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New year, New Zealand

Posted on January 12, 2011 by Enotriaadmin There have been 0 comments

The New Zealand trade tasting (NZATT) is always the first of the main generic country tastings each year, and this year's edition was upon us seemingly before we'd tidied away the mince pie crumbs and turkey leftovers. Lord's Cricket Ground on a wet Tuesday in early January may not be everyone's idea of a good time, but there were plenty of interesting wines to lighten the gloom. On the home team table, Trinity Hill Syrahs - both Hawkes Bay and Gimblett Gravel versions - demonstrated just why this area of NZ is becoming world-renowned for Syrah. Next up, Lawson's Dry Hills were the subject of much praise. One well known restaurateur came away from tasting and declared their entire range 'the best thing here today' and Lawson's Pioneer Gewurztraminer 'the best Gewurz in New Zealand'. Who are we to argue? Angus Thomson of Urlar was wearing his Christmas jumper (a natty electric blue tank top, since you ask) and had his latest vintages - the first with official organic sanction. The Urlar Pinot Gris was a standout - amazing delineation and precision. This wine arrives a little later this year. A brace of Carrick Pinot Noirs completed our handsome set. Elsewhere at the tasting, it was a pleasure to meet Kevin Judd, the man who made Cloudy Bay into the worldwide icon it is, now concentrating on his own Greywacke wines. I also tasted the Mano'war wines from Waiheke island - very exciting whites especially there. And no visit to the NZATT is complete without tasting at the Felton Road table, where (English) proprietor Nigel Greening was his usual illuminating self. Nigel managed to flit over to the Berry Brothers Burgundy 2009 tasting in the middle of the day - and declared the 09 wines 'potentially amazing'. This is someone who really knows his Pinot Noir - Felton Block 5 being one of the great Pinots of New Zealand.


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