A late vin­tage caused is­sues for some in 2016, but enough top wines emerged to leave the panel im­pressed, writes JOHN SAKER.

Cuisine - - CONTENTS -

NZ sau­vi­gnon blanc and NZ rosé


rhythm sec­tion. It sup­plies the wine with line and en­ergy, as well as serv­ing as a coun­ter­weight to the sweet fruit riffs. Like a grape’s other el­e­ments, acids need to ripen. It seems that achiev­ing that riper, soft acid­ity was some­thing of a chal­lenge in Marl­bor­ough in 2016. “We had to wait for it to hap­pen,” ex­plained tast­ing panel judge He­len Mor­ri­son. “It was a late vin­tage – a lit­tle scary it was so late – but the rain did hold off and we picked fruit when we wanted, with the acid­ity we wanted.” For those who didn’t wait and picked ear­lier, the re­sults were dif­fer­ent. “In a num­ber of wines at this tast­ing, the acid­ity was a lit­tle spiky and lack­ing ripeness,” noted tast­ing panel chair Ben Glover. “But over­all, we saw some ex­cel­lent wines emerge, es­pe­cially from the more ex­pe­ri­enced pro­duc­ers.”


For this sau­vi­gnon blanc tast­ing, our reg­u­lar Cui­sine tast­ing panel chair John Belsham was in Aus­tralia judg­ing a wine show. Tak­ing his place lead­ing the panel was Ben Glover, an in­ter­na­tional wine judge, Chair of Pinot Noir NZ 2017 and owner-wine­maker at Glover Fam­ily Vine­yards. Ben was joined by He­len Mor­ri­son, se­nior Marl­bor­ough wine­maker at Villa Maria, and John Saker, au­thor and Cui­sine wine writer.

Villa Maria’s win­ery in Marl­bor­ough

He­len Mor­ri­son

John Saker

Ben Glover

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