World Of Wine Winter 2021

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WINTER 2021 NZ$9.95

THREE TOP CHEFS

Their Recipes, Cameron’s Wine Matches

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WINES TASTED AND RATED

ISSN 2624-3342

9 772624

334007

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Vineyard Team Members – Furry & Feathered

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New Zealand Winemakers to watch


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WINTER 2021 CONTENTS

PUBLISHED BY The Intermedia Group NZ Pty Ltd PO Box 109 342 Newmarket, Auckland New Zealand MANAGING DIRECTOR Paul Wootton pwootton@intermedia.com.au GROUP PUBLISHER Craig Hawtin-Butcher craig@intermedia.com.au EDITOR Tessa Nicholson tessa.nicholson@me.com SALES DIRECTOR Wendy Steele wsteele@intermedianz.co.nz +64 21300473 DIGITAL AND PRINT COORDINATOR Eclypse Lee elee@intermedianz.co.nz ART DIRECTOR Adrian Tipper atipper@intermedia.com.au

32 04 A Word From The Master

Musings from New Zealand’s only Master Sommelier

06 Fur and Feathers on the Team

Meet some of the furry and feathered vineyard helpers in New Zealand

14 Fermentation Vessels

It is not just variety of grape that influences wine, the fermentation vessel does as well

18 The Headaches of Wine Intolerance

Find out why some people react to certain styles of wine

22 Winemakers To Watch

Cameron introduces you to 10 of this country’s winemakers that are worth keeping an eye on

30 Recipes From Three Top Chefs

Bradley Hornby, Marcus Berndt and Monique Fiso. Plus, the perfect wine matches

36 Tasting Notes

38 Chardonnay 44 Sauvignon Blanc 48 Pinot Gris 50 Pinot Noir 55 The Best of the Rest – Red 58 The Best of the Rest – Rosé, Aromatic, and Lesser Known Varietals

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Cameron Douglas, MS: A WORD FROM

th e Master I t’s hard to believe we’re already half way through 2021. Fireplaces and outdoor heaters at home and restaurants are on, we’ve unpacked the winter woollies and finally accepted the reality that cold weather is well and truly here. The good news is we can move around our beautiful country with no restrictions. We can even head-away to Australia and the Pacific Islands if we want to and with only a few easy rules like wear a mask when sharing public transport – life is well, pretty good. Since the summer edition I have continued to meet the goal of traveling to every wine region in Aotearoa, speak with winemakers, taste wine and keep up to speed with quality and styles produced. 2021 is a smaller vintage, down 20 percent - 30 percent for most and up to 50 percent for some producers. The quality however is very high and we should expect some exceptional wines when released. I’ll be sure to keep you informed with reviews and

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tasting notes through The Shout magazine, World of Wine summer 2021 and every week at camdouglasms.com Having tasted quite a few samples from tanks, barrels, concrete eggs and other fermentation and ageing vessels, the quality and concentration is very promising. Our wine sector is mostly boutique with over 650 producers of the 717 we have making between 1000 and 20,000 cases of wine each year. This is a very small amount and with a marketplace that remains fiercely competitive I encourage you to buy and support local as often as you can. With thanks to the team behind the scenes – Janet Blackman Douglas, Wendy Steel, Tessa Nicholson, Eclipse Lee, Glengarry Wines New Zealand and Wine Central, I hope you enjoy the read. We really are blessed to be living in Aotearoa. Cameron Douglas, MS


s p i s Small e recent Organic W up at th ine A ned a war e l c ds nes i of W Ne e g w d E Ze e ala c ra r n e

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NEW ZEALAND WINE WINS The 2021 International Wine Challenge held in Australia has recognised the Yealands Estate Single Vineyard P.G.R. 2020 with a Gold Medal. P.G.R. is a blend of Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer and Riesling. Makes for an excellent wine to pair with food.

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NEWS FROM THE NEW ZEALAND WINE INDUSTRY AND HAPPENINGS ON THE HORIZON

ORGANIC WINE AWARDS NEW ZEALAND Riedel Vineyard of the Year - Terrace Edge Riedel Wine of the Show - Quartz Reef Méthode Traditionnelle Vintage 2015 Blanc de Blancs Sustainable Vineyard of the Year - Carrick Champion Pinot Noir - Rippon, Rippon Mature Vine Pinot Noir

Terrace Edge Wines cleaned up at the recent Organic Wine Awards of New Zealand.

Champion Sauvignon Blanc - Amisfield Sauvignon Blanc 2020 Champion Riesling - Terrace Edge Liquid Geography Riesling 2020 Champion Pinot Gris - Terrace Edge Pinot Gris 2020

WHAT’S ON Winetopia Christchurch

Champion Chardonnay - Greystone Chardonnay 2019

9/10 July winetopia.co.nz

Champion Sparking - Quartz Reef Méthode Traditionnelle Vintage 2015 Blanc de Blancs

Pasture and Pinot Workshop 11/12 September campglenorchy.co.nz/events

Champion Syrah - Greystone Syrah 2018 Champion Rosé - Terrace Edge Rosé 2020 EXPLORING FOOD AND WINE HARMONY Books about food authored by a well-known cook are easy to find in bookstores and online, so too are publications about wine. Combining the two ideas into one comprehensive guide with insights into some of the best modern wines of the world, alongside captivating food is rare. Written by 67 Pall Mall’s Head of Wine and Master Sommelier Ronan Sayburn and Head Chef Marcus Verberne, Wine and Food, The Perfect Match features a comprehensive 350-page study of the world’s great wines, how to drink them and what foods to pair them with. More than just a special gift or bookshelf filler it is a new benchmark for the serious wine and food connoisseur. ateliernash.co.nz

Hawke’s Bay Wine Auction

18 September Toitoi, Hawke’s Bay Arts and Events Centre hawkesbaywineauction.co.nz

Organic Wine Week 20-26 September organicwinenz.com

First Light Wine and Food Festival Gisborne 24 October firstlightwineandfood.co.nz

Toast Martinborough 2021

Back after the event was cancelled last year. 21 November – Martinborough toastmartinborough.co.nz

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The late Bogart from Misha's Vineyard 6

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Photo Credit: Kevin Judd

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FURRY AND FEATHERED TEAM MEMBERS

Fur and Feathers on the Team Co-written by Janet Blackman Douglas

THROUGHOUT AOTEAROA’S VINEYARDS THERE ARE MANY FURRY AND FEATHERED WORKERS WHO PLAY AN INTEGRAL PART. CAMERON INTRODUCES YOU TO A FEW OF THEM.

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ecently we said our last goodbyes to a special friend. Bogart was a beautiful black Standard Poodle who belonged to Misha and Andy Wilkinson, of Misha’s Vineyard. We met Bogart on the day we first visited Misha and Andy many years back – he trotted elegantly towards us, and greeted us as valued friends. At the time, Misha introduced him as the Customer Relations Manager for the Vineyard, and he performed this role brilliantly, with a style uniquely his own. Over the years, he welcomed visitors and guests, the famous and the fans, and each of us no doubt felt we were special to him, such was his manner. It started me thinking about those other four legged or feathered team members, so important to the vineyards and wineries of Aotearoa – we spend a lot of time visiting the regions and these hard working, enthusiastic and conscientious animals are frequent highlights of our time with the crews. So this feature is a tribute to Bogart – we miss you, buddy, and were honoured to have you in our lives. W

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MOUNT EDWARD WINERY Gracie, English Staffordshire Bull Terrier Located in Gibbston, Central Otago, Mount Edward wines are crafted by Duncan Forsyth. His Pinot Noir, Gamay, Pinot Blanc, Gris, and fortified wines are exceptional. Pro tip, be sure to try the Gruner Veltliner, it’s one of my favourites and excellent with seafood pie. One of the key Mount Edward team members is Gracie – an English Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Gracie is a pure bred whose show name is Grace Esmeralda. Gracie’s main role at Mount Edward is pest control – at the time of writing this her possum eradication count was 308 (and too many rabbits to keep track of ). She works hard and rests often; “apart from snoring whilst awake, burping and lots of flatulence she sleeps about fifteen hours a day.” When she is let out of the house in the evening she will find possums - those on the ground are quickly dispatched, or if she spots one up a tree apparently she’ll stay there barking until Duncan comes to assist. “Pretty annoying when I’m tired or it’s late.” Gracie has averaged one possum per week since she was brought to the property nearly six years ago and patrols through the home section and vineyard, and also carries out pest control along the Bannockburn Road for Felton Road, Terra Sancta and Two Paddocks – this is her community work.

Chickens have the run of Yealands Vineyards.

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She was trained for pest control and hunts every single night, says Duncan. “No matter what time it is, if she starts barking, I’m the one to grab the gun, take care of business then back to bed otherwise the rest of the household are quite unhappy.” In terms of Gracie’s contribution to organic and bio-dynamic practices Duncan puts it thus; “Our vege garden is an outstanding, perfect holistic system unless you are a possum

Gracie is dedicated to pest control, eradicating both possums and rabbits

or rabbit (dug into the soil). Keeps our food bill way down with great crops. Gracie always tries to eat the head (of the possum or rabbit) and if we don’t find it in time, she’ll eat the rest too, bar the feet and guts.” Gracie is a valued member of the Mount Edward winery team for marketing and as a visitor liaison officer as well. “All systems need an apex predator - we are lucky we have one that will also wear a unicorn costume.” Legend.


FURRY AND FEATHERED TEAM MEMBERS

MATAHIWI ESTATE Brad and George, Kunekune Pigs Matahiwi Estate and Winery are located in Masterton, in the Wairarapa and produce some delicious Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Syrah along with a Rosé and sparkling wine. Be sure to try the Holly South Series Chardonnay 2019 – it’s excellent. Brad Pig and George Kune are the kunekune Pigs who live and work on the

property. They got their names as a result of a social media competition (turns out the “real” George Clooney is fond of pigs – who knew!). George and Brad’s main job is to keep grass under control and according to Fleur, the sales and marketing manager at Matahiwi, they do an excellent job. They enjoy being alongside staff as often as possible. George and Brad’s poop is mostly collected and used in composting.

“They have a fantastic peaceful attitude, are social and friendly and are excellent at greeting and entertaining visitors,” says Fleur. I met Brad and George when we visited, they sat for me on command and enjoyed a good back scratch. From Fleur; “Our pigs are great for the mental health of all the staff, they are part of the family, are loyal friends and are pretty good at keeping our vineyard workers company, especially at pruning time.”

YEALANDS WINE Chickens Yealands Vineyards and state of the art winery is in the Awatere Valley, Marlborough. They grow and produce a wide range of varieties and styles. Be sure to try their State of Flux Sauvignon Blanc and Tempranillo, as well as classic Awatere expressions of Pinot Noir, Gris and Gewürztraminer. Bio-diversity is a large part of the vineyard management philosophy at Yealands, from a native plant regeneration program attracting native bird life, to a butterfly area, as well as using baled vine cuttings to power the furnaces that heat and cool the winery. There is also a collection of animals with pigs, sheep and over a hundred Brown Shaver free-range chickens. The chickens are too numerous for individual naming - they roam free on the vineyard and are known as the “over-friendly

chickens” because “they love visitors and will happily hop into your car when you are not looking, hoping to find something to eat,” says Susanna Mayer, brand manager for Yealands. The chooks have hutches located throughout the Seaview vineyard and there is a dedicated grounds person who looks after them. Food scraps from the winery lunch-room are part of the their diet, also helping to reduce food waste. Happy chickens can produce a lot of eggs on a daily basis and these ones are definitely very happy. So much so that dozens of eggs are made available to the local community kitchens and charity groups on request and at other times are distributed amongst staff. The chooks main job is grass grub control, but over the years alternative natural ways to help control pest insects have emerged so now they are part visitor liaison, part food scraps control and community protein food supply.

Is it George Kune or Brad Pig? The kunekune are staff favourites at Matahiwi Estate.

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CHURTON WINES Xena and Gordon, Clydesdale Horses Sam Weaver and his team at Churton Wines make world class Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Viognier and Petit Manseng. The certified organic and bio-dynamically farmed property requires specific care and attention to soil and vine health - undervine management on the vineyard is a constant challenge with weed and grass build-up difficult to shift. “We have always done this by hand and it’s bloody hard work,” says Sam. This situation will be addressed with two new members of the team now on site - five-year-old Clydesdale horses Xena and Gordon. Xena is new to the job of being a working horse and is currently training with handler Emma Rossignol. Emma, whose job title is “plough person and experienced

skilled vineyard worker,” trained in Saint Emilion, France and she is in charge of all the duties for the horses, soil management, under vine mowing and inter-row controls. Gordon is no stranger to working with people; before coming to Churton he was a Bush horse, bringing out game from the forests and hills in Southland. Xena and Gordon’s main role will be to pull the plough, something humans would struggle to do. Ploughing a vineyard requires a machine, “tractors are noisy and smelly, they compact the soil and the ploughing is a twoperson task. With a horse, it’s a one-person job,” says Sam. He also says that using a horse between the vines lowers soil compaction, as well as the carbon footprint. It’s cleaner, more precise, easier to control and there’s no vine damage.

Soil biology will improve with reduced competition around the vines, the water demand will also decrease when vine’s surface roots are removed. I asked what happens to the horse manure as large horses do eat and poop a lot. “Interestingly, we need to remove the manure as it will disrupt the biology of the soil too much, but we end up returning it once we break it down through our compost program.” Sam and the team are excited to have Xena and Gordon as new friends and team members - part of a biodynamic farming system. “Our horses ‘close the loop,’ we feed them from what is produced on the vineyard (e.g. hay). They add a caring, spiritual layer to our family. Horses have huge hearts and we humans love looking after them. It breeds warmth and community - it’s fun hugging and talking to a horse every day.”

Xena in training with handler Emma Rossignol.

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FURRY AND FEATHERED TEAM MEMBERS

Tasked with weed and grass control, the Himmeslfeld sheep show an interest in the end product.

HIMMELSFELD VINEYARD Sheep Beth Eggers owns the vineyard, manages the vines and makes the wine at her Himmelsfeld Vineyard in the Upper Moutere, Nelson. There’s a beautiful little church on the property along with a wine tasting room for visitors. Be sure to try her Chardonnay and aged Sauvignon Blanc, as well as her Cabernet Sauvignon. When we visited, we enjoyed time with her Romney sheep who were keeping the vineyard rows tidy and grass very short. Hermann Seifried, a pioneer vigneron of the region, told Beth she was the first to introduce sheep into a vineyard. This was back in 1995 when Beth adopted two sheep onto the property. “I visited a sheep farm in Gore back in 1994, there was an orphan lamb there and I asked if I could bring her home. 1000 kms later we were back. I named her Grace, after my mother.” A nurse colleague of Beth’s

happened to have an orphaned black lamb and Hanover ended up coming home with Beth to keep Grace company. Many of the sheep bear the names of Beth’s ancestors (her forebears came from Germany, near Hanover) – there’s Hansel, Liesel, Gretchen, Heidi, Louis and Lillibet. The sheep on the farm are mostly descendants of Grace, and there is usually a (new) Hanover. “I frequently get a new ram, to keep the genetics healthy,” says Beth. The sheep on the property are mainly tasked with weed and grass control and some leaf plucking so there’s no need for weed sprays or mowing. There’s actually reduced spraying overall and less disease risk as a result. Beth speaks of her relationships with the sheep and how intensely they mother their lambs. She says the sheep communicate with each other constantly with their bleats and she is familiar with the individual voices. She

also speaks of their gentleness and general defencelessness, and enjoys leaving the sheep mothers with woolly fleece for the warmth and protection of their little ones. From her experience over the years, Beth’s worked out that when the sheep get keen on the fruit, she knows to get them out so nets can go on, as it won’t be long till the birds turn up. She marvels at how gentle they are at leaf plucking and how they balance their diets between grass and leaves. They follow her in the vineyard and eat the sweet cane trimmings as quickly as she can trim. In the spring she puts them in before pollination takes place, to open-up the canopy a little. There’s a definite team/family relationship here and Beth speaks of ensuring the sheep are cared for properly, including with adequate water readily available, emphasising that the relaxed animals live a more natural life, and are less likely to stress eat and do damage.

