New Zealand’s wine is cool. That’s a fact. The only way it could be cooler right now would be if someone put Ryan Gosling on the label. Oh, we’ve just had a cunning plan… New Zealand makes a minuscule amount of wine (less than 1% of all the wine produced in the world), but its reputation is gargantuan, and deservedly so, because the quality of their wine is astonishing.
It would be an understatement to describe Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc as aromatic, it has laser-guided gooseberry, freshly scythed grass and bucket loads of citrus and tropical fruit delivered with pinpoint precision. They are displaying a similar talent for Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Riesling.
When it comes to the reds, we may lose some friends in France with this controversial statement, but we think that hardly anyone is making better Pinot Noir than these guys at the moment. Imagine Burgundy without the large vintage variation and confusing labels. But they don’t have it all their own way…
A couple of years of large crops have seen New Zealand’s wine expand out of the boutique bracket and into larger and larger retailers. Although this may sound like a good thing, it has inevitably led to heavy discounting, which has damaged its premium appeal. Harvests in recent years have been considerably smaller, which has led to prices and quantities returning to their boutique roots. Unfortunately, consumers, used to the lower prices, have been less willing to return. New Zealand’s saving grace is that the quality of its wines is never in question.