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In a local twist on a trend that has been gathering momentum overseas (that of urban wineries), earlier this year, Central Otago winemaker Brendan Seal ran a pop-up winery in the old Gresham Hotel building in central Dunedin, hand-crafting a Central Otago pinot.
Eager to bring the project back to Dunedin for harvest 2017, Brendan has set up a crowd-funding initiative through Pledge Me to help make this a reality.
For more information, visit www.urbnvino.nz
Penfolds' annual release
Penfolds is possibly the pre-eminent Australian wine producer and over the years its annual vintage release has garnered serious attention.
Late October saw this year's iteration, with a group of wines culminating in what has often been dubbed Australia's 1st Growth - Grange.
The 2012 Grange is already highly lauded but you may have to save more than your loose change to snag a bottle, as the recommended retail price is now a cool $850; continuing its journey into the commodity/collectable sphere.
Six nations wine challenge
The original Tri-Nations Challenge has evolved into a larger annual event involving six countries: Australia, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States.
The judge for each country (in our case, Master of Wine Bob Campbell) picks their top 100 wines across (up to) 15 categories, which are then entered on an invitation-only basis.
The results for 2016 are recently out and New Zealand won seven of the categories, taking out the Country of the Show Award. Full results are available at www.sixnationswine.com.au.
Air New Zealand Awards
The Air New Zealand Wine Awards have grown to be the largest, and possibly most influential, wine show in the country.
Judging took place in mid-October, with the much sought-after trophy results due to be announced at the awards dinner on November 12.
For a look at all the medal results, go to www.wineshow.co.nz.
Rating: Good to very good
The nose rather shy here with mixed red berries. A sweet palate entry with tangy redcurrant balancing the marked fruit sweetness. An electric zing of acidity brings up the close. I’ve enjoyed previous vintages, but this bottle seemed a little grumpy.
Hours later it was building in richness, suggesting it will show its pedigree.
Price: $38 (375ml)
Rating: Very good to excellent
Fragrant nose with boiled sweets: a little touch of wildness to it. The palate brings in strawberry, glace cherries, red berries and a hint of ripe peach with spicy elements evolving. Supple, lush and rich; while sweet, this has a lick of acidity providing freshness.
Distinctively different, interesting and appealing.
Price: $39 (375ml)
Captivating nose with musky botrytis beeswax and citrus, hinting at mandarin and blood orange. Really intense palate with spice and savoury nuances among the musk and bush honey. While intensely sweet, this is exquisitely balanced with a delicious silkiness on the palate.
Great complexity and an absolute delight.