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FURRY AND FEATHERED TEAM MEMBERS

TE WHARE RA WINES Thelma, Louise and Harry Anna and Jason Flowerday make exceptional Pinot Noir, Riesling, Gewürztraminer and a white blend at their Te Whare Ra Wines property in Renwick, Marlborough. Thelma and Louise are Red Devon cows and fulltime workers at TWR. There is a third bovine member as well. “He’s also a Red Devon and my favourite - Prince Harry,” says Anna. I can hear the smile in her voice as she says his name. Thelma and Louise were given their names by Anna, after the characters in the movie of the same name. “Because they are both red heads and completed a road trip to get to their home here on the vineyard.” The cows are on the property year-round forming part of the closed loop philosophy of bio-dynamic farming which the Flowerday’s have been practising for many years. “We give them two rows of grass a day to work. Every second row is for growing cover crops. The cow manure is put back into the vineyard soils as part of the compost program along with vine prunings and compost teas to return organic matter to the ground. “We practice this as part of our regenerative agriculture philosophy.” Thelma, Louise and Harry are a lot lighter than Hereford cows so there’s less compaction of the soil. “Cows are a lot smarter than sheep,” says Anna, “they know what’s going on, are curious about visitors, new cars and trucks that come onto the property, they love their routine.” Controlling the cattle movements around the vineyard each day is done using electrical tape so their chewing chores can be completed in a systematic fashion. After a hard day’s work these four-legged team members are rested in a paddock next to the house and winery.

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Louise

Thelma


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Fermenting Style FROM STEEL TO OAK, TERRACOTTA TO PLASTIC. CAMERON EXPLAINS THE DIFFERENCES IN FERMENTATION TECHNIQUES.

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ine quality and style are determined by several key factors including farming philosophy, vineyard management, vintage conditions, quality of fruit at harvest, and winemaking. The winemaking part sounds simple, but is in fact the product of many hundreds of decisions made by winemakers throughout a vintage. Fermentation decisions including choice of vessel, size and shape, what it is made from and length of time an emerging wine spends inside a container for ageing all contribute to style, complexity and quality. Fermentation is an immediate reaction between wine yeasts and the simple liquid sugars of glucose and fructose released from crushed grape berries. The yeast itself can be from the skin of the grape or introduced as a particular strain. Used on its own, the yeast from the skin of grapes causes a natural or wild ferment reaction producing aroma and flavour esters that can add texture and complexity in wine often reflecting the environment they originate from. Some winemakers use a piedde-cuve method using wild yeast to start a ferment in the vineyard first before transferring the must into the winery. The next vital step is the size, shape and material of the containers used to ferment wine, it is critical to the outcomes of quality and style. >>

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WOOD Wine barrels are very common for fermenting and ageing wine and range in size from 50 litre upwards. The most common you’ll encounter in a winery are 226 litre Bordeaux barrels, 228 litre Burgundy barrels, 500 litre Puncheons, 600 litre Demi-Muids and 900-1000 litre Fuders. There are even Cigares or cigar shaped barrels or straight sided shapes starting at 2000 litres capacity. So long as they are kept water tight barrels can be used for fermenting, storing and ageing wine. Oak is the favoured wood for barrels with French, American, Hungarian and Slavonian commonly used. Barrels provide a unique environment for wine, allowing mico-oxygenation to take place by letting tiny amounts of air through the sides of the barrel into the wine over an extended period of time. If the inside of the barrel is toasted (charred by fire) then the flavour of the toast is absorbed into the wine as well. Brown spices, raw sugar, coconut and sweet raw

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wood aromas and flavours can be discovered in a wine using barrels. The intensity of wood or toasted wood flavours decreases each time a barrel is used to a point where no wood or toast flavour remains – this is called neutral oak. A barrel can always be used for microoxygenation which in turn builds complexity into wine. A neutral barrel can also be used to keep the spent yeast, called lees, to add complexity and texture. The larger the barrel the less surface to juice ratio, yet no matter the size they all contribute to the flavour and texture of a finished wine. Though not common in New Zealand it is possible to suspend strings of new oak wood pieces inside a neutral barrel allowing wood flavours to be included.

PLASTIC Fermentation containers made of plastic are more common than you might think. Their light weight makes them easy to move around a vineyard or winery, they can be covered or left open-top. Standing alongside using a ladder or platform makes is easy for piegage

The use of eggs or egg shaped containers to ferment and age wine is becoming more common in New Zealand.

Photo Tony Bish Wines.

STEEL Stainless steel tanks are a common and modern vessel for fermentation. The size and number required depend on the capacity and needs of a winery. They range in size from 250 to 150,000 litre, sometimes bigger, ensuring volume wine production and uniformity of style is easily achieved through large capacity tanks. Steel tanks of this kind typically include heating and cooling coils to control the fermentation cycle. If a wine is expected to have an oak influence the juice can be transferred to wine barrels for ageing and this is the more common practice in New Zealand. Alternatively, large planks of oak can be suspended inside a steel tank adding wood flavour. Oak chips of varying sizes and toast levels can also be used.

EARTH The use of eggs or egg-shaped containers to ferment and age wine is becoming more common in New Zealand. Qvevri, Amphora, Tinaja or egg-shaped earthenware containers can be traced back several thousand years to Georgia, Roman times and early Spain. Understanding how these containers contribute to the flavour and texture of wine back then is unknown, but they were the common vessel for storing wine and were often buried underground or near the surface in cool areas. One modern version of the amphora are eggs made from a special type of clay, concrete, wood or steel. Only two wooden egg-shaped barrels are in New Zealand with an increasing number made of concrete. These vessels are not about oxygen or material flavour ingress into wine, like barrels, but the use of natural and very minute convection currents caused by yeast and the heat of fermentation in a near anerobic environment. This is turn develops texture and flavour synergies. The use of and integration synergies between grape skin, juice, whole bunch grapes, yeast and the forces of container environment deliver wines of enormous complexity with each contributing component decided by the winemaker. Eggs and Qvevri containers produce individual wines with each new vintage delivering something special to be discovered.


Brown spices, raw sugar, coconut and sweet raw wood aromas and flavours can be discovered in a wine using barrels.

(pushing the cap of floating skins back into the juice during fermentation) or remontage (pumping the juice from the bottom of the vessel back over the top of the skins). They are vessels of convenience not show and assist in winemaking efficiencies for red or white wines. GLASS No longer common at commercial wineries glass containers for fermentation allow the winemaker to observe the activity of yeast and juice reactions up close. Anerobic except for the opening at the top, these vessels are typical for small batch or experimental wine making. Glass is also very heavy when filled with liquid wine and presents quite a few safety challenges in a busy winery, and for home use. They have by in large disappeared from use in New Zealand. I use a small car-boy to make bulk Negroni! CONCRETE If your travels take you to Burgundy one day soon, then you may discover some producers there still fermenting wine in concrete. It can look like a row of cubed swimming pools in a winery. Concrete tanks were once the

norm for many producers to ferment juice from multiple vineyards before transferring to wood for ageing. Once-upon-a-time New Zealand wine producers also used concrete tanks for fermentation before wood and steel allowed for more controlled wine making. They were cheap to make, the size was determined by the producer and was a convenient way to start a winery. Villa Maria imported 13 new concrete tanks to use at the new Gimblett Gravels wine facility in Flaxmere, Hawkes’ Bay. They are the same dimensions as those from the old Esk Valley site. The only other evidence that remains of concrete tanks I have encountered are at Pleasant Valley Wines in West Auckland. These are no longer used and may be viewed if you’re curious. The back label on a bottle of wine can reveal the fermentation vessel though most do not. The best way to find out is ask the front of house team in your favourite liquor store or restaurant. You can always use the internet to download the technical information about a wine from the producers’ website or send them an email. W

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The Headache of

Wine Intolerance NEW ZEALAND’S LATEST MASTER OF WINE SOPHIE PARKER-THOMSON, DELVES INTO THE REASONS WHY SOME PEOPLE ARE INTOLERANT TO WINE.

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ine is an incredibly complex product. With over 600 components currently identified in any one wine, it is unsurprising that adverse reactions to it occasionally occur which are not attributable to excess alcohol consumption. For some people it is a frustrating and mystifying issue which has perhaps resulted in them abstaining from the beverage altogether. With symptoms such as headaches, nausea, red rashes, flushing and stomach upset experienced, who would blame them? However as both a wine lover and wine professional, it is upsetting that these individuals are missing out on what I think is one of the greatest pleasures in life – discovering the history, culture and stories of wines from all over the world and continually developing one’s sensory appreciation skills. This is a significant reason why I chose to research wine intolerance, an area that is fraught with misinformation, in the hope that consumers may more readily navigate any vinous troubles.

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ALLERGY VERSUS INTOLERANCE If you experience side-effects after wine consumption (beyond over-indulgence in alcohol as the cause), the chances are you are not genuinely allergic to wine. A medically defined allergic response is mediated by Immunoglobulin E (IgE), and these reactions are both rare and potentially life-threatening, often involving anaphylaxis. These individuals are typically acutely aware of their condition and must actively avoid that allergen in their daily life. Examples of things that would cause an IgE-response are egg-derived products like albumin or milk products like casein which are occasionally used as fining agents in wine. Because of their allergenic nature these must be legally listed on the label. Some people are allergic to grape proteins which means all wine and grapes are off the menu. Very rarely there are some people who are allergic to wine components such as ethanol, acetic acid or sulphites but again they must avoid all products that contain the allergen. A simple skin prick test can confirm these allergies. Conversely, wine intolerance is a generic term that embodies all non-IgE mediated responses. These are not genuine allergies but because the symptoms triggered are allergy-like they are frequently described as ‘pseudoallergic’ responses. So, what can cause these? ALDEHYDE DEHYDROGENASE (ALDH-2) DEFICIENCY This is commonly referred to as Asian flush syndrome and results from a deficiency of the enzyme ALDH-2, preventing the breakdown of acetaldehyde, a compound found in wine. People of East Asian descent have a genetic predisposition to this hereditary enzymatic deficiency. FLAVONOIDS Flavonoids are naturally occurring phenolic compounds. There is some evidence that suggests a build-up of flavonoids can trigger a headache/migraine in sensitive individuals but there are few conclusive studies on this. SULPHITES Some people would have you believe that sulphur dioxide (SO2 or sulphites) is to blame for wine intolerance reactions. After all, it is the only universal declaration that is mandatory on wine labels and there is lots of emotive discussion about its purported nastiness. Medical research shows that SO2 is concerning for some, but that its danger to health is overwhelmingly confined to people who experience acute asthma; those who are steroid dependent and require an inhaler daily. The reaction to SO2 is nearly exclusively respiratory and no link has been established between SO2 and headache. Only 3-10% of acute asthmatics have SO2 sensitivity, and it is serious. They need to avoid all the products that contain it – many contain far higher levels than the average bottle of wine. To put it in perspective, three dried apricots contain more SO2 than a whole bottle of wine. If you need to take the day off

work after eating a few dried apricots then you could pinpoint SO2 as your kryptonite. If not, read on. Revealingly, white wines contain higher levels of SO2 than red wines as they have less phenolic content: phenolics protect against oxidation. Anecdotally, most wine intolerance complaints are about red wines rather than white wines, which turns this theory on its head. BIOGENIC AMINES This group of chemical compounds, produced by bacteria, are most likely public enemy number one when it comes to wine intolerance, and red wines typically have higher biogenic amine (BA) levels than white wines. BAs have charming names such as putrescine, cadaverine, spermine, spermidine and the most commonly known, histamine. While our bodies ordinarily maintain a certain level of BAs to assist with everyday functions such as circadian rhythm and neurotransmission, if this is exceeded, an immune-like response is triggered with a diverse array of reactions possible from nasal congestion through to migraines, cramps and tachycardia. What makes BAs more significant in wine is that alcohol suppresses the enzymes that allow our bodies to get rid of them. Individual sensitivity is further apparent as some people, especially women or genetically predisposed people, tend to have less of these detoxifying enzymes. In wine, there are certain things that influence the accumulation of BAs, but my research established the most crucial was whether SO2 had been added. Ironically, the addition of SO2 significantly reduced the BA levels in wine, while the complete absence of it meant very high and often toxic BA levels. This is because SO2 is antibacterial and the addition of even a small amount before fermentation was enough to stop the bacteria responsible for producing BAs. Presently there is no regulations around BA levels, but I’m confident it is an area that will be looked at closely in the near future. In the meantime, if you do suspect you are sensitive to BAs, try these tips below: • Keep up your water intake high when drinking wine – dehydration increases your natural histamine levels. • Avoid other high-BA foods when drinking wine: examples are bacterially-ripened cheeses like blue vein or Epoisses, charcuterie, aubergine, sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables. • Avoid wines that have had no or low-SO2 added, and wines that have spent years on lees with no or low SO2 such as vintage traditional method sparkling wine. • Choose wines that are youthful, crisp and fruity like classic-style Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Pinot Gris. These are likely to have low BA levels due to their production methods. W

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t o N r O t n a c e To D CAMERON PROVIDES SOME ANSWERS TO THAT AGE-OLD QUESTION

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here are two main reasons why wine may need decanting; to remove wine from any sediment that may have formed in the bottle or to allow wine to absorb oxygen quickly – to “breathe”. Wines that are very dark in colour when young such as blended reds or fortified-wine like madeira or port, often precipitate sediment as they age. Smaller particles of colour and tannin join together becoming heavier and slowly fall through the wine resting against the inside of the bottle. Moving the bottle too quickly from its place in the cellar can disturb the sediment, so a slow and careful technique is best. At Partington’s restaurant, Sheraton Hotel Auckland, we used Stirling-silver baskets to move single bottles from cellar to table for decanting. The slow natural swing caused by walking did not disturb the sediment. With advanced notice we could stand a bottle upright for 24 hours or more making decanting easier with the sediment already settled at the base of the bottle. All red wines lose colour as they age becoming lighter from slow oxidation or a build-up of sediment, or both. Moving wine from one vessel to another or separating a wine from sediment is called decanting. It requires patience. It is a slow process that requires a decent decanter with a wide neck so none spills over the top, a candle or source of light to see the sediment which is called smoke reach the shoulder of the bottle, which is the indication to stop decanting. Occasionally an old or weak cork may partially disintegrate into the wine when pulled so a filter may be needed as well. This won’t happen with glass or screwcap closures. Decanters with a wide diameter at the shoulder are for wines that need to breathe, those with a narrower diameter are more for wines that are separated from sediment and don’t need aerating.

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Under the right conditions wine can age slowly, eventually reaching a window for perfect drinking lasting months or years. This window is reached when the various structural and flavour components have melded together forming synergies, complexities and harmonies that are perfect for the style. When that window arrives is up to you to decide, or take note of the suggestion of the producer or a wine adviser. Wines do not automatically get better or more complex with age. Breathing a wine uses decanting to expose the juice to oxygen as it leaves the bottle as well as when inside the decanter, providing there is a large enough surface area for the juice to react with air. The theory being that wine will respond to rapid exposure to oxygen enough to make it seem like it has aged some, or just to ‘wakeup’ the juice. Splash decanting is a method used for young red or white wines for just this purpose. Once a bottle is open the wine is poured into the decanter as quickly as possible mixing it with as much oxygen as possible. If a white or red wine is too cold for service then decanting will assist with bringing it to correct temperature. If you’re in a hurry then warm the outside of the decanter with water, dry with a lint-free cloth and then decant. In my experience an aerator tool, sold online or in bartender shops and some stores, does little to speed up what a decanter can do. Seasoning is a technique that conditions the inside of the decanter with a small amount of another wine, typically a house wine, which is swirled around the decanter to pick up any dust and stale air first, then emptied out before the actual wine for service is then decanted in. Decanters and decanting are tools that add to the ceremony and enjoyment of wine. There are many sizes and shapes available so my suggestion is to choose one that fits your setting and personal style. W


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Winemakers to watch CAMERON CATCHES UP WITH 10 NEW ZEALAND WINEMAKERS TO KEEP AN EYE ON.

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ith 717 wineries in Aotearoa, there are hundreds of individuals who are using their science and artistic personalities to create the wine that we all love. While that wine may become renowned, often the individual who spent hours lovingly coaxing the flavours and aromas to the fore, falls under the radar. These talented people have an innate appreciation of their vineyard sites, seasonal influences and varietal differences. They are the mums and dads of the ensuing wine, lovingly caring for it throughout the many growth stages.

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While some have come to the job through family influences, many others have been lured into winemaking by the passion to create an exceptional end product. It is not a career for the faint hearted, given the reality of the task at hand is you get one chance every 12 months to showcase the best of the vintage. I am fortunate that as a Sommelier and wine writer, I come in to contact with an array of winemakers, young and old. Meeting the human face behind the wines we love is one of the highlights of my job. Which is why I am happy to bring you some of their stories and experiences in our on-going World of Wine series.


BEN BYRNE, The Landing, Northland What inspired you to become a winemaker?

Straight out of Bay of Islands College, wine seemed like a ticket to travel and go surfing. I went to Lincoln for three years and then straight to Margaret River. Over time the wave addiction made way for a wine obsession, but I still try and get out on the water either on a boat or a board. Which of your wines are you most proud of and why should we add it to our cellars?

