but flavoursome. A busy day but without the tasting then I’ll line up a Riesling – it’s still my go-to, in particular Mosel or Rheingau.

SARAH ADAMSON, Scout Wines What inspired you to become a winemaker?

In my final year of school I thought I wanted to be a lawyer… A lawyer with a chemistry degree on the side… Fast forward to a summer internship in a law firm, it was a quick realisation it wasn’t for me! I enrolled at Lincoln the following year and fell in love with the wine industry after my first harvest with Peregrine Wines back in 2009. I love how far and wide you can travel with wine, and also the continual research and learning about grape growing and wine makes each day interesting Which of your wines are you most proud of and why should we add it to our cellars?

My proudest wine is my first under the Scout label - the 2017 Adelaide Hills Chardonnay. It’s an absolute banger good luck trying to find any now though! The tension and acidity in this wine is amazing, it’s only starting to unravel its true characters now. Is there any new trend or innovation in wine that’s excited you or that you’re involved in?

I’m really loving chilled red wines, they are perfect for these warmer months. I took inspiration from Beaujolais and some friends in Aussie making these styles and I’ve been making the Pinot x Pinot (Pinot Noir with Pinot Gris) for the past three years. I use whole bunches, carbonic maceration and neutral oak to retain freshness and crunch. The result - a fun, bright, chilled red wine to quaff on sunny afternoons. How would you like to see New Zealand’s wine industry evolve in the longer term?

It has been great seeing the shift to organic growing for a lot of companies, and think New Zealand has a chance to be the world leader in certified organic wine. Consumers are beginning to make the link between organics and quality which is exciting. I would also like to see some more experimentation with alternative varieties being planted here, we need to think about how climate change is affecting current goring conditions and adapt to them. At the end of a busy day making wine or tasting tank and barrel samples what beverage do you turn to?

A nice cold IPA usually hits the spot for me! It’s true what they say, it does take a lot of beer to make a good winemaker.

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SARAH-KATE DINEEN, Maude Wines What inspired you to become a winemaker?

I was fortunate enough to be born into a family involved in wine. Dad (TG) was one of those doctors who retired from medicine and together with mum (Dawn) planted a vineyard in the beautiful Maungawera Valley just outside of Wanaka. Like a good daughter I wanted to follow in his footsteps and set off to Dunedin to study medicine – only to find out I was much better at drinking wine, so perhaps making wine was the better career choice! Which of your wines are you most proud of and why should we add it to our cellars?

JULIANNE BROGDEN, Collaboration Wines What inspired you to become a winemaker?

I was 17 years of age – just completing my last year of high school. I had no idea what I wanted to do, so I decided to follow my interests - horticulture, science and the arts. The Bachelor of Wine Science seemed to cover all three - viticulture, wine science and a creative side. I struggled with the first two years, questioned my decision - the third year of the degree we had to travel around the different wine regions of New Zealand; it was the smaller producers that really got me excited. A lot of variation in the job – working in the cellar, laboratory, vineyard, bottling and sales etc, they seemed to have more creative freedom. Which of your wines are you most proud of and why should we add it to our cellars?

At present, my current release 2018 ‘Argent’ Cabernet Sauvignon. Very approachable now upon decanting, but definitely a keeper for the cellar. A blend of two different vineyards, gravels and silt-loam. Deep, dark, concentrated cassis and dark black fruits, layered and complex definitely a thinking wine. Is there any new trend or innovation in wine that’s excited you or that you’re involved in?

Seeing the progressive evolution of Rosé in our country change from the sweet, darker, confected style to the drier, textural, savoury style.

The Mt Maude Pinot Noir and the EMW Pinot Noir, both Pinots from the old (26-year-old) vines at Mt Maude. Two completely different winemaking styles but both exuding the essence of what that site and vines continue to offer, year after year. Is there any new trend or innovation in wine that’s excited you or that you’re involved in?

There’s a new trend across the board making Central Otago Pinot Noir - it’s all about transparency. As winemakers, we have exhaled a bit. Realising the wine has substance without an overactive winemaking hand and allowing the Pinot Noirs to express their sense of place. I think it comes with maturity, not just of the vineyards but of the growers and makers with those vineyards. How would you like to see New Zealand’s wine industry evolve in the longer term?

The New Zealand wine industry must continue to cement its reputation of exceptional wines. There’s so much to discover with New Zealand wines. Aromatic whites with clarity and purity, captivating Pinot Noirs, sophisticated Bordeaux blends, méthode traditionelle that are growing in complexity… And when consumers and experts have discovered these styles, they can start on our hidden gem - Chardonnay - grown well the entire length of the country. So I guess what I’m saying is we as an industry must strive for excellence in the field, in the winery and in the market – our time is now, everyone is looking to New Zealand at the moment. At the end of a busy day making wine or tasting tank and barrel samples what beverage do you turn to?

No question – gin and tonic. A creature of habit, I love The Botanist Islay dry gin with Fever Tree Classic tonic, two slices of lemon, not lime, in a large stemmed wine glass. Bliss! It’s a house favourite and to prevent the drink losing its spark and perhaps an overindulgence – we’ve created a G&T season, coinciding with the clocks moving for New Zealand daylight savings.

How would you like to see New Zealand’s wine industry evolve in the longer term?

There are a lot more winemakers stepping out on their own and embracing a creative freedom to push the boundaries on styles, varieties and creative design around the packaging. This is the beauty of New Zealand, we have limited constraints, and this should be reflected in how we’re seen internationally in the world of wine. I’d love to continue to see the bar being raised on the quality of the different wines/packaging being made by the small independents to stand strongly alongside what our country is currently more well known for. At the end of a busy day making wine or tasting tank and barrel samples what beverage do you turn to?

A cold craft beer. I really like Brave Brewing, Tigermilk IPA and I love the American pale ales.

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EMMA LOWE, Monowai Estate

What inspired you to become a winemaker?

DAVID ROPER, Villa Maria What inspired you to become a winemaker?

A good friend introduced me to serious wine when I was 20, which set me on a quest to learn as much as my brain could handle. Around 10 years later I entered the wine industry and have never looked back. Still learning, discovering and marvelling at this great world of wine. Which of your wines are you most proud of and why should we add it to our cellars?

Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumātao Chardonnay. Our home block in Mangere, Auckland, has been producing high quality Chardonnay for 15 years and is one of the more unique vineyards in the world, located within the crater of an ancient volcano. The 2018 vintage shows complexity, elegance and poise. Delicious right now but certainly worth cellaring for a few years. Is there any new trend or innovation in wine that’s excited you or that you’re involved in?

It’s fantastic to see New Zealand expressions of Albariño, Chenin Blanc and Gamay, for instance, gaining traction and recognition by wine curious consumers who are quickly discovering their new favourite wines. How would you like to see New Zealand’s wine industry evolve in the longer term?

A move by my parents from the Waikato to Hawke’s Bay when I was in my last year of high school was the event that prompted my interest in becoming a winemaker. The wine industry here was small and vibrant with lots of vineyards going in and it sparked an interest in finding out more about what was involved. My wine knowledge was small but I was drawn to the variety of roles a winemaker gets to perform, from the vineyard to hands on winery work to tasting and getting to create something unique. Overseas travel was also high on my list of priorities and I saw it as an excellent profession to travel the world with. Which of your wines are you most proud of and why should we add it to our cellars?

Our 2019 Upper Reaches Merlot. Hundred percent Merlot is often underestimated as a wine and this one shows why it shouldn’t be. The first time we’ve produced a reserve Merlot, from a selected parcel of fruit, aged in new French oak, this is a delicious blend of dark berry fruit flavours and the complexity from extended skin contact and the barrel aging. Is there any new trend or innovation in wine that’s excited you or that you’re involved in?

I think the move to add less (SO2, fining agents etc) to our wines is a still-developing but exciting trend. I like to keep additives to a minimum as I think this allows the full expression of the grapes to come through in our wines and I’m always interested in learning about new technologies that allow us to reduce SO2 and fining agents. How would you like to see New Zealand’s wine industry evolve in the longer term?

Let’s see our Chardonnay, Syrah and Merlot/Cabernet blends become better known on the global stage. These wines can match and often better examples from other well-established wine regions around the world. Vehicles such as the film A Seat at the Table have been brilliant, I can’t wait for part two!

Being based in Hawke’s Bay I get to see the diversity of what New Zealand is really capable of with stunning examples of many varieties coming from the diverse microclimates across the region. I think the focus should not be on a single variety or style but celebrate the quality of New Zealand wine across the board. Saying that, I definitely think Chardonnay should join Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot as the wines we do the very best.

At the end of a busy day making wine or tasting tank and barrel samples what beverage do you turn to?

At the end of a busy day making wine or tasting tank and barrel samples what beverage do you turn to?

You’ll find me with some sort of craft beer in hand most often. My local bar, 605 Morningside Drinkery, has a ridiculously good selection, there’s always something new to taste.

That varies with mood and weather but more often than not an ever so slightly chilled, rich, creamy Chardonnay.

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STEVE SKINNER, Elephant Hill Wines What inspired you to become a winemaker?

I started out with a career in economics, but after a few years realised I couldn’t see that being fulfilling for me (loved studying it, less so working in it). I’d always studied the sciences, particularly chemistry, through school and varsity - coupled with a growing fascination with wine, I decided to give a Wine Science degree a go. Never looked back since. Which of your wines are you most proud of and why should we add it to our cellars?

Probably Airavata Syrah. There’s no compromise at any step of the process - from pruning and crop management, through to the vinification and elevage, we give it our all. Is there any new trend or innovation in wine that’s excited you or that you’re involved in?

JASON STENT, Paritua Wines What inspired you to become a winemaker?

I was racing for an amateur cycling club in Bordeaux, my coach was having a family barbecue and opened a magnum of 1961 Haut Brion. I was floored that a 30-year-old wine could be so amazing. It was sublime. From that moment I was hooked. Which of your wines are you most proud of and why should we add it to our cellars?

21.12, because it’s a blend of the red wines from our best parcels in the vineyard. It’s a wine that’s only made when we think the vintage warrants it. It’s a wine of provenance in that it will only ever be made from our vineyard at 2112 Maraekakaho Road. It’s a snapshot in time - tasting these wines after 10 years in bottle is like looking at old photographs, the memories come flooding back of the people who helped make it, the challenges involved, the fun had, and the joy of harvest. Is there any new trend or innovation in wine that’s excited you or that you’re involved in?

I’m a bit old-fashioned when it comes to making wine – at Elephant Hill ‘less is more’ - so a tricky question to answer. We keep it simple – low crop levels, focused winemaking and a good team in the vineyard and winery. That said, I think some of the precision viticulture technologies coming through are interesting and have a future in helping us push the boundaries further. How would you like to see New Zealand’s wine industry evolve in the longer term?

Obviously from a parochial point of view I’d like to see Hawke’s Bay feature more dominantly in the world of wine. Particularly our Syrahs and Chardonnays, which often have a unique stamp to them. From a New Zealand-wide perspective I’m looking forward to seeing the reputation (and pricing) of our top wines sit alongside the world’s best. Our top producers are making truly world class wines. At the end of a busy day making wine or tasting tank and barrel samples what beverage do you turn to?

Often a good malty ale – nothing too hoppy anymore. And there’s always a bottle of some wine open – hopefully a Northern Rhône red or a good Chardonnay (New Zealand Chardonnay more often than not).

Organic wines becoming more mainstream. We’re into our second year of conversion to organics and so far it has been a very positive experience. I think the main benefit is seeing vine health through a different lens and improving understanding of our soils and vine husbandry. It has been a long slow project to get to this point but we’re happy to be on the journey. I truly believe our wines will only get better and better. How would you like to see New Zealand’s wine industry evolve in the longer term?

I’d like to see more diversity in our wine story internationally - we make excellent blended reds, it’s often hard to distinguish a big Hawke’s Bay red from a classic Bordeaux and our Syrah is world class. Our long thin country has huge climate differences from east to west, north to south, and so our wine styles also vary accordingly, and this story needs to be conveyed better to our international markets. At the end of a busy day making wine or tasting tank and barrel samples what beverage do you turn to?

Usually a clean crisp lager like the good old classic Steinlager as a palate cleanser, sometimes a strong gin and tonic, otherwise an unoaked Chardonnay.

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Photo: SOWINE/CIVP ©

ADVERTORIAL

e i v a M rosé en PINK, CRISP, CLEAN AND UTTERLY DELICIOUS, ROSÉ IS THE UNDISPUTED STAR OF PROVENCE’S WINE INDUSTRY

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though this is not necessarily a mark of quality, but one of many fun and interesting bottle shapes we get to choose from when sourcing rosé from our local. Most of the rosé wine we encounter in Aotearoa comes from the Côtes de Provence, which accounts for over 70 percent of production, though there are wines that do reach New Zealand retail shelves from Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence and Coteaux Varois en Provence as well. Consistency and reliability of flavour, crisp, clean, dry and flavourful wine is a long-term goal for producers. Provence has one of the largest forested areas in France and because there’s a heightened awareness of climate change and global warming, particularly for rosé producers, biodiversity is an important and increasing part of future planning in the region. A growing presence of organically produced fruit and a strong message of sustainability throughout the region is apparent - currently around 20 percent of the Provence vineyards are certified organic and many more certified sustainable known locally as High Environmental Value (HVE). There is a goal to have 60 percent of the vineyard certified HVE by the mid-2020s and 100 percent by 2030. Rosé from Provence makes an ideal aperitif before lunch and dinner. It’s also the perfect partner with many classic New Zealand and international dishes. It contrasts the crispness of fish and chips as well as the tangy hit from tartare sauce. Chilled soups like consommé or hot mussel chowders are an easy pairing with Provençal rosé and for a different take, a rack of Canterbury lamb with rosemary and thyme is another great match. W Photo: François Millo/CIVP ©

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uch has been written about the landscape, language, history and people of Provence. Those who have visited the region in France’s south west return waxing lyrical about its beauty, balmy summer evenings, shopping and for some - swimming in the Mediterranean. Peter Mayle’s trilogy of books on Provence remains on bestseller lists, and was made into a popular television series. The allure of Provence is real. In New Zealand the interest in Provence definitely focuses on their crisp, dry rosé wines – it’s one of the most popular wines by the glass served in restaurants throughout the country. In fact, sales of Provence rosés are currently higher than sales of locally produced rosés. While there are a number of red and white wines also made in Provence, rosé is the undisputed star – it accounts for 90 percent of production. Red varieties Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvèdre, Syrah, and the local, garriguescented Tibouren are the key varieties used. Under French appellation law, a Provence rosé must be blended from at least two varieties - the colour comes from a short period of skin contact. This produces the familiar pale hues or light salmon colour the wines are known for – indeed for the very palest of wines, the juice is drawn off after the immediate pressing of whole red grapes. Grenache is the most widely planted variety offering a familiar taste of red plum, with the other varieties used to showcase flavours of peach and flowers and - for me – saffron and apricot. While many rosés may be bottled in a traditional, hourglass-shaped ‘skittle’ or flûte à corset,



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Becoming a Master Sommelier CAM’S WINE JOURNEY AND HOW TO GET ON YOUR OWN

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have been a Master Sommelier for 13 years now, and remain the only one in Aotearoa. I’m regularly asked about the differences between a Master Sommelier and Master of Wine qualification, and what led me to pursue my title. A Master Sommelier (MS) is a credential that recognises expertise in the knowledge and service of all things beverages (including spirits, liqueurs, beers, cocktails, water, hot and cold non-alcoholic options) – the most important and extensive/intensive being wine. Although our knowledge of these areas must be deep and wide, and our tasting skills exemplary, a large focus is on service – providing the links for a client or customer in all liquid areas – including the hospitality experience. We also have to be very knowledgeable about how wine and food pairing works, to inform and allow a customer to choose the best beverage for them. The focus is always on the client’s experience so it’s important to like people – much of our role is in hospitality settings or interacting with service professionals from all walks of life. A Master of Wine focus is on the research and recording of wine and fortified wine information - its origins, soil, history, currency in the market and quality, through research, and the publication of articles, books and opinion pieces. They too must be expert wine tasters. I started on my MS journey in 2000 and became a Master Sommelier in 2007. In the beginning, I was a working Sommelier and seeking to extend my professional knowledge and skills. The journey began with a trip to Las Vegas to undertake the Introductory Course and exams – the first of four complex and increasingly difficult stages. I returned to Aotearoa determined to earn the title, and to foster the growth of my chosen profession through introducing the programme in New Zealand and Australia.

