Published on August 24th, 2012 | by Greg0
Hunter’s Wine: Some Of New Zealand’s Finest
Everyone has heard of and tried Australian wines, one of the big success stories in growing a wine region. But not as many people are familiar with the neighboring area of New Zealand, blessed with varied, mountainous terrain and a suitable climate for many of the best-loved varietals. In fact, some of the best Sauvignon Blancs that we have tried are from the country, and we've seen Pinot Noirs that compete favorably with those from anywhere else (including Napa and Sonoma).
That may set expectations a bit high, but Hunter's Wines meet the mark, especially considering the reasonable price point. We've been enjoying two of their recent vintages, both from Marlborough, and both winners of Double Gold medals at the San Francisco International Wine Competition. We'll start with the 2010 Sauvignon Blanc.
Sweet, crisp, and with a little bit of bouncy citrus and notes of your grandparent's garden, this one pairs as easily as it drinks. Offering a bit of bite and a memorable nose, not everyone selected it as their favorite recent bottle, but most everyone found it "lovely to sip at a concert in the park", and praised the "surprisingly lengthy finish". We wouldn't term this one subtle- but it is satisfying for those in the mood to try something a bit exotic and fairly sour. At $12.50 or so per bottle, it's also quite affordable.
Their 2009 Pinot Noir is similar in a way- pretty intense, a tight and bursting wine that can be overwhelming to those looking for smooth leather or balanced tannins. Instead, prepare your tongue for a bit of cranberry instead of the more normal cherry, and a nose with a bit of spice and coffee. Again, it's a pleasant wine that works well with foods, anything rich and hearty, though doesn't quite stand up to recent top-notch American Pinot Noir standards. We recommend giving this one a bit of time in the glass or running it through an aerator and drinking ever-so-slightly chilled, as it definitely helped meld the wine a bit. Priced around $16, it's a good value for a solid red.