At the moment I’m really happy with the 2019 Landing Syrah. It’s got a cool aromatic profile and good core of flavour without the alcohol getting carried away. I think it shows a strong vineyard character. The vintage was dry but not super warm which gives the wine nice definition and keeps it linear. If you haven’t tried Northland Syrah yet I reckon this is a pretty good example, especially of what we grow on the coastal clay sites. These wines can evolve nicely so the 2019 should keep getting better for a few years. Is there any new trend or innovation in wine that’s excited you or that you’re involved in?

LAUREN SWIFT, Ash Ridge Wines, Hawke’s Bay What inspired you to become a winemaker?

Growing up in the Awatere Valley, working each school holidays in the vines, was a good start! Then travelling in Europe at 18 I saw a totally different side to the wine industry. Upon coming home, I worked in the vineyard at Clos Henri, where so much passion and love was put into the vines. It definitely gave me the inspirational start to move to Hawke’s Bay where I studied a Bachelor of Wine Science at EIT. It was in my third year, at a sensory assessment class with Warren Gibson who was presenting a Burgundy and Rhone tasting, that I totally knew I was in the right place. Which of your wines are you most proud of and why should we add it to our cellars?

In 2016 I made my own first wine, a Syrah. After returning from working in Cote Rotie, I wanted to make an alternative style. This is now branded, Swift, my last name. The label is bold and to the point. I guess it explains me well. About to be released is the 2019 and I believe this is one for the cellar. Is there any new trend or innovation in wine that’s excited you or that you’re involved in?

I find the move towards biological viticulture fascinating. There are so many interactions we don’t yet fully understand. Growing out here on the coast in the Bay of Islands there is no playbook, so we are constantly observing and adapting. The global trend towards more balanced and characterful wines is exciting too. It seems like there is so much more interesting wine to drink out there. How would you like to see New Zealand’s wine industry evolve in the longer term?

For the wine industry to thrive we need strength in all size categories. There are political levers that can tilt the playing field, so there needs to be a lot of thought given to that. As the industry matures I’d like to think we’ll see more diversity and alongside that increased innovation. There is so much potential across the whole country in both our people and our land. Looking backwards at the industry in Aotearoa and the rate of change, we can probably expect that to continue if not accelerate. Staying connected to consumers across the globe and protecting brand New Zealand with a strong commitment to core values like sustainability and authenticity is important. At the end of a busy day making wine or tasting tank and barrel samples, what beverage do you turn to?

I straight away look for a beer, ideally a home brew but in our house, demand tends to outstrip supply, so usually it’s a can from the fridge.

Probably not new, but at Ash Ridge we are in conversion to Organics. I think this is a good step in the right direction for the whole of the New Zealand wine industry. Also, the new technologies to manage under vine. It is exciting to be a part of a great community. How would you like to see New Zealand’s wine industry evolve in the longer term?

A move to become more sustainable with updated parameters leading from the top. I’d like to see incentives to move towards organics and regenerative farming practises to respect the land for the future. At the end of a busy day making wine or tasting tank and barrel samples, what beverage do you turn to?

Would have to be a good gin and tonic.

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MARK MCGILL, Abel Wine, Nelson What inspired you to become a winemaker?

My father Linton. After the 1987 stock market crash he started doing pest control on a vineyard, then ended up managing it, becoming a viticulturist and planting his own vineyard in the early 90’s. I spent many hours after school (and some during, much to the teacher’s annoyance) working in vineyards. That culminated in me heading off to Lincoln Uni at the end of college to study Viticulture and Oenology. Which of your wines are you most proud of and why should we add it to our cellars?

Tough question. Not! We make one wine only and that’s Chardonnay. In our opinion Chardonnay is what works best on the beautiful Moutere clay soils here in Nelson, which is why it’s our focus. Abel Tasman Chardonnay is a fresh, focused, high energy style that’s made the way we like Chardonnay to be. It’s a style that will appeal to a wider audience than what many people perceive Chardonnay to taste like. Is there any new trend or innovation in wine that’s excited you or that you’re involved in?

WENDY STUCKEY, Spy Valley Wines, Marlborough What inspired you to become a winemaker?

Trends come and go. Innovation and new tech (we’ve just been watching an electric tractor video - anyone got a spare 100K?) has its place but it’s hard to beat the hands-on “nuts n bolts” approach of growing grapes and making wine. It’s bloody hard work and it never stops, but if you’re chasing quality (and you should be) you have to be prepared to get your hands dirty.

That’s such a long time ago now! I don’t remember ever having that “aha” moment. It was a combination of a winemaker family friend’s job sounding fascinating to knowing that a combination of science, overseas travel and working with wine had to lead to a great career.

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

Which of your wines are you most proud of and why should we add it to our cellars?

Focus, focus, focus. Quality, quality, quality. We’re a small country. We can’t compete at the low end. So let’s not. Championing more varieties like we’ve done with Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, Martinborough Pinot Noir and Central Otago Pinot Noir by discovering more regional niches and marketing them to the world as one… #nelsonchardonnay ! At the end of a busy day making wine or tasting tank and barrel samples, what beverage do you turn to?

Self-promotion here, Abel Methode Cider! It’s clean, dry and refreshing and a perfect palate cleanser for whatever deliciousness Sophie has prepared for the evening. Assuming it’s vintage of course and I’m not on dinner!

I’m proud of many wines I’ve made over the years. 2020 was my first vintage with Spy Valley and I’m really happy with our Sauvignon Blancs. Both our 2020 Spy Valley and 2020 Satellite Savs won Gold at this year’s Easter Show. Winning Gold is always a proud moment! Our 2020 Spy Valley Chardonnay has just been bottled – I’m really happy with how this wine has evolved over the last 12 months and it will continue to do just that. Is there any new trend or innovation in wine that’s excited you or that you’re involved in?

I’m on the Research Advisory Committee and am really looking forward to where the industry as a whole will head with respect to research around soil health and regenerative agriculture. How would you like to see New Zealand’s wine industry evolve in the longer term?

We have such a great success story so as an industry we need to continue that track record and maintain our uniqueness as we grow. I believe New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc will continue to be a wine that the world loves, but there is certainly room for other varietals. We need to believe in ourselves and keep educating the consumer, which I think we all work hard at! And of course, looking after our industry and our land for the long term and ensuring it survives for future generations. At the end of a busy day making wine or tasting tank and barrel samples, what beverage do you turn to?

It’s a bit predictable and boring but I do love a G & T at the end of the day – for me it’s the great palate cleanser after tasting lots of wines with lots of acid, especially at this time of year!

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WILLIE TREW, The Boneline, North Canterbury What inspired you to become a winemaker?

I started working part time for a neighbour some 20 years ago whilst in high school. I really enjoyed the work and my interest in the industry grew from there. The aspect that inspired me the most was to be a part of a group of people who love the process of creating wine, from tending vines right through to bottling the wine over the course of a nearly two-year period. At the end of the process, we have a tangible product that represents our hard work and the result of that work can be enjoyed by others. Which of your wines are you most proud of and why should we add it to our cellars?

The team has produced some fantastic wines here, so it’s pretty hard to single one out. If you push me for an answer, I would say the Pinot Noirs. They are very typical of North Canterbury; they are expressive, have great acid and elegant tannin structure. We release them with a little bottle age so they are immediately approachable, but with their structure will continue to develop with some further aging.

TRUDY SHIELD, Middle Earth Wines, Nelson What inspired you to become a winemaker?

My heritage is rural, my academic background is in applied science and on a personal level I have always enjoyed making things, crafts, music, jokes and especially food. This combination along with my innate desire to feed people and a real love for the sharing aspect simply led me to winemaking. Which of your wines are you most proud of and why should we add it to our cellars?

This is always a tricky question. I don’t have children but I equate it to a parent being asked which is their favorite child. So much time, thought and hours go into every wine, that at the end of the day my pride is in the knowledge that every wine, every vintage - is the best it could be. That said I recommend you race out and buy a bottle of Middle Earth 2020 Viognier.

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

This is not really a trend, as trends tend to come and go, but the increasing movement to farm and produce products sustainably is something I am very interested in. 2021 is our first vintage of organically certified wines and that has been exciting to be a part of. This is an initiative that will be continually developed as we look to have a lighter footprint on the land we produce from. How would you like to see New Zealand’s wine industry evolve in the longer term?

Firstly, I would like to see a continued drive to focus on quality rather than quantity. Secondly, an ongoing openness to new ideas, celebrating creativity, pushing the boundaries in terms of style, and not getting stuck in our own little boxes. With this kind of focus our industry will have no choice but to evolve. At the end of a busy day making wine or tasting tank and barrel samples, what beverage do you turn to?

If I am having a beverage with industry people, I do love a good mystery wine. But because I’m Celiac, beers are out, so I enjoy dry ciders. I’m always on the lookout for a good one of those.

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

Wine in a can. It is not so new world-wide but growing in popularity in the Southern Hemisphere. We have a range of lightly spritzed wines in can, and my challenge is to create wines that not only show well with effervescence but that over deliver to destroy the perception that wine in a can is of lesser quality. How would you like to see New Zealand’s wine industry evolve in the longer term?

I have recently learnt to appreciate the concept of hero brands and products. It’s idealistic but my dream would be for each and every wine producer to concentrate their energies and volume on what they are the very best at. This could really minimize pressure on resources and dramatically enhance sustainability of the industry as a whole. At the end of a busy day making wine or tasting tank and barrel samples, what beverage do you turn to?

In one word…BEER!

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ALAN PETERS-OSWALD, Nanny Goat Vineyard, Central Otago What inspired you to become a winemaker?

When I headed off to study at NMIT in Marlborough back in 2001, winemaking was not the career path I had in mind. I had my sights set firmly on the viticulture side of the wine industry. Eight weeks of vintage work experience at Villa Maria’s Marlborough winery during my second year of study completely changed that though - the intense atmosphere of the winery during vintage, long hours working closely alongside passionate winemakers from all corners of the world. The buzz of the winery in full swing was infectious and very quickly shifted my focus towards winemaking. Which of your wines are you most proud of and why should we add it to our cellars?

While I am proud of all wines I have made over the years, I am most proud of the soon to be released 2020 Nanny Goat Vineyard Single Vineyard Queensberry Pinot Noir. Not only is it a wine produced amidst the stress and uncertainty of the Covid 19 lockdown, but it is also the inaugural release of an organic single vineyard wine from the Nanny Goat Vineyard in Queensberry. Is there any new trend or innovation in wine that’s excited you or that you’re involved in?

I love the sense of experimentation that is happening within the New Zealand wine industry at the moment. The willingness to plant a new grape variety to see how it will perform in the context of our soils and climate. Unconventional blends, natural wines, minimal intervention winemaking - with so many talented and creative winemakers plying their craft, innovation is alive and well. I have produced a skin fermented Gewürztraminer dominant white blend called ‘Cross Breed’ for a few years now, and I plan on planting a few small experimental blocks of alternative varieties as we expand our home vineyard. That will help satisfy my creative side in years to come. How would you like to see New Zealand’s wine industry evolve in the longer term?

I would like to see the continued adoption of organic and regenerative viticulture practices. I see first-hand from our own vineyard and the resulting wines, the benefits both environmentally and qualitatively that organic farming has. Healthy soils producing healthy, resilient vines and the flow on effect to the fruit in the winery is clearly evident. At the end of a busy day making wine or tasting tank and barrel samples, what beverage do you turn to?

As the saying goes – ‘It takes a lot or good beer to make great wine.’ My current go to would be a nice cold Hazy IPA, and with so many great local craft brewers I am never short of options.

ANIKA WILLNER, Coal Pit Wine, Central Otago What inspired you to become a winemaker?

I am originally from Ohio- very far from any United States wine growing region, but I’ve always really enjoyed wine. While I was doing my Undergraduate degree at Ohio State University I started a wine club with a friend. It started small, but eventually, we received funding from the university to engage more students which involved social fundraisers, tastings with sommeliers, and educational industry speakers. I interacted with many people in the sales and trade side of wine in the Columbus area, who suggested that I continue my passion after graduation and work a vintage. Shortly after graduating I started a vintage in Stellenbosch. It was very challenging as I was so green, but also solidified my obsession with wine and from that point, I knew I wanted to turn it into a career. Which of your wines are you most proud of and why should we add it to our cellars?

I’m super proud of the 2018 Tiwha Pinot Noir winning the 2020 International Wine Challenge (IWC) New Zealand Pinot Noir, New Zealand Red and Sustainable Trophies. It will always be a special wine to me as it’s the first wine we’ve produced since beginning our organic conversion. It’s been a beautiful journey watching the vineyard change over time, there’s been so much new life appearing everywhere you look. I think the 2018 Tiwha is reflective of this viticultural revitalisation. Is there any new trend or innovation in wine that’s excited you or that you’re involved in?

I’m passionate about the future of Gibbston sparkling wine. I think it’s a super versatile sub region and produces not only beautiful Pinot Noir, but also Blanc de Noir (in our case). I’ve been producing a small volume of sparkling wine for the last three years all by hand and I look forward to it joining the Coal Pit portfolio in the coming future. How would you like to see New Zealand’s wine industry evolve in the longer term?

Watching wines age gracefully is a beautiful thing and indicative of the high quality of our New Zealand wines – hopefully more wineries have the ability and will place value on cellaring stock in the future. At Coal Pit we have recently re-released limited amounts of aged wines (both Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc) back to 2006. At the end of a busy day making wine or tasting tank and barrel samples, what beverage do you turn to?

I love to wind down with wines from the world’s best Pinot Noir regions, whether it’s Burgundy, Oregon, Tasmania, or Central Otago.

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EMMA MARRIS, Marisco Vineyards, Marlborough What inspired you to become a winemaker?

There was no avoiding wine in my family. My grandfather, John Marris, was a pioneer of the Marlborough wine industry while working for Montana Wines and my father, Brent, became the first Marlborough born and raised winemaker. Growing up I had fond memories of Marlborough during harvest; stomping grapes, tasting ferments and riding on harvesters. I could not imagine wine not being a part of my life and decided that becoming a winemaker would be the ultimate way to combine my passion for art and science. Which of your wines are you most proud of and why should we add it to our cellars?

I love the Leefield Station Pinot Noir 2019 – this vintage was outstanding for Marlborough Pinot Noir and the relatively young vines produced fruit with true balance and concentration. In fact, I think the entire Leefield Station range is exceptional. These wines are made with extreme focus and care to ensure they champion this vineyard. Is there any new trend or innovation in wine that’s excited you or that you’re involved in?

I am part of a wide-ranging R&D programme exploring skin contact, various yeast, the use of oak, amphora and more. However, my key focus in the last couple of vintages has been the design and operation of our new Leefield Station Winery. The concept for this winery was born from the challenges Marlborough faced in the 2017 and 2018 vintages, coupled with a need for additional capacity. The design and equipment pivot around maximising intake and minimising labour requirements so the winery is incredibly efficient. I find this super exciting – not only being involved in designing a winery from scratch but taking greater control of the season so we ensure our grapes are harvested at optimal quality. How would you like to see New Zealand’s wine industry evolve in the longer term?

We are starting to see some positive steps being taken to protect and promote provenance with the establishment of Appellation Marlborough Wine. Alongside such initiatives, business and environmental sustainability need to be forefront in the industry’s evolution. I believe a collective emphasis on investment in technology R&D, including partnership with other industries domestically and internationally, is one way of achieving this. Technology has the potential to ease pressure with labour shortages, dramatically improve sustainability both in the vineyard and winery (including achieving zero carbon or better), improve overall wine quality and mitigate challenges that come with climate change. At the end of a busy day making wine or tasting tank and barrel samples, what beverage do you turn to?

I would love it if someone could point me in the direction of a decent gluten free beer! But, for now, after a big day of tasting you can usually find me with a craft gin in hand.

JULIAN GROUNDS, Craggy Range, Hawke’s Bay What inspired you to become a winemaker?

I grew up around farming and viticulture, by way of my extended family and friends, and we had a strong food and wine culture in our house. When combined with a wine university located in one of the world’s great surf towns (Margaret River) it was a relatively easy choice out of high school. Which of your wines are you most proud of and why should we add it to our cellars?

I’m so excited about the 2019 vintage reds that have begun to be released, but in particular the Syrah and Pinot. If you were to add the Aroha or Le Sol to your cellar I think you’re going to see the quality that we are gaining from vine age and experience, but you will also gain a small window into how we want to continue to evolve the style of these wines. Is there any new trend or innovation in wine that’s excited you or that you’re involved in?

I wouldn’t say it’s new or a trend, but the continued importance placed on growing sustainably and embracing organic principles is pertinent to the future of quality of New Zealand wine. In the last three years, we ourselves have begun that journey. How would you like to see New Zealand’s wine industry evolve in the longer term?