One of the biggest challenges was learning that failure is part of the journey – learning about yourself and how you manage a seemingly impossible workload and sustain your focus through many years of study and practice. At the time, I was alone in Oceania in my quest – frequent and extensive travel became part of the process (it still is, though with different reasons). Along the way, I’ve been privileged to receive mentoring and assistance from wonderful people within the Court of Master Sommeliers organisation and have collected a whole new somm family. How do you start a journey to becoming a Sommelier and ultimately a Master Sommelier? It begins by reaching out to

others who are already in the profession, especially those with credentials, and asking for advice on the first steps. A large part of my role as an MS is paying it forward - I regularly receive calls and emails from newly minted Sommeliers from around the world, and I’m always happy to engage with them, provide mentorship, be a sounding board, or provide the assistance they require. An important requirement is reading a lot about wine - where it comes from; the classic wines of the world; old, new and emerging wine producers, regions and styles – the world of wine is large and varied. The more useful books to read are the most recent and encyclopaedic in approach such as The Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia, The World Atlas of Wine and the The Oxford Companion to Wine, and some of the best resources are now online – the Guild of Sommeliers (.com) is arguably the best and most up-to-date. I found it hard to read all the books and online material without drifting, and discovered two things about myself - I learned best by reading aloud while standing up (go figure) and rewriting areas of the books in my own words (talk with aspiring and current MS’s about their flashcards!). Tasting enormous numbers of wines in a prescribed deductive manner is essential – working out through practice and study how to identify key grape variety markers, origins, vintages and quality levels. There are no shortcuts to becoming a Master of anything - it takes time, dedication and sacrifice, but if you do have a passion for people, wine and beverages and food then your journey to becoming a Master Sommelier may have just begun. If your interest is piqued, drop me a line – I also highly recommend you start with a wine tasting discovery programme - organisations like Glengarry, a local wine store programme or AUT are good places to start. W

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Building a wine list WHETHER YOU’RE A RESTAURATEUR OR BUDDING AMATEUR

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et Blackman to: Jan Pho

lthough I’ve been involved in the curation and writing of wine lists for more than 30 years, it remains a very rewarding part of my career as a sommelier. The very first list I took charge of was in the late 1980s for Partington’s Restaurant at the Sheraton Hotel in Auckland. Over the years and more recently I have curated some famous destination wine lists including (historically) Vinnie’s Restaurant – then Meredith’s, the Musket Room (in New York) and more recently The Lodge Bar (Auckland and Queenstown), Hiakai (Monique Fiso’s establishment in Wellington) and the New York Grill. Writing and curating an interesting and profitable wine list requires a solid understanding of the restaurant business, the owner’s vision, target audience, style of cuisine, capabilities of the front of house team and pricing for bottle and by-the-glass sales. To get these answers, a conversation with the owners, chefs and key stakeholders is the first important step. Understanding the cuisine of the establishment is also super important whether it be cutting edge, Pacific rim, a specific ethnic style and story or something else. What style of dining is it also important too – café or brassiere, casual drop-in or smart dining. Whatever the combinations, the wine list must meet the needs of the business to maximise profit, complement the cuisine, and of course enhance the dining experience and achieve customer satisfaction. Knowing food is fundamental to building key sections of the wine list. Sauvignon Blanc, for example, must be on the list – it’s a classic variety, but not all expressions will match all dishes. Exploring and understanding how a particular Sauvignon Blanc is made, the styles produced and what attributes work with which food all mean something for a wine list. Every dish on the menu should have a minimum of three wines that can be recommended by the staff - as pairings (preferably as by-the-glass offerings). To do this you need to know how the food is prepared, what mediums of cooking are utilised, the strength and flavour of seasonings, sauces, weight, intensity and complexity of each dish – and the staff doing the recommending need to understand the hows and whys enough to explain confidently.

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Popular or well-known brands are of equal importance as the not so well-known - they are safety-zone wines for some customers who might not be comfortable with different brands, or perhaps pronunciation of varieties or styles. Viognier (vee-on yay) or Gewürztraminer (gee-verts-tram-e-ner) are common examples of wines that are fantastic with food, and to drink, but not ordered as much as they should be perhaps because of pronunciation challenges or lack of understanding. Tasting a lot of wine is necessary for building a wine list (kind of an understatement). Inexpensive wine is just as important a consideration as rarer and more expensive wine when determining the relationships between food, clientele, location and market segmentation. Vintage too, is also important (2013, 2014, 2017 and 2019s looking fantastic in New Zealand) – sought-after wines across these years are valuable additions. To access these wines a good relationship with individual wine companies and distributors is a necessity. Knowing the breadth and depth of the New Zealand wine industry, what wines are imported and from where, how to access rare finds as well as well-known brands all have a role to play in terms of information and availability for a wine list. The price of wine on a list is often one of the keys to success. The ‘sweet spot’ (as we’ll call it) depends on the many factors detailed earlier, but in Auckland and Wellington for example, wines by the glass priced between $13 and $22 dollars is likely to be considered normal. Elsewhere that might be too high, so the $9 to $14 glass options are likely better. Wine can now be offered using a Coravin or preserving system so by-the-glass prices on collector’s item type wines can be as high as $100 or more when these systems are available, with little risk to an establishment due to the lack of wastage. A great glass or bottle of wine can add to the dining experience, the food, the conversation and success of eating out. A wine list must have a selection and range that’s familiar and interesting, affordable and where possible - challenge the customer to try something new, provided it has been thoughtfully selected. W


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e th l e v a r T wine world without leaving New Zealand

THE BEST INTERNATIONAL WINES YOU CAN GET RIGHT HERE

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ew Zealand produces some incredible wines - from remarkable Chardonnays and Syrahs through to powerful Cabernet blends and precise Rieslings. Our Sauvignons Blanc are world class and our méthode traditionnelles can rival the best of their Northern Hemisphere counterparts. While it’s super important to support local producers, it can also be fun to explore and compare imported examples. Years ago when I was studying for my MS, it was a huge challenge to find the categories of international wines I needed to familiarise myself with – now the availability is growing exponentially - with over 40 million litres of bottled wine arriving in the last 12 months (I just need to add here that this is across categories – not all meet the fine wine standard). Many nations are represented, from France, Italy and throughout Europe to China, the Americas and Australia. Without a solid understanding of each offering, it’s not always easy to select, and I’m often asked to recommend wines and brands, styles and fabulous buys. Here are some interesting international wine discoveries to make. Spain is well known for its Tempranillos from Rioja and Albariños from Galicia - perhaps a little lesser known are wines from Priorat. Alvaro Palacios has released some stunning wines in time for Christmas with the Camins Del Priorat 2018 (RRP $38) a great find. Made with Carignan, Grenache and Cabernet, it is dark-fruited at the core with satin tannins and plenty of oak, beautiful texture and length. The stunning Des L Palacios Moncerbal Bierzo 2016 (RRP $150) is elegant, aromatic, lengthy and delicious with vivid tannins.

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If you’re looking for classic Rioja then a recent tasting of the Marqués de Murrieta Reserva 2015 Finca Ygay (RRP $49) is an exceptional wine. Established in 1852, it is the largest single vineyard in Rioja. This wine has aromas and flavours of black cherry and dark berries, a core of brooding oak, fabulous tannins and bold structure. The Gran Reserva 2012 (RRP $99) is a rare and stunning wine to share. We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to Australian wine, but if you haven’t yet tried the range of Maverick wines (from the Barossa) be sure to sample the Twins GSM (Grenache Syrah Mourvedre) Blend 2018 (RRP $34) – it’s sleek and complex with flavours of plum and milk chocolate, firm tannins, just enough oak, and a long finish. The Trial Hill Shiraz 2014 from Eden Valley (RRP $110) is fantastic - biodynamically farmed producing flavours of savoury nuanced red berry fruits, a sturdy structure and deeply complex. If red Burgundy is on your search list and you’re after a ready-to-drink style, but also something with complexity and a signature sense of place, then the Domaine de Bellene Bourgogne Rouge (RRP $35) is here. Made with 100 percent organically farmed fruit with an average vine age of 68 years, the nose and palate present a soft core of cherry and raspberry fruits, fine satin textured tannins and a touch of wood spice. This same producer also does a Premier Cru 2017 Cuvée du Cinquantenaire Pinot Noir (RRP $99) - a powerful, focused and complex example, a wine for the cellar or an amazing gift idea for a close friend. Red Bordeaux blends are in plentiful supply at all price points. This means it can be harder to find a wine that’s delicious to drink now, but also offers some cellar

development time as well. I’ve recently tasted the Chateau Branaire-Ducru Duluc 2015 (RRP $70) - this is the second wine from this classed-growth producer offering a fantastic, tense, ripe and youthful bouquet and palate. Firm tannins, complex, detailed with a core of ripe black fruits and plenty of tobacco smoky oak and power. Another Bordeaux red to drink or cellar is the Chateau Pichon Longueville Baron Les Tourelles De Longueville 2016 (RRP $113). This is also a ‘second’ wine from a fine Left Bank producer with a powerful core of dark berries, oak and tannins - a wine that needs decanting for service or another five years in your cellar. The very thought of a glass of fine Champagne gets most people, including me, all a quiver with excitement. I know there are some fantastic and totally reliable houses out there, but if you’re searching for something that’s different, has a gorgeous bouquet and flavour, with pristine mousse and a fine, elegant feel then I think I have two brands for you to try. The first is Champagne Henri Giraud Grand Cru Fût De Chêne Brut from Aÿ (RRP $260). This MV or Multi-Vintage wine is made with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with base wines aged in Argonne oak. A powerful brioche, then baked white fruits and toasted peach palate, pristine and very textured mousse and very long finish. The packing is incredible as well. Another wine from the same producer and a rare find is the Ratafia Champenois (RRP $75). This is a liqueur beverage where Marc de Champagne (brandy from Champagne) is added to unfermented Champagne must. Sweet, warm and a perfect accompaniment to cheeses and desserts. W


Alvaro Palacios Camins Del Priorat 2018 RRP $38

Des L Palacios Moncerbal Bierzo 2016 RRP $150

Domaine de Bellene Bourgogne Rouge RRP $35

Champagne Henri Giraud Grand Cru Fût De Chêne Brut RRP $260

Henri Giraud Rata a Champenois RRP $75

Chateau Pichon Longueville Baron Les Tourelles De Longueville 2016 RRP $113

Marqués de Murrieta Gran Reserva 2012 RRP $99

Marqués de Murrieta Reserva 2015 Finca Ygay RRP $49

Maverick Twins GSM Blend 2018 RRP $34

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l oo c r ou y Keep TREAT BOTH YOUR EVERYDAY AND BELOVED VINTAGE WINES RIGHT

W

hether your wine purchases are for investment, immediate consumption or future enjoyment, the appropriate transportation and storage of a single bottle or a case is critical to the condition and ultimate enjoyability when opened. In my experience of handling bottles and cases of wine, a less-is-more approach seems to work best. Wine doesn’t really like to be disturbed, and will react to agitation and temperature change more easily than is commonly known - especially at prolonged higher temperatures. Whether you buy from a liquor outlet or specialist store, glass bottled wine should be transported for storage immediately and not left sitting in a vehicle for longer than it has to be. The boot is better than the back seat, and safely in a box is even better. Recently (not too recently) I travelled to Champagne for the celebration of the release of Champagne Bollinger’s La Grand Année 2008. During one of the gatherings, I was privileged to taste a 1918 Vintage Bollinger from a magnum. In its lifetime, it had not moved from its resting place till it was brought, that day, to the tasting room. For me – the lack of movement and cool, appropriate storage conditions allowed the wine to present with minimal colour development and noticeable bubbles after more than 100 years. It tasted amazing. Whether you’re storing at home or in a more professional setting the focus should be on what is safest for the integrity of the wine, away from direct light and in a cool, dark space.

