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Spectator Wine Club - New Zealand Selection

Spectator Wine Club - New Zealand Selection

Mixed Case | New Zealand | 75cl
  • White, Rosé & Red Still
Regular price £199.40
Regular price £211.40 Offer price £199.40

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"New Zealand, ah, New Zealand, what a country! I don’t know anyone who has been there who hasn’t been completely bewitched by it and, of course, by its wines. I’m lucky enough to have been many times although, sadly, not for ages. I just haven’t felt ready, being forever scarred by a night of bad judgement and poor behaviour in Wellington a few years back. Hosted by a group of winemakers, we’d started in Matterhorn, I think it was, moved on to Elixir, Hawthorn Lounge and – here it gets a bit blurry – Dirty Little Secret. Next thing I knew I was waking up in a hotel in Queenstown wondering how the heck I got there and in whose company. They’re wicked, evil people these Kiwis, all too ready to prey upon naïve and unsuspecting British journalists. I forgive them, though, because they make gorgeous wines, as evidenced by this delightfully tasty sextet courtesy of Honest Grapes, whittled down the other evening with the uncomplaining help of Mrs Ray.

The 2022 Moana Park Estate Sauvignon Blanc (1) comes from a single vineyard in the Wairau Valley, Marlborough, although the estate itself is in Hastings, Hawke’s Bay. With fresh citrus and ripe tropical fruit on the nose and decent weight in the mouth thanks to time on the lees, it’s lively and inviting and, although unmistakably New Zealand, doesn’t overwhelm like some Kiwi Savvy Blancs can. £11.40 down from £12.40.

The 2020 Shed 530 Estate Chardonnay (2) is the first of four wines from this Hawke’s Bay estate near the art deco town of Napier, in the east of the North Island, the name referring to the old wool shed at 530 Puketapu Road. The Honest Grapes team came across the wines a couple of years ago and, rightly, love them. With fruit from both Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne, it’s fermented in French oak, undergoes malolactic fermentation is full, rich and rewarding with vanilla, white stone fruit and butterscotch to the fore. £13.60 down from £14.60.

The 2022 Shed 530 Estate Rosé (3) isn’t the most appealing colour, being an orangey brown rather than pale salmon pink, but don’t be put off because it’s charming. Made from hand-picked Pinot Noir, it’s full of fresh, ripe strawberries and raspberries with a crisp, clean, dry to off-dry finish. £14.50 down from £15.50.

Mrs Ray being a complete pushover for fine Pinot, the 2020 Fromm Pinot Noir (4) was gone in a trice the other evening and I didn’t get quite as large a glass as I’d hoped. I got enough, though, to clock that I loved it. A blend from four different Marlborough vineyards, aged in oak for 15 months and steel for six, it’s full of wild cherries, blueberries and a touch of something autumnal. Silky smooth on the finish, it’s soooo drinkable. £20.60 down from £21.60.

The 2020 Shed 530 Estate Hawke’s Bay Syrah (5) comes from a single vineyard in the Gimblett Gravels, that sweetest of sweet spots for single varietal Syrahs and Bordeaux blends, centred on the bed of the dried-up Ngaruroro River. Hand-harvested and fermented in small batches before maturation in French barriques, it’s a wonderfully engaging wine full of spicy, ripe hedgerow fruit complete with savoury finish. It’s more than a match for the Northern Rhône. £17.20 down from £18.20.

Finally, the 2020 Shed 530 Estate Reserve Merlot/Malbec/Cabernet (6), also from the Gimblett Gravels, the soil and climate of which is about as close to Bordeaux as you can get. A roughly equal blend of the three named varieties, it spent 18 months in oak and is deliciously complex with hints of cassis one moment, mushrooms and truffles the next and even loganberries and mulberries. With a long, satisfying finish it’s more than ready to drink although still has room to improve. I loved it. £22.40 down from £23.40.

This mixed case has two bottles of each wine and delivery, as ever, is free."
Jonathan Ray, The Spectator

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