95 Points – Bob Campbell "Rich, ripe Viognier with orange blossom, apricot, wildflowers and Oriental spices. Big, concentrated and powerful wine with mouth-filling flavours and an almost chewy texture. High alcohol of 14.5% heightens the sense of voluptuousness and adds warmth to the lengthy finish. The wine really evolved as it sat in the glass and will certainly benefit from decanting."
Viognier - New Zealand
A land of two islands, New Zealand’s wine industry has been one of the biggest success stories of the last few decades. Towards the top of the north island you find Auckland, a thin stretch of land with coast on either side, and home to Kumeu River wines, Auckland is characterised by cooling breezes that blow across the region. On the eastern coast we find Hawkes Bay, New Zealand’s oldest wine region. Famous for Cabernet grown on the soils of Gimblett Gravels, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay and Sauvignon are also produced here by producers such as Vidal. At the southernmost end of the north island is Martinborough. Our very first exclusive, Devotus is located here who own a tiny 2 hectares of vineyard and Dry River, one of the first producers to plant in a small sub-region called the Martinborough Terrace.
Hop across to the northern end of the southern island and you’ll find yourself in Marlborough, responsible for what has become world renowned Sauvignon Blancs using temperature controlled fermentations and stainless steel to preserve the pure, primary fruits characteristics. As the region developed, producers began to experiment with styles Sauvignon and other grape varieties. Dog Point and Giesen both produce unique style of Sauvignon, Novum Wines produce pinot and chardonnay and Churton Wines are located in a unique area of Marlborough between Waihopai and Omaka Valleys that produces superb quality pinot noir. Blank Canvas is the venture of Matt Thompson who was once named international white winemaker of the year at the IWSC.
Travel south along the east coast and you’ll come to Canterbury. A large region spanning nearly 200km of New Zealands east coast and home to one of the country’s most reputable sub-regions Waipara Valley. Pegasus Bay and Muddy Water take full advantage of Waipara’s unique characteristics by creating ripe, expressive riesling, dense pinot noir and vibrant chardonnay. New Zealands most famous region for pinot noir is Central Otago, an inland region and home to some of the world’s most southerly vineyards. Akitu’s meaning summit in Mauri, has some of New Zealands highest vineyards. Central Otago has several sub-regions including Bannockburn, the warmest part of the region and home to Felton Road. Valli Vineyards are owned by winemaker Garant Taylor who produces four distinct pinot noirs, each from a different sub-region, Gibbston, Bannockburn, Bendigo and Waitaki, highlighting the unique differences between each of their character.