Tasted: New Zealand

By / Wine + Drinks / April 24th, 2014 / 3

Much of New Zealand’s two islands are either too wet or too mountainous to grow quality grapes. Despite this, the country has carved out some major winegrowing regions, both in the moderate climate of the North Island and the cooler climate of the South Island. And, although New Zealand is known for its superior-quality Sauvignon Blanc, it also produces wines made from other varieties, including Pinot Gris, Riesling, Pinot Noir and Syrah.

 

Wither Hills Pinot Gris 2009

Reviewed by: Harry Hertscheg

Editor Rating: Very Good

$19

Wairau Valley, Marlborough

Review Summary:

Partial French oak fermentation imparts a round mouthfeel flecked with spicy notes. Fragrant aromas highlight orange blossom and honeysuckle. Quince and melon engage the intense mid-palate, bookended by sweet peach upfront and candied pear/ginger on the finish. Ideal with a cheese and fruit platter.

 

Mt Difficulty Target Gully Riesling 2010

Reviewed by: Gilles Bois

Editor Rating: Very Good

$25

Central Otago

Review Summary:

Very pale. Elegant nose of citrus, limestone and delicate petrol notes. Semi-dry on the palate, this is a fine expression of the variety that drinks well now.

 

Schubert Pinot Noir 2008

Reviewed by: Gilles Bois

Editor Rating: Excellent

$33

Marion’s Vineyard, Wairarapa

Review Summary:

Medium ruby. The spicy nose is fresh, a floral touch adds complexity. Beautiful fruity taste with the right amount of oak. Silky yet tight middle palate with good freshness. Nice finish too.

 

Sacred Hill Deerstalkers Syrah 2007

Reviewed by: Harry Hertscheg

Editor Rating: Excellent

$40

Hawkes Bay

Review Summary:

Bolts out of the gate with intense gamey, very meaty, red-fruited aromas. Expect a rich, intense, spicy, opulently textured palate. Complex finish of dried herbs, liquorice and black olive. Winemaker Tony Bish describes it as “dangerously drinkable.” And it is, so just start sipping.

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