The identification and celebration of great sites and sub-regions. Yes, we have identified key areas and believe we have identified the best varieties for these sites, however to take the step into being relevant in the ultra-premium sector, we need to understand what the great sites of New Zealand are, what makes them unique and how do we best extract that expression. I think we also need to see more risk taking with regards planting density, experimentation of varieties and the celebration of alternate styles. Everything that adds the intrigue and quality of the New Zealand wine story is beneficial. At the end of a busy day making wine or tasting tank and barrel samples, what beverage do you turn to?

It’s hard to go past a pilsner at the local winemaker’s haunt, the Westshore Inn. And as a sucker for a Gin and Tonic at pretty much any occasion, it’s so great to see how many new distilleries are popping up around the country.

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g n i t c e t o r P your wine

TO ENSURE THE OPTIMUM EXPERIENCE, TAKE CARE OF HOW YOU TRANSPORT AND STORE YOUR WINE

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t doesn’t matter how much you spend on a bottle of wine, whether you buy to drink it today or to cellar it for a few months or years, the magic happens when you take the first sniff and sip, savour the complexity to then start meaningful conversations with friends or family. Most of us have had unexpected experiences with wine when anticipation and excitement turn to disappointment, even regret. The wine is not fruity, doesn’t smell or taste like the label suggests, seems dull and flat. When it’s just not right we start to apportion some blame on the producer, maybe the winemaker and sometimes ourselves. Should we buy that wine again? Do I have another bottle to compare the first with? I wonder why it doesn’t deliver the flavours, textures and satisfaction I expected. There are a number of reasons why wine doesn’t deliver the magic when opened and it mostly comes from poor storage, but may also include transport conditions, a faulty closure or misunderstanding about style. Wine is a little like people – it has to be treated with respect and like us, it is organic and responds to changes in temperature, light, vibration and sudden changes in environment. Unlike us though when the damage is done it cannot be reversed. If you leave wine on the back seat of your car in ambient daylight temperatures of more than 18° Celsius, or in the car’s boot to jostle around for a few hours and get all shaken up then it is going to change condition a little, or even a lot. The best thing you can do is wrap the bottles in newspaper, place in a cardboard box then on the floor or at the back of the boot - when transporting. At home wine storage can be tricky especially when space is limited, but the worst treatment you can give to wine is to keep it on a shelf in your kitchen, in a pantry cupboard or in poorly designed kitchens with wine racks next to the stove or fridge. They may look nice, but your wine is slowly cooking, forcing it to oxidise faster from constant temperature changes and vibrations caused by people, dishwashers and refrigerators. The solution is a purpose-built wine storage temperaturecontrolled unit. These may not be an option for you, so the best alternative is to keep the

wine in their original boxes in the coolest part of the house such as an internal wardrobe, at the back and on the floor. When selecting wine from a liquor store or supermarket be sure to choose bottles from the back of the shelf, these are less exposed to light and heat ingress. Also, check for dents in screwcaps, if there are any then swap the bottle as the seal under the cap has been compromised and the contents oxidising. If you like to buy wine closed with cork be sure to inspect the top of the bottle for protruding or leaking seals. This is a sign the wine suffered from heat expanding the liquid and space below the cork just enough to push the seal out. This also means the wine has been compromised and you should choose a better presenting bottle. I love to dine out, explore wine lists and choose something new, interesting and affordable. Wine on display in a restaurant is an attractive way of showcasing what is available for sale. But if the display of wine is located near or above an espresso machine, is close to the kitchen or a fridge unit then variability of quality is highly likely and definitely not something the winemaker intended. The air temperature around a coffee machine is constantly warm and well above what wine can cope with. Refrigerators generate a lot of external heat as well. The temperature inside a dining room goes up and down constantly and reaches peak at the height of service – so does wine on display. Wines that have collected dust or other material from sitting on the same shelf week after week because they don’t sell are likely past their best. My approach is to take a moment before ordering wine to look around and see where the bottles are located then choose. The front of house staff should be able to help out as well and even offer to get a fresh bottle from storage if requested. Restaurants that invest in proper wine fridges understand the value of wine stored correctly. There are small air-cooler units available in most appliance stores for just a few hundred dollars and they are an ideal way to keep a space, like under the stairs, or a spare-room cool for storing wine. If you’re considering a proper wine fridge then Fisher and Paykel’s wine cabinets are fantastic. W

A proper wine fridge is an ideal way of protecting your wine.

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Bradley Hornby

CHEF ARBOUR RESTAURANT, MARLBOROUGH

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radley Hornby admits that food is an obsession with him and always has been. Growing up in Reefton, and having spent a number of years working in restaurants in Margaret River, he and Arbour co-owner Liz Buttimore came back to New Zealand to establish Annandale, a high-end luxury resort in Banks Peninsula. Just over seven years ago they moved to Marlborough and within a short time established Arbour. For Bradley the vines that surround him, and the individuals who turn the fruit into wine are an inspiration. “My motivation is to try and replicate in some way, what the great winemakers here in Marlborough produce.” His mantra for Arbour’s food is for it to be locally sourced, treated with respect and without unnecessary interference. W

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Crispy Lamb Shoulder, Cloudy Bay Tuatua, Sticky Broth, Shallot Cream Serves 8 as an entree LAMB SHOULDER → 1 Origin South lamb shoulder (approximately 1.3kgs) → 2 shallots → 1 bulb garlic → 2 sticks celery → ½ swede → 2 carrots → 2 teaspoons salt → 2 teaspoons pepper → 120mls olive oil → 1 litre free range chicken stock → 5 stalks thyme → 2 bay leaves → 2 pieces star anise → 30mls extra olive oil Cooking liquid from Tua Tua clams Pre heat oven to 200˚c fan bake. Roughly chop all vegetables (you can leave skins on). Slice the garlic bulb horizontally with skin on. Toss in a bowl with 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper and 60mls of the olive oil and then place in the bottom of a roasting tray just a bit bigger than the lamb. Rub the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper and 60mls of the olive oil over the lamb shoulder and place on top of the vegetables. Place in oven and roast for about 30 minutes until coloured nicely. Add the free range chicken stock, thyme, bay leaves and star anise. Cover with foil. Turn oven down to 140˚c fan bake and braise for about four hours or until the plate bone pulls easily from the meat. Remove from oven. When cool enough, shred lamb, lightly toss in the extra olive oil and lay flat on a lined baking tray. Crisp in the oven at 220˚c fan bake for 15 minutes till you have a nice balance between crispiness and succulent meat. Keep warm. BROTH Strain the juices from the lamb pan through a sieve into a pot. Add the strained cooking liquid from the clams.

Turn onto medium+ heat and reduce the liquid by half. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary. Keep warm for plating without reducing further. TUATUA → 30 uncooked Cloudy Bay Tuatua clams in shell (or Diamond Shell clams if you can’t get Tuatua) → 1 kawakawa leaf or bay leaf → 100mls water Wash the clams under cold running water. Place water and leaves into large pot and bring to the boil. Add clams and put lid straight back on Check after two minutes. Pull out each clam as it opens, discard any unopened clams. Strain remaining liquid from the pot through a fine sieve into the lamb broth. When the clams are cool enough to handle pick from shell and put to the side for plating SHALLOT CREAM → 200g shallots finely sliced → 100g butter → 50g olive oil → ½ teaspoon salt → 200ml cream → 1 stalk thyme → ½ teaspoon pepper → Salt and pepper to taste

Using a pan with the lid on, sweat shallots over a medium+ heat in the butter, olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt until they are starting to caramelise. Stir every now and then. Once translucent and lightly caramelised, add cream, pepper and thyme. Reduce heat to a simmer (medium-low) and cook for about 30mins. Cool to a safe working temperature and blend until thick, creamy and no pieces. Taste and add extra salt and pepper if you wish. GARNISH IDEAS Water cress, roast shallot quarters, pickled seaweed or wakame. In the photo we have used our own black garlic wafer, but you could make sourdough wafers, croutons, lavosh or make your own flavoured tuille. PLATING YOUR DISH Place lamb at the bottom of the bowl. Add teaspoonfuls of shallot cream in several different places. Place clams in bowl. Add your choice of the suggested garnishes. Place your choice of crispy item on top. Pour your stock into a warm tea pot to serve guests at table.

Cam’s Wine Match

Dry River Pinot Noir 2019, $95.00 This dish ticks all the boxes of winter fare with an earthy savoury core of flavours, sweet lamb flesh, salty aldente texture from the tuatua with a lick of natural sweetness, satin textured sweet shallot cream with its own savoury core and a fresh take on marrying land and foreshore flavours. A dish of this weight and intensity requires a young wine of equal weight, but more complexity. Dry River Pinot Noir 2019 from Martinborough delivers a deeply complex bouquet with a core of ripe, light and dark red berry fruit aromas and flavours of old strawberry, black cherry and dark coloured raspberries, there’s plenty of barrel spice and fine toasty-wood complexities. Dry on the palate with primary red fruit flavours, polished yet youthfully firm tannins and matching acid line – all leading to a lengthy detailed finish. For this dish the wine easily contrasts the earthy theme with fruit, weaves through the savoury flavours and textures and harmonises with the crunch and texture of [my recommended] sour-dough wafers garnish.

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Monique EXECUTIVE CHEF, HIAKAI, WELLINGTON

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n 2019 in a world before Covid 19, Monique Fiso’s Wellington restaurant Hiakai made it onto Time magazine’s list of the World’s 100 Greatest Places. Quite an accolade and one well deserved. New Zealand born Monique opened her unique restaurant a year earlier, after a period of working in Michelen-rated kitchens in New York. It was this being away from home that honed her desire to concentrate on the food of her ancestors, albeit with a modern touch. The New Zealand-born Samoan arrived back from New York and within a short time had opened Hiakai, the first New Zealand restaurant to specialise in Māori cuisine. Using century old practices, such as steam and earth ovens, her aim is to show that Māori and Polynesian cuisine is as sumptuous as others more lauded, with the

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Fiso

smoky flavours and root vegetables among her favourite ingredients. With no family background in the hospitality industry, Monique says she began coveting food and its potential, via library books and first decided she wanted to be a chef at age seven. While Covid 19 and ensuing lockdowns made life difficult for the newly formed restaurant, Monique has bounced back with Hiakai, which is considered one of the country’s top restaurants. But it is not only the restaurant that is gaining accolades. Late last year she released a book, titled simply Hiakai. It takes the premise of her food ethos and expands to cover Māori cuisine, tikanga, traditional preparations and cooking. The following is one of her signature dishes drawing on both the smoky, earthy flavours and a New Zealand vegetable that absorbs those flavours. W


TOP CHEFS

Kamokamo, Tahini, Puffed Wild Rice Serves 4

FOR THE SOY GLAZE → 70ml soy sauce → 130ml mirin → 20g miso → 50g sugar → 10g lemon juice Put the soy, mirin, miso and sugar in a small pot set over medium heat. Simmer until it reaches the consistency of light syrup. Stir in the lemon juice and remove from the heat. FOR THE TAHINI YOGHURT → 50g pumpkin seeds → 12ml sunflower oil → 62g thick, natural Greek yogurt → Salt, to taste Heat the oven to 180C. Spread the pumpkin seeds on a tray and bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden. Tip into a blender and add the sunflower oil.

Blend until smooth, then scrape into a bowl. Season to taste. Mix 13g (about a tablespoon) through the Greek yoghurt and adjust the seasoning with salt. Store in the fridge until required. FOR THE PUFFED WILD RICE → 75ml sunflower oil → 1 ¼ tsp black wild rice → Salt Pour the sunflower oil into a small pot and heat to 265C. Set up a small metal bowl with a metal sieve resting on top (use a trivet if necessary to keep the sieve from touching the bottom of the bowl). Drop the rice into the oil (it should puff up instantly), then transfer to the sieve. Season with salt and allow to cool. When cold, transfer to an airtight container lined with paper towels. Store at room temperature.

FOR THE WOOD-FIRED KAMOKAMO → 1 kamokamo, washed and cut in half Wrap the kamokamo halves in foil and set on a grill (or a grill pan) for 15 minutes each side, or until they soften. Carefully unwrap and allow to cool on a rack, then cut into 200g cross-section portions. Brush the kamokamo with soy glaze and sear on each side until lightly charred. Remove from the heat and brush again with the soy glaze, then place on a tray. ASSEMBLY Spoon a generous tablespoon of tahini yoghurt on top of each piece of kamokamo. Top with about 2 Tbsp puffed rice. Transfer to a plate and spoon over a teaspoonful of soy glaze. Garnish with micro sorrel and serve.

Cam’s Wine Match

Framngham Chardonnay 2020, $30.99 If you haven’t yet booked to dine at Hiakai, I can highly recommend the atmosphere, attention to detail, uber friendly staff and of course the food and wine. Though the title of this dish is simple, the aromas, flavours and textures are a journey. There are combinations of flavours to consider before a wine is selected including the umami effect of both soy, mirin and sweetness in the glaze, the crunch and salt burst of the puffed rice, the hint of smoke from the charring effect on the kamokamo, but also the natural sweetness it holds when cooked – not too dissimilar to a squash. The baked seeds and yoghurt bring a protein and nut rich flavour in the tahini as well as a silky-smooth texture. On top of all this are the synergies born from the assembly of the ingredients and

craftsmanship of the chef and kitchen team. The Framingham Chardonnay 2020 not only has a fantastic bouquet with aromas of ripe citrus and stone fruits to contrast the earthy umami flavours of the food, but enough new and older oak with toasty barrel, cashew and vanilla flavours to contrast the nut and smoke elements in the dish. The wine also has a leesy complexity and its own stony soil origins to harmonise with the same in the glaze. Flavours of peach, sweet grapefruit, vanilla and apple provide a refreshing fruity contrast. Any new wood tannins are immediately taken care of by the yoghurt and the wine’s youthful power and intensity easily matches that of the dish.

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Marcus TERRA RESTAURANT, PAIHIA

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erman born Marcus Berndt has spent the last 15 years in New Zealand, a place he is more than happy to now call home. Having trained and undertaken his apprenticeship in Germany, Marcus then spent four years in Switzerland, prior to coming to our part of the world. He and partner Sarah had a goal of creating an eatery that provided an experience in terms of food and hospitality, on a scale that would ensure one to one service. Terra is the result. Set in Paihia in the winterless north, Marcus says they are fortunate to be able to create dishes that are inspired by the local produce. “There are a lot of things that we can get up north that no other region grows and when those products are in season we definitely put them on the menu.” W

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TOP CHEFS

Deer Milk Geranium Panna Cotta Serves 8

DEER MILK GERANIUM PANNA COTTA → 500ml deer milk → 250ml full cream → ¼ cup caster sugar → 1 whole vanilla pod → 2 ½ sheets silver gelatine → 50 gr geranium leaves and flowers Gently bring deer milk, cream, sugar and scraped vanilla pod to boiling point. Take off heat add geranium and dissolve the bloomed gelatine sheets. Leave to infuse for 30 min. Strain the mixture and pour into 8 moulds. Leave to set overnight in a fridge. RHUBARB AND PINK ROSE APPLE GRANITA → 250 grams peeled fine diced rhubarb (reserve rhubarb peels for syrup) → 250 grams cored fine diced Pink Rose apple → 125 ml apple juice → 150 grams castor sugar → 40 grams corn syrup → 1 cinnamon quill → 1 tsp orange zest → 1 star anise → 1 whole cardamom pod Bring the apple juice, sugar, corn syrup, rhubarb peelings and spices to boil. Remove peelings. Add the diced rhubarb and the diced apples into the syrup and simmer gently for two to 4 four minutes or until softened. Take off heat and cool down. Take the cinnamon, star anis, orange peel and cardamom out and blend the rest of the ingredients in a liquidizer or blender until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and freeze the liquid overnight in a sturdy plastic

container. Reserve the remaining fruit pulp and spread thinly onto a baking paper and dehydrate at 60C for about six hours. Shave the frozen juice with a fork to create small ice crystals. KEEP IN FREEZER until ready to serve. TAIPA MERINGUE → 1 egg white (room temperature) → 1/4 cup castor sugar → 1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence → 1/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar → 1/4 teaspoon corn starch → Flaky Taipa sea salt → 10 gr freeze-dried raspberries In a mixer or using a handheld mixer whisk egg white until soft peaks form. Then slowly add the caster sugar while whisking. When sugar is completely incorporated, add the vanilla essence, vinegar and the corn starch and give

another good whisk. Spread the meringue mixture very thin onto a sheet of baking paper. Sprinkle the meringue with the salt and the freeze-dried raspberries and dehydrate in oven at 90C for 1 ½ hours. When still warm carefully peel back the baking paper and store meringue chards in airtight containers until ready to serve. SERVING Using a small knife gently release the panna cotta from the moulds and turn out into a bowl. Shave granita on top of panna cotta until completely covered. Arrange shards of meringue and dehydrated fruit pulp standing up. Garnish with flowers or fresh mint.