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For very short-term storage - maybe a week to a month or two - my advice is to keep it boxed and placed in the coolest space in the house, away from vibration, light and moisture. An internal wardrobe is okay as these spaces are mostly left closed and typically have little to no temperature change (wait till you open the wardrobes in our home!). The ideal home storage for both short and longer term is a dedicated temperature-controlled wine cabinet. These are demonstrably the answer to storing, displaying and protecting both your drink now and investment wine. The location and positioning of the cabinet is a matter of choice and aesthetics - I’ve noticed that for home use the kitchen space has become quite popular, as homes develop into more open plan living. It’s fun to cook, dine and entertain at home so it makes sense to have easy access to temperature ready wine. Modern kitchens are now designed around the appliances so a wine cabinet can become a feature piece. A recent innovation means the glass doors have anti UV properties (light is the enemy of wine) so you can see what’s left without over opening. There will also be spaces or zones for different temperature control; humidity balance and space for larger format bottles. Fisher & Paykel’s wine cabinet is an excellent example of modern wine storage as it not only protects wine but also means I can move bottles from a medium or long-term zone to a ready-to-drink zone within the same cabinet. These appliances look fantastic in the kitchen – and with an either 38- or over 140-bottle capacity there’s space to rotate through off-site storage into a cabinet at home. W



gi f t

Give a wine CAM’S PICKS OF WHAT TO GIVE (OR GET) THIS CHRISTMAS

I

t’s always exciting watching a friend or mate open a gift that you’ve thought long and hard about, maybe sought advice on and gone out of your way to source. The choices will be based on how well you know the person (family, friends, colleagues, business associates), what they like to drink, eat or do, what they’ve been talking about recently in terms of travel or something on their list of must-dos.

GLASSWARE Glassware is a great gift option. A box of two mouth-blown stems (sommspeak for glassware that’s made by a glass-blower such as Riedel or Zalto) or specific variety (Pinot Noir, Champagne) or stemless can be perfect. If you know the person you’re buying for is particular about the cleaning and polishing of glassware then this will be the right move. Eisch, Spiegelau and Riedel are excellent options, but you can also step it up to Zalto (their flutes are elegant and very gift worthy), the Jancis Robinson glass (for all wine types and styles) or make a different statement with a set of two Cognac balloons. Consider including a polishing cloth. Eisch SensisPlus Superior Burgundy glass

Spiegelau Authentis champagne glass

The Jancis Robinson ‘One Glass for Every Wine’ glass

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WINE Buying a special bottle of wine for a friend, family member or colleague is – well, for me at least – often a difficult choice. Do I buy something or select a bottle from my cellar? One popular choice is sparkling wine or champagne. It doesn’t have to be French – though this is always exciting, buy local is now the focus – and our fine New Zealand sparklings are impressive. I recently tasted the Quartz Reef 2015, Hunter’s Miru Miru NV and No.1 Family Estate Cuvée Virginie 2016 and have added them to my wishlist. Champagne is always appreciated, easily sourced and there are many brands to select from. Sometimes aiming for a grower Champagne or lesser known brand says that you really thought about that person. Two great examples are Lilbert Fils Blanc de Blancs NV and Serge Mathieu Rosé NV – both delicious

and well under a hundy each. Sourcing a still red or white takes consideration. The easy option is to choose any wine that is on or around a spend limit, but the more personal approach is to start a conversation with the staff in a specialist wine store (or email your friendly local Master Somm). Whether you have something in mind or would like some advice anyone at Glengarry or Caro’s can help you from their selection of NZ, Australian, French and American options; Maison Vauron are New Zealand’s premiere French wine specialist; or Cahn & Finlay will offer expert opinion on South African and Italian wine. Be sure to have them print you a page about the wine you’ve selected to include in the gift wrapping - and if possible, a wooden box. A handwritten card or note explaining why you chose that particular bottle is the icing.


Credit: The Durand

GADGETS Wine tools and gadgets can make a great gift do be sure to match the person to the idea (for ages we were short of Champagne stoppers – and tickled to receive some for a gift). Two interesting options are the Durand – a vintage cork and screw-pull combination; or a Coravin. The Coravin is a home-use wine preserving tool that uses a needle to pierce a cork or a replacement screw-top, and injects preserving gas as it dispenses wine - allowing a wine to be saved and served over weeks and even months if needed. I have three bottles of wine closed with corks that I’m experimenting with. It’s been four weeks already and they’re all tasting great. Both these options are for the wine geek. and at the more expensive end of the gifting spectrum.

COCKTAIL KITS Friends of mine have a decent sized wine cellar and every wine in there is catalogued, has a story behind why the bottle is resting there and when they plan to open it. Buying a wine for them would be an easy thing to do, but during the lockdown periods in 2020 they had some tough challenges and my wife and I wanted to do something different for them. We chose to buy (and have delivered) a cocktail kit. Relatively new to the market, the latest cocktail kits are an innovative and fun gift. Two great companies to source kits and options from are Black Pineapple and The Cocktail Collective. We also have a number of different companies producing fine New Zealand spirits now (support local business) – in my cabinet I have a sampler pack of four gins from Curiosity – my favourite is the Negroni Special.

Credit: Gibbston Valley Lodge

EXPERIENCES Consider an experience voucher that includes wine. All wine regions offer fun options, from their own products and tasting room experiences through to accommodation or walking trails. Gibbston Valley Wines in Otago has a wine, spa and restaurant experience (or for the active drinker, the Four Barrels Trail in Cromwell); Brick Bay in Matakana has a sculpture trail, art gift shop, tasting and lunch venue; The Hunting Lodge in Waimauku has a wine tasting room with a really lovely smart dining experience in the old lodge; a night or weekend in a vineyard B&B such as Hawkdun Rise in Alexandra or Poppies in Martinborough. A great gift/experience combination could be a voucher for clothes at Rodd and Gunn (Commercial Bay) followed by dinner or just a glass of Ruinart Blanc de Blancs in their restaurant/bar next door (fine wine list by me).

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XXXXXXX XXXXXX

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WINE AND FOOD

Pasta with garlic crumbs, lemon and ricotta

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS → 200g (7 oz) dried wholemeal (wholewheat) spaghetti or linguine → 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling → 2 cloves garlic, sliced → 2 slices sourdough bread, torn into small pieces (crusts on) → 1 tablespoon shredded lemon rind → 4 white anchovy fillets, finely chopped (optional) → ¼ cup (6g/¼ oz) torn flat-leaf parsley leaves → 30g (1 oz) wild rocket (arugula) leaves → ½ cup (120g/4¼ oz) fresh ricotta → Finely grated parmesan and lemon wedges (optional), to serve Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 8 minutes or until al dente. Drain and set aside. Return saucepan to medium-low heat. Add the oil, garlic and bread and toss until golden. Add lemon rind, anchovy, pasta, parsley and rocket and toss to coat.

Recipes extracted from Everyday Fresh by Donna Hay, published by HarperCollins, RRP$50. Photography: Con Poulos Recipes and styling: Donna Hay

To serve, divide pasta between bowls and top with ricotta. Drizzle with extra oil, sprinkle with parmesan and serve with lemon wedges, if you like.

Cam’s Wine Match

Pegasus Bay Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2017, $33 This is an ideal wine match because it mirrors and emulates the key textures and intensity in the dish. The finished dish will have an al dente bite (just firm) from the pasta, zest moments from the lemon, the salty and slightly oily flavour of anchovies, spice from the arugula and acidity from the cheese. The immediately available protein from the fresh cheese and parmesan as well as the saline effect from the anchovies needs a wine that contrasts the richness of the proteins and salt. The acidity in the wine does this expertly. The wine’s core of fruit and satin texture easily marries to the weight and intensity of the food. Cloudy Bay Te Koko 2016, $58, is another great match.

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WINE AND FOOD

n e k c i h c y o s y Stick with sesame noodles Serves 4

Preheat oven to 220°C (425°F).

INGREDIENTS → 1 tablespoon light-flavoured extra virgin olive oil → 150g (5¼ oz) dried soba noodles, cooked → 2 zucchini (courgettes), shredded using a julienne peeler → 2 tablespoons white or black sesame seeds → Coriander (cilantro) leaves, to serve

To make the chicken meatballs, place the chicken, chia seeds, garlic, ginger, hoisin, chilli and onion in a bowl and mix to combine.

CHICKEN MEATBALLS → 600g (1 lb ¼ oz) chicken mince → ¼ cup (50g/1¾ oz) white chia seeds → 2 cloves garlic, crushed → 2 tablespoons finely grated ginger → 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce → 1 large green chilli, finely chopped → 2 green onions (scallions), finely chopped

Add the meatballs to the tray and bake for 5 minutes.

STICKY SOY SAUCE → ½ cup (125ml/4¼ fl oz) soy sauce → 1 tablespoon white miso paste (shiro) → ¾ cup (180ml/6 fl oz) mirin (Japanese rice wine) → 1 tablespoon sesame oil → 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar → ¼ cup (90g/3 oz) honey

Return to the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through and the pan sauce is thickened.

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Roll heaped tablespoons of the mixture into balls, place on a tray lined with baking paper and set aside. Pour the oil onto a large deep-sided baking tray. Bake for 5 minutes or until hot.

To make the sticky soy sauce, whisk together the soy, miso, mirin, sesame oil, vinegar and honey. Remove the meatballs from the oven and carefully pour the soy mixture over the meatballs.

To serve, place noodles and zucchini into serving bowls and sprinkle with sesame. Top with meatballs, sticky soy sauce and coriander.

Cam’s Wine Match

Yealands Single Vineyard P.G.R. 2019, Awatere Valley, Marlborough, $25 This is a much more intensely flavoured dish than it might first appear. The sesame, soy, ginger, chilli and garlic combined add complexity, breadth and depth to the dish. The contrast in the dish is the honey. The wine’s role in this pairing is to match the weight, but not the intensity of the food, provide the sweetness to challenge the honey, but also contrast the chilli. This wine also does an excellent job of managing the saltiness from the soy and sesame. The chicken will be juicy and fleshy in texture and so is the wine. Lawsons Dry Hills Pioneer Gewürztraminer 2019, $30, is another great match.


WINE AND FOOD

Summer fruits

with toasted honey marshmallow Serves 4 INGREDIENTS → 4–5 mixed seasonal stone fruits → ¼ cup (55g/2oz) raw caster (superfine) sugar → 2 cups (250g/8¾ oz) frozen raspberries HONEY MARSHMALLOW → 2 egg whites → 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste → 1 tablespoon honey Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Cut stone fruits in half, remove and discard stones and place cut-side up on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Sprinkle the fruit with 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Toss raspberries and remaining sugar together in a bowl and place around stone fruit on baking tray. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and set aside.

Cam’s Wine Match Askerne Late Harvest Gewürztraminer 2019, Hawke’s Bay, $24 A very sweet dish requires either a very sweet wine or a contrasting one. I’ve chosen a sweet wine not only because of the overall sweetness in the dish, but also the marshmallow – its creamy, soft yet sweet texture – and the weight and core of sweetness from the baked stone fruits. The rule I’m applying here is sweet with sweet – the wine has to be sweeter than the food to make the match work. Sugar in food makes the perception of sugar in sweet wine seem less. The acidity in the wine contrasts the intensity of fruit and overall sweetness of the dish. Another great match is Lustau PX Sherry from Spain. Glengarry sell it for $215.

Increase the oven temperature to 220°C (425°F). Using a stand mixer or handheld mixer, whisk egg whites and vanilla until soft peaks form. Slowly add honey and continue to whisk until thick and glossy. Place spoonfuls of the honey marshmallow on top of the stone fruit. Return to the oven and bake for 3 minutes or until golden and toasted.

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PRESENTS

PROVENCE WINES ROSÉ MASTERCLASS HOSTED BY CAMERON DOUGLAS, MS

JOIN MASTER SOMMELIER, CAMERON DOUGLAS FOR THIS UNIQUE ZOOM TASTING EXPERIENC E. Direct from Provence to your home you’ll receive a pack of 6 x 60ml bottles of Rosé and an invitation to join Cameron Douglas to taste through all wines to discuss the regional signature that makes Provence world famous for its Rosé. $75 per pack, book now in the limited sessions: Tuesday December 8th, 6.30pm – 8.00pm Tuesday December 15th, 6.30pm – 8.00pm

BOOK YOUR PLACE AT ATELIERNASH.CO.NZ


g n i t s Ta s Note

BY CAMERON DOUGLAS, MASTER SOMMELIER *All wines are listed per varietal, alphabetically by winery and do not reflect points score or ranking

42 Sauvignon Blanc 54 Aromatics 46 Chardonnay

56 Rosé

50 Pinot Gris

58 Pinot Noir

52 Sparkling

63 Riesling + Port

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on n g i v Sau Blanc

A

ccording to the most recent statistics from New Zealand Wine Growers, exports of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc are at an all-time high of nearly 88 percent of all wine sent overseas. Demand for the classic powerful aromas of sweet herbs and tropical fruit centric wine with laser-beam acidity and refreshing, crisp finish of the Marlborough-style remains strong. An increasing number of Sauvignons Blanc from regions like Central Otago, Nelson, Wairarapa and Hawke’s Bay are now part of that mix. This is a strong indication that the range of styles and signatures of regionality are also being embraced overseas. Central Otago’s signature of minerality, softer herb layer as well as ripe and fleshy citrus fruits and white peach flavours make their style less tropical - a more refined expression. In Waipara, North Canterbury, the wines seem to show more limestone and gravel minerality at the core, with peach and ripe grapefruit, some tropical fruit flavours and a mix of fresh and dried herbs. Martinborough and Wairarapa examples merge the styles of Canterbury, Nelson and Marlborough together with a fresh and refined minerality, layers of grapefruit and citrus zest, a medley of whitefleshed orchard fruits with a hint tropical, plenty of acidity and quieter herbaceous notes. Hawkes Bay’s drier, warmer climate influences the round, riper style of Sauvignon Blanc with ripe peach, apricot, apple and grapefruit flavours, sweeter acidity and stonier, more gravelly soil, sage and thyme-like flavours. Other strengths our famous variety is developing are vine age, biodynamic or organic farming practices and more use of old oak. These newer styles come with satin mouthfeel, are mineral centric and elegant with a core of pure fruit, and remind me of the old-world Sancerre expression. Clos Henri in Marlborough is a great example of this.

