Looking for inspiration? Decanter's Tina Gellie has picked out ten exciting wines from a recent New Zealand wine tasting in central London...

Ten exciting New Zealand wines to try

Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir are still the bread and butter of the New Zealand wine industry, each variety making up some 70% of white and red plantings. And Chardonnay – the dominant grape between 1993 and 2003 – is also seeing a revival, comprising about 12%.

But there is much more to Kiwi wine than this popular trio, particularly aromatic whites such as Riesling and Pinot Gris – often made in delectable off-dry styles – as well as fledging plantings of ‘alternative’ varieties like Albariño (very encouraging) and Grüner Veltliner.

Beyond Pinot Noir there is less diversity in the reds, with Syrah undoubtedly the leading light, especially wines co-fermented with Viognier in homage to Côte-Rôtie.

But the Bordeaux grapes of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec still offer some interest, either as varietals or in a blend, as do unusual and exciting finds such as Stanley Estates’ Lagrein.

The following 10 wines are great examples of experimental New Zealand winemaking, much like we are seeing in Australia.


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