Cam’s Wine Match

The Kings Series A Sticky End Noble Sauvignon Blanc, 2018. $28.99 Truth be told I always aim to order a small main course when dining out so I can leave room for dessert. There’s always room for a panna cotta because it is a small dessert and this recipe especially has a beautifully silky texture, is not too sweet and is as fragrant as it is tasty. The granita brings a refreshing tang and contrast to the panna cotta’s cream and the meringue adds crunch, an extra sugar spike and long dried raspberry finish. The Kings Series A Sticky End Noble Sauvignon Blanc 2018 has the exact same weight and creaminess as the panna cotta, a little more sweetness than the dessert, but contrasting acidity and tang to marry seamlessly with the same elements garnishing the dish. Also, the wine has flavours of gooseberry and apricot, honey and peach. There’s a very mild herb moment, contrasting core of acidity and is overall a delicious, lush and long finishing wine.

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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

Page 38 Chardonnay Page 44 Sauvignon Blanc Page 48 Pinot Gris Page 50 Pinot Noir Page 55 Best of the Rest – Reds Page 58 Best of the Rest – Rosé, Aromatic and Lesser Known Varietals WINE POINTS SYSTEM

All Cameron’s wine and beverage reviews in World of Wine are based on this 100-point scale. 95 – 100 Classic: a great wine (5 Star) 90 – 94 Outstanding: a wine of superior character and style (4.5 – 5 Star) 85 – 99 Very Good: a wine with special qualities (3.5 – 4 Star) 80 – 84 Good: a solid, well-made wine (3 Star) 50 – 74 Not recommended


TASTING NOTES CHARDONNAY

y a onn d r a h C I

n late May I attended a blind tasting of Chardonnay from classic regions and producers from around the world. The event was held at the Park Hyatt hotel in Auckland and in attendance were wine makers, Masters of Wine and Chardonnay buyers. We tasted wines from Burgundy, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Each producer and wine had been recognised as benchmark or classic expressions. A big thanks to our host Villa Maria - they had sourced some exceptional wines from around the world to showcase the variety. After each set of five wines were tasted blind and discussed the flight was revealed. Well-made wine and indeed great wine has a story to tell about place of origin, flavour, texture, use of oak and wine making. In each flight was a wine from Villa Maria and there was no doubt that Chardonnay from this producer ranked highly through the discussion showcasing its worthiness of inclusion as a benchmark. New Zealand Chardonnay can out-class its international counterparts in blind tastings, not only in quality, but also value. Our assessment of the wines on this occasion reminded us that the use of new oak is not a requirement for great Chardonnay. In fact, the trend of an increase in the use of older barrels over new allows more subtlety, minerality, fine tannins and complexity in wine that might otherwise be hidden by new wood. The use of oak in Chardonnay is expected by many drinkers so it’s important for producers to get the balance right and appeal to their customer base. Natural or indigenous ferments along with the use of organic or bio-dynamic practices was common among many wines. I understand that there are still some ABC (Anything but Chardonnay) drinkers out there, but this variety has myriad expressions to discover that now is perhaps a good time to take another look.

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TASTING NOTES CHARDONNAY

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Tony Bish Wines Skeetfield Chardonnay 2019, Hawke’s Bay

Fantastic bouquet with intensity, power, ripeness and a core of style. Aromas of grapefruit and gun flint, peach and preserved lemon, apple and quince. The scents of oak are distinctive too with spice and delicate toastiness as well as a natural oak sweetness and nutty tension. On the palate - complex, layered and delicious. Flavours of fruit and spices reflect the bouquet, but this wine is all about texture too, with tannins and acidity layering in a textured mouthfeel alongside the core of fruits, mineral stony clay flavours and flinty tension. Absolutely delicious wine. Drink now if you must, but this wine deserves some more ageing, with best drinking from mid to late 2022 through 2030. POINTS: 97 RRP $59.95 tonybishwines.co.nz

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Giesen Fuder Single Vineyard Clayvin Chardonnay 2016, Marlborough

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Smoky, toasty, cashew nut and baked yellow stone fruit, baking spices and complexity from some bottle-age and excellent pure fruit source. On the palate - silky almost creamy in texture, flavours of white fleshed fruits and citrus, red apple and baking spices with a light toasty wood layer. Medium acidity, call it full-bodied with a focused and lengthy complex finish. Well made and ready to enjoy from today and through 2024+. POINTS: 96 RRP $56.99 giesenwines.co.nz

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Askerne Reserve Chardonnay 2019, Hawke’s Bay

Domain Road Vineyard Defiance Chardonnay 2019, Bannockburn

Complex, pure fruited bouquet with aromas of grapefruit and white fleshed stone fruits, complex spices of fruit and oak with vanilla and nut, apple, lemon and new French oak. Calm and even, complex and detailed. Fantastic on the palate with flavours of citrus and stone fruit, kitchen and barrel spices, moments of flinty stony mineral complexity and cashew nut flavours of oak. A lovely wine to enjoy with or without food. Drink now or cellar, best window to enjoy is from early 2022 through 2028+. POINTS: 96 RRP $32.00 domainroad.co.nz

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Attractive, pure fruited bouquet with aromas and flavours of pear and apple, peach and lemon. Dry, weighty, toasty and with a silky texture presents a complete wine with complexity, length and a great finish. Best drinking upon purchase and through 2026+. POINTS: 95 RRP $34.90 askernewines.co.nz

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Church Road 1Chardonnay 2018, Hawke’s Bay

A complex bouquet and palate with aromas of gun-flint, mineral and ripe fruit. On the palate - a myriad of citrus and stone fruit flavours with a nut-rich oak layered complexity. Some fine wood tannins, acidity for freshness and texture and a recurring core of fruit and sweet toasty wood spices. Balanced, satin textured and well made. Ready to drink upon purchase and through 2025. POINTS: 95 RRP $99.99 church-road.com

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TASTING NOTES CHARDONNAY

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with flavours of white and yellow tree fruits, a touch of grapefruit, lees, mineral and spice. Excellent texture with a core of fruit surrounded by oak, fine wood tannins and contrasting acidity. Well made, but does need some time to develop more harmonious transitions. Likely best drinking mid to late 2022 through 2026+. POINTS: 95 RRP $24.99 eskvalleywines.com

Palliser Estate Chardonnay 2019, Martinborough

What I really like about this wine is that there is something for everyone - from the familiar bouquet of roasted yellow orchard fruits to the subtle complexity of minerality and the bold flinty edginess of modern wine making. Flavours and textures on the palate include grapefruit peel and peach pith, nut, spice, lemon and ripe apple then the youthful grip and tension from acidity and oak in harmony. Wood tannins add a finesse and complexity while the voice of stony, almost silty minerality steps forward right at the end. Balanced yet holds on to its youthful side still, has a lengthy finish and elegant complexity. Best drinking from early 2021 through 2026. POINTS: 95 RRP $46.00 palliser.co.nz

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Pyramid Valley North Canterbury Chardonnay 2019

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Q Wine Chardonnay 2020, Waitaki Valley

An elegant and sophisticated bouquet with aromas of fresh white peach, lees and vanilla spices of oak, complexity from barrel fermentation and spiced creamy custard. Flavours mirror the nose, but also transition from peach to grapefruit and apple to lemon. Oak flavours of brown spices and toasty barrel remain distinctive. Fine wood tannins and refreshing acid line bring depth and texture. Delicious, fresh, youthful and complex. Best drinking from 2022 through 2027+. POINTS: 95 RRP $50.00 qwine.co.nz

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Beach House Levels Chardonnay 2019, Hawke’s Bay

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Esk Valley Artisanal Chardonnay 2020, Hawke’s Bay

A bouquet with complexity and intrigue, depth and curiosity. Tense and youthful

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Precise, ripe, varietal and fruity with a tasty and inviting core of fruit, minerality and balanced use of oak. Fruit flavours are contrasted by acidity, warmth of alcohol and tension from oak and barrel spices. Weighty with a gentle creamy texture. Balanced and well made with best drinking from 2021 through 2025. POINTS: 94 RRP $35.00 beachhouse.co.nz

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Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Chardonnay 2019, Hawke’s Bay

Complex, enticing and intriguing bouquet with decisive aromas of roasted stone fruit and new French oak, toasty barrel spices and baked apple, nectarine and clove, raw sugar and warm river stone earthy qualities. Full-bodied and expressive flavours on the palate with grapefruit and stone fruits, moderate toasty barrel flavours, leesy spicy layers, fine wood tannins and refreshing acid line. Youthful, fresh, complex and delicious. Enjoyable drinking today, even better from 2022 through 2026+. POINTS: 95 RRP $39.99 trinityhill.com

An ever so slightly unfiltered appearance yet bright and with a striking bouquet that speaks of place first, with aromas of fresh white soils of chalk and clay, then scents of grapefruit, apple, pith and lemon. Wild flowers, white peach, scents of older wood with some vanilla and raw cashew nut moments. On the palate - mouthfeel, texture then flavour at the core of this fine example. Fine wood tannins with perhaps some skin contact and lees autolysis all contribute to palate textures. Fruit flavours of tree and citrus, stone and soil all return adding complexity and charm. A delicious wine. Youthful yet approachable now, complex and lengthy, well made and detailed. Best drinking from early 2022 through 2026+. 95 Points RRP $40.00 pyramidvalley.co.nz

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Blackenbrook Family Reserve Chardonnay 2019, Nelson

Aromas of ripe yellow and white fleshed stone fruits, red apple, Brazil nut and baking spices of French oak with vanilla and five spice. Complex and spicy on the palate with fruit flavours that mirror the nose, a satin cream texture with flavours of nut and vanilla, peach and mineral stony and clay qualities. Balanced, well made and ready to drink upon purchase and through 2025+. POINTS: 94 RRP $45.00 blackenbrook.co.nz


TASTING NOTES CHARDONNAY

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acidity. A complex, youthful and precise expression with stand alone drinking as well as myriad food pairing options. Ideal drinking from late 2021 through 2026+. POINTS: 94 RRP $28.99 vassefelix.com.au

Matahiwi Estate Holly South Series Chardonnay 2020, Wairarapa

A distinctive bouquet of roasted stone fruits and toasty French oak barrel spices. Peaches and vanilla, nectarines and wholewheat toast, Brazil nut and burnt butter, raw sugar and baked goods. Fullbodied, creamy, woody and bold. Flavours of stone fruits and baked goods fill the palate with roasted nectarine and peach, clove and vanilla cream, toasty wood tannins and a dense, rich flavour. Perfect for baked seafood pies and creamy pasta dishes. Best drinking from 2021 through 2025+. POINTS: 94 RRP $32.99 matahiwi.co.nz

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Zephyr Chardonnay 2019, Marlborough

A very 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 $32.00 zephyrwine.com

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Saint Clair James Sinclair Chardonnay 2020, Marlborough

Quietly unfurling aromas of cream, yellow peach and vanilla cream custard, cashew nut and a touch of butter, mild toasty oak scents and a welcoming sweet lifted saline mineral layer. On the palate - equally creamy and fruity with contrasting acidity and bite of oak. A fine lees layer adds texture and additional contrast. Fruit flavours return with a citrus pith and mild savoury layer. Balanced, well made and ready. Drink now and through 2024. POINTS: 94 RRP $24.50 saintclair.co.nz

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Really lovely bouquet and palate. Vibrant and new with aromas of lees and mineral, fresh white fleshed fruits and barrel spice. A smooth satin texture on the palet showcases a seamless transition of aromas to flavours reflecting the bouquet. Very fine wood tannins, medium+ acidity and a lengthy finish. Drink now and through 2025. POINTS: 94 RRP $35.00 tekanoestate.com

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Vasse Felix Filius Chardonnay 2019, Margaret River

Aromas of white peach and citrus flesh, fresh cashew nut, quince and apple. There’s a fragrance of fresh white blossoms then vanilla and baked custard. Satin texture on the palate with a core of ripe tree and stone fruits that reflect the nose, some baking spice and stony soil moments then flavours of French oak with fine tannins and salivating

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

Very enticing bouquet with aromas suggesting baked custard and peach, vanilla and new oak, yellow apple, sunbaked stones and ripe grapefruit. Dry, weighty, firm, youthful and tense on the palate. Flavours match the nose, but this wine is also about texture and power, length and concentration. Fine wood tannins, satin texture, flavours of stone and tree fruits that match the nose, a citrus note of grapefruit returns. Long finish with a baked custard, cashew and spice complexity. A lovely wine with a great future. Drink from purchase and through 2024. POINTS: 93 RRP $40.00 smithandsheth.com

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Te Kano Estate Chardonnay 2020, Central Otago

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Matahiwi Estate Holly Chardonnay 2020, Hawke’s Bay

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Vanilla and baked peach, roasted apple and custard pie, toasty barrel with aromas of vanilla and five spice. A bouquet of harmonay and complexity. Full-bodied with a satin cream texture, distinctive flavours of stone fruits and barrel spices, grapefruit and apple. Youthful textures from wood tannins and acidity provide the foundation for fruit, flavour and aging. Delicious today and through 2025. POINTS: 93 RRP $29.99 matahiwi.co.nz

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TASTING NOTES CHARDONNAY

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Selaks Founders Selection Limited Edition Chardonnay 2019, Hawke’s Bay

21

Rich toasty ripe scented stone fruits with nectarines, peaches and apricots. Butterscotch, nut and vanilla toasty barrel scents add complexity and power. Full-bodied on the palate with flavours of toasty wood, stone fruits, some grapefruit, nut and barrel spices. Fine wood tannins and acidity bring contrast and texture. Well made, balanced and ready. Best drinking from today and through 2024+. POINTS: 93 RRP $28.00 selaks.co.nz

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Matawhero Irwin Chardonnay 2018, Gisborne

21

Catalina Sounds Chardonnay 2020, Marlborough

Young, fresh and fragrant bouquet with aromas of lemon and apple, grapefruit and white peach, new French oak with a toasty complexity. Youthful, tense, lively, fruity and distinctive on the palate. A coarse silk texture is contrasted by a core of apple, citrus and stone fruits with acidity and fine wood tannins to add mouthfeel and freshness. Well made, youthful and a great food partner. Best drinking from late 2021 through 2025. POINTS: 93 RRP $32.00 catalinasounds.co.nz

22

Church Road Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2019, Hawke’s Bay

There’s no mistaking the power and drive in the bouquet with bold oak aromas, stone fruit, lees complexity, then dry stone minerality. On the palate - weighty and creamy, oaky and dry. Flavours of fresh and roasted peach, citrus and toasty wood layers. Baked nut, vanilla, burnt butter and bite. A lovely wine that will please many Chardonnay fans with best drinking upon purchase and through 2023. POINTS: 93 RRP $39.99 church-road.com

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Nanny Goat Queensberry Chardonnay 2020, Central Otago

Aromas of roasted stone fruits and exotic nuts, barrel spice and a touch of wood smoke. Fullbodied, satin texture and packed with flavours of stone fruits and spices, apple and baked goods. Fine wood tannins and acidity bring texture and complexity. Long finish with persistent flavours, spices, burnt butter and power. Drink upon purchase and through 2025. POINTS: 93 RRP $62.00 nannygoatvineyard.co.nz

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26

Giesen Uncharted Chardonnay 2020, Marlborough

Classic, enticing and familiar bouquet of Chardonnay with aromas of sweet peaches and just whipped cream, vanilla and baking spice moments with a mild toasty oak appeal. On the palate - dry, nicely weighted with a creamy and spice mouthfeel, a core of fruit and contrasting acidity and warming alcohol. The finish is lengthy with fruit, spice and wood flavours that mirror the nose. Great drinking from today and through 2025. POINTS: 93 RRP $29.99 giesenwines.co.nz

Awatere River Chardonnay by Louis Vavasour 2018, Marlborough

27

Bushmere Estate Classic Chardonnay 2018, Gisborne

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26

Deep golden hues lead to aromas of California peach and apricot, barrel fermentation delivers aromas of vanilla and toast with a leesy baked goods complexity. Full-bodied, creamy, toasty and fruity with flavous that mirror the nose. This wine is ready to drink with moderate acidity and fine wood tannin texture. Dry on the finish - an ideal food partner with crayfish mornay. POINTS: 92 RRP $27.00 awatereriver.co.nz

23

42

Bold and expressive bouquet with a complex and familiar set of aromas including fresh and baked yellow orchard fruits, sweet apple, some lemon zest and layers of oak scents from vanilla to toast to baked custard. On the palate - equally impactful with flavours of oak first then baked stone fruits second. Brazil nut and baked custard, vanilla and new wood flavours, peaches and cream, apple and citrus. A lovely wine, needs some more harmonising time, but will please many Chardonnay fans who like the full-bodied, creamy, nut and stone fruit-rich-flavoured expression. Best drinking from 2021 through 2025. POINTS: 93 RRP $60.00 matawhero.co.nz

