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I was invited to participate in the New Zealand Wine Day #nzwineday this past week.  We were sent six wines to taste that represented the region.  I logged on at the appropriate time and experienced a technical difficulty that happened for many bloggers.  We were supposed to see a simulcast by Cloudy Bay winemaker, Sarah Burton, but instead we saw colored bars.

The whites were what I consider very traditional New Zealand wines.  The grass, the grapefruit, the tanginess known in New Zealand sauvignon blancs rang true.  The chardonnay had an off taste to it so I’m not sure if that was the wine itself or the bottle shipped.

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We tried the following:

  • Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc
  • Cloudy Bay Te Koko 06
  • St Clair Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 09
  • Kumeu River Chardonnay 07
  • Seresin Rachel Pinot Noir 07
  • Escarpment Pinot Noir 08
  • Craggy Range Le Sol Gimblett Gravels Syrah 07

My favorites were the Cloudy Bay Te Koko 06 and the Pinot Noirs.  The Te Koko had depth, passion fruit, citrus and a complexity to the wine that I wasn’t expecting.   The pinot noirs blew me away because I had never had New Zealand Pinot Noirs before.  I never expected the depth of fruit, but with a vegetal overtone that was very nice.  The Craggy Range Le Sol Gimblett Gravels syrah was also a big, deep red that was elegant and powerful.

My take-away is that New Zealand reds are definitely worth exploring.