Wednesday, May 4, 2022

A new Zealand walkaround in London

A fun day tasting New Zealand wines, expertly organized by Sarah Shepherd and Chris Stroud of NZ Wine. A large gathering with a wide range of products. 

Here below are some of the gems that I thought were most worth taking note of. I surely missed many more as one day was just not enough to do justice to this great event: 270 wines, over 20 styles, and a special section dedicated to organic wines which reserved a few gems for us. 

Indicative RRP in GBP.

Click on the vineyard's name to link to their websites.


Akitu pinot noir blanc 2021
Pinot noir 100% vinified as white wine, with only a shade of pink to betray the original red grape. Citrus, almonds, good balance and mod length. A pleasant surprise. GBP 42, not cheap. Score 88

Akitu A2, pinot noir 100%
A good simple pinot noir, a bit expensive at GBP 31.
Score 85

Akitu A1, pinot noir 100%
A more complex variation of this noble grape. GBP 31
Score 86

Craggy Range

Craggy Range Aroha Pinot noir 2019
A complex wine which is surprisingly mature already. GBP 75
Score 92

Craggy Range Le Sol Syrah 2019
Also amazingly ready to please the taster, GBP 75
Score 92

Craggy Range Sophia Red Blend 2019
60% Merlot, 26% Cab franc, 14% cab sauvignon. 
The least interesting of the top three, it is anyway a very successful blend with a round body, also ready now. GBP 75
Score 89

Vineyard Riesling Gruner Veltliner 2019
A tingling wine of floral complexity and citrussy notes. GBP 48
Score 90.

Pinot Noir Moonlight Race 2019
Full, tannic, fresh. An exuberant wine. GBP 42
Score 92

Central Otago Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019
Very full, round, long, a majestic wine. GBP 53
Score 94

Gimblett Gravels Marsanne/Viognier 2019
Vanilla, butter. GBP 25
Score 88.

Gimblett Gravels "The Gimblett"
54% cab sauvignon, 43% cab franc, 3% tempranillo
A structured wine with a bitterish end that promises a great evolution. GBP 25
Score 86

"Homage" Gimblett Shiraz 2018
Fermented on viognier skins! Complex, tannis, needs time. GBP 99
Score 90

Below a selection of my best finds in the separate organic wine walkaround. Organic wines are making huge progress in quality, also in New Zealand.

Pinot Noir, Marlborough 2017
A surprise, smooth, long and mod complex. GBP 28
Score 93

Pinot Noir, Waipara, Canterbury 2018
Smooth long and complex, an amazing quality/price ratio. GBP 26
Score 93

Damsteep Pinot Noir Canterbury 2019
A top wine, perfect balance and complex. A harmonious wine. GBP 46
Score 94

Home Pinot Noir Canterbury 2019
Similar to previous wine, GBP 46
Score 94

Pinot Noir Block 3, Bannockburn, Central Otago 2020
Complex and long. GBP 62
Score 92

Pinot Noir Block 5, Bannockburn, Central Otago 2020
Similar to previous wine, GBP 62
Score 92

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