Monday, October 1, 2018

New Zealands Current Best?

I recently tasted a number of New Zealand's best wines at the 'Family of Twelve' tastings. This a a marketing organization of some of New Zealand's small and medium sized wineries.

The top wine for me was the 2016 Ata Rangi Pinot Noir. This wine is quite steely, and a bit edgy. It has an ethereal texture with very fine and silky tannins and an expanding finish. Ata Rangi seems to be able to produce this character year after year. Is it due to the clone they stole from Romanée-Conti? Maybe it is. The 2013 Ata Rangi McCrone Pinot Noir is made from the Dijon clone and does not come near it. But also, the vines for this wine are a lot younger.

The surprise second best wine for me was the 2015 Neudorf Moutere Pinot Noir. I enjoyed its deep fruit set, and again an elegant, silky structure.

In third place came the 2017 Felton Road Cornish Point Pinot Noir. The dark cherry flavours were quite smooth, and the tannins silky, a bit bigger than the previous wines. In contrast, the 2017 Felton Road Bannockburn Pinot Noir, a blend from three vineyards, was not as differentiated, with a slightly flat patch on the mid palate.

So there you are: three different vintages from three different regions, but a trifecta for Pinot Noir.

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