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TASTING NOTES SAUVIGNON BLANC

4

Pegasus Bay Sauvignon Semillon 2018 North Canterbury

1

Esk Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2019 Marlborough

1

Intense, ripe, varietal and distinctly Marlborough with aromas of passionfruit and pink grapefruit, fresh basil and wild herbs, white spring flowers and wet stone mineral. Equally intense on the palate with a just-dry attack, core of tropical and citrus fruit, a touch of fruit spice and loads of crisp refreshing acidity. Well made and ready to enjoy from today and through 2023. POINTS: 92 RRP $19.99 eskvalley.co.nz

3

2

5

Rapaura Springs Bull Paddock Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2020 Marlborough

2

Hunter's Wines Sauvignon Blanc 2020 Marlborough

Vibrant, youthful, fresh and varietal with distinctive aromas of passionfruit, citrus and tropical fruits. Fresh herbs de provence and sage, pineapple and a light white smoke soil moment. Tense, crunchy, fresh, herbaceous and fruity on the palate. Plenty of acidity, a core of fruit and a juicy lengthy finish. Ready from today and through 2023. POINTS: 94 RRP $19.90 eurovintage.co.nz

3

Leftfield Sauvignon Blanc 2019 Nelson

Pineapple and sweet fresh herbs, passionfruit, apple and gooseberry, a classic bouquet of wild white. Fleshy and crunchy white fruit flavours lead the palate with fresh herbs and a lemon crisp edge. Plenty of acidity with a tropical fruit and herbaceous seam through the palate finishing with mineral. Well made and ready to enjoy from today and through 2022. POINTS: 90 RRP $17.99 leftfieldwines.com

Totally captivating bouquet pungent, highly scented and evocative. Aromas and palate flavours of sweet hay and peach, waxy lemon peel and baked apple, nettles and gooseberries. Silty, chalky soil flavours, naturally higher acidity and a creamy texture combine to add a lush palate feel, youthful vibrancy and core of flavour. A totally delicious wine - I wish more people could discover this fantastic example. Best drinking from today and through 2026. POINTS: 95 RRP $33.00 pegasusbay.com

4

6

5

Ripe citrus and salty air, fresh white peach and meyer lemon, whispers of sage and other fresh herb attributes. Minerality is revealed on the palate with flavours of white smoke and wet pebbles. At the core of this wine is the ripe tropical and fresh citrus flavours accentuated by sweet acidity and the saline note returns. Young, requiring more bottle-development time. A lovely example showcasing site and region, excellent winemaking and most importantly an enjoyable glass of wine. Best drinking from 2021 through 2024+.' POINTS: 95 RRP $27.90 rapaurasprings.co.nz

6

Rapaura Springs ROHE Blind River Sauvignon Blanc 2020 Marlborough

Quite a sophisticated bouquet with aromas of silty soils and salty air then aromas of lemon and peach, a soft grassy and fresh herb layer and an enticing mineral core. On the palate - equally sophisticated and vibrant, loaded with texture and mouthfeel from some lees and a whisper of fruit tannins. Fruit flavours reflect the nose with plenty of acidity to carry the flavours through a lengthy finish. Great balance and very youthful. Ready to enjoy from today and through 2023+. POINTS: 93 RRP $24.90 rapaurasprings.co.nz

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TASTING NOTES SAUVIGNON BLANC

7

10

Rapaura Springs ROHE Dillons Point Sauvignon Blanc 2020 Marlborough

The Hunting Lodge Sauvignon Blanc Homeblock 2019 Waimauku, Auckland

There’s no mistaking the power and pungency in the bouquet with aromas of blackcurrant and tropical fruits, pineapple and salty air, sweet citrus and crushed fresh basil. Vibrant and persistent. Equally intense on the palate with fruit flavours that reflect the nose - especially pineapple and white peach then passionfruit. High acidity contrasts the core of ripe fruit and intense flavour. Youthful, fresh, balanced and well made. Best drinking from today and through 2023+. POINTS: 94 RRP $24.90 rapaurasprings.co.nz

7

Classic, original and wild with aromas of grass, wild herbs and a tropical fruit core. Bell pepper and hay, pineapple and lemon. Gooseberry and grapefruit are immediate on the palate then sweet hay and ripe bell pepper. An abundance of acidity and minerality leading to a lengthy finish. Ready to enjoy from today and through 2023+. POINTS: 93 RRP $33.00 thehuntinglodge.com

8

11

Tiki Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2020 Marlborough

8

Soho Sauvignon Blanc Stella 2020 Marlborough

Fresh citrus and tropical fruits, green olives and herbs, apple and grapefruit bouquet. Dry, youthful, tense and high energy on the palate with flavours of citrus then tropical fruits, pineapple and green apple, sage and sweet thyme. High acidity contrasts the core of varietal fruit. Lengthy finish. Ready to enjoy from today and through 2023. POINTS: 94 RRP $25.00 sohowineco.com

9

11

12

Toi Toi Sauvignon Blanc 2020 Marlborough

Loaded with aromas of fresh herbs and tropical fruits, lemon, green apple and gooseberry. Fresh, crunchy, herbaceous and fruity on the palate with a satin texture, plenty of acidity and flavours that reflect the nose. Balanced and ready for summer 2021 through summer 2022. POINTS: 92 RRP $16.00 toitoiwines.co.nz

9

Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc Latitude 2020 Marlborough

An enticing and varietal bouquet with aromas of sweet grapefruit and baked pineapple, fresh herbs, passionfruit and a soft leesy mineral core. Crisp, herbaceous and tropical fruit centric on the palate with plenty of acidity, light weight and highly energised on the palate, well made and ready. Best from today and through 2023. POINTS: 93 RRP $22.99 stoneleigh.com

10

13

Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc Cellar Selection 2020 Marlborough

12

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Passionfruit and fresh herbs, red apple flesh and grapefruit pith, saline and fresh wet rocks bouquet. All these ideas repeat on the palate with a tense fruity core, no mistaking the bite and crunch of acidity and fresh herbaceous lean finish. Well made and ready to enjoy from today and through 2022. POINTS: 93 RRP $19.99 tikiwine.com

13

No mistaking the core intensity of tropical fruits and citrus with mango, passionfruit and hot pineapple then red apple and citrus. Just dry on the palate with flavours that mirror the nose. Crunchy and fresh, a touch of fruit spice and balanced lengthy finish. Drinking perfectly today and through 2022. POINTS: 93 RRP $18.49 villamariawines.com


TASTING NOTES SAUVIGNON BLANC

14

18

Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc Private Bin 2020 Marlborough

Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2020 Marlborough

Vibrant and fruity core of tropical fruits and fresh herbs, white flowers and pink grapefruit. Delicious on the palate with flavours that reflect the nose, a backbone of acidity then passionfruit and mango, citrus and a touch of spice. Well made and ready. Drink now and through 2021. POINTS: 91 RRP $14.99 villamariawines.com

14

Fruity, ripe, varietal and inviting aromas of sweet herbs and tropical fruits, then citrus, apple and a quiet savoury core of herb and hay. Crisp and refreshing with plenty of acidity and tension contrasted by a core of fruit reflecting the nose - citrus and tropical then apple. Balanced, crunchy textures, fresh and well made. Best from today and through 2022. POINTS: 91 RRP $15.95 yealands.co.nz

15

15

Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc Reserve Wairau Valley 2020 Marlborough

Powerful bouquet with aromas of ripe citrus and white orchard fruits, sweet herbs and passionfruit. This theme embraces the palate too with flavours that reflect the nose, salivating acidity, a salty grapefruit layer and a satin leesy textured energy. Youthful too, needing just a little cellar time, but also delicious today with fresh shellfish and crisp summer dishes. POINTS: 94 RRP $24.99 villamariawines.com

19

Yealands Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2020 Marlborough

16

18

16

Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc Reserve Clifford Bay Awatere Valley 2019 Marlborough

Ripe, fresh and varietal bouquet that also captures the stony, salty and light savoury core messages of the Awatere. Aromas and flavours of apples and sweet meyer lemon, a savoury herb seam, white peach and grapefruit pith. Crisp texture of acidity enhances the minerality while the saline note places you firmly close to the sea. Young, lively, balanced and well made. Best from today and through 2025. POINTS: 94 RRP $24.99 villamariawines.com

17

Wairau River Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2020 Marlborough

An expressive, fresh, youthful and varietal bouquet with aromas and palate flavours of fresh apple, quince, pear and tropical fruits. An abundance of fresh herbs and grapefruit, high acidity and with a core of crunchy textured ripe fruits and a lengthy highly textured finish. Best drinking from today, through summer 2021 and 2022. Delicious! POINTS: 94 RRP $20.00 wairauriverwines.co.nz

Bold and very expressive with aromas of fruits and fresh herbs, pineapple and mango, apple and grapefruit, sage and basil. Crisp, tense, dry and well made with a core of ripe citrus and tree fruits, layers of tropical fruit and savoury herbs accentuated by youthful razor-sharp acidity. Well made with a lengthy finish. Best drinking from today and through 2023. POINTS: 94 RRP $18.95 yealands.co.nz

20

Zephyr Sauvignon Blanc MKIII Zephyr 2019 Marlborough

17

19

20

A very expressive bouquet with an immediate varietal signature of melon, citrus and moments of tropical fruit then a refined and intriguing complexity. Fleshy satin textures with contrasting acidity, a fine herbaceous, mineral, fruit-laden core delivers a wine of freshness, youth and length. Delicious and well made. Best from today and through 2024. POINTS: 94 RRP $32.99 zephyrwine.com

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I

n a recent issue of World of Wine I encouraged readers to watch the newly released and locally produced film A Seat at the Table. Showcasing some of Aotearoa’s personalities and wine history, it also posed the question – have we earned our seat at the table alongside our fine wine counterparts elsewhere in the world? My answer then and now remains an absolute yes - Sauvignon Blanc may have kicked off our international wine reputation, but our Chardonnay has caught the attention of some of the best palates in the world. New Zealand Chardonnay can out-class its international counterparts in blind tastings not only in quality, but also value. Chardonnay is grown in all wine regions of Aotearoa with a range of expressions that reflect each location, with many showing different styles based on farming and winemaking techniques. With an average vine age of 20 to 30 years now the concentration and depth that’s showing through many wines has offered winemakers more scope in the winery. Some recent movements have been the downward trend in the use of new oak, the increasing investigation of the use of egg-shaped fermenters, and extended lees contact. While oak and Chardonnay are great friends, the demand for newbarrel flavours, tannins and spices has lessened recently in favour of the nuances and complexities that come with even more refinement and understanding of vineyard conditions, and what can be achieved with more use of indigenous ferments and less time in barrel. Concrete egg-shaped tanks have become quite popular allowing for a particular mouthfeel and texture in Chardonnay; holding onto more fruit power and extending the length of finish. Lees, the spent yeast post primary fermentation, are allowed to sit beneath the wine rather than stirred through it – which promotes subtlety and complexity.

y a onn d r a h C 46

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TASTING NOTES CHARDONNAY

1

Blackenbrook Chardonnay 2018 Nelson

Calm bouquet with pure yet softly spoken scents of nectarine and apricot, vanilla, peach and apple. Some toasty wood and light smoky moments. Dry, warm, creamy, elegant and well made. Plenty of weight, medium acidity, flavours mirror the nose with soft wood tannins adding structure and depth. Best drinking from today and through 2023. POINTS: 93 RRP $25.00 blackenbrook.co.nz

1

2

3

2

Brancott Estate Chardonnay Letter Series O 2019 Marlborough

Complex and enticing bouquet with aromas and flavours of white peach and lemon, some leesy barrel spice moments, ripe grapefuit and fresh spices then a stony minerality and whisper of butterscotch. Satin textures with contrasting acidity and plenty of youthful spicy energy. Well made and ready. Best from today and through 2024. POINTS: 93 RRP $25.00 brancottestate.com

4

Esk Valley Chardonnay Winemaker's Reserve 2018 Hawke's Bay

3

Church Road Chardonnay Grand Reserve 2019 Hawke's Bay Immediately complex, layered, a little bit edgy, classic and fine. Aromas and flavours of ripe grapefruit and yellow orchard fruits. There's no mistaking the impact of new French oak with wood spices and smoke adding texture, weight and complexity. The core of fruit punches through with citrus, peach and nectarine then a fine flinty edginess adds complexity and length. Best from later in 2021 through 2027+. POINTS: 95 RRP $34.00 church-road.com

4

5

A ripe core of fruit with a big tease of toasty wood spices frame an intense and attractive bouquet of Chardonnay. Flavours of fresh nectarine, baked peach and red apple then toasty wood spices of vanilla. There's a baked spicy custard flavour and texture with a nuttyoak frame. Some fine wood tannins and medium acidty round out the palate. Balanced and well made, ready to enjoy from today and through 2025+. POINTS: 92 RRP $49.99 eskvalley.co.nz

5

Leftfield Chardonnay 2018 Hawke's Bay

Aromas of vanilla and baked custard, toasty wood spices, peaches and whipped cream. Just creamy in texture with a core of stone fruits, apple and citrus then wood spices, gently warming alcohol and medium acidity. Balanced and well made. Ready to enjoy from today and through 2022. POINTS: 90 RRP $17.99 leftfieldwines.com

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TASTING NOTES CHARDONNAY

10

Nautilus Chardonnay 2019 Marlborough

6

6

Leveret Estate Chardonnay Reserve 2018 Hawke’s Bay

Full, rich and powerful bouquet with a core of toasty oak and nutty richness, grapefruit and roasted yellow stone fruits. Equally powerful, full-bodied and richly textured on the palate. Flavours of vanilla and baked custard, toasty baking spices with a hint of bacon oak then a core of stonefruit and citrus flavours that reflect the nose. Youthful and balanced, well made with a lengthy finish. A totally satisfying wine. Best from today and through 2026+. POINTS: 95 RRP $32.00 nautilusestate.com

7

A classic 'old school' style bouquet with aromas of creamy vanilla custard, baked stone fruits and spicy oak. Flavours of yellow nectarine and apricot, apple, some grapefruit peel then a swing back to new French oak flavours, tannins and medium acidity. Creamy and dry, taut and youthful still. Well made and ready to enjoy from today and through 2025. POINTS: 92 RRP $31.50 wineportfolio.co.nz

11

7

Pegasus Bay Chardonnay 2018 North Canterbury

Longview Estate Chardonnay Winemaker's Reserve 2019 Northland

Made from 30-year-old vines, this wine's bouquet is fresh, youthful, intense and concentrated. Tense on the palate with flavours of grapefruit and peach, lemon and red apple then new wood flavours of toast and spice, vanilla and Brazil nut. Warming alcohol and medium+ acidity add depth and tension. Well made, but very youthful. Best drinking from 2022 through 2028. POINTS: 94 RRP $35.00 longviewwines.co.nz

8

10

8

Mills Reef Winery Chardonnay Elspeth 2019 Hawke’s Bay

An enticing bouquet with a finesse, complexity and a layer of purity. Flavours of lightly roasted stonefruits and apple, citrus then cashew and Brazil nut. Vanilla cream and mild baking spices, medium+ acidity, oak, spices and smoke emerge as the wine opens up in glass. Creamy and full-bodied with an opulent core and lengthy finish. POINTS: 93 RRP $39.95 wineportfolio.co.nz

9

Mills Reef Winery Chardonnay Reserve 2019 Hawke’s Bay

Bright white fleshed fruit and barrel spice lead to flavours and textures of smoke and nut, pear, apple and baking spices. Creamy texture with decent weight and moderate+ complexity. Balanced and well made with a lengthy finish. Young and vital. Best from today through 2025. POINTS: 92 RRP $25.00 wineportfolio.co.nz

