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New Zealand, WINE

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Of the world's most recognizable wine-producing nations, New Zealand is perhaps the newest comer to the stage. In 1960, less than 1,000 acres of vines were planted on the North Island and virtually none on the South Island. Today, the country produces perhaps the most individually distinctive style of Sauvignon Blanc on the market, and each year, talented winemakers and viticulturalists are breaking new ground and exploring the challenging landscape of this remote pair of islands.

Viticulture in New Zealand originated around Auckland at Kumeu and Huapai, and soon spread south. Hawke's Bay, on the east coast of the North Island, is New Zealand's answer to Bordeaux. Sheltered from the harsh westerly winds in the rain shadow of a pair of mountain ranges, it enjoys low rainfall and high temperatures favorable to the cultivation of red grapes. Patches of deep, gravelly, poor shingle soils are most desirable for their effect on the Merlot vine, which is the most prevalent here. As summers grow increasingly warm, Syrah is showing more and more potential, as well. Martinborough is the North Island's other wine epicenter. The region sits in the same rain shadow as Hawke's Bay to the north, but it's exposed to the westerlies, making it a much cooler region and perfectly suited to producing vivid, Burgundian Pinot Noir along with markedly admirable Pinot Gris.

Just across the Cook Strait, on the northern tip of the South Island, lies New Zealand's most famous wine region, Marlborough. Its reputation is built entirely on the piercingly acidic and intensely ripe version of Sauvignon Blanc that results from the bracing, cool weather and radiant, sunny days. No other region on Earth seems capable of imitating this style. The most southerly wine region on Earth and one of the most scenic, Central Otago differs from the rest of the country in its decidedly continental, rather than maritime, climate. Short, dry, sunny summers and harsh winters make it suitable for Pinot Noir, and only Pinot Noir. New Zealand's most famous red wine producers are here, making bright, exuberant, forward wines with no shortage of character or mass appeal.

New Zealand may be one of the world's youngest and most remote wine regions, but it's also one of the most compelling, if for no other reason than the sheer improbability of such success as it has enjoyed. And while its reputation is one-dimensional, the reality of its wine scene is far more kaleidoscopic.

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96 points Wine Spectator: Elegant, fresh and vibrant, this red starts off wonderfully perfumed, with lavender, white pepper and green tea notes that accentuate the purity of the cherry and raspberry flavors. Polished tannins still provide some grip on the finish, where white truffle and forest floor… ...
WS 96
JS 94
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Felton Road Pinot Noir Central Otago Bannockburn 2017  (#702151)

Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand

96 points Wine Spectator: Elegant, fresh and vibrant, this red starts off wonderfully perfumed, with lavender, white pepper and green tea notes that accentuate the purity of the cherry and raspberry flavors. Polished tannins still provide some grip…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
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91 points and 'Editors' Choice,' Wine Enthusiast: Earthy notes of mushroom, white pepper, dried leaves and buttered cannellini beans lead over aromas of lemon and stone fruit. The palate boasts mouth-watering acidity yet not without weight and texture, thanks to time maturing on lees. Best Buy.… ...
WE 91
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Hillersden Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016  (#701640)

Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand

91 points and 'Editors' Choice,' Wine Enthusiast: Earthy notes of mushroom, white pepper, dried leaves and buttered cannellini beans lead over aromas of lemon and stone fruit. The palate boasts mouth-watering acidity yet not without weight and…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
$12.95
$15.00
Save $2.05 (14%)15.00
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94 points James Suckling: Much fresher than the Estate chardonnay of this vintage, this has lots of ripe pear character and generous body, but remains restrained. The further you ride the graceful, long finish, the more complete the overall impression becomes. Drink or hold. Screw cap. (10/19/18) ...
JS 94
V 94
WA 93
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Kumeu River Chardonnay Kumeu Coddington Vineyard 2014  (#702163)

Chardonnay from Marlborough, New Zealand

94 points James Suckling: Much fresher than the Estate chardonnay of this vintage, this has lots of ripe pear character and generous body, but remains restrained. The further you ride the graceful, long finish, the more complete the overall…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
$39.95
$45.00
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96 points James Suckling: Impressive structure and concentration. Terrific complexity in the mix here, too. Blueberries and mixed cherries on the nose and palate with a terrific layering of plush, assertive tannins and a fresh, vibrant kick into the finish. Drink or hold. Screw cap. (10/8/18) ...
JS 96
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Dog Point Pinot Noir Marlborough 2016  (#702123)

Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand

96 points James Suckling: Impressive structure and concentration. Terrific complexity in the mix here, too. Blueberries and mixed cherries on the nose and palate with a terrific layering of plush, assertive tannins and a fresh, vibrant kick into the…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 10 available
94 points Wine Spectator: White pepper, sage and forest floor notes up front lead to vibrant cherry and wild strawberry flavors on a crisp frame, with touches of sarsaparilla and tomato leaf lingering on the finish. The tannins are firm but polished. Drink now through 2028. 450 cases made. Highly… ...
WS 94
JS 94
DE 94
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Escarpment Pinot Noir Martinborough Kiwa 2016  (#702166)

