On Monday 30 January 2023, Dublin Will Host The 26th Annual Trade Tasting Of New Zealand Wine.
This is the time of year when New Zealand's latest Sauvignon Blanc releases are hitting international shelves. After a meager harvest in 2021 that almost resulted in a global Sauvignon Blanc shortage, the 2022 harvest has been plentiful, in contrast to the meager harvest that resulted in a global shortage in 2021. Nevertheless, it became clear at a new release tasting held in November that what needs the most attention are varieties beyond the behemoth that is Sauvignon Blanc, which makes up 72% of New Zealand's wine production and 85% of the country's total wine exports.

Take A Look At These New Releases:

Smith & Sheth Cru Heretaunga Syrah 2019

A wine dream was realized by Steve and Brian in 2014 when they created a wine company to craft impeccable wines from vineyards of exceptional quality and create experiences where like-minded individuals could share these wines. The structure of this Hawke's Bay Syrah will allow it to age for at least ten years. Featuring brilliant fruit purity and gorgeous complexity, the wine displays dark berry, floral, vanilla, spice, and roasted almond flavors. With ripe fruit flavors that are combined with a refined mouthfeel and seamlessly woven tannins, the wine is concentrated and flowing on the palate. An excellent structure ensures the gradual evolution of this composition, which is poised and harmonious.

Akitu A1 Pinot Noir 2020

Akitu's 12-hectare vineyard is set in Central Otago's Upper Clutha basin at 380 meters above sea level on a stunning north-facing slope. Pinot Noir is the only grape grown on the vineyard. An intense ruby to the edge with a purplish hue contributes to its density. A blend of spice, aromatic wild herbs, and brambly fruit combine to create a rich, complex flavor. There is a great deal of complexity in the whole bunch, but the integration with the primary fruit following has begun very well. It is characterized by depth, intensity, and hints of anise and licorice that add dimension and intrigue to the aromatic profile. It takes an hour for the layers of florals to unfold in the glass or decanter, especially the dark rose petals. This wine is plush and gracious, with very fine velvety tannins encircling rich cherry and plum fruit. Intense spice and subtle graphite build up to form a savory exit with a theatrical sparkle of fruit after a silky mid-palate. Having a great deal of composure and polish, balanced on broad shoulders. Serve with Mediterranean-style lamb - butterfly a leg of lamb and season with salt and olive oil.

Pegasus Bay Bel Canto Dry Riesling 2020

Several generations of the Donaldson Family have been involved in the viticulture and winemaking industries. Pegasus Bay was established in 1986 by Ivan Donaldson and Christine Donaldson, who planted the first Canterbury vineyard in 1976. With all four of their sons involved, it is truly a family business. In its initial release, it appears to be lemon-straw in color. It is characterized by an array of enticing aromas, including orange zest, quince, and melon, as well as beeswax, blossom, sweet spices, and a touch of flint. There is a full body and rich texture to the palate, along with ripe phenolics that contribute to the length and structure of the wine. Even though the wine is concentrated, it still retains a fresh and lively tension. Its refreshing acidity also contributes to a long and harmonious finish.

Hans Herzog Marlborough Viognier 2020

Viognier, featured in Michel Bettane's 'World Greatest Wines', is a heady, explosive treasure with aromas of apricots, peaches, and tropical flowers. It has substantial weight, a smooth texture, and a remarkable acidity that gives it a solid foundation. Perfectly crafted by hand. It has a deep color. The nose is a head-spinning combination of rich quince and apricot fruit with hints of cinnamon and honeysuckle. The bouquet is sweet and dripping with honey and exotic fruit, tamed by a lovely earthiness and a tantalizing acidity. It has a rich mouthfeel that leads to a lingering and sumptuous finish. A Ceviche or Asian-inspired dish would be a good choice. Any seafood or white meat goes well with it.

