Week 5/8 wine tasting: Australia & New Zealand

New Zealand is growing in popularity. In 1996 11 million litres was produced, in 2009 there is now 205.2 million!

Key grapes: Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir is becoming the new flagship. The weather is perfect here for the notoriously difficult Pinot Noir due to the cool climates. The Pinot Noir we tried was delicious, a 2014 Pinot from Central Otago, it was ruby red, low tannins and plenty of cherries on the palate. Perfect with food as the acidity was high and had a slight oakiness to it.

The Sauvignon blanc we tried was equally as good, refreshing with high acidity and plenty of lime flavours. Young as a 2016 from Marlborough – it is a great example of a god New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

Australia, unlike the cooler New Zealand, is known for its red. Particularly Shiraz is a trademark. Australia is as big as Europe which give you a flavour of the variety that is on offer. Although known for its reds, we tried mostly whites. I must say the chardonnay from the Eden Valley, 2016 was notably an unpopular one with me. It had a distinctive petrol smell which was just off putting although on the palate it was more toast and citrus. Nope.

The Viognier from South Australia was a delight however, medium to fruity with lots of honeysuckle. High volume so make sure you don’t have work the next day!

We did end on an Australian red, powerful and full-bodied, it is a good ager and is perfect with venison and game. A ‘grower’ I would say.

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