After the splendor of the first day, today had big shoes to fill. Duncan from Mt Edward kicked things off with the flair that we’ve grown to expect (and adore) gracing the stage with a t shirt stating – ‘Jesus drank Riesling’. Performing his role exceptionally well, breaking the ice and presenting the morning speaker, Mike Bennie, who tackled the subject – Talk the talk, Now walk the walk – how true are you?
An inspirational start to the day, setting the theme for discussions throughout. I loved Larry McKenna’s comments later in the day about being true to the fact that we make NZ Pinot and should be proud of that. Something i have strong views on, last time I checked, NZ was not a region of France where Pinot is produced, yet we insist on comparing ourselves and striving to make wines that match Burgundy. To me being true to who we are, authentic, comes from being mighty proud of the wines we produce in NZ and we should be, I tasted some magic wines today.
My regional focus for the day was grouped and titled – Pioneers – Wairarapa, Nelson, North Canterbury and Waipara. The wines were a stark contrast to many of the generous styles I found in the Central regional tasting yesterday. Two big take outs from the tastings today for me – firstly the overall quality, as with yesterday, the standard of the wines was on a whole excellent. Secondly, the differences within the regions, for example Te Muna, there’s a distinct style there. The wines from Te Muna are brooding, dense and structured. I’ve not noticed such definition before, it’d be interesting to know whether there’s more similarity in clones planted and production now from Te Muna that has lead to this development.
My stand out wines from the 2010 vintage tasting this morning were;
Pegasus Bay Prima Donna 2010
Ata Rangi Crimson Pinot Noir 2010
Julicher 99 Row Pinot Noir 2010
Escarpment Pinot Noir 2010
Schubert Block B Pinot Noir 2010
Palliser Pinot Noir 2010
Pyramid Valley Angel Flower Pinot Noir 2010
From the afternoon tasting looking at older vintages, I loved the Bell Hill 2008 and was impressed with the Fancrest wines.