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12

Rapaura Springs Bouldevines Vineyard Chardonnay 2019 Marlborough

9

11

Bold toasty, woody, nutty and fruity bouquet with intense aromas of Brazil nut and baked yellow peach, vanilla and baked custard, red apple and a creamy-cheese note. On the palate - full-bodied, creamy and toasty, no mistaking the sweet vanilla oak moments, baked goods and yellow orchard fruit flavours. Medium acidity, fine wood tannins, gently salivating acidity and lengthy finish. Familiar and very easy to imbibe. A lovely drink now and through 2023. POINTS: 92 RRP $44.00 pegasusbay.com

12

Complex, edgy and enticing bouquet of Chardonnay - aromas of gun-flint and spice, grapefruit and apple, white peach and flowers. On the palate - equally complex and loaded with texture. Flavours of yellow and white orchard fruits, riper citrus, still edgy with a flinty mineral flavour then some lees-like flavours of white and brown baking spices. The oak is present, but quiet adding a light nutty and mild toasty flavour and complexity. Great balance and length with an intriguing finish. POINTS: 94 RRP $36.90 rapaurasprings.co.nz


TASTING NOTES CHARDONNAY

13

Te Kairanga John Martin Chardonnay 2019 Wairarapa

Like the 2018, this wine is a keeper. Complex and delicious with aromas and flavours of oak then mineral, fennel, wild flowers, stonefruit, wood spices, a moment of gunflint and grapefruit pith. Excellent texture and length, contrast and finish. Fruit and oak flavours that reflect the nose, contrasting acid line, fine wood tannins, lees and complex lengthy finish. Best from late 2021 though 2029. POINTS: 96 RRP 42.99 tekairanga.co.nz

13

16

Villa Maria Chardonnay Cellar Selection 2019 Hawke’s Bay

14

Classic, ripe and intense bouquet of Chardonnay with aromas and flavours of baked stonefruits and buttterscotch, grapefuit pith and vanilla wood spices. Mild toasty oak flavours, medium+ acidity and balanced, even finish. Well made and ready to enjoy from today and through 2023. POINTS: 91 RRP $18.49 villamariawines.com

17

Villa Maria Chardonnay SV Ihumatao 2019 Auckland

14

Tohu Whenua Awa Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2017 Marlborough

Distinctive and familiar bouquet of fleshy yellow stone fruits, vanilla and sweet toasty oak. There’s a decent power and intensity overall with a spice layer from the oak lingering. On the palate - fullbodied, rounded texture, youthful, fruity and dry on the finish. Flavours of yellow stonefruits, grapefruit peel, vanilla and a whisper of clove enhance the toasty wood layer. Fine tannins, medium acidity, balanced and well made. Drinking well now and through 2025. POINTS: 94 RRP $34.99 tohuwines.co.nz

15

17

18

Yealands Reserve Chardonnay 2019

15

Toi Toi Wines Chardonnay 2019 Gisborne

A classic Gisborne expression with California peaches, yellow apple and vanilla creme patissiere bouquet. Bright, fresh and youthful. Fruity and fresh on the palate with a fine tension from the acidity, oak and fine wood tannins. Balanced and well made with flavours that reflect the nose. Ready to drink from today and through 2023. POINTS: 91 RRP $16.00 toitoiwines.co.nz

Enticing aromas of ripe white-fleshed fruits, apple and lemon, there's a core of white flowers, chalk and flinty mineral edigness adding complexity, depth and charm. Dry on the palate with textures then fruit flavours that reflect the nose, a youthful tension and poise from the acidity and wood tannins enhanced by the flavours of citrus and white orchard fruit flavours. A really lovely wine. Best drinking from later in 2021 through 2026+. POINTS: 95 RRP $49.99 villamariawines.com

A captivating bouquet with aromas of peaches and sea air, grapefruit and wood spice, warm toasty nutty oak and baked custard. Full-bodied with a mild savoury core, fruit flavours mirror the nose, medium+ acidity and a lengthy even finish. Well made and ready to enjoy from 2021 through 2024+. POINTS: 92 RRP 18.95 yealands.co.nz

16

19

Zephyr Chardonnay 2019 Marlborough

18

19

Youthful, vibrant and expressive bouquet with aromas and palate flavours of white-fleshed tree and stone fruits, pear and American pink grapefruit then layers of oak, but not new wood - just a lighter toast and mild scents of baking spices and raw sugar. Texture on the palate is a feature accentuating the spice, acidity and wood. A flinty mineral note adding complexity and charm. Nice lengthy finish, well made and ready to enjoy from late 2020 through 2025. POINTS: 94 RRP $32.99 zephyrwine.com

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TASTING NOTES PINOT GRIS

PINOT I

Gris

f you’re having difficulty deciding on a glass of wine while perusing a food menu next time you’re out to dinner then order a glass of Gris. The drier styles are better as appetite teasers, but even the new release 2020 wines with a smidgen of residual sweetness can be perfect first pours. 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. Pinot Gris is the favoured variety of orange and natural wine styles. If you’re in a wine store and need to select a Pinot Gris then be sure to also read the back label - it should guide you on the dryness level and flavour profile. The back label is also where an indication of the use of oak should be revealed or any winemaking techniques to be aware of. Excellent examples I’ve encountered this year are just-dry with perhaps a whisper of sweetness, flavours of white-fleshed tree and stone fruits, sometimes white pepper and medium+ acid level.

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TASTING NOTES PINOT GRIS

1

Astrolabe Wines Pinot Gris 2019 Marlborough

Ripe, pure, fresh, youthful. Flavours of honeysuckle and white nectarine, apple and a pinch of citrus. Satin texture with refreshing acidity, balanced, well made and ready. A lovely wine in a just-dry style, ready as an aperitif or with starter menu items. Best drinking from today and through 2023. POINTS: 93 RRP $25.00 astrolabewines.co.nz

1 3

2

4

Quartz Reef Pinot Gris SV 2019 Central Otago

Pure, ripe, youthful, fresh and varietal with aromas of white spices and white fleshed fruits, a layer of leesy autolysis and moments of minerality. Delicious on the palate with a silky texture, core of ripe white fleshed fruits, a touch of citrus, silty stony mineral layer, five spice, some white blossom, medium+ acidity and lengthy finish. Best drinking from today and through 2024+. POINTS: 95 RRP $32.00 quartzreef.co.nz

2

Bald Hills Kirameki Single Vineyard Pinot Gris 2018 Central Otago

Immediately varietal, fresh, fruity and just a little bit floral. Aromas of green pear and pear skin, red apple and a fine layer of spice and lees with a quiet and light lager beer note. On the palate fresh, dry, fruity and classic with flavours of white fleshed fruits and pear skin, white pepper, crushed rock mineral and a long leesy, fruity finish. Balanced and well made, ready to enjoy from today and through 2022. I think this wine is best served at ambient temperature, but cool. POINTS: 93 RRP $30.00 baldhills.co.nz

3

Esk Valley Pinot Gris 2020 Hawke's Bay

Ripe, fresh, fruity, varietal and forward with intense aromas of bosc pear and spicy red apple, sweet white flowers, honeysuckle and a touch of quince. A rounded delicately creamy texture on the palate gives way to a spicy leesy flavour that transitions into a core of ripe white fleshed fruits reflecting the nose. Warming alcohol with medium+ acidity leads to a balanced lengthy finish. Best drinking from today and through 2022. POINTS: 91 RRP $19.99 eskvalley.co.nz

5

Villa Maria Pinot Gris Cellar Selection 2019 Marlborough

4

6

5

A striking bouquet of whitefleshed fruits, spice and core of varietal character. Flavours on the palate of white nectarine and pear, red apple and green pear. There's a core of spice and intensity with warming alcohol and medium+ acidity. Satin texture and lengthy white spice finish. Best drinking from today and through 2022. POINTS: 91 RRP $18.49 villamariawines.com

6

Villa Maria Pinot Gris SV Seddon 2019 Marlborough

An enticing purity of fruit bouquet with a five spice sweetness then ripe green pear, white nectarine and sweet apple. A leesy spice layer adds texture as well as enhancing the fragrance. Tense, ripe, fruity and spicy on the palate with warming alcohol, medium acidity, fine creamy texture and lengthy finish. Great drinking from today and through 2023. POINTS: 93 RRP $29.99 villamariawines.com

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TASTING NOTES SPARKLING

S

parkling wine any day of the week is an excellent idea, perhaps even more with the topsy-turvy year we’ve had and in preparation for the festive season - it feels so appropriate. Christmas morning and at a second past midnight New Year’s morning are two very traditional occasions when a glass of happiness is the most appropriate beverage to pour. When deciding on the right sparkling wine for celebration, special occasion or just because it seems right, make sure you remember that homegrown Aotearoa bubbles are the first and best choice. You’re not only supporting local, but the range on offer includes some very high quality examples. Always look out for yeasty aromatics balanced against the flavours of citrus and white-fleshed fruits - there may also be a coarse-silk texture as well, carried through the mousse with a refreshing long finish. There are fine examples of New Zealand sparkling and méthode traditionnelle from all the major wine-growing regions of our beautiful country, with a particular emphasis on Marlborough and Central Otago.

g n i l k r a p S 1

Clos Marguerite Méthode Traditionnelle Rosé 2016 Marlborough

1

A delicious wine with aromas and flavours of bing cherries and wild strawberry, sweet red blossoms and a leesy core of autolysis. A powerful yet fine mousse with tiny bubble and coarse silk texture. Leesy flavours continue through high acidity, soft fruit highlights and a crisp lengthy finish. A delicious expression with a lengthy taut and youthful finish. Lovely drinking now and through 2026+. POINTS: 94 RRP $69.00 closmarguerite.co.nz

3 2

Toasty, leesy and fruity with aromas of apple and lemon, some strawberry and peach. A brioche and oatmeal bread layer adds complexity and depth. Crisp and dry on the palate with the lees and baked goods flavours emerging first. Peach and grapefruit, baked apple then lemon. Bold fine and expressive mousse, plenty of acidity and lengthy finish. Easy to enjoy and well made. Drink now and through 2025. POINTS: 93 RRP $31.50 wineportfolio.co.nz

Mumm Marlborough Brut Prestige NV Marlborough

Hunter's Wines Miru Miru Méthode Traditionnelle NV Marlborough

4

3

Leveret Estate Méthode Traditionnelle IQ3 NV Hawke's Bay

Distinctive aromas of peaches and lemon with a fine layer of leesy autolysis. Crisp, fresh and dry on the palate with flavours of grapefruit and peach, apple and lemon and a repeat of the fine leesy high notes. Crisp acidity with a fresh and bold mousse. Ready to enjoy from today and through 2023. POINTS: 91 RRP $29.95 wineportfolio.co.nz

52

Leveret Estate Méthode Traditionnelle IQ7 NV Hawke's Bay

5

2

Complex, toasty and fragrant with aromas of oaty bread and buttered brioche, red apple, citrus and peach. Bold explosive mousse with a coarse silk texture, high acidity and flavours that mirror the nose. Fresh, crisp, dry and just a little bit elegant. A lovely expression and ready to enjoy from today and through 2025+. POINTS: 95 RRP $28.90 eurovintage.co.nz

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6 5

A very attractive bouquet with an immediate and focused scent of autolysis with oatmeal and brioche then grapefruit and white peach. Complexity emerges on the palate with a crisp, tense and just dry mouthfeel, fine mousse and flavours of peach, apple, citrus and baked goods. Lengthy finish, quite pure and perfect as an aperitif. POINTS: 93 RRP $35.00

6

No.1 Family Estate Méthode Traditionnelle Assemblé NV Marlborough

Complex, toasty and persistent aromas of baked goods and stone fruits, citrus, white peach and apple. Dry, refreshingly crisp on the palate with flavours of tangerine and lemon pith, apple and white peach. A fine leesy, toasted baked goods layer with a firm textured mousse that eases into a satin mouth feel, high acidity and crisp, lengthy finish. An excellent aperitif style, balanced, ready and well made. Drink now and through 2026+. POINTS: 94 RRP $32.00 no1familyestate.co.nz


TASTING NOTES SPARKLING

7

No.1 Family Estate Méthode Traditionnelle Cuvée No 1 NV Marlborough

Complex and layered with a core of toasty, nutty richness. Aromas of baked citrus and grapefruit, white blossoms and baked goods. Explosive, yet tempered mousse, fine bubble and high acidity carrying flavours of citrus and stone fruits, toasty fresh bread and peach. Crisp, perfectly balanced, dry, lengthy and delicious. Drink now and through 2030. POINTS: 95 RRP $36.00 no1familyestate.co.nz

7

8

11

Quartz Reef Méthode Traditionnelle Rosé NV Central Otago

Plush, ripe and delicate aromas of cherry and pink apple with leesy autolysis. Apricot and rose and a delciate peach tea scent. The palate showcases an abundant crisp and refreshing mousse with a fine bubble, a chalky texture and flavours that reflect the stonefruit and floral delicacies suggested on the nose. A really lovely elegant expression, lengthy and delicious! Drink now and through 2023+. POINTS: 94 RRP $39.00 quartzreef.co.nz

8

No.1 Family Estate Méthode Traditionnelle Cuvée Virginie 2016 Marlborough

Complex, youthful and layered bouquet with aromas of citrus and fresh brioche bun, white peach and wild flowers, strawberry and spice. Youthful, crisp, tense and dry. A fine yet abundant mousse and lively acidity enhance the flavours of citrus, strawberry and apple. A lovely long finish. Even better on the second day. Lovely drinking from today and through 2030. POINTS: 95 RRP $98.00 no1familyestate.co.nz

9

11

No.1 Family Estate Méthode Traditionnelle No.1 Rosé NV Marlborough

10

13

Tohu Rewa Blanc de Blancs Méthode Traditionnelle 2015 Marlborough

10

Quartz Reef Méthode Traditionnelle Brut NV Central Otago

Very expressive and complex bouquet with aromas of extended lees ageing autolysis, white stonefruits and citrus fruit suggestions. After the silky mousse texture subsides on the palate, flavours of apple and citrus, white stone fruits and strawberry flavours begin to emerge. The autolysis remains persistent with an abundance of fine mousse bubble leading to a lengthy satisfying finish. Delicious! POINTS: 95 RRP $33.00 quartzreef.co.nz

