new zealand photo
 
 

New Zealand White Wine

A wonderful country. I spent a year in New Zealand and toured both north and south islands. Wine making is a relatively new venture in the land of the long white cloud. There were virtually no grapes planted on south island until the 1970s! And already cool climate Marlborough has given the world a completely new style of wine with it's sensational sauvignon blanc. Love it or hate it, there's no other wine in the world like it. The cooler climate of the south island is also ideal for pinot noir and they make some stunning examples. As all the vineyards are virtually new, it's the pioneering spirit of couples and families that has been the back bone of New Zealand wine, while the rest of the world was being dominated by corporate brands. If you want a truly oustanding wine go for one that is family owned. The ones I'm recommending are superb.

The New Zealand wine industry has flourished and the number of wineries has virtually doubled in the last ten years from 600 or so to well over 1000, with the emergence of many boutique wineries. Anybody who has travelled to New Zealand knows that they are blessed with vast tracts of fertile land and usually great weather too, producing an abundance of fresh produce. They have a very healthy diet and lifestyle, and this passion for quality natural produce has influenced their winemaking. Steer clear of the mass produced brands, and particularly all the UK bottled "own label" Sauvignon Blanc that has flooded the UK since the credit crunch, and you will discover that there are many boutique wineries producing outstanding quality wines with minimal additives and manipulation.

The Gimblett Gravels area of Hawke's Bay has become world famous for quality reds, particularly Bordeaux varietals (such as Cabernet, Merlot and Malbec), and Syrah too. Hawke's Bay is also renowned for producing New Zealand's best Chardonnay. Waiheke Island is producing some outstanding reds, Martinborough is now recognised as a top region for Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc, and Central Otago and Canterbury are producing world class Reisling as well as the Pinot Noir they're famous for. An abundance of riches!
 
 

Gladstone Sauvignon Blanc 2014 75cl

Gold Medal TheFiftyBest.com April 2016

Silver Medal International Wine Challenge 2015

Gladstone is a fantastic boutique winery in Wairarapa in the Martinborough region, at the bottom of North Island up in the hills to the east of Wellington. Wairarapa is very possibly the biggest success story in "boutique New Zealand" in the last ten years, as it's soil and microclimate produce outstandlingly concentrated fruit. The wineries here are mainly family affairs producing great wines with real passion and flare.

Christine and David Kernohan - both originally from bonnie Scotland - have been making wine here since 1996. Minimal intervention is the key, letting the fruit do all the talking. Although it is coupled with expert dedicated winemaking of course.They are in conversion to organic, which is straight forward for them as they have always minimised additives and intervention anyway.

This Sauvignon from their flagship "Gladstone" range is fantastic. Extensively lees aged for body, complexity and longevity. It is full of tropical fruit yet with a real mineral streak on the back palate. It is very good indeed.

Gladstone Website

Further Information on Gladstone Sauvignon Blanc 2014 75cl

Price: £14.99



Sulphite Content:
Awards:

50Best
John's Rating

91 Points
Sustainable Farming

Quantity:  


Gladstone Sauvignon Blanc 2014 75cl
 
 

Gladstone Pinot Gris 2014 75cl

This is their flagship range Pinot Gris, not to be confused with their junior "Jealous Sisters" or "12000 miles" ranges. There are quite a few reviews and awards dotted about for the Jealous Sisters 2014 but I can't find any reviews for this wine as it is much more limited. It is very good however.

Clear and bright with legs sticking to the glass. Swirl it around and a lovely nose opens up. It has a full and creamy palate with rich citrus fruit flavours and a long finish.

The wine is very well made and the free SO2 has remained free so we advise anybody with a sulphite allergy to avoid it, but we highly recommend it to any Pinot Gris fans not super sensitive to sulphur.

Gladstone Website

Further Information on Gladstone Pinot Gris 2014 75cl

Price: £12.95



Sulphite Content:
John's Rating

90 Points
Sustainable Farming

Quantity:  


Gladstone Pinot Gris 2014 75cl
 
 

Waipara Springs Sauvignon Blanc 2015 75cl

We've stocked the Premo wines from this winery on and off in the past. Their wines are good quality and good value.

Waipara is technically in Canterbury roughly 50 miles north west of Christchurch. You can cut down from Marlborough rather than taking the coast road and it's a stunning drive. It's these valleys which are producing a more mineral style of Sauvignon over the really fruit forward versions from the Marlborough plains.

Waipara Springs Website

Further Information on Waipara Springs Sauvignon Blanc 2015 75cl

Price: £9.85



Sulphite Content:
John's Rating

Sustainable Farming

Quantity:  


Waipara Springs Sauvignon Blanc 2015 75cl
 
 

John Forrest The Doctors Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015 75cl

I first stocked John Forrest wines back in 2007 when we launched the website. He had a very good Pinot Noir. Much has changed in the wine world since and his private enterprise has grown and become very successful. He now has proper representation here in the UK and his wines are quite widely available. We wanted to stock this one in particular as some winedrinkers prefer a wine that is not too high in alcohol.

This wine is only 9.5% alcohol but still bone dry, typical qualty Marlborough Sauvignon. John has used all his winemaking genius to achieve this.

Forrest Website

Further Information on John Forrest The Doctors Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015 75cl

Price: £8.95



Sulphite Content:
John's Rating

Sustainable Farming

Quantity:  


John Forrest The Doctors Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015 75cl
 
 

Morton Estates Hawkes Bay Black Label Chardonnay 2011 75cl

Previous awards include - Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2011 - Gold Medal. Mercedes Benz Hakes Bay Wine Awards Gold Medal 2010, Decanter World Wine Awards Silver Medal 2011, International Wine Challenge Silver Medal 2011 amongst others!

Made from fruit from their Riverview vineyard, fermented in new French oak then aged for a further twelve months, again in French oak. This is a rich, full wine with intense fruit and a long dry finish. Another great wine suited to richer foods, or to savour on it's own.

Morton Estate Website

Further Information on Morton Estates Hawkes Bay Black Label Chardonnay 2011 75cl

Price: £16.80



Sulphite Content:
Awards:

HBWA
John's Rating

93 Points

Quantity:  


Morton Estates Hawkes Bay Black Label Chardonnay 2011 75cl