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New Zealand tasting notes

text and photographs © 2007 Tom Cannavan

These notes accompany our in-depth feature on New Zealand's South Island.


Moa Brewery, Premium Lager
5.5% Fine citrussy nose, with estery, quite herbal aromas. Fine lemony palate and terrific zest. There is a nettly quality, with quite good bitterness and late-hopping with plenty of good hop qualities and lovely long, cool finish. A little bit of sweetness comes through. Champagne method with Champagne yeast for secondary fermentation.

Allan Scott, Methode Traditional Blanc de Blancs
The nose is quite herbal, with fine lemony fruit, with a fine bubbly mousse. Very lemony on the palate, dry with a minimal dosage. Good fruit here and crispness.

Allan Scott, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2005
Quite herbal and a touch dank, with some pungent nettly characteristics. There's a really punchy vivid lemon fruit here, that is quite zesty and crisp.

Allan Scott, Prestige Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2005
100% aged in new hogshead's for 4 months. Subtle oatmeal and rounded, very gently honeyed tones. On the palate a fine, crisp, very composed palate, with not much oak evidence at all, and plenty of bracing, incisive lemon-zest and pithy grapefruit acidity. This has lots of style and length and is very impressive.

Allan Scott, Pinot Gris 2005
24 hours maceration in the press, then into old oak and 65% malo. Some lees stirring. This has a touch of herbs and butter on the nose and a hint of honey. The palate has a dollop of sweetness and more of that pear and preachy fruit. Good balance and style here. And some good acidity.

Allan Scott, Riesling 2005
From an old block of 26-year-old vines. Very nice nose, with a touch of fine, waxy, lemon and a touch of petrolly aromas, but not too much. Good concentration, with very fine lime, with a very clean finish.

Allan Scott, Prestige Riesling 2005 tank sample
What a fine, abundantly fruity nose, with masses of succulent pear and moreish melony aroma. Beautifully silky, quite ft palate with notes of lime and nectarine, all shimmering against fine acidity. Lovely purity and concentration. Lovely weight and style.

Allan Scott, Gewurztraminer 2005
Nice subtle, very fine nose, with touches of lychee and definite, Nivea cream, The palate has lots of richness and texture, but only medium body. Very fine fruit, lots of luscious peach and nectarine and fine grapefruity acidity.

Allan Scott, Unwooded Chardonnay 2005
100% malo, lots of battonage. Fine tropical notes on the nose, with lots of malo creaminess on the nose. Pure, quite elegant fruit very reminiscent of pears and ripe, pure apples. The orange and lemon purity of the acid comes through.

Allan Scott, Chardonnay 2005
Very fine nose, with plenty of creamy, rich, touches of espresso and whisky barrel. Lovely buttery fruit. The palate has a fine supporting toastiness, with a fleshy pear and

Allan Scott, Prestige Chardonnay 2003
18 months in oak, 80% new. All medium toast. Beautifully buttery orange and nutty, hazelnut and marmalade aromas. Fine fruit on the palate, and retains plenty of crisp acid despite 100% malo. Long, very pure, shimmering quality.

Allan Scott, Pinot Noir 2004
Old clones like 10X5, none of the new "rock star" clones. Quite an attractive nose, with a fine cherry and tobacco quality, and the palate comes through with a nice earthy, cedary quality, an a fine grained tannins and good open, generous character.

Allan Scott, Prestige Pinot Noir 2003
Lots more fullness and fine, ripe, cedar-scented Sandalwood and really solid berry fruit. Lovely lightness about the palate, with sweetness of fruit and a generous acidity. There is a lovely quality here and fine fruit and silky, suede-like quality.

Allan Scott, Merlot 2004
A touch of mint-leaf and camphor on the nose, with some really sweet red berry fruit - a nice lightness of cherry and red plum. There is masses of chocolate and rich blackberries. All fine and well-tempered, with good fruit sweetness and fine, silky tannins. Good balance and softness.

Allan Scott, Botrytis Chardonnay 2002
Forgotten block of Chardonnay, dad said leave it on there. Totally desiccated. This has lots of honey and figgy quality, with rounded, very ripe fruit. Lovely silky texture, with a blast of orangy, quite lime marmalade flavour and lots of weight and richness. Fine lime butter quality.

UK Agent: Seckford Agencies, Phone: 01206 231188

for New Zealand South Island profiles, Allan Scott