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Late April saw the launch of the 2018 edition of the Fine Wines of New Zealand list by Air New Zealand.
Curated by a group of seven Kiwi wine experts, comprising six Masters of Wine and one Master Sommelier, this group is tasked with selecting our finest wines for service on Air New Zealand, taking into account their consistently high quality over the years.
The list is evolving, growing to 67 wines this year, the 14 representatives from Central Otago punching above their weight in accounting for 21% of the total.
My congratulations to Akarua, Doctors Flat and Peregrine, whose pinot noirs join the list this year, alongside incumbents Burn Cottage, Felton Road, Lowburn Ferry, Misha's Vineyard, Prophet's Rock, Quartz Reef, Rippon and Valli.
NZ Organic Wine Show 2018
The number of New Zealand wineries that farm organically continues to grow, and this is represented by the 20% increase in wineries entered in this year's Organic Wine Show.
Central wineries Amisfield, Aurum, Carrick, Peregrine and Quartz Reef secured gold medals, with category champions going to Amisfield's 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, Carrick's 2017 Josephine Riesling and Quartz Reef's 2013 Methode Traditionelle Blanc de Blancs. Champion Wine of Show went to Carrick for its 2017 Josephine Riesling. Congratulations to all.
Kiwi wines on top in US
New Zealand is a relatively small player in world wine markets, yet we have backed up our wine export success to the United States, taking third spot for the second year running, behind just Italy and France, in value of wines imported into the US (ahead of Australia, Spain, Argentina and Chile).
Based on insatiable demand for our sauvignon blanc, this is incredible news for our wine industry.
Rating: Very good
Sweetly floral nose, grapey, youthful and rich with nuances of herbs and flowers developing. Sweet fruit and gum on entry, grapey notes again matched by strawberry, moving along the palate with a zesty tang. Clean and fresh, a cool note and a little chewy grip with a bittersweet note on the close.
Very easy drinking and value here.
Intense and rather attractive nose, savoury yet floral with a stony element. Bright and lifted in the mouth, the evident concentration to the berryfruit and cream, with dried strawberry on the close matched by crispness and freshness. Delightful balance and excellent carry of flavours through the mouth.
A winning combo.
Attractively bright, youthfully fruited nose offering strawberry and summer red fruits. The rich and creamy palate throws up strawberries and cream one moment, toffee apple another, citrus, savoury touches and more with the zesty (almost appley) acidity giving real freshness after the power and richness.
Fruit sweet yet attractively dry.