Taste buds set to tingle at must-do event offering new releases

The Alexandra Basin Wine Growers New Release Tasting in Clyde is a must-do for many wine enthusiasts over Labour Weekend and will be upon us before we know it.

Mark Sunday, October 22 in your diaries, with a postponement day of Monday 23 in the event of inclement weather.

They shifted to a new location last year so it will be held at the Historic Railway Station Reserve, 13 Fraser St, Clyde, from 1pm until 4pm.

As always, it’s a great opportunity to chat with the vineyard owners while sampling new releases.

Your $35 ticket covers admission and wine tastings along with complimentary cheese and crackers and live music. Food trucks will also be on site.

Wine purchases will be available at on-the-day special prices.

Tickets are available from Eventbrite or Alexandra Liquorland.

New Zealand wine exports surge

The New Zealand Winegrowers annual report released recently shows our wine exports have leapt to a new high following a slight drop the previous year.

Exports had their biggest single year-on-year increase of $450million, fully 23% up on the previous figure to reach a total of $2.4billion. Within that figure is also a significant improvement in value over volume.

The United States is our biggest market with growth of 25% to $870m leading to optimism that this may become a billion-dollar market in its own right.

Perhaps even more surprisingly, New Zealand has become the world’s sixth-largest exporter of wine (by value).

To put that into perspective, New Zealand produces less than 2% of the world’s wine with close to 90% of sales of our wine occurring offshore. Quite amazing!

The cautionary note is with such a large percentage exported, we are sensitive to changes in global trade rules and consumer consumption patterns, while challenging weather conditions this year in many regions led to an overall 6% drop in production volumes, which could limit growth expectations.

2021 Craggy Range S.V Gimblett Gravels Syrah

Price: RRP $40.95

Rating: Outstanding

Delightfully perfumed 
nose, spices, 
blueberries, tar, depth as 
the fruit swells, fine oak 
seasoning with aeration.
 Red fruits, berryfruits, 
minty coolness, cracked 
pepper, lead pencil, nice 
concentration without 
ever feeling "big", a 
grainy sense to the mid-
palate, flowing to a long, 
dry close, flavours 
hanging in the mouth. 
Complex, elegant, 
delightful sapidity, yum.




2022 Te Kano Northburn Cabernet Franc

Price: RRP $55

Rating: Excellent

Perfumed lift, savoury, 
red fruits, a backdrop of 
wild herbs, fruit pastille 
with time. 
Perhaps not the fruit 
explosion of the ’21 but 
ripeness for sure, berry 
coulis, graphite, savoury 
qualities, wildness, a cool 
almost minty quality. 
Structure here yet flesh 
on its bones, the savoury 
aspects growing, with 
chewy grip framing the 
Deceptively complex, 
nicely done.



2020 Pegasus Bay North Canterbury Cabernet Franc

Price RRP $35

Rating Excellent to Outstanding

Flecks of flint and struck 
match, dusty, dried 
herbs, the fruit neatly in 
support, a minerally 
note with time. 
A lovely crunchiness to 
the palate, bouncing 
around your mouth, red 
fruits, tobacco, crisp 
acidity lends real 
zestiness that contrasts 
the sweet fruit. The 
sweet fruit gives way to 
richness backed by 
deceptive tannins. 
Refreshing, lip-
smacking, a lot going