Korero Te Reo

June 10, 2024
2 mins read

PHIL PARKER is all for embracing diversity, especially when it comes to wine varieties from all over the world.

So, that’s an odd title for a wine column. But there is a method in my madness. Since the borders reopened after Covid, foreign tourists have been streaming back to Aotearoa in huge numbers. Around 90 percent of my wine tour clients have been from the USA, and almost all of them were liberal folk who embraced diversity. They were lured here by our reputation for great wine, food, scenery and friendly people. But one thing which has delighted them is the way we have embraced bilingualism.

I have heard it so many times over the past two years, that our point of difference compared to many other former colonies, is the way we have encouraged and exhibited biculturalism – especially in our language. Signage, place names, transport announcements in both Maori and English have been just one more thing that made their trip here unique and memorable. Let’s keep it that way.

Speaking of diversity, here’s a lineup of wines from Aotearoa/New Zealand, Chile, and Italy including three organic wines. Ka kite ano.

Loveblock Marlborough Gewürztraminer (organic/vegan) 2021 $26
From Kim Crawford’s organic Loveblock vineyard, overlooking the Awatere Valley. Just a tad of sweetness, but essentially dry and elegant. Delicate integrated palate of rosewater, lychee, pink guava, and mandarin. Tangy, lengthy finish. Fabbo!
Available: widely.

Westbrook Waimauku Albariño 2023  $45
First one off the new block of albariño at Westbrook’s Waimauku vineyard near Kumeu. Made by the renowned James Rowan. Gorgeous and complex, opening up with mineral salinity and mandarin citrus. Then jasmine and honeysuckle on the mid-palate and a tangy lengthy finish. Yum.
Available: westbrook.co.nz

De Martino Viejas Tinajas Chile Muscat 2022 $45
Unusually dry for a muscat. Aged in earthenware amphorae. Golden hued, with a slight haze. Floral notes of rosewater and jasmine, plus ripe pineapple, and white peach. Dry finish.
Available: Dhall & Nash  Fine O Wine

Clevedon Vineyard Munros Road Arneis $32
Another very dry white style. Arneis is relatively rare in NZ. Flavours of apricot, frangipane tart, and herbal basil leaf, with soft acids but very dry finish.
Available: Dhall & Nash clevedonvineyard.co.nz

Mont’Albano Nero D’Avola Sicilia Italy (organic) 2022 $26
Voluptuous and silky. Intense flavours of cassis, fruitcake, blackberry fruits and a core of medium tannins. Ripe and seductive.
Available: Dhall & Nash, Herne Bay Cellars

De Martino Viejas Tinajas Chile Cinsault 2018 $45
Cinsaut is the fourth most widely planted grape variety in France, particularly in the Languedoc-Roussillon region. This Chilean wine is nicely aged, soft and rounded. Would pass for a premium pinot noir in a blind tasting. Mainly savoury characters of soy, mushroom, and truffle. But wrapped up in dark fruit flavours of cassis, black cherry, and dark chocolate.
Available: Dhall & Nash

Bohemian ‘The Author’ Hawkes Bay Merlot 2023 $26
Great wine from a difficult vintage when Cyclone Gabrielle blitzed many vineyards in Hawkes Bay. Soft tannins, red cherry, plum jam and dark chocolate with a hint of raspberry and a hint of toffee apple.
Available: Dhall & Nash vineonline.co.nz

Mont’Albano Montepulciano D’Abruzzo Italy (organic) 2022 $24
Big and generous with a savoury oak backbone. The classic wine of Abruzzo in Italy, an Italian red made from the Montepulciano grape variety. This wine is ripe, and almost sweet, with boysenberry, cassis, spiced plum, almond and leather. Medium to firm tannins. Hints of soy and truffle.
Available: Dhall & Nash bythebottle.co.nz


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Originally a physiotherapist, Phil's fascination with the fermented grape juice led to the launch of his wine tour company Auckland Fine Wine & Food Tours at the turn of the century. A seasoned and well-respected wine writer, Phil's oenophilia led to the publication of his wine region guide to New Zealand, The Mad Keen Wine Buff's Road Trip (Random House).

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