Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Report from ... The Annual New Zealand Wine Fair 2013 - May 9, 2013

It's almost impossible to go to a New Zealand wine show and not try Sauvignon Blanc, the other grape that would be hard to avoid is Pinot Noir ... but I did it - almost.  I did partake in the seminar about Sauvignon Blanc: "Where to From Here" - but after that I was on a strict no Savvy B no Pinot Noir diet (unless for some reason I would die if I didn't try it - thankfully few said I would die if I didn't try their wine).  Here were some of my favourite of the day ...

Seminar Wines of Note (all Sauvignon Blanc) ...
Fermented in French oak (10% new) then aged on lees an additional 10 months, made from fruit grown in a single vineyard block (South Oaks) - fruity yet creamy notes with lemon meringue, grapefruit and sweet grass (****+)

3 months of lees contact has given the wine a creamy citrus feel, though still fresh and clean (****)

10% barrel ferment in neutral oak results in a gravelly, stony, mineral nose with grapefruit pith and zest ... this is a tasty little number (****)
fresh and clean with soft grapefruit and citrus notes that are expected but very welcome; with a nice long finish (****+)
fresh and lively citrus with hints of grass - best part is the nice long finish (*** 1/2+)

Walk Around Wines ...
Once again, I am trying to avoid the usual Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc to see what else New Zealand makes that's of interest (and there is plenty) but sometimes a Pinot or Savvy B just struck me as too interesting to pass up ...

aka "Signum Noble II" which has a touch of botrytis on both grape varieties - very delicious (****+) - $27.60
very Chardonnay with vanilla, butter and tropical fruit notes (****) - $19.95
good earthy notes but the real take away is the lovely cran-cranberry (****) - $n/a
sweet fruit, good spice with floral in the form of violets (****+) - $29.95
a noble rotted Savvy B that has a tropical nose and matching palate with great sweetness (****) - $29.95
a single vineyard Sauvignon Blanc that has the typical grassiness but adds orange rind notes (*** 1/2+) - $20.95
a warmer year Merlot with robust red fruit, nice tannins and the potential for good ageing (****) - $18.95
nice intensity with typical Sauv Blanc character, but intensified and yet refreshing (****) - $21.95
dominated by cran-cherry, pretty nose, nice acidity, easy drinking, food friendly (****+) - $24.95
a really nice sparkling with raspberry and a gentle citrus (****+) - $40.00
pretty floral aromas with sweet pear center (*** 1/2+) - $19.95
it's a Sauvignon Blanc that has a 6 month of barrel ferment, creamy vanilla and long lush finish (****+) - $39.95

dark cherry, earthy and oaky with smoky tannins (****+) - $42.95
a real summer sipper with its sweet apple and pear notes (*** 1/2+) - $22.95
Perfectly captures Pinot Gris flavour with bubbles (*** 1/2) - $18.95
nice oak and cinnamon notes with dried cherry and hints of cranberry; good BBQ wine (****) - $15.95
good white fruit sweetness with apple, pear and peach notes (*** 1/2+) - $16.45
plenty of fresh fruit, drier style of Pinot Gris dominated by lemon-lime and hints of apple for balance (*** 1/2+) - $17.95
made from the oldest Viognier vines in New Zealand - 11 years - 9 months in barrel has given this a beauty mouthfeel, tropical fruit and vanilla notes with a long lush finish. (**** 1/2) - $19.95 ... BEST WHITE
smoky and toasty with white pepper and raspberry (*** 1/2)
pineapple, pear and a touch of citrus rind on the finish (*** 1/2) - $36.95
very raspberry with white pepper and smoke (*** 1/2+) - 29.95
smooth, sexy and smoky with generous notes of raspberry and strawberry (**** 1/2) - $45.00 ... BEST RED

a lovely apple and pear combo (*** 1/2+)
white fruit with a touch of bitterness on the finish - 20% of the wine see oak (****) - $15.95

a delicate Rose BRust that's incredibly tasty (****) - $27.95
great fruit with a hint of spice (****) - $25.00
tropical fruit with pear and grassy notes with an intense lovely mouthfeel (****) - $19.00

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