Quartz Reef Méthode Traditionnelle Vintage Blanc de Blanc 2015 Central Otago

There's no mistaking the complexity, delicacy and detail in the bouquet with aromas of sweet citrus, white flowers and white fleshed tree fruits. There's a core of extended lees autolysis with a toasty brioche and whole wheat bread aromas. Fantastic on the palate with even more complexity than the nose suggests, flavours that mirror the nose and a fine mousse. Lengthy finish. Excellent drinking, excellent gift. POINTS: 96 RRP $79.00 quartzreef.co.nz

9

Complex with a seductive, soft, almost mysterious bouquet. Aromas of light red berry, cherry and red apple skin. A light toasty bready leesy layer adds complexity and a floral note adds charm. Crisp, fresh, fruity, refreshing and dry. Fruit flavours mirror the nose while the powerful mousse carries the lees, spice and floral messages. Lengthy, fruity and delightful. Best drinking from today and through 2028+. POINTS: 94 RRP $47.00 no1familyestate.co.nz

12

12

13

This 100% Chardonnay has a very captivating bouquet with aromas and flavours of white peach and red apple, fine lees, toasty quality and developing complexity. On the palate in particular the wine has a lightweight, elegant fine mousse with a satin chalk texture balanced and contrasted by the fruit and non fruit flavours of white fleshed stonefruits, apple and citrus. A lovely wine with great balance and length. Drinking well now and through 2025. POINTS: 94 RRP $40.00 tohuwines.co.nz

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TASTING NOTES AROMATICS

s c i t a om Ar 1

Allan Scott Family Winemakers Cavalier Green Ginger Wine NV Marlborough

W

urzer, Gewürztraminer, Muscat, Torrontes, Albarińo, Riesling, Muller Thurgau and Pinot Blanc are all examples of aromatic or semi-aromatic grape varieties. The varieties contain a set of naturally-occurring compounds called ‘terpenes’ that, in the hands of a good winemaker, can amplify the spice, fruit and floral scents of wine. This makes them particularly distinctive, but also difficult to pair with food if you’re not sure how the combinations work. Wine with higher aromatic profiles can also have just moderate acidity levels, but higher alcohol as well, so food with heat spices are less suited to these wines. For example, some Asian dishes that have curry or capsaicin ingredients clash with aromatic wines. Try them with patés, creamy soups, sous vide pork with apple sauce and shaved fennel. I like a ribbon-type pasta with fresh herbs, a cream sauce and a simple protein like blue cod with aromatics. The naturally sweeter Māori, Tongan and Samoan dishes can be excellent with aromatic wines. Gewürztraminer is the most intense and exotic of the aromatic varieties with flavours of tropical fruits, roses and spices. Descriptors such as lavender, talcum powder, pineapple, white pepper and even apple strudel have been used to describe the wine.

1

Golden and shiny appearance leads to intense aromas of ginger root, ginger spice and gingernut. There's a moment of peach and apricot and old roses before the spice engages again. The palate mirrors the nose exactly with gusto and intensity. Firm, creamy, moderate to low acidity, intensly flavoured and lengthy. Perfect for a nightcap, in cocktails, maybe food or just over ice. POINTS: 93 RRP $ 18.00 allanscott.com

2

3

Askerne Winery Late Harvest Gewürtztraminer 2019 Hawke's Bay

Exotic tropical fruits, spices of the east and honey. Full-bodied and creamy on the palate with flavours of honey and pineapple, peach juice and clove, caramelised apple and button mushroom. Contrasting acidity, flowers and endless sweetness. Well made, lengthy and delicious. Drink now and through 2025. POINTS: 92 RRP $ 23.90 askernewines.co.nz

2

Askerne Winery Gewürtztraminer 2019 Hawke's Bay

Immediately recognisable aromas of exotic fruits and flowers, fragrant spices and clay stone mineral moments. Flavours of sweet apple, white nectarine and tropical fruits, some fresh lychee and sweet lavender. Medium acidity, creamy, weighty texture with a core of fruit and pepper spice. Well made, lengthy and delicious! Best from today and through 2024. POINTS: 93 RRP $ 23.90 askernewines.co.nz

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4

Astrolabe Wines Albariño Sleepers Vineyard 2018 Marlborough

3

4

Youthful bouquet with a floral white peach and salty lemon bouquet. Flavours of the same emerge on the palate with a tense youthful acidity emphasising the citrus then white-fleshed fruits of peach and apple. A light sweet herb moment and salty minerality adding depth and complexity. Plenty of acidity and finishing dry. Enjoy as an aperitif or with fresh shellfish-based dishes. Drink through 2025. POINTS: 92 RRP $ 30.00 astrolabewines.co.nz


TASTING NOTES AROMATICS

5

Astrolabe Wines Wrekin Vineyard Chenin Blanc 2018 Marlborough

A very expressive bouquet with aromas of ripe apple and citrus pith, spring blossoms and pear, honeysuckle and minerality. Complexity builds as the wine begins to open up in glass. Tense, youthful, fresh and ripe fruited on the palate. Fruit flavours reflect the nose, acidity adds a layer of tension, crispness and length. A lovely wine with a dry finish. A great aperitif option and cellar worthy as well. Best from today and through 2028+. POINTS: 94 RRP $ 30.00 astrolabewines.co.nz

5

6

7

Main Divide Gewürztraminer 2019 North Canterbury

7

Exotic, spicy and fruity bouquet with aromas of preserved tropical fruits, ginger spice, roses, pears and apple. On the palate - fresh, lively, exotic, spicy and totally captivating flavours that tease the senses. A very silky texture is contrasted by the acidity and phenolics then spice and honeysuckle. Balanced and well made, a delight to taste. Best drinking from today and through 2022. POINTS: 93 RRP $ 20.99 pegasusbay.com

6

Longview Estate Gewürtztraminer Winemaker's Reserve 2020 Whangarei

Exotic and highly perfumed bouquet with aromas of pears and peaches, baked apples, a touch of lanolin and lavender. Off-dry with noticeable sweetness, flavours of lavender flowers and parfait amour. Creamy texture, easy acidity and floral finish. Ready from today and through 2022. POINTS: 88 RRP $ 30.00 longviewwines.co.nz

8

The Hunting Lodge Albariño 2020 Marlborough

8

9

Varietal and fruity with a core of peach and grapefruit, a pinch of salty air, apple and minerality. Equally tense and fruity on the palate with flavours of peach that transition through citrus then flowers, spice and salt. Crisp acidity, persistent, varietal and tasty. Perfect altenative to Gris with great drinking from today and through 2024+. POINTS: 93 RRP $ 26.00 thehuntinglodge.com

9

Yealands Estate Single Vineyard P.G.R. 2019

A blend of Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer and Riesling - the aromas of each attract attention with exotic fruits and spices then citrus, apple and flowers. Fleshy, fruity and light creamy textures on the palate, an array of fruit flavours, with contrasting acidity. A fleshy and luscious wine ready to enjoy from today and through 2022. POINTS: 91 RRP $24.95 yealands.co.nz

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RoséR 1

osé is currently one of the most popular styles of wine available. A restaurant would do well to list at least three options by the glass, and a wander through your local liquor store or supermarket will demonstrate just how many local as well as international rosés there are to choose from. All colours for rosé are valid – from the pale pink to raspberry hued through to the onion-skin and salmon hued. The taste profile of the imported options has not really changed at all in recent years – apricot or peach, a whisper of red cherry or raspberry with a crisp, clean refreshing finish makes for very easy drinking. The more opulent, vibrantly textured wines with a range of expressions are best sourced from local producers. The Mondillo 2020 is a great example with sweet raspberry, bing cherry flavours, crushed rock minerality and super fine tannins. An exciting alternative is the Black Estate Treble Rosé with cherries and damson plums, strawberries and raspberries, a soft, light dried herb and savoury layer, texture and tension.

1

Karikari Estate Rosé Calypso 2018 Northland

2

You won't forget the colour of this rosé when poured - salmon and orange with a polished copper hue. Aromas and flavours of red apples and apricots, some hibiscus and dried peach then yellow cherry. Fine tannins, medium+ acidity and a core of flavours that reflect the nose present nicely on the palate. Youthful and tense, ready from today and through 2023. POINTS: 90 RRP $27.00 karikariestate.co.nz

2

Maude Rosé 2020 Central Otago

Pure, ripe, fresh and enticing core of aromas. Roses and red cherries, pink apple skin and a soft, light leesy lift. Plush, fleshy and youthfully tense then as the wine relaxes in glass with a vibrant fine fruit tannin texture emerges. Crisp and dry on the finish with flavours of light red berry fruits and cherry. Well made with a lovely summer ready finish. POINTS: 94 RRP $28.00 maudewines.com

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TASTING NOTES ROSÉ

3

Mondillo Vineyard Rosé 2020 Central Otago

A true rosé colour with a red rose and pink tinged rim. Flavours of sweet raspberry and bing cherry, sweet plums and crushed rock minerality. A super fine tannin layer with plenty of acidity offer a wine with a crisp texture and lengthy finish. Lots to like with this wine. Best from today and through 2022. POINTS: 93 RRP $28.00 mondillo.com

3

5

4

4

Quartz Reef Rosé SV 2020 Central Otago

Floral and mineral, fruity and enticing, a calm soft complexity and texture to the bouquet. Equally fruity and floral on the palate with flavours of red berries, cherry and roses. Super fine fruit tannins and youthful acid line. Dry, vibrant and well made. Best drinking from today and through 2023. POINTS: 94 RRP $32.00 quartzreef.co.nz

6

The Hunting Lodge Pinot Noir Rosé 2020 Hawke’s Bay

5

The Boneline Pink Noise Rosé 2020 Waipara

Fabulous colour, bright, fruity, floral and engaging bouquet. Crisp, refreshing and dry with flavours of red cherry and apple, cold peach tea and a whisper of tropical fruit. Super fine fruit tannins, medium+ acidity and lightweight refreshing finish. Balanced, well made and ready. Best from today and through 2023. POINTS: 93 RRP $33.00 theboneline.co.nz

6

8

Freshly gathered light red fruits of cherry and red apple, pomegranate, mango and tropical fruit punch. Crisp, refreshing and dry on the palate with a core of fruit flavours that mirror the nose, roses and a touch of exotic spice. Balanced, well made, refreshing and ready. Best from today and through 2023. POINTS: 92 RRP $26.00 thehuntinglodge.com

7

Toi Toi Sara's Rosé 2020 New Zealand

7

Aromas of red cherry and watermelon, roses, gala apple and wet pebbles. Crunchy, fresh, fruity and tense on the palate with plenty of acidity to contrast the fruit core. Flavours mirror the bouquet with a bright youthful and refreshing finish. Well made and ready. Best drinking from today and through 2022. POINTS: 91 RRP $16.00 toitoiwines.co.nz

8

Zephyr Rosé MKI Zephyr 2020 Marlborough

Precise, fresh, fruity and ready. Aromas and flavours of red apple and cherry, a touch of strawberry then peach. Crunchy vivid textures with a super fine tannin layer, refreshing acid line and a core of fruit. Balanced, well made and ready for summer 2021. POINTS: 92 RRP $32.99 zephyrwine.com

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TASTING NOTES PINOT NOIR

PinNootir

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here’s no question that Pinot Noir is one of the great grapes and wines of Aotearoa New Zealand. It’s a variety that demands constant attention in the vineyard to reach optimal ripeness - speak to any grower of the variety and they’ll spend quite some time outlining the focus Pinot Noir requires. They will refer to microclimates in the vineyard, soils that take advantage of the minerals available deep down, and access to just enough water for the vines to stay happy and balanced. There are many other contributing factors, including clonal material, root stocks, aspect and farming philosophies that impact the condition of the fruit at harvest. The results these complex harmonies produce in ideal conditions can be spectacular wines. Practically every winemaker I’ve spoken to on my travels around the country is loving the results of the 2019 vintage and stoked about the 2020. I’ve nearly completed a tour of all our wine regions, and many of the vineyards that grow this noble variety. So far, each region has a similar story to tell about vintage, vine age and attention to detail in the vineyard, but a common factor is excitement about the continued potential for this variety, and increasing acceptance that the more work in the vineyard there is the better wine feels and tastes - and longevity increases. Many of the successful producers have embarked on a partial or deep dive into organic or biodynamic vineyard management. The use of whole bunches in the ferment can bring a more savoury seam through the palate, lengthen the finish and deepen the complexity. Pinot Noir should carry a sense of place in the bouquet - it’s not just about the aromas of ripe red berries and flowers, it must also be about subtlety and complexity, a quiet yet noticeable layer of minerality, a core of fruit, not too much oak, polished tannins and an abundance of ripe acidity. A sense of place can be discovered in some wines that use a percentage of whole bunches in the ferment. While this approach remains a topic of discussion – over a bottle of Pinot Noir - I have noticed a greater sense of region, soil or vineyard when this is done well.

