Grand New Zealand Tasting

So on the first day of the Wine Blogger Conference, not only did we have the Kick Ranch Tasting, the “speed dating” tasting, and the Dry Creek Growers tasting, we also were treated to a grand tasting of New Zealand wines sponosred by the New Zealand Wine Growers Association.  This is actually the 2nd time I’ve had the pleasure of tasting the wines of the New Zealand Wine Growers Association, the first time was at the DC International Wine and Food Festival.

The New Zealand folks brought over 100 wines for us to taste, ranging from the typical Sauvignon Blancs and Pinot Noirs, to Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer.  I think this was one of the more popular tastings at the Conference, as you could pour everything yourself, meander around at your leisure, and you were able to relax and mingle with the conference participants in an open format.  Now, with over 100 wines, and only an hour to taste, I honestly didn’t get through very many. But I really enjoyed the one I did!

2008 Crossroads Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc: Grapefruit, gooseberry, all citrus, tart, not bracing. Very nice.

2008 Vavasour Awatere Valley Sauvignon Blanc: Jalapeno, gooseberries, bracing, tart, really tart.

2008 Care Campbell Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc: Grapefruit, lemon sherbet, green pepper, asparagus, tart.

2008 Mount Grey Estate Waipara Pinot Gris: Pear, tinned pear, banana, lemon, cooked pear, nice acidity.

2007 Staete Landt Marlborough Pinot Gris: Honeysuckle, pear, peach, crisp, nice acidity. Excellent.

2007 Seifried Gewurztraminer: Oak, pear, peppers, flowers, pear, peach, almond. Very nice.

2008 Spy Valley Gewurztraminer: Really expressive nose, lychee, flowers, pears, honesuckle, crisp, tart, pear. Extremely well done.

2008 Omaka Springs Sauvignon Blanc: Light nose, gooseberry, citrus, pepper, slight lemon, tart, very nice.

I didn’t get anywhere near the reds, sadly. I wish I had the time to, as I don’t think I’ve ever had a red wine from New Zealand. I heard lots of good feedback from other folks on the quality of the Pinot Noirs. However, having just come off an all Zinfandel tasting, I was really feeling the white wines and the Sauvignon Blancs (as we all know, I love New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc) really hit the spot.

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