Aromas of lemon and stone fruits, barley sugar and Brazil nut. On the palate - tense, ripe, balanced and focused flavours that mirror the nose. Mouthfeel is round and textured with some fine wood tannins adding complexity. Balanced and well made with a lengthy finish. Drink now, and if stored well, through to 2025. POINTS: 92 RRP $25.00 bushmere.com


TASTING NOTES CHARDONNAY

28

Kim Crawford Small Parcels Chardonnay 2019, Hawke’s Bay

28

29

Roasted stone fruits of peach and nectarine, vanilla and sweet toasty barrel spices of oak. There’s no mistaking the enticing creamy, nutty toasty combinations. A satin texture with contrasting acidity, a core of fruit and wood flavours, roasted nut, vanilla and a luscious lengthy finish. Well made and ready to enjoy upon purchase and through 2023. POINTS: 92 RRP $27.00 kimcrawfordwines.com

32

Hãhã Chardonnay 2020, Hawke’s Bay

Apples and white apricots, peaches, wood spices and mild toasty oak complexity. Balanced with a definitive weighty-ness and acid line then flavours that mirror the nose. Youthful, crisp, tense and needs time to settle in and develop, but for now best enjoyed with food. Drinking window from late 2021 through 2024+. POINTS: 90 RRP $17.99 hahawine.co.nz

29

Lake Chalice The Falcon Chardonnay 2020, Marlborough

Peach and vanilla cream, raw cashew nut and a light toasty barrel spices bouquet. Creamy satin texture on the palate with flavours of yellow and white peach, apple and grapefruit. Fine wood tannins and acidity bring texture and contrast. Balanced and well made with a decent length and finish. Best drinking from 2021 through 2023. POINTS: 92 RRP $18.99 lakechalice.com

30

31

Saint Clair Origin Chardonnay 2019, Marlborough

Apple, lemon, peach and nut with a mild oak scent and gentle complexity. Aromas follow through to the palate seamlessly with emphasis on the fleshy textures of peach and apple then citrus. Oak flavours fold in then contrasting acidity adds to the balance carrying flavours of fruit, some soft baking splices and oak along the way. Drink upon purchase and through 2024. POINTS: 90 RRP $19.90 saintclair.co.nz

30

Trinity Hill Chardonnay 2020, Hawke’s Bay

Peaches, apples, vanilla cream and mild toasty wood aromas. Satin texture with a core of fruit flavours reflecting the nose, contrasting acidity adds a crisp texture and vibrato. Moderate oak layer with vanilla, some nut and mild toasty flavours. Balanced, well made and ready to enjoy upon purchase and through 2023. POINTS: 92 RRP $22.99 trinityhill.com

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Stoneleigh Organic Chardonnay 2020, Marlborough

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31

Te Kano Estate Kin Chardonnay 2020, Central Otago

A very new release with a flinty expressive bouquet. Aromas and flavours of grapefruit and citrus, then white peach, lees and spice layers. There’s finesse and charm too, just needs some time to settle into its journey to harmony and balance. Best drinking from early 2022 through 2026. POINTS: 91 $29.00 tekanoestate.com

Bright, fresh, fruity and spicy with a core of citrus and stone fruit aromas laced with oak spice and roasted nut scents. A lighter weighted expression, but full of Chardonnay flavours reflecting the nose. Acidity, a light creamy texture and flavours of white fleshed stone fruits and citrus bring together a complete wine ready to drink. Best from purchase and through summer 2022. POINTS: 90 RRP $19.99 stoneleigh.com

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te Pa Family Vineyards Montford Estate Chardonnay 2020, Marlborough

35

Familiar and classic with aromas of ripe yellow peach and apple, grapefruit, vanilla custard and cream, cashew nut and barrel spices of oak. Silky textures on the palate with creamy peach and vanilla flavours, apple, lemon and grapefruit follow. Some toasty wood moments and fine wood tannins add texture and mouthfeel. Plenty of weight and acidity, balanced, well made and ready to drink upon purchase. Best drinking from 2021 through 2023+. POINTS: 90 RRP $19.95 tepawines.com

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TASTING NOTES SAUVIGNON BLANC

on n g i v Sau T

Blanc

here appears to be a shortage of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc such is the demand for the variety. Importers in Australia, the USA and UK especially are having to manage with less to sell because there is simply not enough to go around. Compounding the issue of supply is a very slow recovery of shipping routes, further compounded by hold-ups and extended waiting times in harbours and the continued unpredictability of Covid-19 affected nations. At home we are fine for the moment with supplies of 2019 and 2020 wines still widely available. According to research completed by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and the ‘Veraison’ project, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is still Australia’s most consumed wine at home. We will have to brace ourselves for change in 2022 as the challenges faced overseas will hit home too because of shortfalls created by harvest 2021. This is across all varieties and not just Sauvignon Blanc. The classic Marlborough-style remains popular with its pungent expressive fruity bouquet, high acidity and crisp refreshing finish. Do explore all styles from the region though – barrel ferments, barrel-aged, subregional expressions, and even low intervention winemaking expressions all offer something to be discovered. Sauvignon Blanc from Central

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Otago, Nelson, Wairarapa and Hawke’s Bay remain a very strong part of the story for this variety so I encourage all readers to head north, south and west of Marlborough as well. Central Otago’s signature mineral style, softer herb layers as well as ripe and fleshy citrus fruits, white peach and less tropical fruit power offer a refined, lean yet pure expression. In Waipara and throughout Canterbury the wines show more limestone and gravel minerality at the core, peach and grapefruit, mild tropical flavours and a mix of fresh and dried herbs. Wairarapa examples merge the styles of Canterbury, Nelson and Marlborough together with a core of minerality, layers of grapefruit and citrus zest, a medley of white fleshed orchard fruits, a hint of tropical, plenty of acidity and quieter herb flavours. Hawke’s Bay styles are influenced by a drier, warmer climate delivering wines with a riper fruit profile led by peach, apricot, apple and grapefruit flavours, sweeter acidity and stonier, sage and thyme-like flavours. What I like most about Aotearoa Sauvignon Blanc is that there is always something new to discover, the wines are evolving, showcasing more acute regional and even sub-regional signatures - Dillon’s Point in Marlborough or Bendigo in Otago are good examples. Perhaps it’s time to surprise yourself and explore all that this variety has to offer from around our fine nation.


TASTING NOTES SAUVIGNON BLANC

1

Brancott Estate Chosen Rows Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Marlborough

1

Complex and sophisticated with a bouquet of fresh heirloom lemon and peaches, soft herbs of sage and thyme then dried basil. Bottle age showcases how New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc can develop and hold onto its core characters. Lemon and lees, cape gooseberry and golden kiwifruit, sage, peach and grapefruit. Plenty of acidity brings crispness and texture and the stony minerality complexity. A lovely example to enjoy from purchase or continue to cellar. Best drinking from 2021 through 2025+. POINTS: 95 RRP $80.00 brancottestate.com

2

2

Craft Series Pride & Glory Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Waihopai Valley, Marlborough

Complex and developing bouquet with aromas of peach and apple, gooseberry and smoke, a fine lees autolysis and gentle layer of oak. A silky texture on the palate gives way quickly to acidity and a core of ripe citrus, some tropical and stone fruit flavours. Contrasting bite of acidity and reminders of oak with a light smoky note then minerality. Great mouthfeel and texture, a core of fruit and lengthy finish. Drinking perfectly now and through 2025. POINTS: 95 RRP $65.00 marisco.co.nz

3

4

3

Elephant Hill Sea Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Hawke’s Bay

Complex, vibrant and captivating bouquet filled with aromas of gooseberry and salty air, white fleshed tropical fruits, fresh herb, lemon and a savoury gravelly undercurrant. Powerful in flavour and texture on the palate with a chalky high-toned acidity, core of fresh fruits and herbs with a savoury, leesy, gravel complexity. Youthful still, well made and delicious. Best drinking from 2021 through 2025+. POINTS: 95 RRP $34.00 elephanthill.co.nz

4

Lake Chalice The Falcon Sauvignon Blanc 2020, Marlborough

Lots to like about the bouquet and palate of this wine with aromas and flavours of tropical fruits and lemons. Lime and lemongrass then fresh basil and white peach. Crisp, intense, refrshing and dry with fruit flavours that mirror the nose. High acidity with a steely freshness and persistent refreshing crunchy finish. What’s not to like?! Drink now and through 2023. POINTS: 94 RRP $18.99 lakechalice.com

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TASTING NOTES SAUVIGNON BLANC

5

Rockburn Fumé Blanc 2017, Central Otago

Flinty, smoky, complex and intriguing bouquet with aromas of stones and fruit spices, white smoke and gun flint, preserved citrus and apple, sweet hay, fresh herbs and a fine lees autolysis. Crisp and intense on the palate with flavours that reflect the nose, a vibrant and refreshing acid line, citrus peel and barrel spices, nut and lees flavours. Balanced, youthful and well made. Drink upon purchase and through 2025+. POINTS: 94 RRP $29.00 rockburn.co.nz

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7 5

Astrolabe The Bridge Sauvignon Blanc 2020, Marlborough

Ripe, fleshy, fruity and varietal with intense aromas of fresh herbs and apple, lemon and grapefruit, tropical fruits and classic stony savoury minerality. Equally intense on the palate with flavours that mirror and follow the nose - herbs and citrus, tropical fruits and savoury minerality. High acidity, young and fresh. Best drinking from 2021 through 2026. POINTS: 93 RRP $27.00 astrolabewines.co.nz

7

Kim Crawford Small Parcels Sauvignon Blanc 2020, Marlborough

Ripe and fruit-centric core with aromas of California peach, then meyer lemon, apple and gooseberry. A mix of fresh herbs with basil and sage then a greywacke stony soil complexity. Bright, fresh, fruity and vibrant on the palate with flavours of peaches and lemons, gooseberry and peach, then herb. Balanced, well made and ready to enjoy upon purchase and through 2023. POINTS: 93 RRP $27.00 kimcrawfordwines.com

8

Leefield Station Sauvignon Blanc 2020, Marlborough

The bouquet speaks immediately of variety and intensity with fresh and ripe tropical fruits, crunchy red apple, white peach, grapefruit and fresh herbs. Equally vibrant on the palate with a flavour explosion of citrus and peach then tropical fruits. Crisp, refreshing acid line with a whisper of saltiness. Long persistent finish, balanced and ready. Drink upon purchase and through 2023. POINTS: 93 RRP $19.99 marisco.co.nz

9

Loveblock Tee Sauvignon Blanc (Organic) 2019, Marlborough

Complex and enticing bouquet with aromas of fresh quince and red apple, some tropical fruits with baked pineapple and fresh lychee. There’s also a leesy autolysis highlighting aromas of hay and dried herb. Equally exotic on the palate with a fine fruit tannins and acidity bringing mouthfeel as strong as the flavours of fruit, mineral and spice. Satin finish, balanced, well made and ready. Best drinking upon purchase and through 2023. POINTS: 92 RRP $26.99 loveblockwine.com

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TASTING NOTES PINOT GRIS

PINOT

s i r G

P

lantings of Pinot Gris in Aotearoa have increased by 66 percent in the last decade, it is the third most widely planted variety just ahead of Chardonnay and almost equal to Pinot Noir. There’s no question Pinot Gris is popular and accounts for one of the most in-demand wines at cafés and restaurant throughout New Zealand. It is also a widely exported wine. The drier styles Gris are very good as appetite enhancers with the just dry or with some residual sugar working well with winter soups and creamy pasta courses. Gris is actually one of the more difficult wines to make - because it requires the right balance between fruit sweetness and acid, skin contact for texture and if oak is used it has to be judicious and not too new. Crops levels also have to be right as well, Gris vines can easily deliver a lot of fruit and if not managed properly can produce wines with diluted flavours. Take a moment to read the back label next time you’re deciding which one to buy or open, it should guide you on the dryness level and flavour profile. The abv (alcohol by volume) is generally around 13% for most Gris, but you may come across some that are 14% - 14.5%, this is not an issue, but at this level there is likely some residual sweetness to counter-balance the alcohol. This makes for weightier and slightly sweeter examples easier to pair with heavier dishes like salmon or pasta. Some of the best examples I have encountered recently are dry to just-dry with perhaps a whisper of sweetness and have a delicious flavour profile of white fleshed tree and stone fruits, a touch of spice and medium acid level. The use of oak is not particularly common in Gris, but when it is used should be there for complexity. The use of neutral oak is widely used, but a Gris you encounter with too much oak will likely start to taste like Chardonnay – I tend to avoid these styles. All wine regions in Aotearoa grow the variety with regional expressions only just beginning to emerge – for example, a Gris from Otago has a leaner crispier more apple citrus taste, perhaps some mineral while a wine from Northland will be weightier with a bigger, rounder texture and core of yellow apple, sweet nectarine and white peach.

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TASTING NOTES PINOT GRIS

2

1

Domain Road Vineyard Defiance Pinot Gris 2020, Bannockburn

Complex and interesting, equal fruit and mineral centric aromas, there’s freshness, spice and lifted cool climate fragrances of flowers and fresh air. Delicious on the palate with flavours of pears and apples, quinces and white fleshed stone fruits, fruit spices and mineral combinations. Fresh line of acidity, satin texture, great balance and length. Best drinking upon purchase and through 2025+. POINTS: 94 RRP $27.00 domainroad.co.nz

3 1

2

Q Wine Pinot Gris 2020, Waitaki Valley

Pure, youthful, fresh, complex and varietal. Aromas and flavours of crisp apple and Bosc pear, cool climate citrus skin scents and stony chalky minerality. Lush, fresh, ripe, fruity and juicy on the palate with flavours that reflect the nose. Salivating acidity with a light saline and cream mouthfeel. Well made and ready to drink upon purchase and through 2025. POINTS: 94 RRP $30.00 qwine.co.nz

3

ME by Matahiwi Estate Pinot Gris 2021, Wairarapa

Crushed pear and fresh apple flesh, aromas of white spice and lychee nut. Equally fruity and intense on the palate with flavours of white fleshed tree fruit, white peach and quince. Plenty of acidity and crunch and palate cleansing attributes. Well made and ready to drink upon purchase and through 2023. POINTS: 93 RRP $19.99 matahiwi.co.nz

4

Leefield Station Pinot Gris 2019, Marlborough

4

5

Varietal aromas of fresh pears and quince, golden apple and a whisper of white spice. A satin texture on the palate is contrasted by crisp acidity and flavours of white fleshed tree fruits and nectarine, a mild leesy autolysis and white flower note. Crisp and refreshing finish, balanced and well made. Ready to drink from tody and through summer 2022. POINTS: 92 RRP $19.99 marisco.co.nz

5

St Pauli Vineyard Pinot Gris 2020, Moutere

No mistaking the varietal signature of fresh pears and apples, a soft and light almost gingery spice and sweet air mineral quality laced with a whipser of lees. Quite exotic on the palate with fruit flavours and intensity to reflect the bouquet. Plenty of refreshing acidity and core of fruit. A lovely wine ready to drink upon purchase and through 2022. POINTS: 92 RRP $22.00 stpauli.co.nz

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TASTING NOTES PINOT NOIR

PinNootir

P

inot Noir is one of the great grapes and wines of Aotearoa New Zealand. It is the most sold red wine by the glass in restaurants, works extremely well with different cuisines and is a variety that continues to add to our wine vernacular through its myriad expressions. Pinot Noir accounted for 7.4 percent of New Zealand’s total plantings in 2020 and only 14 percent of the total harvest from the same year. With the exception of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir is more widely planted than any other variety and over the past decade has grown by 839 hectares representing an increase of 17.4 percent. Year round, Pinot Noir demands constant attention in the vineyard. It has to reach optimal ripeness through a longer growing season to show-off soil, fruit and regional signatures. Vineyard microclimates and soils that take advantage of the minerals available deep below the surface, access to just enough water for the vines to stay happy and balanced along with many other contributing factors, including clonal material, root stocks, aspect and farming philosophies, all impact the condition of the fruit at harvest. The results can be spectacular with complex harmonious wines. Some of the best ‘18, ‘19 and ‘20 wines are only just being released, so I’m okay to wait for as long

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as it takes to try the 2021s - there is a lot of excitement about this year’s harvest quality. All our wine regions that grow Pinot Noir have a similar story about vintage, vine age and attention to detail, but a reoccurring theme through my conversations with producers is not only the continued potential for this variety, but an increasing acceptance that attention to detail in the vineyard is where the future lies. Some of this future is evidenced by a partial or deep dive into organic or bio-dynamic vineyard management and becoming an important component in business strategy for many producers. It has an almost immediate impact on soil and vine health as well as embracing the custodial and sustainable responsibilities that all wine producers can and should follow. Pinot Noir often carries 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. I have noticed a greater sense of region, soil or vineyard when this is done well. The use of whole bunches of grapes in the ferment can bring a more savoury seam through the palate, lengthen the finish and deepen the complexity.


