Posts Tagged ‘sauvignon blanc’

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Worlds Most Popular and Least Understood Wine

January 22, 2009

New Zealand Sauvignon blanc could be one of the world’s most popular wines and at the same time the least understood. When you pause and consider that over 85% of New Zealand’s wine producers make less than 25k cases of wine per year, yet the world is generally exposed to the production from the remaining 15%.

Granted, this 15% has done a tremendous job of marketing a singular story, the really exciting side of New Zealand is this large group of micro producers.

This group has regional diversity, winemaking styles that vary and generally a very hands on approach in their vineyards. Most are both wine growers and wine makers. In other words they can honestly be viewed as Estates.

New Zealand wine writer Michael Cooper recently wrote about this in the New Zealand Listener. His article has some interesting comments.

  • …the classic French grape variety also thrives in other regions, from Hawke’s Bay to Waipara…
  • … from Hawke’s Bay grapes and modelled on the famous dry whites of Graves, in Bordeaux, swings the spotlight on our alternative sauvignons.
  • UK wine writer Tom Cannavan argues that ‘‘the ‘typical’ New Zealand sauvignon is not a food wine, and is rarely subtle or complex … the style is becoming a caricature: aromatic fireworks and a dollop of residual sugar to balance searing acidity has become a recipe by which some churn out a ‘product’, rather than a wine”.
  • … is critical of the common practice in New Zealand of making sauvignon blanc slightly sweet, “a style where one glass is definitely enough
  • … Surely the world expects sauvignon blanc to be dry white wine. I certainly do!”

The article continues to highlight several producers who understand the difference between “fine wine and a refreshing beverage”.

This is just one of many comments I hear about the current state of New Zealand wine. Some predict New Zealand is following Australia toward the same cliff.

My sense is the world is about to discover the “little guys” scattered across New Zealand who make really nice wines, that lead to memorable evenings with friends and food.

You can read the full article on the Listeners web site. Listener

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New Growing Season at Torlesse Wines

December 9, 2008
61447 Torlesse 08 Sets PRF

Now Available in USA

I just received this new vintage update from Kym Rayner winemaker at Torlesse Wines in the Waipara Valley.

Torlesse Wines is typical of many artisan handcrafted wineries in New Zealand. If you visit the winery you will be hosted by Kym, his wife Maggie or Paul Hewitt the assistant wine maker. This is pretty cool.

One of the special characteristics of Kym’s wine is the ability to improve over time in the bottle. New Zealand has yet to achieve this recognition and Kym will be one of the many winemakers who is able to show the extra effort in the vineyard pays rewards for us consumers down the road.

Kym Rayner’s Comments  on the 2009  Growing  Season

“The winter of 2008 was normal to bordering on cold with a snow fall in June that settled on the ground at the winery

Late winter rains were very heavy in July and about 3 weeks later in August resulting in flooding around the winery.

Since August, rainfall has been slight torlesse-mapand while we are happy with low rainfall, the farming community around Waipara and in fact much of the East coast of NZ is very dry. We planted some Pinot Gris in late October and have been watering since then

The other significant fact is Waipara had no frost events or no visible damage on our vineyards at least. This coupled with warm dry conditions has meant early flowering and pretty good set.

The only negative is these conditions are also ideal for powdery mildew so there are plenty of sulphur sprays going on. This is an acceptable spray from an organic/sustainable approach.

Our vineyard has been quite untidy this year as we are spraying less herbicide and leaving a wider range of ground cover to bring in more insect diversity, hopefully beneficially,  like lady birds, spiders and bees and the predator wasps.

Things are shaping up for an excellent vintage.”

Thanks Kym, for sharing and letting us know there are some good things to look forward to.

 

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Wines of Clos Marguerite

October 29, 2008

[blip.tv ?posts_id=1418289&dest=35612]

Meet Marguerite and learn a little about the special wines that are created by her and Jean Charles at their vineyard in Marlborough New Zealand. The vineyard is located on a river terrace above the Awatere River. Both Marguerite and Jean Charles agree that wines that are special and bring lasting memories begin in the vineyard. Today Marguerite talks about both Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.
Formats available: Windows Media (.wmv)