Neudorf 2008 Sauvignon Blanc (Nelson) – A somewhat metallic side of sauvignon blanc, ripe and a bit showy but still avoiding tropicality. Also a touch reductive, which may be the closure. (6/12)
Kaimira 2004 Gewürztraminer (Brightwater) – A pale shadow of its once-bright self, showing only the faint chew of skins and a bit of acrid walnut oil. (12/11)
Neudorf 2007 Riesling Brightwater (Nelson) – Slightly reduced but still accessible. Mineral-dominated (gravel and sand). Dried Granny Smith apple. High-quality. (3/09)
Waimea “Spinyback” 2007 Riesling (Nelson) – Wet and fun. Slate. Fruit-forward, with slight tropicality. A bit simple, but good, with some potential upside as the wine ages. (3/09)
Te Mania 2007 Pinot Noir “Reserve” (Nelson) – Quite volatile and high-toned, with pinkish-purple fruit, plus a great deal of bite and chew. Spicy. Perhaps a touch woody, but it should integrate if so. (3/09)
Waimea “Spinyback” 2007 Pinot Noir (Nelson) – Dirty (in a good way), but the palate is soapy and the finish pure Styrofoam. (3/09)
Woollaston 2006 Pinot Noir (Nelson) – Black fruit with a candied edge, coal at the core, and hints of additional minerality. Coarse and short, but intense while it lasts. Not all that much fun to drink. (3/09)
Woollaston 2007 Sauvignon Blanc (Nelson) – Red fruit, black-hearted minerals. Incredible intensity. Very lightly sweet-seeming. Long. Huge. Impressive. One might even say tumescent. (3/09)
In customs, we’re greeted by our first sarcastic Aussie, something for which I’ve been gearing myself up after five weeks of New Zealand-esque pleasantry.
“Are you bringing any agricultural products into the country?”
“Just some wine.”
(looking up) “Oh, no. No, no. You can’t bring Kiwi wine into Australia.” (looking over his shoulder, yelling) “Jim, we’ve got two for the lockup here!”
And so it goes. There’s non-sarcastic concern about millimeter-sized bore holes in the wooden bowls we purchased in Nelson, however, and for a while it looks like they might not let them through. Eventually, they relent…after much peering and a few waves of some sort of magic electronic wand. We emerge into the baggage claim area at last, eager to get into the city and begin a new stage of our explorations.
So where’s our luggage?
Kaimira Estate 2004 Pinot Noir (Nelson) – Bright cranberry with a touch of fennel. It’s like pinot noir juice more than wine, and though it’s a touch screechy, it’s fun and crisp, and undoubtedly benefits from a good chill. Nice enough in its style, though I wouldn’t trot it out for fine dining. (3/05)
Kaimira Estate 2004 “Vintner’s Selection” Pinot Noir (Nelson) – Just bottled, and still tight…maybe even a little bit volatile. There’s mint and other herbs, and then an explosion of full-bodied red berries. This wash of summery fruit is clean and lustrous, while in the background a keening wail of minerality grows. Very, very young at the moment, but seemingly excellent. (3/05)