RECENT FEATURES




Spy Valley and Envoy 2016 Gewurztraminer
West Brook Marlborough Chardonnay and Pinot Noirs, Waimauku Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Malbec
Craggy Range 2015 Aroha, Sophia and Le Sol
Dandelion GSM 2016 and Les Courtilles Cotes du Rhone 2015
Two Rivers ‘Altitude’ Marlborough Pinot Noir 2014
Georges Road 2016 Rosé and Pinot Gris, 2014 Rose and Pinot Noir, and Syrah 2015 and 2016
Kidnapper Cliffs 2014 Chardonnay and 2013 Cabernet Merlot and Syrah
Archangel 2015 Pinot Gris, 2013 Stefania and Halina Rieslings and Pinot Noir
Sugar Loaf 2016 Marlborough Riesling, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
Mt Beautiful 2016 Rosé, Sauvignon and Riesling, and 2015 Pinot Gris
SOHO ‘Zabeel’ Waiheke Island 2015
Alexander 2016 Martinborough Pinot Noir and Merlot
Te Whare Ra 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling ‘D’, Pinot Gris, and 2015 Pinot Noir
Ostler Waitaki Valley Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Noir
Yealands Single Vineyard Awatere Pinot Noir 2016
Matahiwi Estate 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay
Mills Reef 2016 Reserve Syrah and 2015 Elspeth Cabernet Sauvignon
Montsable Pays d’Oc Chardonnay 2016
Jules Taylor 2016 Pinot Noir and ‘OTQ’ Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
Main Divide 2015 Pinot Gris and Chardonnay, and 2014 Pinot Noir
te Pa 2016 Chardonnay and Pa Road 2015 Pinot Noir
Elephant Hill Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2015
Moana Park 2014 Gewurztraminer and 2015 SVR Pinot Noir
Dashwood Marlborough Pinot Noir 2016
Spade Oak ‘Heart of Gold’ Gisborne St Laurent 2014
// View More Featured Reviews

General Blog




Consumer Magazine’s Recommended White Wines


13-Dec-2013
Once or twice a year Consumer magazine conducts a wine tasting that complements the advice given to its subscribers and readers on other consumer goods. As with the testing on the likes of sunscreens, digital cameras and barbecues, their advice is independent and based on proper and accepted methodology. A theme for the tasting to suit the season is decided upon and the wine purchased from local supermarkets and bottle shops. The selection is essentially based on statistics on the popular brands and within a price level deemed accessible to the general public. I’ve noticed a gradual rise in budget…


L-R: Laura Saba, Sue Davies & Elissa Jordan

For the last few years, the judging panel has been led by Larry McKenna, director and winemaker at Escarpment Vineyard in Martinborough, who has had around three decades of judging experience at the highest level. The current panel members are Sue Davies (my partner), a wine distributor with over 20 years of industry experience, Gary Bowering, a "passionate wine drinker with an interest in French and ‘New World’ wines”, and Huw Kinch, winemaker at Escarpment with technical experience in Hawke’s Bay and Australia. Recently joining the team has been Laura Saba, a tourism, hospitality and wine specialist with several years judging behind her, and for the first time, Elissa Jordan, on the staff at Consumer N.Z., who is a wine enthusiast and popular blogger at www.wineylittlebitch.com

I’ve assisted Libby Manley, a features writer, over the years with the logistics in serving the wine. The conditions for judging are similar to those at most wine judging competitions, with only a few minor differences. The wines are served blind, in their peer groups, in Spiegelau ‘Festival’ Chianti stemware. The judges work on one large table, but independently, and there are five scoring tasters rather than three as at the major shows. The tasters score the wines to the 20-point scale, and come to a consensus as to the final rating, before the identities of the wines are revealed.


L-R: Larry McLenna, Huw Kinch & Gary Bowering

White Wine Tasting Results
For the December 2013 issue of ‘Consumer’, 60 ‘White Wines’ from New Zealand were tasted across the Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Chardonnay varieties. The upper price limit was $30.00 per bottle. The results are very much on par with those of the other wine judgings, and the reader can take much pleasure in knowing that the wines are relatively easy to access.

In the Sauvignon Blanc class, there were no 5-stars or gold medal equivalence awarded, but there were three wines at 4-stars, which were the Esk Valley 2012, Wither Hills 2013 and Clearwater Cove 2013, all from Marlborough.

There were two wines awarded 5-stars in the Pinot Gris category: Mud House South Island 2012, and Brancott Estate 2012 from Hawke’s Bay fruit. There is some discussion on the rise in popularity of the variety.

Three wines came through with 5-star ratings in the Rieslings: Mission Hawke’s Bay 2012, Mount Riley Marlborough 2013 and Giesen 2013, noted as being of very different styles. This was a successful category with the wines being highly rated overall.

From the Chardonnays, the Esk Valley Hawke’s Bay and Shingle Peak Marlborough, both from the 2012 vintage were rated as 5-star.

This report offers some sound advice in buying and drinking and discusses the need for an indication of the sweetness level in Riesling. For the wine enthusiast, it’s all fairly basic stuff, but for those still learning, it’s very accessible and easy. The tasting report lists all the 5, 4 and 3-star wines, which are medal standard as found by the panel, and thus recommended.

Issue#542 has many other interesting and useful articles, from a survey on Kiwisaver, to home security and car insurance, chilly bins and double ovens, and much more. Consumer N.Z. is highly recommended in subscribing to. www.consumer.org.nz
Copyright © 2011 Raymond Chan Wine Reviews
Website by DataFlex | Design by Skinny