Sunday, March 6, 2011

NZ wine in a glass 2011

One has to be quite selective at these big wine shows (maybe 60 wineries were present), so I decided on a bit of Chardonnay from Waiheke Island, Pinot Noir from Central Otago and a bit of red wine from the Gimblett Gravels in Hawkes Bay.

The Chardonnays were from Cable Bay, in the west of the Island, and Man O' War, which has many vineyards in the East. They were both fresh wines, with citrus and apple flavours and some creaminess. I particularly liked the flintiness of the 2009 Man O' War Valhalla Chardonnay (92 points).

The problem with most Central Otago Pinot Noirs was that many are pretty, but it seemed to me the grapes were very young. As a result, these wines lacked in character. This applied to Cable Bay and Domain Road. Chard Farm Mata-Au showed attractive silky tannins, but disappointed with a thin mouthfeel. Peregrine showed typical dark cherry for the area, and some savoury characteristics, with somewhat grainy tannins. The two Gibbston Valley Pinots were different from each other, but lacked fullness and complexity. The outstanding wine came from Maude, from their 1994 planted Mt. Maude vineyard. This 2007 Mt. Maude Family Vineyard Pinot Noir is quite savoury, all stems go into the process. The wine has grip, depth, and a long finish (94 points).

The Gimblett Gravels wines came from Trinity Hill. I found them disappointing. The 2008 Syrah and the 2008 Tempranillo were a bit simplistic. The Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon was the best from a mediocre trio (88/89 points).

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