Options to delight wine drinkers
Summer time is Rose time for an increasing number of wine drinkers around the world, and New Zealand is certainly not immune to this.
Rabbit Ranch from Central Otago have produced a particularly good example in 2017 - a beautiful, salmon-hued Rose in the Provencial style, this Pinot Noir Rose is refreshingly dry, with gentle acidity and minerality. I enjoyed it greatly. Hunters in Marlborough are pioneers of Riesling in this country, having produced it since the early 1980s.
Many of their previous vintages have been multiple award winners and have cellared exceptionally well.
Their 2017 example is dry, focussed, incisive and gently floral.
Drinking very well now, it will cellar for at least a decade (if you can resist it for that long).
Another wonderful new release from Hunter’s is the 2017 Gewurztraminer, from their Rapaura Road vineyard.
Mealy, concentrated and beautifully balanced, with tell-tale hints of lychee, this is top notch Gewurz!
Mission Estate is New Zealand’s oldest winery, having been running just outside Napier for well over 150 years.
They make excellent value wines in their white labelled ‘Estate’ range, such as the 2014 Marlborough Pinot Noir.
Medium weighted and faintly savoury, with nice clean Pinot characters, a good everyday wine at a very reasonable price.
Ara Single Estate Sauvignon Blanc, from the legendary Wairau Valley, is typically Marlborough - punchy, aromatic, citrussy and well balanced.
Recently purchased by the Giesen Brothers, Ara Winegrowers are establishing a reputation for keenly varietal wines, and this is no exception.
These same Geisen Brothers have just released the limited edition 2017 Gemstone Riesling.
A gorgeously seductive, sweetish wine, a portion of this wine was fermented and matured in granite tanks, which may be responsible for the clean and incisive minerality and excellent concentration.
A lowish alcohol, Germanic style Riesling, buy some before it’s all gone!
Peter Yealands is a name that seems to be slowly but surely creeping into the consciousness of every NZ wine drinker.
Well known for producing excellent value, everyday drinking wines such as their gentle, berryish 2017 Marlborough Rose, as well as for their environmental concerns, Yealands also produce some good Reserve quality wines.
Yealands 2016 Awatere Valley Reserve Pinot Noir is medium weighted, nicely spicy and strongly varietal, it is excellent value at around $18, and is vegetarian and vegan friendly.
While in the Hawke’s Bay recently, I was introduced to the delights of Eskdale’s Zeelandt Brewery (www.zeelandt.co.nz).
A tiny venture, Zeelandt and the equally exciting Petane Station Wines share their premises and are run by brothers Chris (beer) and Phil (wine) Barber.
Chris makes an excellent ‘Helles’ Munich style lager. It is a refreshingly malty drop that will go down well this summer.
Perhaps my favourite Zeelandt beer is the quite brilliant ‘Black Monk’ Schwarzbier (or Black Lager).
A big, smooth, generously malty beer with chocolate and coffee notes and a lovely clean finish, it’s a killer drop.
Also worth seeking out are the tasty ‘Guv’nor’ Bitter and the bright, tasty ‘Long Range Bomber’ APA. These beers aren’t easy to find, but worth looking for!
-Waikato wine and beer writer Simon Wood grew up in Hamilton and now lives in Te Aroha, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Mission Estate is New Zealand’s oldest winery, established near Napier about 150 years ago.