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Auckland, North Island, New Zealand
Wine tour operator, wine writer and lapsed physiotherapist. "Nature abhors a vacuum. I personally hate dusting."

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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Vidal Stopbank Pinot Noir 2008, Waitaki Braids Central Otago Pinot Noir 2008

Phil runs wine tours in Auckland see: http://www.finewinetours.co.nz/

As we get into spring, many wineries are starting to release wines onto the market. Some wines are young and zingy whites from this year’s vintage; some are older reds and Chardonnays that have been in the wings for a while, mellowing out. Consequently I get invited to the odd wine release tasting and get to sample a few.

Another recent experience was a guided wine tasting using the Riedel wine glasses.
These glasses are made by the German glass company founded by Klaus Riedel 250 years ago, but now famous for making wine glasses which bring out the aromas and flavours of a specific wine. E.g. the Sauvignon glass has a narrow bowl with slightly curved sides, where the Pinot Noir bowl is wide and rounded with a narrow top. The process of developing the glasses was trial and error – with hundreds of prototypes sent out to wine critics all over the world. Today the company has a large range of their elegant glasses to suit any wine or occasion. I’m a huge fan – they do make a difference to bringing out the best of each wine.

Okay – here’s a few recent tastings:

Vidal Stopbank Hawkes Bay Pinot Noir 2007 $40

Hawkes Bay is not normally seen as a Pinot region, but this is a pretty smart example.
Medium bodied, ripe and sweet with cherry and red berry fruit flavours and a hint of earthy spice.










Waitaki Braids Central Otago Pinot Noir 2008 $50

This is a new label to watch. Top NZ chef Peter Gordon and winemaker Michelle Richardson are behind the brand. Made from premium Otago fruit, this is a lovely opulent “Central” style Pinot with silky tannins, ripe black cherry and a little smokiness on the nose.

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