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Category Archives: review

Not only is this vineyard close to my home town of Christchurch in New Zealand, their website is wonderfully typographic. <link>

Now all I need to do is get a taste of the wine. Raymond Chan thinks the Chardonnay is pretty good. Here’s his summary.

The Naish family have brought Black Estate to the fore of Waipara wine producers. The output is with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from 4 ha of vines of each variety from the home vineyard, and contracted Riesling fruit from nearby. The Chardonnay is from 15 y.o. Mendoza clone and is deemed to be something special. I concur..

And in full <link>

As a further aside, some mighty fine Canterbury rugby players also call Omihi home.

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from Gourmet Traveller

There’s always value in reading articles like this one. You may not be able to get exactly that wine at exactly that price. But what you do get is a list of wineries to be on the look out for. You never know, they may appear in your local wine shop.

Wynns Coonawarra is always reliable. As is Peter Lehman. I’ve never really taken to Wyndham Estate but a good friend of mine speaks highly of them. The one I’ll be looking for is the Trentham Estate Pinot Noir. A picture always helps keep something in the memory. So here’s what the label looks like.

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“Today’s recommended wines are first and foremost food-friendly. In general, the overall quality of the kosher wine we tasted is better and more consistent than our last look two years ago. Though well-established Israeli brands were generally available, it was tougher to find French, Chilean, Spanish and New Zealand kosher wines this time.”

I didn’t know about the “U”, “K” or “P” labelling protocol. That’s really interesting.

“The label will carry the certifying organization’s symbol, often a circled “U” or “K.” In addition, wines labeled as kosher for Passover also carry a P to the right of the circled symbol.”

From the SF Chronicle,  read more here

Update: Serious eats on the same subject here

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Typically the pricing of a wine reflects the winery’s best assessment of where demand and supply meet to clear the stock of wine produced taking account of, amongst other things, quality, scarcity value, competitive environment and in the case of top Bordeaux investment demand.  So it was with interest that I tried the 1998 Esk Valley The Terraces the other night, a wine that cost me £70 a year ago – the most I have seen charged for a bottle of New Zealand wine.

The wine has pedigree but clearly the winery itself has fairly lofty opinions of where this wine sits relative to its NZ peers by pricing it significantly above most other top quality NZ reds. Arguably age and the year of production (1998 was an excellent vintage for Hawkes Bay reds)  contributed to the price but really that does not go remotely close to justifying a 100-200% premium to its peers. So was it worth it? In a word – No.  I wanted to really like it – believe me – especially having forked out so much – but in my opinion the quality did not justify the price. The wine itself had a nice complexity on the nose with mocha and chocolate characters but also a leafiness which detracted, palate was medium weight with reasonable berry fruit intensity and nice oak integration. It  had mellowed nicely (probably at peak now) but length of fruit was a little disappointing.  Overall the wine was  good, but not great, lacking the structure and complexity one could expect of a NZ wine charging this price.  BTW I asked my partner what she would pay for this wine (a very talented taster with little interest in wine beyond a couple of glasses with dinner) and she ventured no more than £15 – perhaps a little harsh but probably closer to the mark.

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Please meet my mate Roger. Roger is an experienced taster who has been a wine judge in New Zealand and once participated in a Decanter panel. He also has a fantastic cellar. Rog has agreed to contribute some reviews of the wines he’s drinking. Here’s his first.

1998 Neudorf Moutere Chardonnay – consumed Christmas 2008


This wine has been a real favourite of mine. Typically fantastic fruit intensity and balance but unfortunately this bottle was oxidised. The fruit was still apparent but the wine was well past best. The colour gave it away has well a deep golden hue.

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