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.

Cuisine - - CONTENTS -

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

Michael Bra­jkovich

Poppy Saker-Nor­rish

John Saker

John Belsham

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