Gimblett Amongst the Best

“New Zealand has been one of the great success stories of the Noughties,” writes the Telegraph’s Jonathan Ray in a wine trend review of the decade. “It’s a country that I simply adore and I can’t get enough of its wines. The figures speak for themselves: in 2001, New Zealand sold 15.2 million bottles; this year it sold 55.7 million (of which 45.2 were sauvignon blanc). Notoriously mean, we British spend an average of just £4.30 on a bottle of wine (and £4.82 on French wine). Yet we’re happy to spend an average £6.25 on New Zealand wine. Most exciting in the past 10 years, though, is the rise of the merlot-based reds of the Gimblett Gravels, a 2,000-acre sub-region of Hawke’s Bay on the North Island. I was at the remarkable blind tasting in London earlier this year when six 2006 Gimblett Gravel wines were put up against six of the best 2005s from Bordeaux. The results were astounding: Bordeaux grabbed the first three spots with Chateaux Lafite, Mouton and AngÈlus, which was no great surprise. But Sacred Hill Helmsman was fourth and Newton Forrest Cornerstone sixth, behind Chateau Haut-Brion. Not bad when you consider that the six bottles of claret on show cost a total of £3,060 and the Kiwi wines just £108. Watch this space.”


Tags: Hawkes Bay  Telegraph (The)  

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