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Snooth User: The Tippler

Alan, NZ

Posted by The Tippler, Aug 7, 2008.

Hi folks
I'm no doubt the first new member for 08/08 as I live in Auckland, New Zealand.
Immigrated here from Scotland 6 years ago to enjoy a better climate for my retirement.
Keep a modest cellar by purchasing from a variety of sources, cellar door, supermarket, local wine merchants etc. Preference for French and Italian reds (my european background I think). Also extensive travel in France and Italy over the years.
Found 'Snooth' while using Google to find comments about Drappier Champagne, a case of which I am about to purchase on special at a local wine retalier 'Glengarry'.
Seems like one of the best sites I've come accross - I have approx 200 others bookmarked!
Pleased to answer queries on NZ's growing selection of wines.


Reply by oceank8, Aug 7, 2008.

Welcome! Nice to have someone from New Zealand, I'm sure lots of questions will come up for you!

Reply by WineGent, Aug 8, 2008.

Alan, I have been thrilled with the Kiwi whites wine I have been tasting. Any spectacular offerings on the Red wine side you can share with us? Welcome to Snooth!

Reply by Mark Angelillo, Aug 8, 2008.

Alan, welcome to Snooth. I've enjoyed a few wines from NZ -- definitely looking forward to trying more.

Glad you found that Champagne!

Reply by Adam Levin, Aug 8, 2008.

Welcome, Alan. Let us know what's new and exciting to look out for coming from NZ.

Reply by Philip James, Aug 8, 2008.

Welcome Alan - seconding Wine Gent - tell us about some of the reds from the cooler regions - Central Otego Pinot Noirs etc?

Reply by The Tippler, Aug 8, 2008.

Thanks to you all for the welcome. See this USA Today article re NZ Pinots -although a year ago, it still reflects the best producers and more importantly those who export to US. We have a general problem with lack of marketable (size) supplies

Reply by WineGent, Aug 8, 2008.

Great read Alan..... I had a bottle of Tohu tonight with some fish....delicious, as always! I am going to track down some of these Pinot's... Thanks again! WineGent

Reply by John Andrews, Aug 9, 2008.

Alan! What are your favorite NZ producers? I know that NZ produces some great Pinots but I believe what I see locally isn't really good stuff. Tell me what is the good stuff?

Reply by Philip James, Aug 10, 2008.

I think that NZ is going to be a place to watch for Pinot Noir. Not sure how long it will take, but its cooler growing regions are perfectly suited.

Reply by The Tippler, Aug 12, 2008.

John - The good stuff!
2006 Calvert Vineyard Pinot Noir, NZ$60
Three wines made from the same 10-hectare vineyard provide an exciting chance to look for both winemaker and site influence. No whole bunches were used in the fermentation, which was initiated with indigenous yeasts and took place in open-top French oak cuves. The wine was matured for nine months in French oak barriques on the yeast lees. It was not fined but did receive a light filtration before bottling. Technically, alcohol is 14.3 per cent, acidity is 5.4 g/l and the pH is 3.68.
In colour and flavour intensity, this pinot noir occupies the middle ground between the other Calvert Vineyard wines (see below), though it is softer in structure. Flavours suggest wild flowers, dark cherry and plum with some wild thyme character. The oak is evident and appropriate. I like it very much and expect to like it even more in a few years.
2006 Calvert Pinot Noir, NZ$77
Felton Road is the uncrowned king of Central Otago pinot noir. It initiated the three-way winemaking experiment by allowing Craggy Range to have 40 per cent and Pyramid Valley 10 per cent of the grape harvest in 2006. Winemaker Blair Walter had the advantage of having made pinot noir from the Bannockburn district of Central Otago since 1997. The wine was fermented with a high percentage of whole bunches and allowed a lengthy 19-20 days on the skins to help build firmer tannins and extract greater flavour. Indigenous yeasts were used to ferment the wine, which was aged for 11 months in French oak barriques - 30 per cent of which were new. Alcohol is lower than the others, at 13.5 per cent. The wine is supremely elegant with deliciously pure fruit flavours. It has an appealing linear flavour and a lengthy finish. This was my favourite wine of the trio, but the ranking may change with time.
2006 Growers Collection Calvert Vineyard, NZ$45
Mike Weersing was regarded by many as one of New Zealand’s hottest winemakers before he’d made one wine of his own. In 2000, he bought land in Pyramid Valley, about 20 minutes west of Waipara, in limestone-rich soils that he believed were the perfect medium for his biodynamically grown vines. Weersing’s share of the Calvert crop was 100 per cent de-stemmed and transferred to tank by gravity. The grapes were given a cold soak for five to seven days before a warm fermentation using indigenous yeasts. The wine stayed on the skins for a lengthy 27-28 days after fermentation. It was matured for 15 months in French oak barriques using 33 per cent new barrels. Alcohol is 14.2 per cent and pH is 3.65. The wine is denser, more tannic and oakier than the others. It is also more complex and richer, with a range of appealing red and black cherry flavours, a strong floral/violet influence and some appealing savoury, earthy characters which defy analysis. All three wines share similar fruit, floral and spice characters, though each has additional flavours. The structure and oak influence varies considerably.
2006 SP Rise-and-Shine Creek Pinot Noir, NZ$32
Kim Crawford developed his Small Parcel (SP) label to allow him to exploit opportunities for making limited-edition wines from small batches of high-quality grapes, although his more cynical competitors might believe it’s a cunning plot to increase the winery’s tally of gold medals and trophies. This latest addition to the range has certainly won its share of awards, including trophy for best pinot noir at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards. The grapes were grown in the Clearvue vineyard on the northern end of Bendigo - once the centre of the Otago gold rush and now the site of one of the region’s most exciting wine districts. This dense, silky, spicy red amplifies the normally dense dark cherry and wild thyme characters that make Central Otago pinot noir so distinctive.

Above comments courtesy of Bob Cambpell NZ (Master of Wine)

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