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new-zealand-wine-regions

Vintage Direct have a comprehensive guide to New Zealand wine and the map above here.

Their discussion of pinot noir in New Zealand is an interesting read <link>

“New Zealand seems made for Pinot Noir, where the climate has proven more important than soils for wine quality. (Excellent Pinots have resulted from clay soils to free-draining fluvio-glacial gravels and silts). While experience has shown that only a few parts of New Zealand (notably Hawke’s Bay) are able to consistently ripen other red varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir will ripen with good flavours and colour in many regions. Though because it ripens very early, it’s been found to be most suited to the cool, low rainfall climates of the South Island and lower North Island regions where plantings are concentrated. If it ripens too fast, it fails to develop a desirable flavour profile and can even become jammy.”

“In a recent tasting, Neal Martin writing for the Wine Advocate asked whether or not “In qualitative terms alone, New Zealand’ s Pinot Noir equal Burgundy? No, not yet.” he admits.“Does New Zealand offer better QPR? [Quality Price Ratio] Undoubtedly.”   U.K. wine writer, Jancis Robinson agrees, writing “The best are nowhere near as good as the best red Burgundy, but the worst are so, so much more delicious than the worst Burgundy.”

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