New Zealand Wine Reviews

WINE REVIEWS: Red wines

WINE REVIEWS: Red wines

Some Hawkes Bay reds, variations on traditional Bordeaux blends such as merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and sometimes cabernet franc and malbec, can be superb, and good Hawkes Baysyrah has a wonderful purity of fruit along with a pepperiness and silkiness. But sometimes Australians can be better value.

WINE REVIEWS: Pinot Noir

WINE REVIEWS: Pinot Noir

Sometimes cheaper pinot noir can be a tad acidic for pleasant drinking but serving it at about 18degC or eating something savoury with it can ameliorate the sharp, sometimes lean or unripe edge.

WINE REVIEW: Pinot Gris

WINE REVIEW: Pinot Gris

Fruity, sweet and hot is a common description of pinot gris, but sometimes you come acrossone that pushes the boundaries like Main Divide, or restrained and delicate likeRockburn or nutty with some lees contact or barrel fermentation like Odyssey.

WINE REVIEWS: Riesling

WINE REVIEWS: Riesling

Riesling is often good value, perhaps because it's a niche rather than a populist wine. Good riesling is balanced with either fruit weight or some sweetness to counteracting the steely shaft of acidity. Bottle age also makes a difference.

WINE REVIEWS: Sauvignon blanc

WINE REVIEWS: Sauvignon blanc

Fumé blanc is derived from a French synonym for sauvignon blanc and was introduced by Californian winemaker Robert Mondavi in the 1970s.

WINE REVIEWS: Pinot Noir

WINE REVIEWS: Pinot Noir

Fruit weight, concentration but not over-ripeness, persistence and balance are some of the keys to superb pinot noir, whether they ooze dark, textural power, sheath their steely strength in silky fruit, are lush with dark spicy fruits or lively with schisty red fruits. This tasting from two producers showed the variety of terroir from Otago vineyards.

WINE REVIEWS: Sauvignon Blanc

WINE REVIEWS: Sauvignon Blanc

Not everyone likes the lush fruity intensity and crisp acidity of typical Marlborough sauvignon blancs. There are lighter ones for the faint hearted, and full on pungent ones for the bold. And for connoisseurs who often avoid sauvignon blanc, there are unusual, interesting ones like, in this tasting, the Hawkes Bay Alluviale.

WINE REVIEWS: Pinot Gris

WINE REVIEWS: Pinot Gris

Pinot gris tends to be a wine people either enjoy or can't be bothered with. Apart from appreciating a few stylish versions, I have to admit I fall into the latter camp, especially when they are sweet and unbalanced by high alcohol that leaves a burn in the mouth.

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