Pinot Palooza is returning to Auckland and making its debut in Christchurch this September.
Waipara winemakers are gradually dropping Waipara from labels and websites and replacing it with North Canterbury.
Pegasus Bay 2014 Aria Late Picked Riesling, Waipara $39 (750ml) 2014 was a good botrytis year, which probably explains why this sweet and luscious wine is sweeter and more luscious that I remember. Peach, honey, mango, pineapple, liquorice and exotic spice flavours. Yum! (Screwcap) Score:
I’ve had an epiphany. All my life I’ve hated marmite. I think it has something to do with a lavatorial comment made by my cousin when I was a kid. For whatever reason I’ve had to put up with “how can you not like marmite?” for more than half a century.
Pegasus Bay 2012 Prima Donna Pinot Noir, Waipara $90 Pegasus Bay’s flagship Pinot Noir is a rich and complex wine, with impressive weight and intensity. Strong plum, dried fruit and dark berry flavours with savoury oak, coffee and mixed spice characters. Powerful wine with obvious
Waipara is capable of producing some of the country’s greatest examples of Pinot Noir and yet this small region north of Christchurch tends to slip below the radar. It has neither the history of Martinborough, the sexy scenic splendour of Central Otago or the critical mass of Marlborough.
Sauvignon Blanc makers think like accountants, Pinot Noir producers are artists but it takes a gambler to produce botrytised sweet wines.
Why is the most common bottle size 750mls?
(A) That’s as much as a man should drink in a day.
(B) Larger bottles are weaker.
(C) That’s the volume of a glass-blower’s lungs.
Wine doesn’t get much sexier than a sticky. New Zealand isn’t blessed with regions such as Sauternes, Mosel, Rheingau or Tokay where mists off a lake or river produce controlled botrytis development in ripe grapes nearly every vintage.
In this country a handful of growers use overhead sprinklers to produce the precious rot in a process that is managed rather than miraculous. The rest are opportunists and risk-takers relying on favourable vintage conditions and careful berry or bunch selection.
Local wine drinkers do seem to be obsessed with wines made from a single grape variety. Around 5% of all red wines made in New Zealand are blended while blended whites are virtually non-existent at just one-third of one percent, according to my tasting note database. Ignoring sparkling wines just 4.5% of the gold medal wines at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards were blended wines.