Kiwi gins and tonics: a comparative tasting

When I was in New Zealand in January, Hannah Burns of Craggy Range and I did an impromptu tasting of Kiwi gins. We tried the gins neat, and then in G&Ts with Quina Fina tonic. We also tried a range of tonics on their own. These are my notes.

Broken Heart Navy Strength Gin
57% alcohol. From [...]

Two lovely Kiwi Pinots: Burn Cottage and Ata Rangi

It was nice to drink these two side by side: a couple of New Zealand’s most highly regarded Pinot Noirs. Both were showing really beautifully, in the middle of a dinner with some other strong wines.

Ata Rangi Pinot Noir 2013 Martinborough, New Zealand
Fresh, floral and detailed with lovely black cherry and raspberry fruit. Real finesse [...]

Pinot Noir 2017, Wellington, New Zealand - a film

 

While I was attending Pinot Noir 2017, I put together a short-ish film of the proceedings, capturing some of the best moments of the three days. It was a trill remarkable event: it wasn’t just the 117 wineries and the lovely New Zealand Pinot Noirs they poured, but instead there was a narrative theme running [...]

New Zealand Pinot Noir: some favourites from Central Otago and Waitaki

Continuing my round up of top Pinot Noirs from the recent New Zealand trip, here are some favourites from Central Otago, with a couple from North Otago’s Waitaki thrown in too. I’ve been coming to Central Otago regularly since 2010, and there’s been a steady evolution. This is unsurprising: after all, the first commercial wine [...]

New Zealand Pinot Noir: top examples from North Canterbury and Martinborough

Continuing with my trawl through the exciting New Zealand Pinot scene, here are some of my favourite wines from North Canterbury (which includes Waipara, Waikiri and the Cheviot Hills) and Wellington Wine Country (the new name for the Wairarapa regions, which include Martinborough, Gladstone and Masterton). Not all wines are rated here, and there are [...]

New Zealand Pinot Noir: some top examples from Marlborough

I’ve tasted a lot of New Zealand Pinot Noir over recent weeks. Here are some of my favourite picks from Marlborough. This is New Zealand’s largest wine region, and it has more Pinot Noir (2400 hectares) than any other region (Central Otago is second with 1500 hectares). The best sites are in the Southern Valleys [...]

New Zealand Pinot Gris, a masterclass

Dom Maxwell (Greystone, above left) and Emma Jenkins (above right) presented this masterclass on Pinot Gris from New Zealand. It’s a grape that has been neglected by wine geeks. This is because it is so often a grape used to please the masses, fashioning inoffensive Pinot Grigio-style wines with little personality. In New Zealand, it [...]

Forage North Canterbury, an amazing food and wine event, with a film

 

Where does our food come from? I was recently in the Waipara Valley in North Canterbury, to take part in a remarkable event called Forage. There’s a film of it (above). The genius of forage is that it connects wine and food and links them both firmly to place.

South Bay, Kaikoura

We arrived early at [...]

Some interesting alternative wines from the Waipara: Hermit Ram and Ekleipsis

Tried these interesting Waipara Valley wines over the last few days.

The Hermit Ram is made by Theo Coles, who also makes wines for Kalex in Central Otago and Mountford Estate in Waipara. He works quite naturally. These two are lovely.

The Hermit Ram Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Waipara, North Canterbury, New Zealand
This is a skin-fermented Sauvignon Blanc. [...]

Video: flying in a Tiger Moth biplane over the Bridge Pa Triangle vineyards, Hawke's Bay, NZ

Yesterday was spent in the two main subdistricts of Hawke’s Bay. The afternoon was spent in the famous Gimblett Gravels, but the morning was in the Bridge Pa Triangle Wine District. This consists of more than 2000 hectares of vines on the western side of the Heretaunga plains, and it has existed in the shadow [...]