New Zealand Spotlight - June 2020
‘New Zealand promises to be very favourable to the vine.’
So said the pioneering Reverend Samuel Marsden in 1819 – but even this visionary mind would no doubt be impressed with quite how far and how fast this country has become a world class producer of great wines.
As a serious wine producing nation New Zealand is, in world terms, still just a young pup. With approximately 40 years of commercial wine-making experience under their collective belts they punch significantly above their weight with the immense quality of their wines. As vineyards are now reaching peak maturity, ever more refined wine-making, and with a greater understanding of the varied sites and soils – there’s never been a better time to buy these amazing wines.
We have championed some of the greatest producers here for a very long time, bringing into the UK the extraordinary wines from Rippon for more than 20 years. Our first vintage of Felton Road was 2005 and greats like Ata Rangi have been on the shelves for more than 15 years. Kumeu River is a more recent partnership – but shipping these fabulous wines from Auckland for the last few vintages has been a complete thrill.
‘The eye-catching depth of New Zealand wine across a myriad of styles is of significance to wine collectors and drinkers because this is a group of wines that mark a clear step away from the oceans of sauvignon blanc that first put this place on the world wine grid.’ www.jamessuckling.com
What we love about these wines is their distinctiveness. It is always easy to make comparisons between wine regions – but these pristine examples are completely Kiwi. They bring to life this magical landscape and could not really be from anywhere else. Pure-fruited and detailed Pinot Noir, textured and lithe Chardonnays and the unmistakable bounce of those Sauvignons. Such diversity and incredible quality is the real delight of wines from New Zealand today.
So we are shining a light here on some of the best producers from top to toe of both Islands. You’ll find wines from these ‘known names’ as well as some of the smaller producers we love too - like Tongue in Groove, Two Rivers and Brodie Estate. This is a roll call of some of the great and the good, reaching from Auckland in the North to Central Otago in the South. With different varieties and styles to suit all palates.
2013 BRODIE ESTATE Pinot Noir
Martinborough North Island New Zealand 15% Red
From one of the two iconic NZ wine regions, Martinborough. A ripe and intense, properly New World Pinot Noir with juicy ripe small berry fruits in abundance, but wrapped up in a silky velvet flow. Delightful and great va...(read more)L&S
2015 TONGUE IN GROOVE Riesling
Waipara South Island New Zealand 13% White
Effusively declared by Tongue in Groove MD Angela Clifford as 'probably the best Riesling we've ever made'. Drier than the 2013 vintage with only 6 g/l residual sugar, this a refined vintage of the trademark Tongue in Gr...(read more)L&S
2015 TONGUE IN GROOVE Pinot Noir Cabal Vineyard
Waipara South Island New Zealand 14% Red
Ripe and attractive black-cherry and plum aromas with a neat thread of spicy and earthy, savory notes. Supple, fleshy and silky palate with juicy, ripe and spicy red-cherry flavors, finishing fresh and luscious. Drink or...(read more)James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com
2018 FELTON ROAD Block 2 Chardonnay
South Island New Zealand 0% White
Made from 100% Mendoza clone. Intense mineral sense to this, with more limey fruit intenstity than the Block 6 perhaps, and a touch of creaminess off-setting a little bit flint in this bottling. Lovely balance, with sali...(read more)Tom Cannavan, www.wine-pages.com
2018 FELTON ROAD Block 6 Chardonnay
South Island New Zealand 0% White
A little bit of flint and minerals here, "all natural and not winemaking," according to Blair Walters. A hint of passion fruit and lovely cut and freshness, grapefruit and some oatmeal filling in. The palate ha...(read more)Tom Cannavan, www.wine-pages.com
2016 RIPPON 'Tinker's Field' Mature Vine Pinot Noir
South Island New Zealand 13.5% Red
(Lake Wanaka, Central Otago, 26% whole cluster, 181 cases, SRP $110, 13.5%). This is aromatically similar to the Emma’s Block with just a bit more evident spiciness. The supple and seductively textured middle of the medi...(read more)Allen Meadows, www.Burghound.com
2017 KUMEU RIVER Chardonnay Hunting Hill
North Island New Zealand 14% White
The Hunting Hill vineyard always produces wines that are more taught and mineral. And here the nose does not disappoint, focused and with powdery floral notes. White and pithy citrus notes follow to the pallet. There is...(read more)L&S
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