Posted 25 February 2015
This column was first published as Cheers in Living magazine in The Herald on Sunday, Auckland, New Zealand, 22 February 2015.
It’s fashionable to talk about great New Zealand reds, especially now that the 2013s are pouring out of Hawke’s Bay wineries into our glasses, but whites still account for about two thirds of this country’s total wine production and there are growing successes with unusual newcomers, such as Albarino, Arneis, Marsanne and Viognier. Recently we tasted a bunch of unusual whites that are pushing interesting taste buttons.
This country’s cool climate enables even acidity challenged grapes to retain their freshness, even in Hawke’s Bay’s Gimblett Gravels where the stones absorb, retain and reflect heat, enabling well managed grapevines to ripen high quality, ripe tasting grapes. Acidity only accounts for about 1% of a wine grape’s make-up (80% being water; 20% sugar), but that miniscule acid figure gives wine its freshness, as this delicious duo show… I mean, taste.
2014 Askerne Hawke’s Bay Viognier $22
Peachy, full bodied, intensely tasty and fresh. From specialist stores or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
2013 Trinity Hill Marsanne Viognier Gimblett Gravels $25
Dry, creamy, full bodied and peachy. From www.trinityhill.com