Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Organic wines of New Zealand

Most interesting event hosted by New Zealand Wines, expertly and safely organized by Sarah Shepherd at 67 Pall Mall in London. 

An informative way to spend a rainy morning, about 75 bottles to be tasted and some amazing surprises.

Overall, the quality of organic wines is increasing, not just in New Zealand but worldwide, as producers master the techniques. Still, a few wines today could not hide their rough edges, this is typical of less stable organic wines, and more work is to be done.

Compared to previous NZ tasting I noticed a marked improvement of their chardonnays. Sauvignon blancs remain the workhorse of NZ production and confirmed their world class quality also among this organic selection. 

Some exceptional gems stood out among the pinot noirs. Not quite the structure of Burgundy but these wines were full of complex and round fruit, they proved to be very long and, alas, relatively expensive, which I consider a sign of success in the market.

Below are my notes from a selection of all the wines tasted today.

chards and sauvignon whites...


An easy, fruity, smooth wine, good balance. RRP £24, Score 84.

Biodynamic, another easy typical pinot blanc, reminds me of Alsace brothers. RRP £25, Score 86.


No sulphites added at all to this round and complex product. RRP £23, Score 88.

A typical sauvignon blanc, balanced and moderately complex, long. RRP £25, Score 89.

Strong citrus notes give a welcome freshness to this chardonnay, well balanced by vanilla in a long finish. RRP £25, Score 90.


Another fresh chard with a unique sapid accent, which keeps on going... RRP £28, Score 88

Pineapple, vanilla, an elegant wine, complex and long, perfectly balanced. RRP £32, Score 92

... and reds: world class pinot noir

8. Felton Road pinot noir Cornish Point, Bannockburn, Central Otago 2020
Balanced and complex, needs a few years in the bottle to round a few rough edges. RRP £ 42, Score 88.

A great wine, smooth, long, powerful, complex in the extreme. Intense fruit meets elegance and structure and makes one dream of what the evolution in bottle might bring. RRP 46.50, Score 94

Another amazing wine from Felton Road, reveals immense potential in the nose and captivates the mind with a complex swirl of red fruits and chocolate in the mouth. Very long. RRP 42, Score 95

Similar to the preceding wine, but perhaps even more complex. RRP £60, Score 95

Another top pinot noir, spicy, opulent. RRP £55, Score 93

13. Burn Cottage Vineyard pinot noir, Central Otago, 2018
Similar in many ways to the preceding wine, RRP £ 53, Score 93

What an amazing tasting of pinot noirs! 

These days one is never too far away from a gel sanitizer

Organic production in NZ, image by Biogro

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