The stunning Te Mata Peak

On Saturday morning, Craggy Range’s Brand Manager Hannah Burns took me up Te Mata Peak. It was supposed to be a run, but this is incredibly steep, so we walked most and ran a bit. It’s truly spectacular, and fortunately the weather turned it on. This is a chunk of marine limestone that rises 400 [...]

Tasting the range at Craggy Range

For the last couple of days I’ve been hanging out at Craggy Range, in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. I was last at Craggy in 2007, on my first visit to New Zealand. The personnel have since changed, but the goal hasn’t – to make some of New Zealand’s top wines. There are 80 hectares of [...]

Four affordable Kiwi Pinot Noirs

As I write, I’m at the departure gate waiting to embark on a rather long journey to Kiwi land. So a chance to write up four affordable New Zealand Pinot Noirs I had the other night.

Seresin Leah Pinot Noir 2012 Marlborough, New Zealand
£20 Noel Young, Fareham Wine Cellar, The New Zealand Cellar
13% alcohol
A blend of [...]

Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Marlborough

Off to New Zealand on Wednesday, so in preparation I thought it would be good to drink some Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. 2016 was a good vintage in the region, with both quality and quantity, and the Sauvignons I’ve tasted so far from this harvest have been very correct and delicious, with ripe, appealing flavours and more [...]

Wines of the year (6) some top New Zealand wines

Another post rounding up some of the star wines that I tasted and drank in 2016. And I drank and tasted a lot last year. Many of these bottles were consumed in New Zealand in January and February. I’m excited to be heading out again in 10 days. Can’t wait. As with the other round-ups, [...]

Canada versus New Zealand: two top Pinot Noirs from 2011 compared, and a lesson learned

Three nights ago I opened this pair of Pinots, both from the 2011 vintage. They’re wines that I’d cellared. The first is the Te Muna Road Pinot from Craggy Range, which I liked enough on first tasting to buy a six pack. I think it’s good to put your money where your mouth is: if [...]

Neudorf Moutere Chardonnay 2015 Nelson, New Zealand

I have a thing for Kiwi Chardonnay. Its day will come. It doesn’t currently get the respect it deserves, but with wines like these from Neudorf, and the stunning wines of Kumeu River and others, things will change.

Neudorf Moutere Chardonnay 2015 Nelson, New Zealand
14% alcohol. Complex, intense lemon and grapefruit with some rich pear notes, [...]

Two Pinot Noirs from Folding Hill, Central Otago, NZ

I visited Folding Hill, in the Bendigo sub-region of Central Otago, back in January 2014. It’s the project of two medical folk, emergency doctor Tim Kerruish and  his wife Nikki, a bio ethicist. The wines are really good. Here’s my review of a couple of recent releases.

Folding Hill Pinot Noir 2014 Bendigo, Central Otago, New [...]

Folium: interesting dry-grown wines from New Zealand's Marlborough region

Takaki Okada came to New Zealand’s Marlborough region in 2003, and began working with Clos Henri. In 2010, he bought an 8.5 hectare vineyard that had been established by Fromm in the Brancott Valley. He began making his own wines.

Marlborough is quite dry (growing season averages around 340 ml of rain, with 640 ml the [...]

Framingham Classic Riesling 2008 Marlborough, New Zealand

This is, I think, the last bottle of a batch of this wine that I bought very inexpensively a few years ago. This is the thing with Riesling: if you love it, you are a happy camper, because you can get really good Riesling very affordably. It’s made by Dr Andrew Hedley at Framingham, and [...]