This year’s tasting is evidence that the rapid rise of New Zealand bubbly shows no sign of slowing down, writes RALPH KYTE-POWELL.
Sparkling wine, Champagne $100 & under, Champagne over $100 and NZ Sweet Wines
ALTHOUGH THE ANNUAL Cuisine sparkling wine tasting encapsulates every type of bubbly except Champagne, New Zealand’s wines are always the main focus. This is understandable, given that this is a Kiwi publication, but another factor determines our direction, and that’s the quality of the New Zealand product. Panellist Simon Nash MW was highly impressed. “These wines set a very high standard,” he said. “It’s interesting to reflect on whether anybody imagined 20 years ago that they would be so good, so soon.” The progress in identifying vineyard sites, mastering viticultural and winemaking technique, understanding blending, and building an enviable body of expertise and intuition has indeed been rapid. New Zealanders should rejoice at having these wines at their doorstep. What will the next 20 years bring?
Akarua’s 25 Steps vineyard in Central Otago