Rising stars

by Keith Stewart / 31 December, 2005

2006 will be a good year for wine, and I don't mean the vintage: it is far too early to make predictions about the wines yet to finish growing in time for the 2006 harvest. What will be good about 2006 will be the continued development of another couple of wine producers destined to become permanent features of our premium wine landscape.

This is not to say that these producers are currently unheard of, or even recent arrivals. Indeed, some have been around for a long time. But if recent performances are any measure of what is yet to come, make 2006 the year when you try something from at least one of them. Become acquainted, as it could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

A very well-established rising star is Rippon, one of the Central Otago originals that under recently returned winemaker (and owner's son) Nick Mills has got to grips with the concept of crafting elegance as well as fruit into vinous substance. Pinot noir and riesling of uncommon style and poetry should be your reward for seeking out this label.

Also from the deep south, and also one that has been around for some time, is Quartz Reef, legendary winemaker Rudi Bauer's baby. One of the best sparkling wines anywhere is under his name, as are the intelligent, beautifully textured pinot noirs, all made to shape in your own cellar over a few years.

Sticking with pinot noir, keep your eyes peeled for Stratford, a little-known Martinborough label that is one of the most impressive from this impressive region. As well as being finely made, these wines have an air about them - as though owners Strat Canning and Carla Burns actually love wine: making it, growing it, drinking it.

Waipara's Muddy Water is another that is really hitting its straps, making wines with flavour and panache, with its pinotage fast becoming the insiders' wine - the one you like to be seen drinking if you fancy your reputation as a connoisseur, or simply if you like lusty reds.

Karikari Estate from the Far North is leading what looks to be the sort of pioneering development of an unfashionable winegrowing region that was once the preserve of the deep south. Again, pinotage is a star, but this could be the perfect opportunity to taste something from the real home of New Zealand wine, Northland.

But the surprise of 2006 might just be the company formerly known as Montana. Top management has already delivered the best yet from this giant producer under the Allied Domecq New Zealand name, but now with a French owner and a chance to revel in its leadership role it could be the talk of the wine year.

Latest

Why Marlborough, the jewel of NZ's wine industry, is your next destination
My low-rent version of Sisyphus in hell
109522 2019-08-15 00:00:00Z Humour

My low-rent version of Sisyphus in hell

by Michelle Langstone

Michelle Langstone on being injured.

Read more
Requests denied, delayed and redacted
109441 2019-08-14 00:00:00Z Politics

Requests denied, delayed and redacted

by Mike White

Frustrations of the fourth estate.

Read more
Stats NZ could need years to regain public trust
109503 2019-08-14 00:00:00Z Politics

Stats NZ could need years to regain public trust

by Craig McCulloch

The census botch-up has prompted fears the debacle will do long-lasting damage to the public's trust in statistics.

Read more
Gentleman Jack: Suranne Jones on the remarkable Anne Lister
109439 2019-08-14 00:00:00Z Television

Gentleman Jack: Suranne Jones on the remarkable An…

by The Listener

A historical drama about a 19th-century landowner who secretly diarised her relationships with women comes to Neon.

Read more
Hannibal Lecter's creator returns with Cari Mora
108448 2019-08-14 00:00:00Z Books

Hannibal Lecter's creator returns with Cari Mora

by Craig Sisterson

In his first post-Hannibal Lecter book, Thomas Harris heads for Elmore Leonard territory.

Read more
Kiwis in the kitchen: A bite-sized history of NZ cuisine
109468 2019-08-14 00:00:00Z Food

Kiwis in the kitchen: A bite-sized history of NZ c…

by Lauraine Jacobs

Lauraine Jacobs traces the evolution of eating in NZ, from the spartan diet of the war years to the vibrant multi-ethnic melting pot of cuisines...

Read more
The chef bringing the world's cuisine to Kāeo
109526 2019-08-14 00:00:00Z Food

The chef bringing the world's cuisine to Kāeo

by Jenny Ling

Anna Valentine holds cooking workshops in the kitchen of her century-old kauri villa in Kāeo.

Read more