The land most Americans came to know via The Lord of the Rings is home to some great wines as well as spectacular scenery. Sauvignon Blanc is grown in most New Zealand wine regions, but is especially notable in Marlborough, where it makes wines that set the New World standard for that variety. Other grape varieties commonly grown in New Zealand include Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Merlot.
Based on old (20–25-year-old) plantings of Pommard clone, this fabulous wine blends savory, spicy scents with floral elements on the nose, then delves deep into black cherries in the mouth. Rich and velvety on the palate, with powerful fruit and the structure to age. One of the best New World Pinots I’ve ever tasted.
This is a rich, sumptuous red wine. It looks, smells and tastes opulent. Ripe, forward berry flavors, wrapped in considerable oak, taste full and long, and the wine flatters with thick, velvety but fine tannins. The finish is a wonder, long and intricate. The aftertaste lasts for a full minute. It’s wonderful now, but should age effortlessly for many years. A blend…
Representing a new level of quality for Waiheke Syrah, this wine boasts captivating aromas of peppered meat, violets and cassis. It’s full bodied without being heavy, and the flavors seamlessly blend fruity with savory for a thrilling ride. Finishes long, with firm tannins and a hint of espresso. Drink now¬–2018.
Simply put, this is an outstanding example of New World Chardonnay, marrying bold tropical fruit aromas and flavors with Burgundian production techniques. Guava and mango notes are lush an dappealing, framed by just enough structure and hints of dried spices and toasty oak for complexity and balance. Long and crisp on the finish. Now-2013.
Since its debut in 2003, this has been one of New Zealand’s top Pinot Noirs, combining power, structure and complexity. Smoky and richly peppery at first, it turns more floral with aeration, and while it’s big in the mouth, it’s also silky in texture. The black cherry, plum, vanilla and spice flavors fan out on the long, layered finish. Drink now–2015.
Unusual for New Zealand Pinot Noir, this full-bodied bottling is structured firmly enough to warrant 2–3 years of cellaring. Earthy, savory notes that include roasted meat and coffee intertwine with black cherry and beetroot, while the tannins turn dusty on the finish.
Complex on the nose and richly textured in the mouth, this wine delivers it all. Hints of struck flint and wild onion accent grapefruit aromas, while the flavors range easily from pink grapefruit and red currant to delicate herb shadings. It’s full without being too full, with a potent yet refreshing finish that seemingly lingers forever.
Full bodied, creamy in texture and long on the finish, the 2009 Le Sol is the complete package. Blackberry fruit is accented by cracked pepper and vanilla, but closer examination reveals hints of black olive and coffee as well. The tannins are exquisitely silky on the finish, where the fruit comes to the fore. Drink now–2020.