Food & WineThree More Great Wines from New Zealand

Three More Great Wines from New Zealand

Three More Great Wines from New Zealand

A few weeks back, the Kiwis came to town and poured lots of really delicious wine. Lots of it can’t be had here by the bottle (most are consignment or private order – meaning you have to buy it by the case), but a few are available right now and one is coming by the end of summer – and will be worth the wait.

I believe a real easy summer sipper is the Giesen Riesling 2012 ($15.95 - #277673). A beauty that has plenty of pear and good acidity, just for starters. There’s also an easy sort of sweetness to this one that doesn’t over-run the mouth… this one should keep you going on the hot days ahead (***½+).

Sure, Riesling is a great afternoon wine, but when the sun goes down and the BBQ is fired up, you start looking for a red to pair with those steaks and chops you’ve been marinating all day. Why not stick with the theme you started and reach for another New Zealand wine, this time a Merlot, with the Sileni Selection Merlot 2012 ($15.95 - #308106)? It’s not the juicy wine you expect when you think Merlot from California. This one is food-friendly with nice oak, cinnamon, dried cherries and hints of cranberry… it’ll pair well with the smokiness of the food coming off the Q (****).

IMG_0820And now for something completely different: This wine will be hitting shelves in August through Vintages, but I need you to mark it on the calendar now so you don’t forget, because it will be on everybody’s "get" list: Waimea Viognier 2010 ($19.95 - #325969). If you don’t know about Viognier, I think it’s time you got on board with grape. This wine is made from 11- year-old vines – the oldest in New Zealand – it is aged for nine months in barrel but, where Chardonnay could get over-oaked, Viognier seems to take to oak like a fish to water, sucking it in and adding it for roundness, while shooting back tropical fruit and hints of vanilla… all with a lovely clean finish. Take it from me: This will be one wine you’ll want to while away some of the dog days of summer with (****½).

Next week, we’ll look at a bargain Viognier from Chile that’s a great introduction to the variety.

Giesen Riesling 2012, $15.95 - #277673 (***½+)… available now

Sileni Selection Merlot 2012, $15.95 - #308106 (****)… available now

Waimea Viognier 2010, $19.95 - #325969 (****½)… coming to Vintages in August

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