I am in New Zealand at the moment for Christmas and New Year and I have to say I am enjoying a number of very nice Pinot Noirs from Central Otago. It has to be one of my favourite regions of New Zealand and I find them much nicer than their cousins in various parts of Australia. This may be slightly controversial and to be fair I have not tasted that many Pinot Noirs from Australia yet but I have been drinking Central Otago Pinot Noir for years and thoroughly recommend them.
I was lucky enough to try an excellent Cabernet Sauvignon from Waiheke Island called Kennedy Point, Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014. Waiheke is the most populated and second-largest island in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand. Its ferry terminal is 21.5 km from the central-city terminal in Auckland. I didn’t realise at the time but I believe this is an organic producer and the wines are fermented on natural wild yeast.
It has a dark garnet colour with intense purple to the edge of the glass and remained me initially of a pretty standard Cabernet Sauvignon from Bordeaux.
It had dense dark berry fruit and delicious aromas of leather and Cigar box. This wine is 97 % Cabernet Sauvignon blended with 3 % Cabernet franc. Concentrated dark fruit persists on the palate bound by a tight structure and a hint of spice. This wine is just starting to open up. This is wine speak for it’s not really ready for drinking. There was a lot of tannin and complexity to this wine and I felt sure it would have benefitted from at least another 5 years in the bottle. That said the taste of the wine was beginning to come through and half an hour after opening the flavours, fruit and great acidic balance started to play happily with my taste buds. At $69 NZD a bottle it would have been much better value for money had we waited but sadly with only one bottle and some excellent New Zealand Cheese and Pate waiting it was hard to resist.
Strangely being in the country of origin of a nice bottle of wine seems to make a real difference. I guess it’s the same argument that a decent wine glass makes all the difference to the taste. All of these factors and great company make this activity one of life’s real pleasures. I hope you get a chance to try some New Zealand Red’s they really are very good and stand up well to any part of the world you care to compare them with. Happy Holidays.