Bell Hill, one of New Zealand's finest producers

I just love the wines of Bell Hill, a boutique winery in Waikari, North Canterbury, New Zealand (not far from the Waipara Valley). I visited seven years ago on my first trip to New Zealand, and was blown away by the wines and the vineyard. So I was really pleased to catch up with owners Marcel [...]

Gamay focus, 9 - Te Mata Gamay Noir 2014 Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

Continuing the Gamay quest, we are off to New Zealand. There are just 7.3 hectares of Gamay Noir in New Zealand. And the producer who has led the way with his variety so far has been Te Mata, in Hawke’s Bay. This is their Gamay, and it’s pretty good. [The other famous example from Kiwi [...]

Auto Draft

So, Sam Harrop’s new wine has just been released. It’s a Chardonnay from Waiheke Island, near Auckland, and it’s superb.

As many of you know, Sam is a buddy of mine (although, as you can imagine with most of my relationships, I probably like him more than he likes me). We have written a book together [...]

The 2013 Craggy Range Prestige wines: Le Sol, Sophia and Aroha

These are three remarkable wines. Craggy Range are very excited about the 2013 vintage in these two regions, and on tasting these wines it’s easy to show why. ‘In 2013 we felt it was the first time we had really seen the true potential of our great estates in Hawke’s Bay and Martinborough,’ says winemaker [...]

Craggy Range Avery Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Very impressed by this. It’s the Craggy Range Avery Vineyard Sauvignon, and it’s a very stylish, refined expression of the Marlborough style. It’s from a mature (22 year old) vineyard planted on stony soils between Blenheim and Renwick (in the Rapaura subregion), and it’s a relatively warm site.

Craggy Range Avery Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Marlborough, [...]

Seven organic or biodynamic wines from New Zealand

These wines were part of a seminar at ProWein. The seminar, presented by Romana Echensperger, was a sell out, so I tasted these wines afterwards on the New Zealand Winegrowers’ stand.

Quartz Reef Brut NV Central Otago, New Zealand
‘L2012′ on the label indicates that the base wine here is from 2012. It’s a really nice fizz [...]

Great New Zealand Pinot Noir, from Yealands and Greystone

Nik Mavromatis of Greystone

I’m at Prowein. It’s a huge trade fair, with 50 000 attendees from around the world. The scale of this fair is daunting. It is the first time I’ve attended:I’d been scared off by its size in the past. Once you get past the frustrations of having 50 000 people swelling [...]

Earth's End Pinot Noir 2013 Central Otago

This is a really good Central Otago Pinot Noir for a very good price. It’s an own-label wine form Marks & Spencer made by Duncan Forsyth at Mount Edward. It will need a bit of time for the oak to integrate fully, but at £16 a bottle this is punching above its weight.

Earth’s End Pinot [...]

The amazing Dry River Pinot Noir 2012

I am a Dry River fan. The wines – produced in small quantities and hard to obtain – have all the makings of a cult winery’s offerings, but they are just so consistently delicious. The only criticism in the past has been, from some quarters, that they are just a bit too scientific and controlled. [...]

Four very fine Rieslings: Germany, Italy and New Zealand

It seems to be a bit of a season for Riesling. Here are notes from four bottles tried a while back which I have found in a notebook, and feel compelled to write up now because they just deserve to be written up.

Wittmann Morstein Riesling GG Trocken 2009 Rheinhessen, Germany
13.5% alcohol. From limestone soils, this [...]