Talent with Depth
Observer wine critic, Tim Atkin, looks beyond the ubiquitous NZ Sauvignon Blanc, recommending instead our Pinot Gris, Riesling, Syrah, and – above all – Pinot Noir. “NZ may produce only 0.79 per cent of the world’s vino, but in boxing argot it punches above its weight. It has also achieved the near miraculous feat of persuading us Brits to spend more than £5 on a bottle … People clearly believe that NZ gives them what they pay for.” Atkin’s “4 great wines with the taste of NZ;” 2002 Esk Valley Black Label Merlot/Cabernet/ Malbec, 2002 Cloudy Bay Chardonnay, 2002 Pegasus Bay Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon, and 2002 Quartz Reef Pinot Noir. The Star Bulletin‘s Roberto Viernes agrees with Atkin’s pronouncement on NZ viticulture’s shifting strengths: “There is no doubt that NZ is already a proven leader among quality producers of sauvignon blanc. Now it is making a splash with pinot noirs that rival the best from California, and in general at better prices.” His picks: Crossings Winery Pinot Noir (Marlborough) and Ata Rangi Pinot Noir (Martinborough).