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TASTING NOTES PINOT NOIR

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stony minerality. Well made, but very youthful and tense with firm tannins and plenty of acidity. Ready now with food, best from 2022 through 2026+. POINTS: 93 RRP $35.00 astrolabewines.co.nz

Akarua Pinot Noir Bannockburn 2019 Central Otago

Seductive, ripe, fruity, floral and varietal with aromas of sweet dark red cherry and dried raspberry, a medley of minerality and sweet oak spices. Equally seductive and ripe on the palate with flavours that mirror the nose. Plum, clove, vanilla and thyme. An abundance of fine tannins, medium+ acidity and lengthy youthful finish. Delicious and well made. Ready to enjoy from today and through 2028+. POINTS: 94 RRP $45.00 akarua.com

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Bald Hills Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016 Central Otago

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Akitu Pinot Noir A1 2018 Central Otago

"Fresh, youthful and fruit centric bouquet with aromas of fresh raspberry and dark cherry, sweet oak and spices to match a toasty barrel scent. Tense and dry on the palate with a firm texture, chalky tannins and ripe almost sweet acid line. Fruit and spice flavours reflect the nose leading to a lengthy finish. Well made and ready to enjoy from today and through 2028. POINTS: 95 RRP $65.00 akitu.wine

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Hunter's Wines Pinot Noir 2019 Marlborough

Varietal, ripe, fleshy, juicy and quietly complex. Aromas and flavours of red berries, red apple, wild forest flowers and smoky wood. Firm textures with chalky tannins and plenty of acidity. The core of fruit accentuates the flavours of red currants and plum, some wild berries and raspberry moments. Balanced, youthful and well made. Ready from today and through 2025+. POINTS: 93 RRP $28.90 eurovintage.co.nz

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Akitu Pinot Noir A2 2018 Central Otago

A core of ripe red cherry and dried raspberry, then some plum and mountain thyme savoury scents. An enticing complexity. Very youthful on the palate with a tense and taut structure from firm tannins with a chalky, grainy drive. Plenty of acidity then flavours of fresh berries and sweet wood spices. Youthful, still requiring the perfect food match or cellar time. Best from 2022 through 2030+. POINTS: 94 RRP $45.00 akitu.wine

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Astrolabe Pinot Noir 2017 Marlborough

An attractive, fruity, floral and varietal bouquet with aromas of ripe red berry fruits, red plum and currant wrapped up in a shroud of toasty wood spices. Youthful, tense, fruity and dry on the palate. Dark cherry and baking spices, plum and toasty wood, tart strawberry and

Vibrant, fresh, youthful, varietal, fruity and very engaging bouquet. Aromas and flavours on the palate showcase raspberry and plum, a savoury dried herb and wild thyme layer, clove, vanilla and five spice-ish taste, complex and tasty. Tannins are fine, chalky in texture, there's a bite of fresh acidity showing off the youth and impact of the structure. Well made, lengthy and delicious. Best drinking from today and through 2024+. POINTS: 94 RRP $46.00 baldhills.co.nz

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Martinborough Vineyard Te Tera Pinot Noir 2019

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Wairarapa Bright, fresh, fruity and plump red fruit aromas and flavours. Plums and cherries, some rose and red tea. Oak is lighter in impact and flavour, but still offers finer tannins, light toast and sound foundation. Balanced, fresh, fruity and ready with a whisper of tension, poise and seam of minerality. Ready from today and through 2024. POINTS: 92 RRP29.99 tekairanga.co.nz

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TASTING NOTES PINOT NOIR

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Martinborough Vineyard Home Block Pinot Noir 2018 Wairarapa

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Balanced, well made and ready. Best drinking from today and through 2024. POINTS: 94 RRP $65.00 pegasusbay.com

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Strawberry and spice, silty soft mineral core with a lighter leaner savoury complexity. Aromas and flavours of red berries with cherry and strawberry, fine to moderate tannins with a chalk and coarse silk feel. The savoury line and acidity run a fine seam through the palate supported by fruit and a toasty oak layer. Clean and precise finish, deceptively complex and quite delicious. Best from 2021 through 2026+. POINTS: 94 RRP 64.99 tekairanga.co.nz

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Quartz Reef Pinot Noir Bendigo Single Ferment 2018 Central Otago

Complex and layered bouquet that takes time to open up and reveal the myriad of forest berries and wild flowers, dried herb and spice layers. On the palate the minerality begins to emerge with a core of fruit and oak sweetness then flavours of Asian spices. Firm chalky tannins and contrasting acidity add depth and length. Complex, dry finish. Best drinking from 2021 through 2028+. POINTS: 96 RRP $85.00 quartzreef.co.nz

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Mondillo Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017 Central Otago

Complex bouquet and complex wine. Aromas and flavours of dark cherries and dried raspberry, black currant then wood spices and a core of crushed rock minerality. Tense, poised, ripe fruited and dry on the palate. Firm tannins and medium+ acidity set the foundation with berry rich flavours and a floral top line above. Youthful still so needs your cellar. Best from late 2021 through 2028+. POINTS: 95 RRP $48.00 mondillo.com

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Pegasus Bay Prima Donna Library Release Pinot Noir 2010 North Canterbury

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Rapaura Springs Limestone Terrace Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018 Marlborough

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Pegasus Bay Aged Release Pinot Noir 2010 North Canterbury

Very exciting to take a look back at a 10-year old Aotearoa Pinot Noir as an aged release offering. Aromas of a developing wine show first with red berry fruits beginning to dry a little, darker plum moments and an earthy, mineral integrated complexity. Primary fruit notes remain too, but these are hidden behind the toasty smoky layers of wood and bottle-age. Additional aromas of cinnamon and wood smoke, some clove and vanilla spice. On the palate - textures first from integrated and integrating tannins. There’s still plenty of acidity and the fruit suggestions on the nose come alive on the palate. Warm, balanced, complex and varietal. There’s an old rose and earthy quality that can only come from site.

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Quartz Reef Pinot Noir SV 2018 Central Otago

Complex, varietal and layered bouquet with aromas of red berries and dried herb, a mix of oak spices and mineral with thyme, clove and a touch of rose. Satin texture on the palate gives way to firm youthful tannins and medium+ acidity. A core of raspberry and red cherry flavours, sweet oak and wild forest flowers. Balanced, fresh, youthful and very tasty. Best drinking from 2021 through 2027+. POINTS: 94 RRP $49.00 quartzreef.co.nz

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I really enjoyed trying this wine - the intrigue of looking back in time and tasting what the 2010 delivered for the Pegasus Bay team was a real treat. The nose and palate showcase flavours of baked red berry fruits, brown baking spices, mostly integrated oak and an earthy toasty nutty combination. Most importantly there’s pinosity - not only needed, but a hallmark of the Pegasus Bay PN wines at any age. Complex and detailed on the palate with flavours that reflect the nose, a tension and poise from the tannins and acidity then a mix of primary and secondary fruit and integrating wood flavours. Lengthy finish, great balance. Best drinking from today and through 2024. POINTS: 95 RRP $120.00 pegasusbay.com

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Complex, savoury, varietal, youthful and engaging bouquet with aromas of dried herb and ripe red berries, fermented roses and dried cranberry, moderately toasty wood aromas with a touch of wood smoke. On the palate - dry, tense, fruity and textured with fine chalky tannins, medium+ acidity and core of fruit concentration just right for the weight and a mysterious side that Pinot Noir can show. Great balance and lengthy finish. POINTS: 94 RRP $45.90 rapaurasprings.co.nz

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Rapaura Springs ROHE Pinot Noir 2018 Marlborough

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The hue is a little lighter than you might expect for a PN - but it doesn’t effect the bouquet or palate. Aromas of sweet red apple and cherry, roses, ripe cranberry and red plum. There’s a fine layer of oak that underpins these aromas with a baking spice and soft toasty quality. On the palate - fine, delicate, balanced and deceptively complex with fruit and wood flavours that reflect the nose then fine textures from tannins and acidity. A lighter weighted, complete wine. Best enjoyed from later in 2021 through 2025+. POINTS: 93 RRP $36.90 rapaurasprings.co.nz


TASTING NOTES PINOT NOIR

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Rockburn Eight Barrels Pinot Noir 2019 Central Otago

A pure fruited bouquet of Pinot Noir with sweet scents of dark roses and dried raspberry, fresh red cherry and toasty barrel with smoke and dark spices. Very youthful, a tease of complexity and plenty of pinosity. On the palate - plush, fruity, toasty, varietal, dry and textured. Fruit flavours reflect the nose along with dark spices of barrel and a top line of rose. A mix of fruit and wood tannins layered against woody barrel toastiness and oak sweetness. Youthful and needs some cellar time, but also approachable today with excellent food (I’m thinking duck confit). Best drinking from 2022 through 2028+. POINTS: 94 RRP $96.00 rockburn.co.nz

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Stoneleigh Pinot Noir Rapaura Series 2019 Marlborough

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Intensely scented bouquet with aromas of baking spices and red fruit aromas of dark cherry and plum, clove and dried herb. There's a savoury earthy mineral layer adding complexity and depth. Concentrated, youthful and fruity with a firm texture, medium+ acidity and flavours that reflect the nose. Balanced and well made with cellar time available if desired. Best from late 2021 through 2026. POINTS: 93 RRP $25.00 stoneleigh.com

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Tohu Whenua Awa Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017 Marlborough

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Rockburn Pinot Noir 2019 Central Otago

A really lovely bouquet of Pinot Noir with ripe, varietal and engaging aromas of freeze-dried raspberry and baked red cherry, a layer of blackcurrant then a mix of wood spices and gentle smoky oak scents. On the palate - vibrant and full of energy, youthful and tense with palate grabbing acidity, ripe and firmly textured tannins then a core of red fruit flavours that reflect the nose. As always very well made with a lengthy, dry finish. A wine that should be cellared for a year more with best drinking from mid to late 2021 through 2025+. POINTS: 94 RRP $45.00 rockburn.co.nz

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Fine intense bouquet with aromas of spicy French oak, cherries, fresh and dried roses, a silty mineral layer and a touch of salinity. On the palate complex, fine, detailed and captivating with flavours that not only reflect the nose but layer in soft baking spices, red apple skin and cherry. Fine chalky textured tannins, medium acidity, lengthy finish and complex. This is a wine that Pinot Noir drinkers like to discuss for its layers of subtlety and fruit descriptors, textures and best time to open and share. Best drinking from today and through 2027. POINTS: 95 RRP $34.99 tohuwines.co.nz

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Toi Toi Pinot Noir Clutha 2019 Central Otago

Steve Bird Wines Big Barrel Pinot Noir 2018 Marlborough

Complex on the nose with integrated and developing aromas of macerated red cherries and plums, dark rose and baking spcies of toasty oak, earthy and mineral. Flavours of red berries and flowers combine with cinnamon, red berry fruits and toasty wood flavours on the palate. Dusty tannins and medium acidity. Balanced and ready from today and through 2024. POINTS: 92 RRP $35.00 stevebirdwines.com

Te Kairanga John Martin Pinot Noir 2018 Wairarapa

Very precise aromas and flavours of red berries with cherry, red plum and strawberry moments. A lighter toasty oak layer then mineral almost silty soil notes. Lovely core of fruit on the palate contrasts the youthul chalky tannins acid line. Youthful and still coming into balance, but has a lengthy charming finish. Best from 2021 through 2026. POINTS: 93 RRP 49.99 tekairanga.co.nz

Rockburn Eleven Barrels Pinot Noir 2019 Central Otago

Smoky, toasty bouquet with aromas of roasted red berries, plum and wood spices. Complex, youthful and enticing. Flavours of fresh and dried raspberry, spicy preserved cherry, vanilla and clove then a fine dried herb and savoury core. Tannins and acidity are in abundance adding texture and structure. A youthful, approachable, well-made wine that will easily stand the test of time in your cellar, but also enjoyable today with the right food. Best drinking from late 2021 through 2027+. POINTS: 94 RRP $96.00 rockburn.co.nz

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An attractive and enticing bouquet with a savoury dried herb and light red berry fruits aroma pckage. Dark red Christmas cherries, dried raspberry and red apple skin scents. Roses and crushed stone minerals with a light silty edge. Youthful, crisp, fruity, tense and dry on the palate. Flavours reflect the nose with firm tannins and medium+ acidity. Polished and fine, length and well made. Best from 2021 through 2026+. POINTS: 94 RRP $24.00 toitoiwines.co.nz

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TASTING NOTES PINOT NOIR

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Villa Maria Pinot Noir Cellar Selection 2019 Marlborough

Yealands Estate Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019 Marlborough

Aromas of red berries and cherry, red apple and mild wood spices of toasty barrel and vanilla. Flavours of raspberry and red cherry with a light brown spice and mild toasty wood platform. Fine easy tannins and medium+ acidity then flavours that reflect the nose. Well made and ready to enjoy from today and through 2023. POINTS: 91 RRP $24.99 villamariawines.com

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Vibrant and enticing, youthful and ripe fruited bouquet showcasing aromas of wild raspberry and crushed black cherry. There’s a whole-berry carbonic note suggesting super fresh berry aromas with a tinge of bubble-gum. On the palate - equally enticing with flavours of red berries and plums, dark red apple skin and a light savoury mineral layer. Fine easy tannins with medium+ acidity. A youthful refreshing example with lots of upfront fruit flavours Ready to enjoy from today and through 2025+. POINTS: 93 RRP $29.95 yealands.co.nz

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Villa Maria Pinot Noir Single Vineyard Southern Clays 2017 Marlborough

Complex and layered bouquet with a blend of soil and fruit messages then baking spices of oak and aroma textures. On the palate - a core of red fruit flavours from raspberry to cherry and plum precedes textures from firm tannins, medium+ acidity and barrel. Long finish, complex with a silky finish. Best from today and through 2027+. POINTS: 94 RRP $59.99 villamariawines.com

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Yealands Reserve Pinot Noir 2019 Marlborough

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Villa Maria Pinot Noir Single Vineyard Seddon Vineyard 2018 Marlborough

Very seductive aromas of a developing Pinot Noir. Scents of coffee bean and vanilla, dark red berries and English tea, toasty wood and clove. A complete wine on the palate with coarse silk and chalky tannin textures, medium acidity and brown spice of toasty wood. Balalnced and well made, ready to enjoy from today and through 2023. POINTS: 92 RRP $59.99 villamariawines.com

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Villa Maria Organic Pinot Noir Single Vineyard The Attorney 2017 Marlborough

A complex and developing bouquet of Pinot with aromas of dark red berries and matching barrel spices, layers of earthy gravel stones and dense richly scented core. Equally complex and detailed on the palate with youthfully firm tannins, plenty of acidity still and flavours that mirror the nose. A cellar wine still with best drinking from 2021 through 2027+. POINTS: 95 RRP $69.99 villamariawines.com

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Ripe, fruity, varietal and unctuous bouquet with aromas of dark red apple skin and plum, some cherry moments then sweet vanilla and sweet wood tones of oak. Quite complex yet very youthful still. On the palate - equally fruity and savoury with flavours of plums and dark cherry, some toasty barrel flavours, clove and vanilla moments and a fine savoury core. Fine tannins and fresh acid line adding crispness and length. Best drinking from 2021 through 2025. POINTS: 92 RRP $22.95 yealands.co.nz

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Zephyr Pinot Noir 2019 Marlborough

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There’s no mistaking the power and purity of fruit in the bouquet of this wine - raspberry and dark cherry, moments of baking spices and a whisper of toast, plum, rose and red apple. On the palate - an initial silky mouth-feel gives way to a very young wine with a vibrant, tense and engaging package of textures and flavours. Ripe tannins are abundant, offering poise and tension. Acidity adding its own messages of freshness and structure, and with a long finish suggesting it’s okay to wait till mid 2021 before opening and will cellar well through 2025+. POINTS: 95 RRP $32.99 zephyrwine.com


TASTING NOTES PORT & RIESLING 1

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ort comes under two classifications in the wine world – sweet and fortified. While it is possible to find a dry port, like some aged tawnies, most have a noticeable sugar level that’s disguised somewhat by the high alcohol. All ports are partially fermented red wines made with the addition of a brandy (grape) spirit rendering them both sweet and (alcohol) hot. The combination of dark red berry fruit flavours, figs and plums, spices and warmth from alcohol with moderate acidity make the wine taste fantastic, but have always made wine and food combinations tricky. The classic port and cheese pairing is reliable but can also be uninteresting. Using port to pair with milk or dark chocolate, black forest chocolate cake, heavy winter stews with spice can be a fun way to appreciate these wines. The best match I’ve encountered recently with port is pickled walnuts. Longview Estate Gumdiggers port, Mazurans vintage ports and Judge Rock The Verdict port are three exceptional examples from New Zealand.

