Tag: NZ Wine Online

Sep 09 2012

Kumeu River: Masterclass on New Zealand’s finest Chardonnay

Posted on September 09, 2012 | By merrill@cellarit.com

At last night’s New Zealand Wine Chardonnay Masterclass, hosted by NZ Wine Online at the Macleay St BistroKumeu River’s winemaker Michael Brajkovich began by acknowledging the contribution  of his mother, managing director Melba Brajkovich, to the business. At 75 Melba is one of the most experienced and knowledgeable women in New Zealand’s wine industry, still overseeing the management of a winery that was first founded by her late husband’s Croatian immigrant family in 1944.

Melba and her late husband Maté have also done an excellent job in nurturing the next generation to take over the business. Today their four children, Michael, Milan, Paul and Marijana, all work for Kumeu River in different capacities. Since the mid 1980s the siblings have focused on the winery’s strength –  high quality Burgundian style chardonnays.

Unless you’re new to New Zealand chardonnay, you could not help but be aware of Kumeu River’s reverered status as the leading producer of this variety. Sauvignon blanc and pinot noir may have led the way in establishing New Zealand’s reputation as one the New World’s leading wine producers, but the Kumeu River chardonnays have demonstrated that New Zealand can also create world-class chardonnays. And certainly at trade and press tastings Michael is not shy about comparing his wines to smart White Burgundies from illustrious producers like Domain Leflaive. Last night the elegant and complex Kumeu River 2009 Maté Vineyard Chardonnay did not disappoint when compared with the superbly balanced, richly textured 2009 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru ‘La Maltroie’ Burgundy, which at $140 a bottle, is twice the price of the Maté!

The Maté Chardonnay is one of Kumeu Rivers three single vineyard bottlings, which also include the Coddington and Hunting Hill.

A vertical of the Coddington Vineyard Chardonnay was the third flight showcased last night. First bottled as a single vineyard wine in 2006, the Coddington Vineyard, owned by filmmakers Tim and Angela Coddington, is the smallest of the three single vineyards to be bottled (only 600 cases)… [Read More]

Nov 11 2011

Can you tell if a wine is any good just by tasting it? Impressions from a Craggy Range Tasting

Posted on November 11, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Have you ever been unimpressed with a wine on first taste, but then fallen in love with it over the course of a meal?

Well, according to a very interesting article by Decanter’s Andrew Jefford “digestibility is as much a hallmark of truly fine wine as is sensorial intricacy and harmony.” Jefford goes on to explain:

Twenty-five years of reading wine assessments, as well as providing assessments of my own, have convinced me that tasting without drinking is, in fact, a monstrous (if inevitable) flaw in all wine criticism... [Read More]

Oct 10 2011

Masterclass with New Zealand’s Escarpment and Quartz Reef

Posted on October 10, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

On Wednesday night I attended a masterclass hosted by two of New Zealand’s leading winemarkers: Larry McKenna of Martinborough’s Escarpment and Rudi Bauer of Central Otago’s Quartz Reef. Organised by nzwineonline.com.au and held at the very picturesque Coast restaurant in Cockle Bay, the evening proved a wonderful opportunity to sample pinot noir from the two most acclaimed wine regions for the variety in New Zealand.

Both winemakers have drawn on Burgundy for inspiration for their pinot noir… [Read More]

Mar 03 2011

Giesen August Sauvignon Blanc: ‘Pushing the Boundaries for Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc’

Posted on March 03, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

In yesterday’s post, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc Master Class,  I mentioned how New Zealand winemakers were experimenting with exciting new ways to make the country’s standard bearer sauvignon blanc.

One of the highlights of the evening was the inaugural vintage of the Giesen August Sauvignon Blanc 2009. This handmade wine had a richness and complexity of aromas and flavours that set it apart from the other wines we tasted on the evening. It reminded many of us of the exciting new style of sauvignon blanc exemplified by the sublime Cloudy Bay Te Koko and the acclaimed Dog Point Section 94[Read More]

Mar 03 2011

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc Master Class

Posted on March 03, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Last Friday NZ Wine Online hosted a Sauvignon Blanc Master Class at the Royal Automobile Club in Sydney. I always enjoy evenings when the winemakers are on hand to discuss the wine, so I listened with great interest to winemakers John Hancock from Trinity Hill of the North Island’s Hawkes Bay region and Glenn Thomas from Tupari Wines, which is situated in the Awatere Valley in Marlborough in the north of the South Island.

Of the nine wines we tasted that evening most were from the Marlborough region… [Read More]