Cuisine - - CRISPY BITS -

An in­trigu­ing wine tast­ing took place re­cently to con­tem­plate the in­flu­ence of Auck­land’s unique vol­canic ge­ol­ogy on its wines. Mem­bers of the New Zealand Som­me­liers and Wine Pro­fes­sion­als met with Bob Campbell MW and Michael Bra­jkovich MW to taste and dis­cuss wines sub­mit­ted as part of an Auck­land Wine of Ori­gin ini­tia­tive at the New Zealand School of Food and Wine. In­ter­na­tion­ally there has been a surge of in­ter­est in wines from vol­canic re­gions such as Mount Etna, Mount Ve­su­vius, Sar­dinia, the Ca­nary Is­lands, the Azores and the slopes of Mount Fuji. Here, the high­light in the whites was the range and depth of chardon­nays. Styles in­cluded the ripe peach and rock­melon from Pas­sage Rock Re­serve Chardon­nay 2017 from Wai­heke Is­land to the lean, crisp char­ac­ter­is­tics of West­brook and Sol­jans. Wai­heke Is­land dom­i­nated the red wines and there was broad ap­pre­ci­a­tion from the group of their ex­cep­tional qual­ity in­clud­ing the Bordeaux blends of Destiny Bay’s Desti­nae 2014, French­mans Hill Blood Creek Eight 2013, Te Motu 2013 and Goldie Re­serve 2013. The aro­matic wines of viog­nier, gewurz­traminer and the Por­tuguese grape, verdelho are less well known and Villa Maria’s Ihu­matao vine­yard, next to Auck­land In­ter­na­tional Air­port and the Mount Man­gere vol­cano, shows this lo­ca­tion can achieve a pu­rity of fruit and aro­mat­ics that is world class.

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