On Sunday night I was lucky enough to drink two wines that are important bottles in the story of Pinot Noir in California. I was with Raj Parr, Sashi Moorman, Jasmine Hirsch and Jamie Kutch at Zuni, and these remarkable wines were brought out. It was an immense privilege to be able to drink them.
This is a remarkable wine, made by large producer Ventisquero on a very small scale from vineyards in the Atacama desert, in the far north of the country. It hardly every rains here, so the soils are quite unique. I reported on the Tara white a while back after tasting it in Chile; this red [...]
So I’m having such a fun and intense time here in New Zealand, I’m finding it hard to blog every day. But here goes. Sunday saw the final day of the Pinot Noir celebration and it began with a grand Burgundy tasting, chaired by Nick Mills of Rippon, with celebrity guest Aubert de Villane of [...]
Day 4 of my visit was a long, enjoyable one. We began with a drive out to the lovely Northburn station, just out of Cromwell. This was to be the setting for the grand tasting of Central Otago Pinot Noir, with 40 wineries showing two wines each: current release plus an older bottle. This [...]
This is turning into a very good trip. Day three began with two visits. The first was at Grasshopper Rock, with Phil Handford. Phil lives in Hamilton, and has a background in agricultural banking, He found the perfect vineyard in Alexandra (the picture above is Clyde, the main town here), and now makes 4000 cases a [...]
An early start, time for a 7 am run around the lake in Queenstown, through the botanic gardens. You can just keep on going for as far as you want, and it’s a really beautiful place to run. So much better than squelching through the winter mud. Then a shower, packing belongings, and off to Cromwell [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
I like this. It’s a German Pinot Noir in a modern, almost New World mould. I’ve had some good German Pinots in the past, but the best ones have been really expensive. And many have had a green herbal/sweet fruit combination that has been a tiny bit sickly, and has stopped them being serious. Now [...]
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, [...]