TASTING NOTES PINOT NOIR

1

3

Valli Waitaki Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019, North Otago

Complex and detailed, mineral and fruit centric bouquet. Aromas of limestone and hard clay, red berry fruits then sweet new oak. Flavours of raspberry and red cherry lead the palate, then sweet wood and mineral, red apple and spice. An abundance of tannins and acidity, then roses and a lightweight salinity. Wonderful texture and length, purity and pinosity. Best drinking from early 2023 through 2030. POINTS: 96 RRP $79.00 valliwine.com

Craft Series The Journey Pinot Noir 2015, Marlborough

Integrating and complex, varietal and enticing. A bouquet with aromas of cherries and autum leaves, oak spices and barrel toast. A savoury mineral complexity adds breadth and a sense of place. Tense, youthful and dry on the palate with flavours that mirror the nose plus mushroom and autumn leaves with a savoury earthy quality. Decent level of tannins and acidity to contrast. Well made, still developing, a wine to watch. Best drinking from 2022 through 2026+. POINTS: 95 RRP $100.00 marisco.co.nz

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2

Valli Bendigo Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019, Central Otago

4

Domain Road Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019, Bannockburn

Distinctive, powerful, ripe, pure and intriguing. Punnets of raspberries and blackcurrant, wild thyme and rocky countryside scents. Baking spices of oak and toasty wood, then dark velvet roses. Tense and dry, taut and fruity, very young and tight in texture. Fruit flavours mirror the nose, tannins are firm and chalky, acidity in abundance. A fantastic wine, but needs to be cellared to develop more complexity and fuse the attributes together. Best drinking 2024 through 2034+. POINTS: 96 RRP $69.00 valliwine.com

Combinations of ripe red berry fruits and stony almost silty mineral layers weaving through aromas of new barrel and spice. There’s a smoky baked nut complexity with vanilla and a whisper of bacon oak. Very tense and poised on the palate with firm texture of tannin and acidity contrasting fruit flavours of red berries and plum. Plenty of spice and acidity, length and complexity. A wine for the cellar with best drinking from 2024 through 2030+. POINTS: 95 RRP $40.00 domainroad.co.nz

5

Loveblock Pinot Noir 2020, Central Otago

4

5

Vibrant, complex, ripe, varietal and intense pinosity with aromas of crushed black cherry, dried raspberry and plum compote. There’s a core of mineral and toasty leesy complexity. Bright, fresh, precise, fruity and quite delicious on the palate. Flavours of berries and mineral, some exotic spice moments and toasty barrel layers. Fine chalky tannins, a refreshing acid line add grip and mouthfeel. With a core of pinosity this is excellent drinking now, but will age beautifully as well with ideal drinking from late 2022 through 2028. POINTS: 95 RRP $31.99 loveblockwine.com

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TASTING NOTES PINOT NOIR

6

9

Nanny Goat Super Nanny Pinot Noir 2019, Central Otago

Bold, ripe dark berry fruited core of fruits with black cherry and baked raspberry, contrasting toasty barrel scents with vanilla and a whisper of bacon. Enticing and complex. Tense, youthful, fresh, fruity, varietal and delicious on the palate with flavours of dried raspberry, dark plum, black cherry and toasty wood spices. Firm tannins need some cellar time to soften and integrate. Overall a lovely example with complexity, length and bold Otago pinosity. Best drinking from late 2022 through 2028+. POINTS: 95 RRP $69.00 nannygoatvineyard.co.nz

Valli Gibbston Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019, Central Otago

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8

7

10

Valli Bannockburn Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019, Central Otago

7

Pyramid Valley North Canterbury Pinot Noir 2019

Established by Claudia and Mike Weersing, Pyramid Valley wines set new benchmarks for how the story of place and time is told through wine. From 2018 winemaker Huw Kinch continues the story. A complex and mineral laden wine with aromas of limestone and white clay, ripe fruit with flavours of sweet cherry and raspberry then fine French oak with vanilla and kitchen spices and warm savoury and dried herb complexities. Firm, tense, youthful and dry with flavours of Autumn and old roses, forest berries and natural autolysis through the palate. POINTS: 95 RRP $50.00 pyramidvalley.co.nz

9

8

Q Wine Pinot Noir 2020, Waitaki Valley

Complex bouquet with aromas of soil, place and variety. Limestone and white clay, dark red berries, plums and barrel spices. Youthful, fresh and appealing. Poised, fruity, varietal and complex on the palate with chalky tannins, a core of red cherry, raspberry and forest berry fruits. A touch of button mushroom, sweet baking spices of oak, contrasting acidity and lengthy finish. Well made with best drinking from 2022 through 2028+ POINTS: 95 RRP $58.00 qwine.co.nz

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Youthful, fruity, varietal and quite a powerful bouquet with aromas of schist and rugged hillsides, wild thyme and a core of red berry fruits from cherry and sour raspberry to yellow plum and red currant. Spices and vanilla scents of oak finish the bouquet and start the palate. Flavours of cherries and berries mirror the nose. Firm tannins and plenty of acidity build in texture and power with chalk and fine soil mouthfeel. A wine for the cellar with best drinking from 2023 through 2029+. POINTS: 95 RRP $69.00 valliwine.com

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10

Powerful, ripe, fruity, rich and pure fruited bouquet. Aromas and flavours of dark cherry and roasted raspberry, a touch of blackcurrant then smokey toasty barrel spices. On the palate - a core of dark red berry fruit flavours surrounded by sweet new oak, dried herb and minerality. An abundance of tannins and cool climate acidity sets the foundation and adds length as well as texture. Complex, youthful, juicy, fresh and delicious. Best drinking from late 2022 through 2029+. POINTS: 95 RRP $69.00 valliwine.com

11

Zephyr Pinot Noir 2019, Marlborough

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 is also noticeable adding its own messages of freshness and structure. The core on the palate however is in the fruit with flavours that mirror the nose, offering contrast to the structure and youthful grip. There’s a decent length and finish suggesting it’s okay to wait till mid 2021 before opening and will cellar well through 2025+. POINTS: 95 RRP $32.00 zephyrwine.com


TASTING NOTES PINOT NOIR

12

Astrolabe Comelybank Vineyard Waihopai Valley Pinot Noir 2019, Marlborough

Dark red berry fruits and toasty barrel spices, a light savoury and earthy core with stony dried earth and soft dried herb quality. Delicious on the palate with flavours of spicy sweet oak dark cherry, baked cherry and plum flavours. Dusty clove and vanilla barrel spice flavours. Tannins are in abundance with a smooth polished texture and plenty of acidity adding to palate tension and lenth. A lovely example with best drinking from early 2022 through 2028 POINTS: 94 RRP $50.00 astrolabewines.co.nz

12

13

15

Astrolabe Wairau Valley Pinot Noir 2018, Marlborough

13

Luna Eclipse Pinot Noir 2019, Martinborough

Complex and enticing bouquet with scents of ripe cherry and dark plum, baking spices and smoky toasty oak. As the wine opens up in glass the complexity expands to include mineral and silty rocky soil scents. Delicious on the palate with flavours that mirror the nose. An abundance of fine chalky tannins, acidity and barrel spices add flavour and expand the mouthfeel. A lovely wine on its own or with food. Best drinking from 2022 through 2028. POINTS: 94 RRP $50.00 lunaestate.co.nz

14

16

16

Lake Chalice TheFalcon Pinot Noir 2019, Marlborough

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Nanny Goat Queensberry Pinot Noir 2020, Central Otago Distinctive power and intensity with a core of energy, aromas of dark cherries and spices, stony earthy qualities and smoky oak complexity. Flavours of raspberry and plum then cherry, dark rose and baking spices of oak. Firm youthful textures with tannins and acidity needing cellar time to fuse with the fruits and develop more harmonies. Great potential with power, finesse and polish. Best drinking late 2022 through 2028+. POINTS: 94 RRP $62.00 nannygoatvineyard.co.nz

Cherries and roses, blackcurrant and dark baking spices. A soft savoury fruit layer with a fine silty minerality adds complexity and a rose floral note adds charm and elegance. Flavours of strawberry and cherry on the palate with fine tannins and medium+ acidity. Barrel flavours are mild with a gentle toasty and brown spice complexity. Drinking well now, better in 2022 through 2026+. POINTS: 93 RRP $30.00 astrolabewines.co.nz

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Smoky toasty and ripe red fruited bouquet with aromas of black cherry and baked raspberry, some plum and blackcurrant moments. Toasty brown spices of vanilla and five spice add complexity and depth. A core of fruit leads the palate with contrasting tannins and acidity then flavours of lightly charred oak. Balanced, refreshing and well made. Drink best from late 2021 through 2025. POINTS: 93 RRP $18.99 lakechalice.com

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Leefield Station Pinot Noir 2019, Marlborough

Ripe, just picked dark red cherry, plum, roses with red and black currant. Quiet through moderate scents of oak and light earthy quality. Taut and youthful on the palate with a core of fleshy red berry fruit and currant flavours. Light smoky oak with tannins to match, plenty of acidity and a juicy salivating fininsh. Best drinking from 2021 through 2025. POINTS: 93 RRP $27.99 marisco.co.nz

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TASTING NOTES PINOT NOIR

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Mount Brown Estates Grand Reserve Pinot Noir 2019, North Canterbury

The bouquet has both power and intensity as well as a core of pinosity and new oak scents combined. Aromas of dark berries and wood spices, a savoury mineral layer and toasty barrel scents of clove and bacon. On the palate equally expressive with a firm texture from youthful chalky tannins and acidity underpinning a core of red berry fruit and oak flavours. Youthful, generous and firmly textured wine requiring more integration time to complete the harmonies required of a wine of this calibre. Best drink from mid 2022 through 2028+. POINTS: 93 RRP $29.99 mountbrown.co.nz

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The Ned Pinot Noir 2019 Marlborough

What’s not to like? Aromas and flavours of crunchy red cherry and quietly spoken oak spices with vanilla and clove and a touch of wood smoke. Fruit and oak flavours are mirrrored on the palate contrasted by fine tannins and acidity. Balanced, well made and ready. Best drinking from 2021 through 2023. POINTS: 93 RRP $25.99 marisco.co.nz

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Wild Grace Pinot Noir 2019, Central Otago

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Nanny Goat Pinot Noir 2020, Central Otago

Raspberry and black cherry, clove and toasty wood, damson plums and dried earth mineral scents. Firm textures on the palate, chalky tannins and acidity, contrasting core of fruit with flavours that reflect the nose, a light savoury dried herb layer adds further contrast and complexity. Oak flavours and mineral add depth and contrast. A great food pairing wine or on its own, with best drinking from 2021 through 2026. POINTS: 93 RRP $43.00 nannygoatvineyard.co.nz

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Trinity Hill Lost Garden Pinot Noir 2019, Hawke’s Bay

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Saint Clair Origin Pinot Noir 2019, Marlborough

Ripe and vibrant bouquet with aromas of fresh dark cherries and plum, lots of barrel spice and fruit spice, moderate toasty barrel aromas and a gun-flint steely youthful energy. Equally fruity and vibrant on the palate with fleshy velvet textured fruits and tannins, likely acid line and flavours of cherry, plum and blackcurrant. Chalky tannins and toasty barrel spices, a fresh and crunchy texture with contrasting fresh fruit flavours delivers a wine that many Pinot Noir fans will enjoy. Best drinking from today and through 2027+. POINTS: 93 RRP $24.90 saintclair.co.nz

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Aromas of spicy dark cherry and rapsberry, plum and a stony silty minerality. Barrel spices of clove and vanilla along with a light char barrel smoke layer. Lots of flavour and pinosity on the palate with firm youthful texture from chalky-ish tannins and acidity. Still youthful with some harmonies between the raspberry, cherry, red berry fruit flavours and wood to settle in - so no rush to drink. Best enjoyed from 2022 through 2026+. POINTS: 93 RRP $27.00 cbrands.com

Flavours of red cherries and red apple, a touch of poached rhubarb and plum. Fine tannins and acidity add crunch and salivating mouthfeel. Oak flavours are mild with moments of vanilla and five spice. Balanced, well made and ready, with best drinking from 2021 through 2024. POINTS: 91 RRP $27.99 trinityhill.com

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The King Series Wrath Pinot Noir 2018, Marlborough

Bright red fruit aromas of cherry and red apple, some crunchy red berry suggestions and plum. Fresh, crisp, fruity and dry on the palate. Fine tannins with a core of fruit. Moments of sweet oak and spice with vanilla alongside a fine silty mineral complexity. Balanced, well made and ready. Best drinking from 2021 through 2023. POINTS: 90 RRP $28.99 marisco.co.nz


TASTING NOTES BEST OF THE REST - REDS

t s e R e h Best Of T

I

s d e R -

love a glass of full-bodied red wine with a steak,” is a not an uncommon phrase I hear from customers. It’s also when the complete wrong wine can be selected if the textures, protein level and medium for cooking are not considered properly. With the right food, a glass of red wine can be a great pairing. But it’s also easy to spoil a match or change it to something less than ideal when for example, I observe a customer adding too much mustard, pepper or chilli flakes as their own special garnish on the meat. Don’t get me wrong I like a little mustard or pepper on my steak too, just not both together and piled on like there’s no tomorrow. One of the more interesting pairings you can try is to forget the mustard and pepper and grate some bitter chocolate into the jus or gravy to add a little South-American flair. Fuller-bodied red wines can be particularly good with bitter chocolate. Merlot on its own or in a blended red wine is often the lead player in a pairing because it has an inherent silky softness and mid-palate core of fruit and weight to pair with food. It doesn’t carry too much acidity or tannin and loves oak – French and American equally – though not together. Syrah, which also goes by the name Shiraz in some countries, can be just as floral and pretty as Pinot Noir, can be intriguing with its meaty, spicy flavours, complex core of fruit and firm texture. When aged it can be very compelling and seductive. With the right food, incredible. Syrah will often have dark cherry fruit and raspberry flavours when young. When less oak is used it can be the right alternative to Merlot and Pinot Noir. Typically, however Syrah does have a lot more power and impact on the palate with bold tannins, sometimes more oak and a noticeable back bone of acidity. Red wine blends, sometimes referred to as Bordeaux Blends, are often made with Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and often Malbec and Petit Verdot. The best of those produced have a powerful fruit profile, can be herbaceous and vegetal, ripe and bold textures on the palate displaying very expressive and abundant tannins, plenty of acidity and oak. Some of the best examples I have encountered recently come from plantings in Hawke’s Bay, Waiheke Island, Clevedon, Wairarapa and North Canterbury. Expect more oak to complement a complex and varied fruit profile, bolder tannins and a lot more texture.

