Op­tions to de­light wine drinkers

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Local News -

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 woodon­wine­and­beer@gmail.com


Mis­sion Es­tate is New Zealand’s old­est win­ery, es­tab­lished near Napier about 150 years ago.

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