WINE TASTINGS NZ chardonnay and NZ specialty whites
Kiwi chardonnay is earning new fans every day, and the recent tasting showed there’s plenty out there to keep them happy, writes JOHN SAKER.
BRITISH WINE CRITIC Jancis Robinson MW regards New Zealand chardonnay as the best wine style we’re not known for. The country’s chardonnay lovers – which is a steadily growing band – would agree. Chardonnay is on a roll right now, fuelled as much by fired-up winemakers who love working with the grape as by increased consumer interest. This latest
Cuisine tasting confirmed the happy state of Kiwi chardonnay. “There was a very high standard overall,” said panel member Michael Brajkovich MW. “I didn’t see too much reduction (ie sulphides, or flinty characters). I think the message is getting through it’s about balance.” Panel chair John Belsham was all praise for the wines that did well. “Our top line-up is evidence that New Zealand chardonnay can be top class,” he said. “It’s definitely a wine style with which we can compete on the world stage.”
Those wines offering an outstanding mix of quality and price are awarded Best Buy status. Price points differ, depending on the varietal, but if you see the Best Buy sticker you can rest assured you’re getting a great wine at an excellent price. Look out for the sticker on wine bottles at all good wine retailers.
For this New Zealand chardonnay tasting, John Belsham, an international wine judge and owner of Foxes Island Wines in Marlborough, was joined by Michael Brajkovich, winemaker at renowned Kumeu River Wines and New Zealand’s first Master of Wine, and John Saker, author and Cuisine wine writer. Associate judge (non-scoring) was Poppy SakerNorrish, harvest winemaker at Ata Rangi.
Te Awa Winery