New Zealand trade tastings

Decanter's top wines from the New Zealand trade tastings

Michelle Richardson, Chardonnay, Central Otago 2008

Cracking stuff. Impeccable balance with the acidity wonderfully knitted into the wine. Floral, nutty and mealy, blossom lift and toffee hints. Fully flavoured and round, but refreshing and more-ish as well. 13.5% abv (18.5 points)

£18.50 Genesis Wines, London SW1 (020 7963 9060)

Trinity Hill, Syrah, Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay 2008

Polished, NZ take on the Northern Rhône here. A mingling of chocolate, cranberry and blueberry aromas to the fore – it’s a lovely noseful. Following on is a similarly impressive palate with an inky, pepper-coated attack, and a gutsy, savoury underbelly. 13.5% abv (18 points)

£16.99 Enotria Winecellars, London NW10 (020 8961 4411)

Te Mata Estate, Elston Chardonnay, Hawkes Bay 2009

Cool, nutty and mineral. Femine, restrained and graceful with notes reminiscent of white toast and drips of honey. Touch young and shy. 14% abv. (16.5 points)

£20.95 Seckford Wines (01394 446 622)

Neudorf, Chardonnay, Nelson 2008

Bigger, rounder and more fleshed out in style. Plenty of ripe, tropical fruit on show, hints of watermelon and candied edges. Possibly not one for those modernists who prefer a more restrained take on Chardonnay. 13.5% abv. (17 points) Richards Walford

£23 Richard Walford, Lincs (01780 460 451)

Lawson’s Dry Hills, The Pioneer, Gewurztraminer, Marlborough 2009

Lush, off-dry, flavoursome and buckets of perky spice, complementing the lychee, white fruit notes. Pinch of alcohol on the finish which may detract some, but this is a serious New World Gewürz. 14.5% abv (16.5 points)

£13.99 Enotria Winecellars, London NW10 (020 8961 4411)

Urlar Estate, Pinot Gris, Wairarapa 2009

100% barrel fermented in old oak, bringing a textural component to the wine. This is not as immediately showy as some Pinot Gris from New Zealand, but careful attention reveals this has plenty to offer. The mealy tones are evidence of lees stirring, but this wine still has plenty of precision and drive. The pear and apple backbone is complemented by dashes of sweet spice. Slick and highly attractive. 14% abv (17.5 points)

£13.99 Enotria Winecellars, London NW10 (020 8961 4411)

Craggy Range, Te Kahu, Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon, Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay 2008

Fleshy blackberry and raspberry – impressive concentration but not over the top. It’s a classy, dry glass of red with hints of chocolate and coffee supplementing the brambly, red and dark fruit flavours. (17.5 points)


Bridge Pa Vineyard, Louis Syrah, Hawke’s Bay 2006

Big and expressive nose of dried flowers, iodine, earth, purple fruit and pepper. In the mouth it’s not as showy, but displays good balance, savoury minerality, blueberry and a lick of chocolate. 13% abv. (18 points)

£22 New Zealand Wine Distribution (0870 240 7460)

Kumeu River, Estate Chardonnay, Auckland 2007

Linear, taut nose, framed by distinctly mineral edging. Citrus zest flavours, powered along by the bracing, mouth-watering acidity. Mealy undercurrent comes through on the finish. 13.5% abv. (17.5 points)

£20 Boxford Wine Company, Suffolk (01787 210 187)

Craggy Range, Syrah, Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay 2008

Attractive, pretty core of concentrated fruit – spiced blackberry and the like. Violet-tinged fruit on the streamlined palate, mineral streaks and a lovely, savoury facet, plus fine tannins. 13.7% abv. (16.5 points)

£19.99 Louis Latour Agencies, London W1 (020 7409 7276)

Trinity Hill, Chardonnay, Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay 2008

Sleek and streamlined, a Chardonnay polished to a high sheen. Candied honeycomb, flowers, melon and apple on the nose, following on to a palate formed of white fruit, a pinch of spice, and toasty edging. Great balance. 14% abv (17.5 points)

£16.99 Enotria Winecellars, London NW10 (020 8961 4411)

Spy Valley, Envoy Gewurztraminer, Marlborough 2009

Vinous offering. Big showy nose, leading onto a more restrained but textured palate, with notes of rose water, strawberry, floral touches, and spicy, dried red fruits. Lovely and long. 14.5% abv (18 points)

£17.49 Bibendum, London NW1 (020 7449 4120)

Man O’War Vineyards, Exiled, Pinot Gris, Ponui Island 2010

Opulent example, with its sweet candied fruit – apple and melon. Lovely roundness and feel to the palate, with a decoration of flowers, apple and white peach. 12.5% abv (17.5 points)

£20 New Generation Wine (01233 636 365)

Sacred Hill, Deerstalkers Syrah, Hawkes Bay 2007

Broad and full, with ripe, blue and black fruit and a flecks of cracked black pepper. Plum crumble flavours, with touches of iodine. Classy, refreshing and very well made. 14% abv (17.5 points)

£19.99 Private Liquor Brands, W Sussex (01342 318 282)

Wild Earth, Riesling, Central Otago 2008

A sweet and bright, lime sorbet nose. Off-dry, but sweetness doesn’t jar, allowing lifted, white flower notes and citrus to come through, along with a slight, mineral tinge. 12.6% abv (17 points)

£12.99 Liberty Wines, London SW8 (020 7720 5350)

Newton Forrest Estate, Cornerstone Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot, Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay 2005

Nicely crafted; light on its feet, displaying leafy, medicinal dark fruit, plus notes of blackcurrant skin, earth and pepper. Has aged well. 14% abv (16.5 points)

£18.99 Adnams, Suffolk (01502 727 222)

Staete Landt, Syrah, Marlborough 2008

Mineral, graceful and streamlined, with notes of liquorice and freshly turned earth. Plenty of alluring black fruit, fine tannins, significant shakes of pepper, dark chocolate and truffle. Lovely. 13.3% abv (18 points)

£18.95 Thorman Hunt, London SE11 (020 7735 6511)

Pegasus Bay, Bel Canto Dry Riesling, Waipara 2009

Lovely kerosene hints and lime marmalade aromas. Orange blossom underneath. Smooth, seamless palate, hint of residual sugar taking the edge of the perky citrus fruit. 14% abv (16.5 points)

£16.50 New Generation Wine (01233 636 365)

Mt Difficulty, Pinot Gris, Central Otago 2009

Good concentration and drive to the nose. Plenty of primary, youthful and attractive aromas – rosy apples and fresh pear. Balanced and refreshing with a vinous quality. Acidity very nicely woven in. Apple skin flavours, struck-match minerality and a nice tangy burst of citrus peel on the finish. 14% abv (17 points)

£12.99 Ellis of Richmond, Middx (020 8744 5550)

Crossroads Winery, Merlot, Hawkes Bay 2008

Unassuming and attractive. Relies on purity of fruit to deliver a pleasing glass of wine, with red fruit and plums decorated with herbal tinges and leafy touches. Very nicely delivered. 13% abv (16 points)

£11.99 Mentzendorff, London SE1 (020 7840 3600)

Felton Road, Dry Riesling, Central Otago 2010

Zingy, bright and vital with classic, juicy lime pie and apple notes with mineral seams and a subtle, mealy touch in the background. 12.5% abv (16 points)

£15 Cornish Point Wines (01252 705 102)

Written by Decanter