Yealands Estate Pinot Gris, a convincing aromatic from New Zealand

Back in January I visited the mind-boggling Yealands Estate, a vineyard the size of an entire appellation in Marlborough’s Awatere Valley. They’re making some nice wines, including this very Alsatian Pinot Gris. It’s worth the RRP of £12.99, but remarkably Morrison’s Cellar have it for just £6.09 at the moment. I bought a six pack [...]

Framingham's F-Series TBA, one of the world's great Rieslings

I had a lot of fun at yesterday’s Great Riesling tasting in London. There were so many good wines. But of all, perhaps my favourite (of many lovely wines) was a Kiwi Riesling from Framingham. And, the irony is, that because this is 6.5% alcohol, the EU won’t allow it to be imported, which is [...]

Marlborough: boom, bust, and boom again

Boom and bust. Then boom again. That has been the recent story of Marlborough. The commercial success of Marlborough Sauvignon led to a massive increase in plantings throughout the late 1990s and noughties. The rate of growth was phenomenal. Then the boom turned to bust in 2008, with a large vintage of questionable quality, coupled [...]

Two impressive Sauvignons: Bordeaux and Marlborough

I know that it’s not all that cool, but I really love Sauvignon Blanc. Here are two good ones: an oaked Bordeaux example (which is actually a blend with Semillon and a touch of Muscadelle), and a slightly atypical Marlborough Sauvignon.

Clos Floridene 2012 Graves, Bordeaux, France
13% alcohol. A blend of half Sauvignon Blanc with Semillon [...]

In Marlborough, day 3, my last in New Zealand

The last day of my New Zealand trip turned out to be a very good one. It began at Te Whare Ra, a small 11 hectare vineyard planted in 1979, and run since 2003 by Anna and Jason Flowerday.

It was a lovely visit: they are doing great work in the vineyard, and it is paying [...]

A second day in Marlborough, New Zealand

So day 2 in New Zealand’s most important wine region. Lots to be done, beginning with a regional tasting held at Spy Valley, a winery located in the lower Waihopai Valley. There was a range of wines: some excellent, and some reminding us that Marlborough can achieve mediocrity quite easily in the wrong hands.

Paul [...]

The Marlborough wine region, day 1

Leaving Waipara behind, after an all-too-short sleep, it was time to head to Blenheim on a 19-seat Beechcraft. I had the best part of three days in this, New Zealand’s largest wine region. My goal was to visit a mix of small, medium and large producers.

I began small (by Marlborough standards, at least), visiting Ruud [...]

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. [...]

Seresin 2009 Pinot Noirs

These are lovely. They are the six different Pinot Noirs released each year by biodynamic Marlborough (New Zealand) winegrower Seresin. I love the wines of Seresin: they’re consistently among the best from this excellent region.

Winemaker Clive Dougall, a British ex-pat, takes a thoughtful approach to Pinot. He’s moving towards a long post-ferment maceration, and doesn’t do [...]