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TASTING NOTES BEST OF THE REST - REDS

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with a stony earthy quality. Full-bodied and complex on the palate with flavours that reflect the nose. An abundance of tannins and flavour, length and vibrato. Ideal drinking from 2023 through 2033+. Decant for service before then and serve with food. POINTS: 95 RRP $28.99 vassefelix.com.au

Church Road Grand Reserve Syrah 2018, Hawke’s Bay

Dark ruby and purple core with a pink rim reflecting how young this wine looks. Bright, fresh, varietal, slightly broody bouquet reflects the core of a youthful wine. Blackcurrant and plum, raspberry and violets. Smoky toasty barrel scents of clove and vanilla add complexity and depth. Salivating, tense, ripe, fruity, broody, aged meat and ever so slightly salty on the palate. Red fruits and softening tannins along with barrel spices and dry stone earthy complexities present a delicious example. A complete wine with best window for drinking from late 2021 through 2026+. POINTS: 96 RRP $45.00 church-road.com

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Smith & Sheth CRU Heretaunga Syrah 2019, Hawkes Bay

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PARITUA Vineyards and Winery Twenty.One.Twelve (Cabernets) 2018, Hawke’s Bay

Powerful core of blackberry and roasted plums, a touch of dark chocolate and smoky tobacco oak complexities. Youthful, intense and compelling bouquet. Full-bodied, rich in flavour and texture with barrel spices and fruit flavours that mirror the nose. Firm tannins are abundant and ripe. There’s no mistaking the toasty oak and barrel spice layers. A complex and powerful wine that will age for some years to come. Decant for service and serve with food. Best drinking from 2024 through 2030+. POINTS: 96 RRP $130.00 paritua.com

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Cable Bay Estate Vineyard Syrah 2019, Waiheke Island

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Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels 'The Gimblett’ 2019, Hawke’s Bay

Made with the Cabernet family the bouquet showcases aromas of blackberry and dark olive, baked bell-pepper and tobacco, cassis and doris plum with a natural herbacous complexity. No mistaking the youthful firm textures as the wine hits the palate with bold tannins and acidity that need time to infiltrate through the flavours of ripe berries. Oak too is bold with a toasty dark spices complexity. This wine needs some cellar time please. Decant for service if you cannot wait. Best drinking from 2024 through 2030+ POINTS: 95 RRP $39.99 trinityhill.com

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Vasse Felix Filius Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, Margaret River

Complex and ripe, richly scented aromas of roasted plums and blackberries, baking spices with clove and vanilla, dried herb and smoked nut, moments of mint and hay

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Intensely varietal and fruity with a core of ripe raspberry and red currant then white peppercorn scents, no mistaking the layer of fresh new French oak with baking spices, a whisper of bacon and toasty barrel aromas. Complex with a stony mineral complexity and inviting bouquet. Firm, tense, youthful with a core of fruit and oak tannin tension, flavours of dark berries, raspberry and plum, there’s a spicy toasty oak flavour, aged meat and salty peppercorn drift. Firm tannins and acidity remind me this is a youthful example and not yet ready. Long finish, persistent and fresh with best drinking from late 2022 through 2030. POINTS: 95 RRR $40.00 smithandsheth.com

A bouquet of focus and concnetration with aromas and flavours of dark berries, blackcurrant, flowers, barrel spices, salt, rocks, pepper and tobacco. A back bone of acidity ensures contrast and longevity if stored well. Firm youthful tannins have polish and power. The finish highlights moments of violets and spice and dark berries. Best drinking upon purchase and through 2026. POINTS: 94 RRP $48.00 cablebay.nz

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Saint Clair Origin Gimblett Gravels Merlot 2020, Hawke’s Bay

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Very expressive bouquet with a core of roasted doris plums, blackberry and blueberry fruits, toasty barrel spice and sun warm stony soils. There’s also aromas of leather and dark spices of vanilla and clove alongside a toasty barrel intensity. Wonderful texture on the palate with a chalky fruit-centric texture, medium tannins and plenty of acidity to highlight the core of fruit flavours. Delicious to drink and will be a great partner with food. Optimal drinking from 2022 through 2028. POINTS: 94 RRP $24.90 saintclair.co.nz


TASTING NOTES BEST OF THE REST - REDS

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Vasse Felix Filius Cabernet Merlot 2019, Margaret River

Trinity Hill Lost Garden Syrah 2019, Hawke’s Bay

Aromas of blackberry and cassis, doris plums and sweet smoky oak, apple and blackberry pie with a toasty barrel and baked nut complexity. Flavours on the palate reflect the bouquet with a ripe, intense freshness accentuated by firm tannins and acidity, toasty barrel spices of clove and vanilla, a touch of bacon and seasoned wood complexity. Youthful, needing some cellar time to fully integrate, with ideal drinking from late 2022 through 2030+. Decanting for service suggested. POINTS: 94 RRP $28.99 vassefelix.com.au

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Aromas of blackcurrant and dark fleshed raspberry, some fragrant and mild peppery spices, earthy with crumbled dry stone scents and a moment of sweet aged meat. Firm, dry, varietal and fruity on the palate with flavours that mirror the nose. Tannins add texture and mouthfeel with a back bone of acidity. Balanced, well made and ready to enjoy on its own or with food. Best drinking from 2021 through 2024. POINTS: 92 RRP $27.99 trinityhill.com

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E. Guigal Côtes du Rhone 2017, Southern Rhone

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Campo Viejo Rioja Gran Reserva 2013, Spain

Classic bouquet of a Rioja red with aromas of spicy sweet meats and dried berries, baking spices of cinnamon and vanilla with dried cherries and plums. Bottle development delivers complexity and intrigue. Equally classic and tasty on the palate with flavours of dried berries, dark spices, mushroom and forest floor with a sweet toasty oak and dusty tannins core. Dry on the finish, balanced and well made. A great winter 2021 food accompaniment. POINTS: 94 RRP $34.99 campoviejo.com

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Sileni Cut Cane Merlot Grand Reserve 2018, Hawke’s Bay

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Lifted aromas of plums and ripe raspberry, forest berries and damsons. Some sweet vanilla and oak scents and moderate complexity. Just dry and creamy with elevated alcohol, fine tannins and flavours of plums and berries that reflect the bouquet. Balanced, well made and in a ready to drink style from 2021 through 2024. POINTS: 92 $49.99 sileni.co.nz

Selaks The Taste Collection Pepper & Spice Syrah 2020, Hawke’s Bay

Blackcurrant and blue fruits with dark baking spices of clove and vanilla then sweet meats and dried earth complexity. The pepper and spice are part of the flavours and textures on the plate with dark berry and toasty wood flavours capturing the essecnce of the spice attributes first. Tannins and acidity bring contrast and highlight the pepper. Balanced, well made and ready to drink upon purchase and through 2024. POINTS: 92 RRP $25.00 selaks.co.nz

Classic CDR style with aromas of dark berries, peppery, meaty, fleshy dark plum, a touch of chocolate and whisper of bacon and smoky barrel spices. Lovely on the palate with a firm, mouthwatering and textured mouthfeel. Firmish tannins and medium+ acidity and lengthy finish with flavours that reflect the nose. Best drinking upon purchase and through 2025. An ideal food partner. POINTS: 92 RRP $27.99 guigal.com

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Trinity Hill Merlot 2020, Hawke’s Bay

Damson and doris plum, blueberry and baking spice of toasty wood. The core of fruit on the palate yields to firmish youthful tannins and contrasting acidity. This is a persistent red and dark red fruited wine with a fresh youthful appeal and flavours that mirror the nose. Balanced and well made ready to drink 2021 through 2024. POINTS: 90 RRP $22.99 trinityhill.com

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TASTING NOTES BEST OF THE REST

Best Of The Rest

Rosé, Aromatic and Lesser Known Varieties

R

osé continues to be one of the most popular styles of wine available. All colours for Rosé are valid – from the pale pink to raspberry hued through to the onion-skin and salmon hued. A wander through a liquor store or supermarket will demonstrate just how many local as well as international options there are. The taste profile of the imported wines 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. Flavours can range from strawberry to cherry, damson plums to raspberry, saffron and peach tea to savoury and complex with fine tannins. My advice is to buy a different one each week and experiment. If 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. Bone dry through off-dry and exceedingly sweet styles are available so it’s a good idea to read a wine label carefully to be sure you know what you’re pouring. It is also classified as an aromatic variety with aromas including flowers or blossoms, sometimes some kerosene scents 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

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to moderate alcohol and high acidity fastening together the fruit and structural elements. Gewürztraminer, Muscat, Albarińo, Muller Thurgau, Pinot Blanc and Gruner Veltliner are all examples of aromatic or semiaromatic grape varieties. These varieties contain a set of naturallyoccurring compounds called ‘terpenes’ which makes them particularly distinctive, but also difficult to pair with food if you’re not sure how the combinations work. Māori, Tongan and Samoan dishes can be excellent with aromatic wines. In the hands of a good winemaker the spice, fruit and floral flavours can be delicious so if you’re keen to explore one or more of these wines then I suggest to try them accompanied firstly with either a paté, a creamy soup, sous-vide meats or pasta with fresh herbs. If those parings were successful then move into specific cuisines from our Pacific Island neighbours then try with middle-eastern and Asian fare. One of these varieties deserves a special mention - sometimes just called Gewürz´, Gewürztraminer is the most intense and exotic of the aromatic varieties with flavours of tropical fruits, roses and spices, lavender talc, pineapple, white pepper and even apple strudel have been used to describe the wine. Gewürz´ is my favourite white wine to pair with food as it works with just about anything except heavily spiced dishes – the alcohol in this wine can make the spices in food amplify out of control.


TASTING NOTES BEST OF THE REST

1

Valli Waitaki Vineyard Riesling 2020, North Otago

Powerful citrus and mineral aromas with lemon and tangerine, apple and blossom and chalky, leesy minerality. Off-dry style with plenty of sweetness and flavours of tree fruits and citrus that mirror the bouquet. Powerful acidity and lower alcohol. A totally delicious example packed with flavour, intensity, freshness and length. Suitable as an aperitif or with food. Best drinking from today and through 2030+. POINTS: 96 RRP $30.00 valliwine.com

2

No. 1 Family Estate Assemblé NV, Marlborough

Aromas of baked goods and peaches, grapefruit and strawberry. A fine lees complexity and autolysis with intensity and sophistication. Crisp, refreshingly dry, balanced and lengthy with flavours that mirror the nose, a fine mousse tension and delicious finish. Best drinking upon purchase and through 2025. POINTS: 94 RRP $32.00 no1familyestate.co.nz

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Askerne Viognier 2020, Hawke’s Bay

Pure, fresh, varietal and enticing bouquet. Aromas of fresh apricot and yellow flowers. White spice and a touch of bacon. A fine lees autolysis adds complexity and intrigue. Satin cream texture on the palate with a core of white fleshed stone fruits, apple, spice and floral moments. Plenty of weight, fruit and delicacy. A lovely example ready to drink upon purchase and through 2025. POINTS: 94 RRP $24.90 askernewines.co.nz

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Craft Series The Exemplar Viognier 2015, Waihopai Valley, Marlborough

Complex, integrated, varietal and specific bouquet with aromas of white apricot and apple, blossoms and baking spice, a fine stony mineral complexity and an enticing, charming bouquet. Equally complex on the palate with a fine satin texture, flavours that mirror the nose, mineral, old barrel spice and a fine lees autolysis. Fragrant delicious and lengthy, balanced, well made and ready. Best drinking from purchase and through 2023+. POINTS: 94 RRP $65.00 marisco.co.nz

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Rockburn Tigermoth Riesling 2017, Central Otago

Aromas of fresh white peach and lemon, a moment of lemon barley sugar then pineapple, exotic flowers and apple. Off-dry in a medium style with contrasting acidity and a core of fruit showcasing meyer lemon, peach and white fleshed stone fruit. Salivating, juicy and delicious. Fantastic as an aperitif or with naturally sweet or gently spiced fare. Best drinking upon purchase and through 2025+ POINTS: 94 RRP $29.00 rockburn.co.nz

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TASTING NOTES BEST OF THE REST

6

Loveblock Gewürtztraminer 2020, Marlborough

Exotic, fragrant, floral, varietal and seductive bouquet. Aromas of white fleshed fruits and ripe citrus, fresh quince and apple, white fleshed stone fruits and fragrant spices. Delicious on the palate in a just dry expression with mouth-watering acidity, balanced and luscious with fruit flavours that reflect the bouquet. Well made and ready to drink upon purchase and through 2023. POINTS: 93 RRP $21.99 loveblockwine.com

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The Kings Series A Sticky End Noble Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Waihopai Valley, Marlborough

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ME by Matahiwi Estate Rosé 2021, Wairarapa

This brand new release is delicious with aromas of fresh cherry and raspberry, strawberry compote, flowers and silica. Salivating and fruity, crunchy and fresh with flavours that mirror the nose. Balanced, new and ready. What are you waiting for? Best drinking from today and through summer 2022. POINTS: 93 RRP $19.99 matahiwi.co.nz

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Domain Road Vineyard Pinot Noir Rosé 2020, Bannockburn

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The Ned Noble Sauvignon Blanc 2020 Waihopai Valley, Marlborough

Fragrant, fruity and floral bouquet with aromas of fresh red cherry and winter roses, mineral and spice, red apple, some sweet rhubarb and raspberry. Flavours on the palate mirror the nose with fresh raspberry and sweet red plum leading. Fresh and crisp, dry on the finish. Well made and ready. Drink upon purchase and through 2023. POINTS: 93 RRP $27.00 domainroad.co.nz

Powerful bouqet with a core of fresh herbs and tropical fruits - mango and baked pineapple, quince and apple, gooseberry and pink grapefruit. Very sweet with contrasting acidity showcasing the flavours of tropical fruits and caramelised apple then herb. Luscious and long. Best drinking upon purchase and through 2024. POINTS: 93 RRP $25.99 marisco.co.nz

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Deep golden hues and polished appearance lead to aromas and flavours of honeyed fruits, beeswax and sweet treacle. Very sweet and delicious on the palate with flavours of gooseberry and apricot, honey and peach. A very mild herb moment reminds me this is Sauvignon Blanc. Contrasting acidity, delicious and fresh, lush and long. Best drinking from today and through 2026+. POINTS: 93 RRP $28.99 marisco.co.nz

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Lake Chalice The Falcon Rosé 2020, Marlborough

Fresh cherries and sweet plum, a touch of raspberry and strawberry. Equally fresh, fruity and vibrant on the palate with light red fruit flavours to mirror the nose, plenty of crunch through the acidity, a chalk and wet stone mineral moment and balanced, even finish. Drink upon purchase and through 2022. POINTS: 90 RRP $18.99 lakechalice.com


e n i D

AOTEAROA WITH HOSPITALITY IN AOTEAROA IN FULL SWING, CAMERON HAS SOME RECOMMENDATIONS FOR DINING OUT, IF YOU ARE TRAVELLING AWAY FROM HOME.

TE TAI TOKERAU/ NORTHLAND Ake Ake Vineyard Restaurant in Kerikeri has contemporary cuisine from locally sourced produce. Terra Restaurant in Paihia is classic and contemporary inspired by local produce.

TE WHANGA-NUI-A-TARA/WAIRARAPA Union Square Bistro inside the Martinborough Hotel, local and international flavours Pinocchio Restaurant and Bar in Greytown, fresh, local, well executed cuisine.

TĀMAKI-MAKAU-RAU/AUCKLAND Nanam in Takapuna has authentic Filipino cuisine. The Grounds in Henderson has a contemporary cuisine with French and Asian flavours.

WHAKATŪ/NELSON Cod and Lobster Brasserie in the heart of Nelson. The Boat Shed Café on Wakefield Quay, excellent seafood and coffee with great views.

TE MOANA-A-TOI/BAY OF PLENTY El Mexicano Zapata has Latin and Central American cuisine. Umami Fusion Kitchen with Asian fusion and vegetarian menu.

TE TAUIHU-O-TE-WAKA/MARLBOROUGH Harvest Restaurant in Marlborough is stunning. Arbour Restaurant in Fairhall offers classic and contemporary cuisine executed beautifully.

TE TAI RĀWHITI/GISBORNE The Dome and Cinema Bar has a mix of classic Kiwi and European inspired food. The Works on Esplanade has European and New Zealand cuisine with great river views. TE MATAU-A-MĀUI/HAWKE’S BAY Bistronomy in the heart of Napier delivers very exciting contemporary and fusion cuisine and an excellent wine list. Malo Bar and Restaurant in Havelock North, classic cuisine with local seasonal flavours.

WAITAHA/CANTERBURY Black Estate Vineyard Restaurant in Waipara. Kinji Japanese Restaurant on Greers Road. ŌTĀKOU WAITAKI VALLEY AND CENTRAL OTAGO Riverstone Kitchen Highway 1 Oamaru. The Stoaker Room in Cromwell with barrel cooked meats, homemade sausage and excellent mac n’ cheese.

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Photo Oliver Crawford

p o r D t s La THE

CAMERON REFLECTS ON HOW LUCKY WE ARE TO LIVE IN AOTEAROA

O

n the final page of the last edition for World of Wine, I reflected on the challenges of 2020 and how they caused us to create new habits. Some we kept, some were only temporary and all because of a lockdown caused by a virus we didn’t know was coming or how it could and would affect our lives. How lucky we are to be living in Aotearoa New Zealand that by winter 2021 we are back to ‘normal’ save a few new behaviours many of us now take for granted, like scanning QR codes as we enter a building or business. Clientele in restaurants is building again with wine, cocktails, bespoke beers and new release locally made spirits finding favour in many outlets. We can now also head to some of our South Pacific neighbour countries for some welldeserved R and R. The 2021 wine vintage will deliver excellent quality with many investment wines to be released in 2022 and 2023. Sauvignon Blanc, some Riesling and Rosé will start appearing on retail shelves and winelists from August. Crop levels are low this year so choose wisely and quickly. You

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can also read in The Shout magazine or visit my website for guidance. Wine reviews on my website camdouglasms. com are always complimentary, done as a courtesy to our fine wine industry. This means every review is honest, detailed and not advertorial. At the website and on some wine bottles in outlets you may spot my personalised endorsements. In their distinctive Mustang yellow and black, the stickers on bottles and printed material will be easy to spot – see below. These are not award stickers, but a highly visual endorsement of great winemaking. There are four tiers in my system and as a guide include; 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 Summer edition of World of Wine 2022 will be available in late December. Till then always stay humble and kind and don’t forget – only drink fantastic wine. W


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