Pinot Noir from Martinborough, Wellington/Wairarapa, New Zealand

94 points Wine Spectator: White pepper, sage and forest floor notes up front lead to vibrant cherry and wild strawberry flavors on a crisp frame, with touches of sarsaparilla and tomato leaf lingering on the finish. The tannins are firm but polished.…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
WS 94
JS 94
DE 94
Fermented 25% in old French oak barriques, and 75% in stainless steel tanks, so there is very little oak influence on either nose or palate. This has allowed the vibrant fruit to show through beautifully with lively lime and lemon aromas and a flinty, mineral edginess with hints of fig and white… ...
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Kumeu River Chardonnay Kumeu Village 2015  (#701610)

Chardonnay from New Zealand

Fermented 25% in old French oak barriques, and 75% in stainless steel tanks, so there is very little oak influence on either nose or palate. This has allowed the vibrant fruit to show through beautifully with lively lime and lemon aromas and a flinty…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
$16.95
$21.00
Save $4.05 (19%)21.00
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92 points and 'Editors' Choice,' Wine Enthusiast: Loveblock is the label of Erica and Kim Crawford, former owners of one of New Zealand's most famous brands... displays subtlety and complexity. The nose is a soft synthesis of peach, cantaloupe, lemon-lime, watermelon rind and warm stone minerality,… ...
WE 92
W&S 91
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Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2017  (#701868)

Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand

92 points and 'Editors' Choice,' Wine Enthusiast: Loveblock is the label of Erica and Kim Crawford, former owners of one of New Zealand's most famous brands... displays subtlety and complexity. The nose is a soft synthesis of peach, cantaloupe,…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: Lively redcurrant aromas emerge on the nose of the 2017 Sauvignon Blanc. There's pink grapefruit as well in this medium-bodied, slightly creamy-textured Sauvignon Blanc. It avoids any vegetal notes, delivering a mouthful of bright, refreshing citrus and a… ...
WA 91
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Paddy Borthwick Sauvignon Blanc Wairarapa 2017  (#701977)

Sauvignon Blanc from Wellington/Wairarapa, New Zealand

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: Lively redcurrant aromas emerge on the nose of the 2017 Sauvignon Blanc. There's pink grapefruit as well in this medium-bodied, slightly creamy-textured Sauvignon Blanc. It avoids any vegetal notes, delivering…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12 available
95 points Wine Spectator: Leaps out of the glass, with sophisticated aromas of white pepper, toasted cumin, dried lavender and white truffle. The pure maraschino cherry, pomegranate and cranberry flavors are fresh and vibrant, and the whole package is balanced and complex, reverberating on the… ...
WS 95
JS 94
WA 92
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Two Paddocks Pinot Noir Central Otago The First Paddock 2016  (#702184)

Pinot Noir from Central Otago, New Zealand

95 points Wine Spectator: Leaps out of the glass, with sophisticated aromas of white pepper, toasted cumin, dried lavender and white truffle. The pure maraschino cherry, pomegranate and cranberry flavors are fresh and vibrant, and the whole package…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 8 available
WS 95
JS 94
WA 92
$59.95
$80.00
Save $20.05 (25%)80.00
Save $20.05 (25%)
92+ points Lisa Perrotti-Brown (Wine Advocate): Pale to medium ruby in color and revealing a wonderfully perfumed nose of lavender and roses wrapped around a good core of red cherries and pomegranate plus a touch of humus, the medium-bodied 2012 Pinot Noir is structured by a good backbone of grainy… ...
WA 92
AM 91
WE 91
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Clos Henri Pinot Noir Marlborough 2012  (#701508)

Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand

92+ points Lisa Perrotti-Brown (Wine Advocate): Pale to medium ruby in color and revealing a wonderfully perfumed nose of lavender and roses wrapped around a good core of red cherries and pomegranate plus a touch of humus, the medium-bodied 2012…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 4 available
WA 92
AM 91
WE 91
95 points James Suckling: A super refined and elegant sauvignon that delivers an extremely sophisticated palate that operates on a condensed core of vibrant limes and minerals. There’s a wealth of detail here with bergamot and Earl Grey to close. Drink or hold. Screw cap. (10/8/18) ...
JS 95
WA 91
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Clos Henri Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016  (#701983)

Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand

95 points James Suckling: A super refined and elegant sauvignon that delivers an extremely sophisticated palate that operates on a condensed core of vibrant limes and minerals. There’s a wealth of detail here with bergamot and Earl Grey to close.…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 11 available
92 points Wine Spectator: Rich and complex, with honeysuckle and freshly grated ginger notes up front, giving way to juicy and crisp Meyer lemon, yellow apple and Asian pear flavors. Hints of lime zest and dried mango linger. Drink now. Smart Buys. (8/31/18) ...
WS 92
WA 90
WE 90
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Nautilus Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2017  (#333062)

Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand

92 points Wine Spectator: Rich and complex, with honeysuckle and freshly grated ginger notes up front, giving way to juicy and crisp Meyer lemon, yellow apple and Asian pear flavors. Hints of lime zest and dried mango linger. Drink now. Smart Buys. …

750ml Bottle | In stock, 4 available
WS 92
WA 90
WE 90
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