In Part 1 of my Review of the New Zealand Wine Fair 2012, I talked about New Zealand’s sustainability goals, and provided tasting notes on the New Zealand wine makers’ upcoming varietals to the rest of the world of Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, and Syrah. But there is also Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and more to try during this tasting. So let me take you through the wines I thought were of top quality.
My Recommended White & Sparkling Wines
Babich Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, 2011 ($19.75) – This is a very tasty wine for sub $20. Pale lemon coloured. Nice herbal and gooseberry aromas. Light body, dry, high acid, with citrus, herbal, and gooseberry flavours. Lots of pineapple on the nice. Enjoy this one for the summer!
- Babich Black Label Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, 2011 ($23.99) – This is a more restrained, balanced wine, compared to it’s younger sibling. It has a light herbal and citrus nose. Dry, with medium acidity, and a nice balance between citrus and herbal. There is also some wonderful guava notes.
- Elephant Hill Estate & Winery Viognier, Hawke’s Bay, 2010 ($29.99) – This was one of my favourite white wines of the fair. Very nice light orange aroma. Round, light body but with a viscous mouth feel. Sweet spices, stone fruit, some leafiness / herbal edge. Very tasty.
- Huia Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, 2011 ($24.99) – The grapes for this wine are certified organic, with the winery working toward biodynamic certification. 15% of the grapes for this wine are from indigenous yeast (aka wild ferment), which hopefully adds some additional complexity to the wine. Nice lime nose. Dry, light body and light acidity with lime and gooseberry flavours. Elegant.
- Jackson Estate Stich Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, 2011 ($21.99) – Watery lemon colour with a light stone fruit nose. Light body, light acidity with pretty flower and herbal flavours. Dry with a medium length.
Matua Valley Estate Paretai Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, 2011 ($29.99) – Nice light gooseberry aroma. Higher acidity, dry, with tasty gooseberry, asparagus, and herbal flavours.
- Oyster Bay Sparkling Cuvee Rose NV ($24.99) – This is a blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir. Watery with a pink tinge to it. Light citrus, creamy nose. Citrus, with high acid with light bubble.
- Oyster Bay Chardonnay, Marlborough, 2011 ($19.99) – Light lemon colour. Light apple, lemon and lime nose. Light body with medium acidity. Round, stone fruit and some sweet spice on the palate.
- Sileni Cellar Selection Parkhill Pinot Gris, Hawke’s Bay, 2010 ($18.99) – Half of the grapes for this wine was fermented in barrel for added complexity. Medium lemon colour with light vanilla and stone fruit aromas. Round, with upfront, but not overpowering oak. Smokiness and stone fruit flavours.
My Recommended Red Wines
- Akarua Pinot Noir Bannockburn, Central Otago, 2010 ($26.99) – This wine has a nice raspberry nose. Medium body with ripe raspberries and cherry flavours, and some spiciness. Dry with low tannins. Nice, but I think this wine would be best served with food.
Jackson Estate Vintage Widow Pinot Noir, Marlborough, 2010 ($29.99) – Medium translucent ruby colour. Raspberries and nutmeg aromas. I enjoyed nosing this wine. Light body, with flowers / violets, cherries and raspberry flavours. Higher acidity and low tannins. Very tasty.
- Staete Landt Map Maker Pinot Noir Rapaura, Marlborough, 2009 ($27.99) – Pale cherry colour with a light strawberry nose. Light body, with cloves, strawberries and cherry flavours. Dry with low tannins. Try other wines from Staete Landt. They produce a wide range of quality wines.
- Villa Maria Cellar Selection Pinot Noir, Marlborough, 2009 ($34.99) – Watery ruby in the glass. Interesting nose of chocolates and cherries. Dry, light body with a soft mouth feel. Light cherry flavour.
- Waimea Pinot Noir, Nelson, 2009 ($24.99) – Pale garnet. Nice strawberry and violet aromas. Light body, dry and round, with strawberry flavours and a bit of spice that lead into cherries and vanilla flavours mid palate. Medium length. I really liked this wine.
- Whitehaven Pinot Noir, Marlborough, 2010 ($23.99) – Light translucent ruby colour. Light smokey strawberry nose. Light body, higher acidity, with smoky strawberry flavours. A nice wine.
If you enjoy New Zealand wines and specifically Pinot Noir wines, why not attend Pinot Noir NZ 2013? This is New Zealand’s Premier Wine event. The event covers four days and has an international forum to talk about Pinot Noir. Taste the wines of more than 100 wineries from 5 distinct regions in New Zealand. There will be over 300 New Zealand Pinot Noirs at the show, so have fun. To find out more about this event, visit the Pinot Noir 2013 website. Enjoy!