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« A Case for Creativity (AKA Free Wine!) | Main | Old Wine Bloggers Never Die, They Just Write for the Gazette »

19 October 2007

Hey, NZ! Hold Everything.

New_zealand_map I've often wondered why New Zealand was anointed/anointed itself as the land of Sauvignon Blanc.  To be sure, NZ SB has been quite successful as an import to the US wine market (and certainly names like 'Monkey Bay' don't hurt its mass appeal to the garanimal-wine-loving crowd).  However, I think this success has come at a price.  Kiwi Blanc has overshadowed every other grape variety.  And this is a very sad thing.

Think about it.  When was the last time you sampled a New Zealand Riesling or Gewurztraminer?  These grapes have found a very cozy home on the Islands way down under.  In fact, while I find most New Zealand Sauvi Blanc, easy-to-enjoy, I also find it a tad bit uni-dimensional (see here for a great descriptor of NZ SB).  I have discovered extraordinarily sublime Riesling and intoxicating (in the figurative sense of the word) Gewurz.  Think I'm nuts.  Take this little NZ non-SB challenge:

Huia Gewurztraminer 2006 - A chewy, thick wine, which echos the Alsatian style but with a bit less earth

Villa Maria Riesling 2005 - A remarkable feat of a wine.  This Riesling stews together new world heft with teutonic crispness.

Am I alone in thinking the OenoKiwis might want to diversify their white wine portfolio?

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Comments

barbara

Back in the nineties I drank SB all the time. In the last couple of years I've hardly touched it, preferring the rieslings. The Dry River is my favourite.

Julian

Yes, it's a shame in some ways that New Zealand is so well known for its Sauvignon Blanc. As you rightly point out, there are a lot of fantastic aromatic white wines coming out of many Kiwi wine regions. That's without starting on the reds...

Certainly, it's well worth seeking out a greater variety of Kiwi wines.

mattc

You are so right about the other nz wines. On a recent trip to the North Island, we found some really incredible wineries in the Hawks Bay area. From syrahs to pinots, there is way more interest down there than we see back in the states.

Borhuto

wines from NZ have great taste!

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Certainly, it's well worth seeking out a greater variety of Kiwi wines.

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Krisztian Foldi

I came to NZ from Hungary, Europe.
In a kiwi place I would be proud of the position NZ SB has in the world.
I mean even in Europe these wines are known for its better taste than the french rivals -and its nothing but something we all should be proud of.
Something similar is with Pinot Noir.
And don't forget that New Zealand discovered its potentials in wine making just 15-20 years ago!
So no worries.
Be proud of your very special Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.

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