Saint Clair Family Estate Barrique 2020

Among Saint Clair's finest vineyards, this Saint Clair Barrique Sauvignon Blanc was sourced from carefully selected vines. For this wine, grapes from the lower Wairau sub-region of Marlborough were used. In the nose, the Saint Clair Barrique Sauvignon blanc displays aromas of gooseberry and pear that are seamlessly complemented by notes of sandalwood and flint. Featuring layers of roasted pear, nectarine, grapefruit, and a hint of vanilla, this wine is luxurious, complex, and textured on the palate. This Sauvignon Blanc will acquire even more complexity, character, and character over time due to its style and oak aging. A wine with a textural palate, clean, luscious flavors, and a hint of spice will enhance any culinary experience. It goes well with fried soles, oysters, and mussels.

Te Mata Bullnose Syrah 2020

Bullnose is a wine named after a Morris Cowley car, which was nicknamed Bullnose due to its distinctive radiator. There is a bull emblem on the wine label that is derived from the radiator crest of the vehicle. An intense deep magenta color, Bullnose Syrah '20 reveals fresh raspberry, black-cherry syrup, spiced plums, and oriental peonies on the nose. The aromas include cinnamon, nutmeg, and earth, while the palate displays minerality, ripe boysenberry, and blackberry fruit flavors. Tannins with fine grains linger on the palate for a long period of time. The Bullnose Syrah 20 is one of their most beautiful wines.

Te Rehua Escarpment Martinborough 2020

This single vineyard pinot noir demonstrates the dense tannin structure of Martinborough through its richer fruit profile and robust style. The uniqueness of this pinot noir lies in its production from a single vineyard in Te Rehua, which enhances the dense tannin structure from Martinborough while providing a rich and robust fruit profile. In the Barton Vineyard on Huangarua Road, Martinborough, a 1990s vine was used to grow this wine. To produce a classic example of Pinot Noir in New Zealand, deep alluvial gravel sourced from Martinborough Terraces is combined with many clones. Featuring black cherry and plum fruit along with tight savory notes of forest floor, black tea, and licorice, this wine is unique in its site-derived complexity. Stems are included in this block, which lends the wines a firm tannin structure and an aromatic lift. The wine will complement roast meats, game, and charcuterie for up to 15 years.

Ten Sisters Pinot Noir Marlborough 2020

Their ancestors were among the first settlers of the southern tip of the South Island of New Zealand, and the Ten Sisters and their brother are fourth-generation New Zealanders. A sub region of Marlborough known for tropical fruit characteristics is called the Southern Valleys, which is where Ten Sisters is sourced. Due to its proximity to the mountains, the Southern Valleys also have a cooler climate, resulting in more vibrant flavors and later ripening. In the Southern Valleys, the soil is primarily loess - fine, windblown deposits derived from glaciers, which are much older than those of other subregions. After being picked, sorted, and plunged by hand, the wine is aged in French oak barrels aged one to four years. The pinot noir they produce is traditional and food-friendly. Served with beef, lamb, duck, and savory dishes, it pairs well.

Rohe Southern Valleys Rapaura Springs Pinot Noir Marlborough 2021

The Rohe wine range was created to showcase the unique flavors of Marlborough. Despite the fact that the sub-regions of Marlborough have yet to be fully comprehended, each district offers distinct flavors and aromas. Wines from every individual winemaking sub-region are crafted exclusively by Rohe, showcasing the individual sub-regional flavors and reflecting our unique perspective of this remarkable region. Featuring a bespoke illustration of a Marlborough sub-region, each bottle is made to order in small quantities. The fruit flavors of plum, cherry, and cassis enhance the floral aromas of this elegant Pinot Noir. A perfect balance of fruit flavors, savory tannins, texture, and juicy acidity accompanies the pure fruit flavors.

Two Paddocks Pinot Noir 2021

An organically grown barrel selection from Two Paddocks' estate properties, this is the estate's flagship wine. The Neill family owns four vineyards in Central Otago and produced this wine in 2021. Generally, vineyard practices are performed manually on these small sites, which are planted with a variety of clonal materials and cropped to less than 5 tonnes per hectare. The wine is made using handcrafted methods, such as indigenous fermentation and plunging by hand. For maturation, old and new barrels (18%) are used in a mix of French barriques that takes 10 months. Blackberries, wild herbs, spice, and intrigue are evident in the aroma. There is a richness and density to the mouthfeel of the wine. A cellaring period of at least 3-5 years is recommended for this wine, although it will drink well in its youth.

