Whites only (New Zealand, pt. 7)

Ask not what your winery can do for you…

The aquamarine rippling of the Hauraki Gulf throws shadows and highlights onto the trees below us. A breeze gently ruffles the leaves, then stills, freshening the quiet air but leaving nothing but memory in its wake. I hold up my glass of sauvignon blanc, which shines bright and clear in the sunlight, and take a deep, luxurious sniff. All is right with the world.

Though not quite as much is right with the wines.

We’re on the patio at Kennedy Point, looking down a rather precipitous cliff to the ocean, and working through a tasting conducted by a friendly young Californian. But after the sauvignon blanc, I’m afraid it’s all as downhill as the below-patio slope.

(Continued here…)


  • Jake Parrott

    February 7, 2006

    Not apropos of this installment, but I’ve been thinking. It seems to me that, as poor as most SA pinotage is (mainly due to roasted skins that give many of the tire/acetone/banana weirdshit), that perhaps NZers aren’t as crazy as we think they are for trying it out. After all, Pinotage was designed to be a warm-climate aromatic, but has only established itself as interesting in the coolest climates in which it is planted (at Paradyskloof-Stellenbosch and in Walker Bay).

  • Thor Iverson

    March 1, 2006

    Yet I wonder if the NZ ozone issue might not lead to similar problems with the grape. Roasted skins are endemic to some parts of New Zealand, and rarely are they desirable when they appear.


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