Greywacke Pinot Noir

Very impressed with this. Kevin Judd is well known for his Sauvignons, but this Pinot Noir is one of a growing band of serious expressions of this grape from New Zealand’s Marlborough region. It’s a region capable of making great Pinot, but it’s often overlooked, which is a shame.

Greywacke Pinot Noir 2010 Marlborough, New Zealand
I [...]

Video: Brancott Estate, Marlborough, New Zealand

A short film from my visit to the Marlborough wine region this week, including the famous tipping tanks.

'Wines from here will become world famous'

The Brancott Estate earlier today

The title of this blog post – ‘wines from here will be come world famous’ – were the prophetic words uttered by Montana’s Frank Yukich as he put the first vines of the modern era into the ground in Marlborough.

There’s a monument to his achievement at the Brancott Estate. Yukich [...]

Meeting the Prime Minister at the opening of the Brancott Estate Heritage Centre

John Key speaking at the opening of the Brancott Estate Heritage Centre

Last night was fun. It was the official opening of the new Brancott Estate Heritage Centre, which has recently been completed. The centre has been built on a small hill overlooking the historic Brancott Vineyard, where Marlborough’s first Sauvignon Blanc grapes were planted [...]

Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2011

So, after reporting the new release of Cloudy Bay’s Sauvignon Blanc, here’s another Marlborough classic: Brancott Estate.

Until 2010 this was labelled Montana, and as such, it was another wine I grew up with. The 2011 is fabulous – one of the best vintages of this wine that I’ve tried. List price is around £9, but [...]

Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2011, the new release

The world’s most famous Sauvignon Blanc has had a few rocky years, but I reckon the 2011 is right back on form. This is a bity expensive compared with its peer group, but it’s really tasty. And it has that fabulous label. So stylish. I grew up with this wine, so it still has a [...]

Two good Kiwi wines from Villa Maria

Very impressed by this pair by Villa Maria, one of New Zealand’s most consistent producers.

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Pinot Noir 2009 Marlborough
Seriously seductive Pinot. Sweet cherry and berry fruit with fresh herb and mineral notes, as well as subtle meatiness. The palate is ripe and sweetly fruited, yet supple and fresh with nice acidity, sour [...]

Sensational Kiwi Chardonnay - Dog Point

Occasionally I taste a wine that takes me totally by surprise. Coming from celebrated Marlborough producer Dog Point, I was expecting this Chardonnay to be good. But not anywhere near this good.

Dog Point Chardonnay 2008 Marlborough, New Zealand
14.5% alcohol. Complex, beguiling, minerally, nutty, flinty nose with some richness but also lovely freshness. Concentrated, powerful palate [...]

Brancott's New 'Icon' Sauvignon Blanc

I didn’t have as much time as I’d have liked at the New Zealand trade tasting today, but I’m glad that Patrick Materman (above) grabbed me to pour an exciting new Sauvignon Blanc into my glass.

Patrick is the chief winemaker at Pernod Ricard’s Brancott Estate (formerly Montana), and for the last few years has been [...]

Greywacke, the aromatics - exciting new wines from New Zealand

A few weeks back I reported on the lovely Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc, from Kevin Judd. Now I’ve had the chance to taste his ‘aromatics': the term used in New Zealand to describe Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer.

Greywacke Riesling 2009 Marlborough, New Zealand
11.5% alcohol. From a single vineyard site in Fairhall. Delicate, fine, aromatic nose of [...]