Esk Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Malbec 2021

The grapes used to blend this wine were grown in the Gimblett Gravels Winegrowing District. These deep, stony soils are ideal for producing red wine due to their excellent drainage and low vigor. They want to maximize the quality of their vineyards by maintaining low yields per vine. 2021 was a dry and warm vintage, resulting in a good crop of grapes that will be remembered for their quality. From Gimblett Gravels, this is a fruit-forward blend. Because of its barrel maturation, it has a bouquet of dried herbs, red cherries, and blackberries along with hints of cedar. A variety of foods, including tomato-based dishes, pair well with it, including red meat, game, and vegetarian dishes.

Vineyard Productions Spoke Amped Chardonnay Marlborough 2021

Chardonnay clones are handpicked and pressed together to produce a fairly clean juice right away. The lack of breakage gives the skins little time to oxidize before crushing. Fermentations are started with wild yeasts rather than cultured yeasts. The nose is dominated by notes of bruised green apples, stone fruit, and almond, along with a hint of white flowers and honey. Aromatic profile follows through on the palate, but despite its richness and complexity, the palate is noticeably dry. It is characterized more by minerality and phenolic texture than acidity, and is delicious because of it. There will be even better developments within five years. Choose mild, buttery, creamy dishes to pair with it.

Villa Maria, Clifford Bay Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2022

This 100% Sauvignon Blanc comes from the Awatere Valley of Marlborough, which benefits from Clifford Bay's cooling influence. Upon destemming, crushed and pressed fruit was settled on a cold surface. Inoculated aromatic yeast strains were added to the clear racked juice. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at a cool, slow pace in order to preserve the distinctive characteristics of the sub-region and varietal. Featuring aromas of blackcurrants, snow peas, wild nettles, and fresh grapefruit, this Sauvignon Blanc is a classic example of concentrated and vibrant Sauvignon Blanc. The palate explodes with fresh rosemary, thyme, and subtle juicy rock melon flavors before finishing with a crisp mineral finish. This wine is varietal, elegant, and lifted, with a fresh and enticing bouquet of minerals and citrus fruits, as well as a fine savory core. Tastes of Meyer lemon and peach, crisp red apple, and green herbs, with a saline and salivating core. There is a hint of wet stone minerality accompanied by savory seams that add depth and complexity. This wine goes well with seafood, chicken, green vegetables, and herb-forward sauces.

Nautilus Albariño Marlborough 2022

New Zealand had only 80 wineries in 1985 when Nautilus Estate was established by the Australian Hill-Smith family. There is only one vineyard in this limited edition wine. In the pristine wine-growing region of Marlborough, Albario is one of the most distinctive varieties from Spain. The grapes were 100% Albarino, grown under sustainable conditions, picked and destemmed by machine, fermented in stainless steel tanks, and aged on the lees for a short time. It displays aromas of white peaches, white florals, ginger, ripe citrus, and white florals on the nose. With a refreshing zingy finish, the palate is flavorful and fleshy. Especially tasty with scallops risotto flavored with saffron and herbs, pancetta-wrapped in savory pancetta.

Yealands, Reserve Grüner Veltliner Awatere Valley Marlborough 2022

High sunshine and cool nights enhance the flavour of grapes grown at Seaview Vineyard in New Zealand's Awatere Valley. There are notes of white pepper, honey, and spice on the palate. As they are so close to the ocean that their vines are often misted with sea spray, their wine is inspired by the coast that surrounds them. Wine is crafted with respect for nature and their land, inspired by the beauty of their environment. With a focus on sustainability and thoughtful crafted wines, Yealands strives to work harmoniously with our environment. With notes of freshly ground cardamom, white florals, and ripe yellow plums. There is a fine mineral finish and a juicy stone fruit palate layered with warm spice.

By Rashmi Goel