In New Zealand, day 1, Queenstown, Gibbston Valley and Chard Farm

I arrived in Queenstown late Tuesday morning, and I wasn’t feeling too bad. The flight down from Auckland was a beautiful one: you need to get a window seat on the left of the plane (which I did), and then you enjoy superb views of the alps and the fabulous descent into Queenstown airport.

I checked [...]

On my way to New Zealand, some random observations from LAX

So I am on my way to New Zealand. Almost half way there, actually, sitting at the gate in LAX after 10 hours in the air, about to board the second leg of the flight. At 0329 UK time here are my slightly random, and probably vastly boring observations.

1. Air New Zealand is a pretty good [...]

My New Zealand Pinot Noir e-book is now released

I love New Zealand Pinot Noir. When I was beginning my journey into wine, back in the early 1990s, it was a Kiwi Pinot that first switched me on to this wonderful variety. I was hooked by the heartbreak grape.

As last year’s Pinot Noir 2013 event demonstrated, there’s an awful lot of really good [...]

Some highlights from the New Zealand Annual Trade Tasting

I’m off to New Zealand on Sunday. But first, to whet my appetite, today’s New Zealand Annual trade tasting, held at the Lindley Hall near Victoria, with its fabulous natural light. Here were some highlights from what I tasted (and, of course, I didn’t taste everything, and not all wineries were represented, so an omission [...]

Video: visiting Felton Road

Just a quick film from last year’s visit to Central Otago winery Felton Road. I have just written up the visit – quite extensively – here.

New Kiwi wines from Rod Easthope

I first met Rod Easthope when he was winemaker at Craggy Range, based in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, back in 2008. I met him again in 2010 at the Hawkes Bay Syrah symposium, when he gave a deeply impressive talk on Kiwi Syrah. And then again, I met him in Wellington in January this year, [...]

Craggy Range Te Muna Road Pinot Noir 2011

This was the standout vintage of a recent 10-year vertical tasting of Pinot Noirs from Craggy Range’s Te Muna Road vineyard in Martinborough. It’s not a rich, dense, flashy Pinot, but rather one of refinement and precision. The vines were getting to the stage when they were really beginning to express the vineyard, and not [...]

Lunch with Pol, Cloudy, Lapierre, Jamet, Clair and Bachelet

Popped round for lunch at brother-in-law Beavington’s pad yesterday, which usually means that between us we’ll have something decent to drink. (In the process, I also very nobly assist him with his cellar over-stock issues.) All the wines showed really well yesterday.

Champagne Pol Roger NV France
This is showing really well: toast, peach and nuts, together [...]

A brilliant Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc

One of my favourite New Zealand Sauvignons: Dog Point. In the 2013. Such a super wine, representing the best of Marlborough typicity, I reckon.

Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Marlborough, New Zealand
Beatifully aromatic with a slightly smoky edge to the delicate, crisp, grapefruit and green pepper nose, which has a hint of chalk and floral passionfruit. [...]

Two Central Otago Pinot Noirs

Central Otago, at the bottom end of New Zealand’s South Island, is one of the world’s great Pinot Noir destinations. Here are notes on a couple recently drunk chez Goode.

Remarkable Pinot Noir 2007 Gibbston Valley, Central Otago, New Zealand
A single-vineyard Pinot Noir that spends 15 months in French oak, named after the Remarkables mountain range. [...]