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Judge Rock The Verdict 2018 Central Otago

Enticing aromas of stewed plum and baked fig, blackcurrant and violet. Fruity, warm, creamy and delicious with flavours of figs and prunes, dark berries and more plums, compote, baking spice and vanilla pod. Long finish, balanced and well made. Best drinking from today. POINTS: 94 RRP $55.00 judgerock.co.nz

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Karikari Estate Port NV Northland

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Mondillo Vineyard Riesling 2020 Central Otago

An enticing expression of Riesling with pure fruit aromas of mandarin and white blossoms, ripe meyer lemon and fresh crunchy red apple. Off-dry on the palate with a delicate layer of sweetness, a tense and youthful mouthfeel from contrasting acidity and flavours of citrus, apple, sweet flowers and mandarin. Lengthy finish and well made. Best drink today and through 2030. POINTS: 94 RRP $28.00 mondillo.com

A tawny coloured port with aromas and flavours of earth, forest, walnut, spice, apricot and dried fig. Sweet, full-bodied, tense and dry with flavours that mirror the nose as well as raisin and fig preserve, mushroom and old apple. Fine tannins and medium acidity. Ready to enjoy from today. POINTS: 88 RRP $35.00 karikariestate.co.nz

Longview Estate Gumdiggers Port NV Northland

Northland Classic port aromas of plums and spices, dark wood and raisin, alcohol and prune. Full-bodied with creamy textures on the palate and flavours that mirror the nose. Fine tannins, medium acidity, concentrated, sweet, plenty of alcohol and ready. A delicious example to be enjoyed with friends. POINTS: 94 RRP $45.00 longviewwines.co.nz

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Taylor's Vintage Port 2018 Portugal

Aromas are distinctive, fruity, intense and classic with scents of blackcurrant, raisin, blackberry, stewed plum, concentrated violets and sweet oak. On the palate - fullbodied, warm and creamy, flavours of dark berries, fruit spice and dried fruits arrive before the heat of alcohol and grip of tannin. A delicious, very youthful wine. Best drinking from today and through the next 20+ years. Available from March 2021 POINTS: 95 RRP $199.99 taylor.pt

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Pegasus Bay Aged Release Riesling 2009 North Canterbury

Intense, striking bouquet with toasty aromas, suggestions of dried red apple, preserved lemon, lime, marmalade, preserved flowers and crushed white rocks. An off-dry, soft creamy texture, flavours of apple, marmalade, lemon, orange peel, flowers and white soil. Medium+ acidity. Concentrated, persistent and totally delicious with a long finish. Best drinking from today and through 2025+. POINTS: 96 RRP $40.00 pegasusbay.com

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Stoneleigh Riesling 2020 Marlborough

Sweet scented aromas of pears, mandarin and lemon. Spring blossoms and a fresh wet stone mineral core. Off-dry in style with a lower alcohol level enhances the delicious core of fruit contrasted by a refreshing acid line leadng to a lengthy persistent finish. Balanced, well made and ready to enjoy from today and through 2025+. POINTS: 92 RRP $16.00 stoneleigh.com

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f a wine could be the perfect aperitif, a surprise with food, a discussion enhancer and doorway to palate adventure then Riesling would be that wine. Over the years I’ve served bone-dry through off-dry and exceedingly sweet styles as pre-dinner wines, and introduced diners and students of wine to dessert-style Riesling as first course wine with spicy dishes. Riesling’s versatility as a food pairing wine is only surpassed by its complexity, breadth and the depth of flavour it develops through bottle-ageing. It’s also classified as an aromatic variety with aromas of flowers or blossoms, sometimes some kerosene flavours as it ages, but almost always flavours of green apple and lemon. Some of my favourite Aotearoa expressions smell and taste like mandarin and lime-flower. Riesling can age for decades with lower to moderate alcohol and acidity fastening together the fruit and structural elements. There are simply too many fine wines to list as exemplars however the Prophet’s Rock or Pegasus Bay Bel Canto are fantastic options to seek out.

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CAM'S BEST OF 2020

t s e B s C aI m’ t has been an eventful and remarkable year for Aotearoa’s wine sector – it started with the excitement of an expected great vintage, with vineyard teams and winemakers primed to harvest fruit in pristine condition. Then Covid-19 arrived, challenging the sector in ways previously not considered possible. This, however, was Aotearoa at its best – families and communities came together and stepped up to get those precious grapes in safely and with exquisite attention to detail. The uniqueness of the harvest story is already showing in the wines - teamwork and skilled winemaking meaning a number of the early release wines are showing great promise - some exceptionally so. As a wine writer and reviewer of all things beverage, I encounter many expressions of wine, so selecting nine of the great wines of New Zealand is difficult with so many remarkable and wellcrafted examples available. This year I’m looking for purity of fruit, complexity and concentration, great mouthfeel and textures that deliver completeness, great length and a memorable finish. This is obviously not a definitive list, rather examples of some standout NZ wine I would like to share.

OF 2020

Top Chardonnay – Kumeu River Maté’s Vineyard Chardonnay 2019, Auckland.

Tense, ripe, pure, mineral, finesse, charm and beguiling. This is the best Maté’s I have encountered - the vintage says it all - aromas and flavours of apples and peaches, grapefruit and lemon then layers of new-ish wood weaving in texture, harmony, tension and length. The acidity is ripe and almost sweet to the taste, also suggesting a light saline note. The palate is full and lengthy, pure and generous. Put your name down for a case. Best drinking likely beginning 2022 through 2032.

Top Sparkling – Quartz Reef Méthode Traditionnelle 2015 Blanc de Blancs 2015, Central Otago.

There’s no mistaking the complexity, delicacy and detail in the bouquet. Aromas of sweet citrus, white flowers and white-fleshed tree fruits. The core of extended lees autolysis captures a toasty brioche and whole wheat bread aroma. Fantastic on the palate with even more complexity than the nose suggests, flavours that mirror the nose and a fine mousse. Lengthy finish. Excellent drinking, excellent gift.

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Photo: Janet Blackman


CAM'S BEST OF 2020

Top Pinot Noir – Te Whare Ra TWR Clayvin Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017, Marlborough.

A totally captivating, perfumed and beguiling bouquet of Pinot Noir. Complex, layered and detailed aromas of red flowers and minerality, a quiet, distant white truffle and mushroom scent then red fruits of plum and cherry, some raspberry and small red apple skin. The oak story is one of sweet clove and soft vanilla, a Brazil nut note and moderate toastiness. On the palate - equally complex and exciting with all the flavours described now merging into one harmonious storyline. Chalky, moderately intense energised tannins with medium+ acidity provide the foundation, adding complexity too. Long finish - a stunning example. Best enjoyed from early 2022 through 2030.

Top Cabernet Sauvignon – Villa Maria Ngakirikiri Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Gimblett Gravels, Hawke’s Bay.

whisper of cider. On the palate - delicious, dry, fresh, textured and packed with flavours of baked apple and pear, white flowers, wet chalk, creaming soda and spice. High acidity, fresh and focused, balanced and well made with a very fine mealy textured finish. A wine that will last in your cellar till 2030 gaining toasty and more complex attributes as it ages.

Top Riesling – Misha’s Vineyard Limelight Riesling 2017, Central Otago.

White blossoms and lime, green apple and lemon, lime-flower, white peach and fresh pear d’Anjou. A whisper of spice and cool stone minerality. On the palate - an off-dry style with a tease of residual sweetness that is immediately contrasted by focused, ripe and refreshing acidity - leading to a just off-dry finish. The lower alcohol holds all the flavours and satin textures in place. Fantastic balance and length. Best from today and through 2025+.

Top Sauvignon Blanc – Bel Echo by Clos Henri Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Broadbridge, Marlborough.

Powerful, complex, varietal and intensely perfumed bouquet. Blackberry, blackcurrant, dark plums and toasty almost sweet spice of oak. Violets and boot polish, clove and Asian spices, fresh cigar tobacco and baked bell pepper. Fullbodied, complex and dry. Flavours mirror the nose, but double in concentration and detail. An abundance of fruit and wood tannins, medium+ acidity and a core of pure varietal fruit flavours. Young, still developing and will do so for the next 10 to 15 years. Lengthy complex finish. Decant for service if drinking before 2025. Best from 2025 through 2040.

I love the bouquet of this wine - it smells of place and time first, then Sauvignon Blanc with a sweet wet stone minerality then citrus and tropical fruit moments, soft quiet herb layers and a light salty sea air quality. On the palate - dry, textured, fruity, layered, varietal and fresh. Flavours mirror the nose with a contrasting youthful acid line. Excellent texture and length, balanced and well made. Drinking well today and through 2025+.

Top Pinot Gris – Neudorf Moutere Pinot Gris 2019, Nelson.

Top Syrah – Trinity Hill Homage 2018, Gimblett Gravels, Hawke’s Bay.

White nectarine and pear, apple and white blossoms, plush, fruity, varietal and attractive bouquet. On the palate - white spices and brown pear, warming alcohol with contrasting refreshing acidity, a core of fruit, superfine chalky tannins, mineral and floral. This pure fruited wine has a lot to offer with balance, weight, fruit, spice and generosity all evenly paced through the wine, quite complex and definitely fine. Lengthy finish, youthful and rewarding. Drink now and through 2023.

Top Chenin Blanc – Black Estate Home Chenin Blanc 2019, North Canterbury.

Classic, fruity and very fragrant with aromas of flowers and baked apple, an oat-cereal note then pear and a

Day one: Fabulous bouquet. Youthful yet entirely engaging. Pure yet complex. Primary aromas of forest berries and baked mushroom, raspberry and blackcurrant, fruit spices and pepper then toasty wood, near new oak aromas are trumped by the core of fruit and concentration. As the wine opens up in glass it organically becomes more complex, but remains youthful and engaging. On the palate complex and as equally primary as the nose suggests, dark fruits, raspberry and blackcurrant, sweet meats and field mushroom, bracken and dark spices. An abundance of tannin and acidity - firm, chalky, ripe and resolved. Long finish, complex and young. No need to open till 2022 at the earliest, decant for service, will last in your cellar till 2030 - at least. W

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p o r D t Las THE

CAM REFLECTS ON A CHALLENGING YEAR AND ROLLS OUT SOME SUPER SHARP NEW ENDORSEMENT STICKERS

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wenty twenty has been quite a year – one that has challenged Aotearoa’s citizens to add some new habits to our daily lives, to stay at home and bake bread, raid the cellar, buy online and generally come to grips with change on a global scale. I have spent more time in front of a computer screen participating in webinars, Zooms and lecturing university students than I ever expected. Fortunately, it didn’t stop the wine sector from finding new ways to reach their customer base, growing it too, increasing online sales and adding another layer to their business model. I have also been busy discovering new ways to reach an audience of wine enthusiasts whilst supporting the wine sector through my wine review website – CamDouglasMS.com. My reviews are always complimentary as a courtesy to our wine industry. This means every review is honest, detailed and not advertorial. A new addition to the website, and for you, are the endorsements alongside each wine

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WORLD OF WINE – SUMMER 2020/21

reviewed. You may start to see the distinctive Mustang yellow and black stickers on bottles in printed material delivered from wine companies, online, on posters and on the bottles themselves in retail stores. These are not competition award stickers, but a highly visual endorsement of great winemaking. There are four tiers in the system to guide you – RECOMMENDED for wines that you can buy with confidence knowing they will taste great today; PREMIUM for wines with special qualities, a 90 – 92 score; EXCELLENT for wines with concentration, texture, character and quality, a 93 – 94 score and OUTSTANDING for wines that are impeccable and cellar worthy, 95 points or higher. The 2019 and 2020 vintages throughout Aotearoa have delivered some exceptional wines for you to discover, many of which are only just being released. My wife Janet and I have a wine motto – drink only fantastic wine. Perhaps this could be your motto too. W


Whether you’re new to enjoying wine or a seasoned connoisseur. Whether you

TIMELESS.

wine sweet, dry, light or full

SMOOTH.

GENEROUS.

LIVELY.

PL AYFUL.

prefer white or red or like your bodied - there’s always been a Giesen wine for you. Now with a refreshed look, the Giesen crest remains a tried and true mark of quality. Wherever you see it, you’re sharing in 40 years of passion and craft. So, the next time you choose wine, look for the mark of quality.

W E N H S OK E R LO F


UNTAMED, UNMATCHED,

UNCHARTED. Discover a place between the snow and the sea. Where mountain ranges give way to rivers, where sunshine reigns supreme, and where the Giesen brothers pay tribute to the best of Marlborough. Experience the heart of this beautiful, untameable region. Join us, on an Uncharted journey.

THERE’S A PLACE WHERE THE SNOW MEETS THE SEA, AND THE SUN SHINES LIKE YOU WOULDN’T BELIEVE. MARLBOROUGH’S A REGION THAT BEGS TO BE EXPLORED.

SO, BEHIND EACH WINE IS A STORY THAT BROUGHT US HERE. EACH DROP AN EXPRESSION OF OUR DESIRE TO DISCOVER. AND AMIDST ALL THAT WE KNOW, AND ALL THAT’S TO COME, WE INVITE YOU TO JOIN US ON THIS UNCHARTED JOURNEY.

SAUVIGNON BLANC

THEO, ALEX AND MARCEL GIESEN

MARLBOROUGH NEW ZEALAND THERE’S A PLACE WHERE THE SNOW MEETS THE SEA, AND THE SUN SHINES LIKE YOU WOULDN’T BELIEVE. MARLBOROUGH’S A REGION THAT BEGS TO BE EXPLORED.

SO, BEHIND EACH WINE IS A STORY THAT BROUGHT US HERE. EACH DROP AN EXPRESSION OF OUR DESIRE TO DISCOVER. AND AMIDST ALL THAT WE KNOW, AND ALL THAT’S TO COME, WE INVITE YOU TO JOIN US ON THIS UNCHARTED JOURNEY.

SAUVIGNON BLANC

THEO, ALEX AND MARCEL GIESEN

MARLBOROUGH NEW ZEALAND

AVAILABLE WHEREVER GREAT WINES ARE SOLD, DISCOVER OUR STORY AT GIESENWINES.CO.NZ/UNCHARTED