Two superb Kiwi Chardonnays: Black Estate Home and Tony Bish Golden Egg

Just been for a short break in Akaroa, and tried a couple of very nice Chardonnays. One was from Tony Bish, long-time Hawke’s Bay winemaker with Sacred Hill who has begun making wines under his own label – and this one is fermented and matured in concrete eggs. The second is from Black Estate in […]

Some Kiwi Pinot: Seresin, Astrolabe, Saint Clair, The Elder

I’ve been drinking a fair bit of Kiwi Pinot Noir of late. Here are a few notes of good bottles consumed.

The Elder Pinot Noir 2014 Martinborough, New Zealand
14% alcohol. Supple with lush, textured sweet black cherry fruit and some plum and damson notes. It’s leaning towards richness but also has a nice grainy, stony undercurrent. […]

New releases from star Marlborough producer Dog Point

Dog Point Vineyard in Marlborough’s Southern Valleys

I tried these new releases from Dog Point, another of the leading wineries in the Marlborough region of New Zealand, where I’m staying for a while. They are such characterful wines. As many readers will already know, Dog Point was started by Ivan and Margaret Sutherland and James […]

The wines of Te Whare Ra, Marlborough, New Zealand

Anna and Jason Flowery, Te Whare Ra

Last week, I popped into Te Whare Ra to taste the new releases. This is one of the most interesting producers in Marlborough. When the vineyard was originally planted by Joyce and Allen Hogan in 1979, it was pretty early days for the region, and this was the […]

Gamay 36, Mount Edward Muirkirk Vineyard Gamay 2017

Had this last night at Scotch Bar in Blenheim. It’s a new wine from Mount Edward, and it’s a Gamay with no additions at all, including sulphites. And it’s utterly delicious and brilliant. Good work Duncan Forsyth and team!

Mount Edward Muirkirk Vineyard Gamay 2017 Central Otago, New Zealand
13.5% alcohol. No added sulfites. Concentrated, fresh and […]

Walking the Abel Tasman

This weekend Nat and I headed off to spend a couple of days walking the Abel Tasman Track, a stunning route at the top of the South Island. To do the 60 km path properly takes three to four days, and you carry all your stuff with you, staying on camp sites or in huts. […]

In New Zealand (for a very long time)

The Awatere Valley, Marlborough

For the last week I have been in New Zealand. It’s my fourth trip here this year, and it will also be my longest ever: I’m staying here until the beginning of February.

Yes, that means I will have my first ever warm Christmas! I’ve never spent Christmas outside the UK before. […]

Pyramid Valley Vineyards Kerner Estate Vineyard Pinot Blanc 2007

In addition to making their own highly-regarded estate wines, Pyramid Valley have also made a series of negociant bottlings from interesting vineyard sites across New Zealand, and this Pinot Blanc is one of their earlier releases from 2007. Now, at age 10, it is still remarkably youthful and pure, and full of interest.

Pyramid Valley Vineyards […]

Adventures on New Zealand's West Coast

I’ve always been fascinated by what I’ve heard about New Zealand’s South Island’s West Coast. People have told me that it is incredibly beautiful, remote and sparsely populated, and also incredibly wet. I think that these factors may be related. Rainfall here is measured in metres, as the moist air from the ocean deposits its […]

A couple from Hawke's Bay: Craggy Range and Sacred Hill

These impressed the other evening.

Craggy Range Te Kahu 2014 Gimblett Gravels, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand
13.5% alcohol. 68% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Malbec, 6% Cabernet Franc. This is beautifully fresh and focused with sweet blackcurrant fruit together with some black cherries and plums. There’s lovely balance: it’s ripe, but really well balanced with good acidity. […]