Friday, May 16, 2008

New Zealand Wine Fair: 12 Tasted

The Design Exchange on Bay Street in Toronto was the location and the line-up stretched from the front door to the inner atrium of the Ernst & Young Tower. The start time of seven pm passed only a short while before ticket holders were allowed to proceed to the second floor convention hall. Tables ringed the room as ‘booths’ four feet wide in most cases accommodated wineries and the many bottles of their selected tasting wines. A .pdf file of wines and wineries is available from the Fair website. I decided to focus mainly on pinot noir as the varietal of choice for the evening – two reasons: NZ is touted as the next pinot hunting ground… and a good pinot is often above my limit of $20 so why not taste as many as possible. The evening at $55 per was well attended.

Rather than attempt tasting notes I abbreviated to tasting scores using Wine Advocate’s 100 point system. The Base starts at 50, Colour max’s at 5, the Nose rates up to 15 followed by Flavour & Finish at 20 max and Potential gets the remaining 10 for a perfect score of 100. Prices were as listed and may vary at the distributors or the LCBO.

In all, ten pinots (of 39 from 48 wineries represented), a pinot gris and a merlot were tasted:
    • Akarua Cadence Pinot Noir Central Otago 2006, $39.95 -- 50+4+12+17+7=90
    • Waitiri Creek Pinot Noir Central Otago 2006, $37.95 -- 50+4+12+16+7=89
    • Sacred Hill Basket Press Merlot Hawkes Bay 2006 , $20.95 -- 50+5+12+15+7=89
    • Wither Hills Pinot Noir Marlborough 2006, $44.95 -- 50+3+10+16+7=86
    • Kim Crawford Wines Pinot Noir Marlborough 2007, $19.95 -- 50+3+10+15+6=84
    • Alan Scott Pinot Noir Marlborough 2007, $24.95 -- 50+3+10+15+5=83
    • Ra Nui Pinot Noir Marlborough 2006, $26.95 -- 50+3+08+16+5=82
    • Seifried Estate Pinot Noir Nelson 2007, $25.00 -- 50+3+09+14+6=82
    • Konrad Pinot Noir Marlborough 2007, $29.50 -- 50+3+10+14+4=81
    • Mt Rosa Pinot Gris Central Otago 2006, $29.99 -- 50+4+10+14+3=81
    • Saint Clair Vicar’s Choice Pinot Noir Marlborough 2007, $19.95 -- 50+3+09+13+5=80
    • Tohu Pinot Noir Marlborough 2006, $35.00 -- 50+3+10+14+3=80

The majority of pinots were light on fruit, thin bodied with the winemaking process not adding too much in the way of complementary textures or flavours. In a sense they could be called 'well balanced'. Generally I’d call most of those tasted social sippers.
My opinion anyway, Ww

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