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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 North Island.


Culley, Marlborough Riesling 2005
Lovely tropical-edged, very ripe fruit. Little waxy notes, and fine apple and greengage aromas. Very fine palate, lovely juicy lemon and crisp apple fruit. Very nice balance, very fine and refined. There is fine acidity here, with a sense of minerality. Very tangy, with apple and crisp flavours.

Culley, Marlborough Sauvignon 2005
Distinct herbal lift, with some Marlborough pungency, beautiful lychee and ripe tropical fruit aromas. Fantastically thirsts quenching quality, with vibrant fruit, lots of ripe melon and lime and really zesty, fresh acidity.

Cable Bay, Marlborough Sauvignon 2005
Only free-run juice from best blocks, some barrel fermentation and all aged on lees. A much mealier, with very fine mineral aromatics. Just hints at the herbaceous quality. Lots of citrus and a lovely toffee-edged richness. Terrific pineapple and ripe melony character. Fine acidity too, in a balanced, long wine. Mouthfilling and rich.

Culley, Marlborough Chardonnay 2005
"You can always make OK chardonnay - it is a very forgiving variety, but to make a really good one is as hard as Pinot Noir" Unoaked. Clean, ripe aromatics, with lighter pear and very delicately edged tropical aromas. Lots of tropical and delicate aromatics. On the palate a hint of tropical richness, and good texture, with a light oatmeally quality. Nice balance and a fine lemony length.

Culley, Waiheke Island Chardonnay 2004
100% Barrel ferment in Francois Frères oak, around 18% new. No malo, apart from around 25% that has gone through wild yeast ferment that sometimes goes through malo. Fine, very complex, nose, with an array of yeasty, ripe aromas. Very nice toasty oak qualities too, and has a fine citrussy acidity running through it. Long and multi-layered finish.

Culley, Marlborough Pinot Noir 2005
Quite a dark, earthy colour. Quite a dense, slightly closed nose at present (bottled recently) with an earthy and plummy fruit quality coming through. The palate has a real richness and plenty of fruit and substance.

Cable Bay, Pinot Noir 2004
Lighter colour, with a very attractive spice and cherry fruited nose. Very light, with a silkiness and more refined, elegance. Delightful wine.

UK Agent: Stratford's, Tel: 01628 810606

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