Pet Nat focus (1) Kindeli La Lechuza

I’m beginning a series on Pet Nats! This is an interesting style of wine that’s becoming more popular. Also known as Methode Ancestrale, Pet Nat stands for Pétillant Naturel, and refers to sparkling wines that are bottled while there is still some sugar, and they complete fermentation in the bottle, making them naturally sparkling. This [...]

Some new release Pinots from Seresin

Biodynamic producer Seresin are one of the most interesting in Marlborough. Winemaker Clive Dougall is thoughtful and produces a range of wines that’s quite distinctive, and not typically Marlborough in style (in the best way). I always find the Pinot Noirs really interesting: they have savoury detail to them, and aren’t just about upfront fruit. [...]

Prophet's Rock Pinot Noir Cuvée Aux Antipodes 2015, a brilliant New Zealand/Burgundy collaboration

Francois Millet and Paul Pujol

Back in February, I had a chance to try this collaboration between Paul Pujol of Prophet’s Rock and François Millet of Comte de Vogüé in Burgundy when I was sitting next to Francois at the Mornington Peninsula Pinot Celebration. I didn’t get to take a note, so I was glad [...]

Mr Glover Wilde Vineyards Agent Field Blend 2016

I tried this with its creator, Ben Glover (previously of Accolade, now focusing on family business Zephyr and other projects), in Scotch Bar in Blenheim a few weeks ago. I’d just been speaking at a biodynamic and organic conference and I’d urged New Zealand producers to take a few more risks and make the odd [...]

A couple of lovely Kiwi Pinots: Ma Maison and Yealands

Continuing my journey into the wonders of Kiwi Pinot, here are two lovely bottles recently consumed. The first was new to me. The second, Yealands, wasn’t a surprise: I always like these wines, and they are underpriced.

Ma Maison Cuvée Two Richards Pinot Noir 2014 Martinborough, New Zealand
14.5% alcohol. A blend of equal parts Abel, 667 [...]

Gamay 31, Easthope Family Winegrowers 2015 Hawke's Bay

There’s not a lot of Gamay in New Zealand, but it seems to have some promise here. The most well known example is the soild Te Mata Gamay, but there are two excellent examples from Central Otago, too (Mount Edward and Rippon). This is the latest one I’ve come across, made by Rod Easthope (formerly [...]

Fun in New Zealand's Nelson-Tasman, at the top of South Island

I’ve been in New Zealand for the last week. The official reason for the trip was to present a couple of talks at the biodynamic and organic wine conference in Blenheim, but while I was here I thought it would be fun to take a few days’ holiday, exploring the Nelson-Tasman region at the top [...]

Seresin Chardonnay Reserve 2013

Had this beauty from biodynamic Marlborough winery Seresin the other evening. It’s a really compelling Chardonnay. New Zealand’s top Chardonnays are underrated, and they can be superb.

Seresin Chardonnay Reserve 2013 Marlborough, New Zealand
13.5% alcohol. 20% new oak. This is beautiful. Lovely matchstick, mineral nose with some taut citrus and apple fruit. The palate shows complex [...]

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 [...]