NZ Organic Wine Awards: 'Sustainable Vineyard of the Year 2024' plus 2 Gold and 2 Silver Medals. Full details

Perfect One Day, Lovely the Next

Let's quickly have a look at some more results, this time from the Red Hill Cool Climate Wine Show in Australia. They reinforce perfectly the point I made after the New Zealand Wine Society Royal Easter show in Auckland a couple of weeks ago, about such competitions providing only a guide, and a rough one at that sometimes, for consumers.

Here we find Domaine Georges Michel 1999 Sauvignon Blanc, which rated only a bronze medal in Auckland, being awarded not just a gold medal, but top gold for sauvignon at the Australian show.

It did so at the expense of Lawson Dry Hills 1999 (silver at Auckland), which also went gold, and Awatere River and Clifford Bay 1999s (both silver at Auckland), which were awarded only bronze medals.

And it's no good saying, hey, what about the judges? The panel in each case included James Halliday, the noted Australian wine judge and commentator.

Maybe it's just about differing palates and perceptions.

All I know is that the consumer can feel confident that each of the wines is worth buying, and that includes the slightly

flinty, French-influenced Domaine Georges Michel ($ 17). The Lawson Dry Hills sells at $ 17.90 and the Clifford Bay at $ 18.25. Awatere River is available only through mail order wine clubs. I haven't tried it. Nor Kahurangi Estate till Greg and Amanda Day introduced themselves and the range of reasonably-priced wines Hermann Seifried produced for them off what was his Upper Moutere vineyard.

They have big plans for the place, as a wine-producer and a tourist destination.

Their wines include a very smart tropical-fruited 1998 chardonnay ($ 19.95), and an easy-drinking unwooded 1999 model ($ 16.95), a 1998 riesling, dry riesling and spicy, fruit-driven gewurztraminer (all $ 17.95) and a gooseberried, 1999 Nelson-style sauvignon blanc ($ 17.95).

Also just released, the second vintage (1998) of Sam Neill's Two Paddocks Pinot Noir from Central Otago. It's spicy, earthy, certainly better than the 1997 and just about as difficult to find. It sells at $ 32 a bottle.

Good buying this week: Forrest Estate 1998 Chardonnay--$16 at New World supermarkets in Wellington.

© Copyright, The Dominion, Wellington. Posted with the permission of the publisher.

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