A New Zealand wine dinner
to welcome New Zealand wine retailer, Mark Henderson, to Manchester

This was held at the Market Restaurant, Manchester, which did not put on a good performance.


2000 Cloudy Bay Pelorus (Brut)
Quite a deepish colour, matched by a rich and evolved nose. The palate is nice and rounded with a very good mature feel. Then it really narrows down and focusses in the mouth to a very precise, pin-point, fresh feeling, that's much fresher than the attack. Very interesting. 90/100
2007 Te Mania Sauvignon Blanc Reserve
The nose has well defined sauvignon blanc green fruits, peas and asparagus, but with some creamy oak. Nice palate, feeling very much like tamed NZ sauvignon blanc. Very nicely balanced. 89/100
2005 Felton Road Chardonnay, Central Otago
This is a real powerhouse on the nose: sweaty, cheesy, smokey chardonnay with a hint of poire william. In the mouth, it's big and creamy, with lots of ripe fruit. It's pretty powerful stuff, but retains good balance. Quite concentrated fruit towards the finish. 87/100
2005 Concha y Toro Chardonnay Amelia, Casablanca Valley, Chile
A very curious nose. Creamy, pungent and like some mad sauvignon-viognier blend initially, but then it seems to reveal more buttery, toasty oak with a bit more chardonnay character. Rather simple palate. 84/100
2008 Bellbird Spring Home Block White, Waipara
A rounded nose with a very Alsatian feel. You can feel the gewurztraminer and pinot gris predominantly. Then you feel the riesling and its minerality. Lovely palate. This is a very nice blend. It's richer and fuller than many edelzwickers. Good weight. Worked well with spicy prawns. 91/100
2007 Distant Land Pinot Gris, Hawkes Bay, 13.5%
This has a very Alsatian feel on the nose. There's gentle spice, stone fruit and a nice lift. In the mouth, it's a good, but unexceptional pinot gris. 85/100
2007 Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards Riesling, Finger Lakes, New York
12% A fairly petrolly, minerally, un-fruity riesling nose, though really rather slight. Definitely off dry, though there is some riesling acidity there, that just about saves it. Rather feels between Alsace and the Pfalz, though without the distinction of the better examples from either region. 86/100
Hazlitt riesling bottle image
2007 Folding Hill Pinot Noir Bendigo, Central Otago
There are subtle red fruits on the nose - very gentle and un-obvious. There's fresh fruit on the palate initially, which then resolves itself into a stalky greenness. Ticks some pinot noir boxes, but overall doesn't satisfy me. 86/100
2006 Felton Road Pinot Noir Block 3, Central Otago
From the first whiff as it's poured into the glass, it's obvious this is a bit special. Gloriously integrated nose. Lovely attack. But it's a bit separate and unresolved on the finish, with lots of alcohol (it's 14.5%) showing too clearly. It's an impressive wine, which at the moment is very much let down by the alcoholic heat. Too young. The score reflects current drinking, not potential. 87/100
2002 Stonecroft Syrah Hawkes Bay, 13.5%
This has a very attractive nose: there's some blackberry fruit and some interesting sarsaparilla notes. Very nice palate. There's a good balance of freshness and fruit. Lovely fruit. It's a really precise and focussed syrah, with a nice, gentle structure. 92/100
1995 Fattoria di Manzano Syrah Podere Il Bosco, IGT Syrah de Toscana
This has a meaty, fleshy nose with some tar and sweet black fruit. On the palate, it's sweet and direct, with lots of tannins and some cocoa nibs combined with sweet fruit. 89/100
2006 Ata Rangi Célèbre
On the nose, there are blackcurrants, blackberries, sweet cough pastille and cola. Huh? This is completely hollow on the palate. No, more than hollow, it's just vacant. You get a touch of sweet fruit, then some tannins, then a nothingness. Huh? 82/100
2005 Therapy Super Ego, Naramata, British Columbia, Canada
There's sweet red fruit on the nose with a chocolatey edge. Lovely palate, with layers and layers of flavour. Very fine, elegant finish. A really nice wine. Classy stuff, with layers of flavour and an excellent structure. 92/100
1998 Obsidian, Waiheke Island
A stinky, stinky, stinky nose: rather foul and oxidised, with some rubbery notes. This feels like it's been cooked at some point. The palate is dried out with lots of nebbiolo like tannins and tobacco-soaked leather. [Something wrong with this.]
1989 Goldwater Cabernet-Merlot, Waiheke Island
This feels a touch hot on the nose with some torrefaction alongside the sweet black fruit. A lovely mature palate - fully integrated. It has a very generous feel on the palate. 91/100
1990 Vidal Estate Cabernet-Merlot Reserve, Hawkes Bay
This has a nice, mature, claret-like feel on the nose, with sweet black fruit and tobacco. Very slightly hot, maybe. There are lots of sweet fruit on the palate, which perhaps doesn't fully live up to the promise of the nose. There's good balance, though, and it's very pleasant drinking. 90/100
2006 Felton Road Riesling Block 1, Central Otago, 9.5%
A very precise, minerally Spätlese feel on the nose. Nice wine that feels like a weak Mosel Spätlese or an Auslese hock. 90/100
2008 Riverby Estate Noble Riesling Single Vineyard, Marlborough
10% This has a really lovely nose, with fresh nectarines and a muscat grapiness. Gorgeous palate: very sweet and luscious, but with that lovely riesling acidity. Excellent citrussy riesling characters. 92/100
2008 Forrest Estate The Doctors' Noble Chenin Blanc, Marlborough
A fascinating nose with wet wool and honey to the fore. Lovely palate. Wow! This is good. There's a lovely balance on the palate. Really complex with some lovely lemony-peach flavours. Gorgeous. 94/100
2008 Alluviale Sauvignon Blanc Anobli, Hawkes Bay, 11%
There's an overwhelming smell of EvoStik on the nose initially, but eventually you can fight past the solvents and find some fresh peas. Very, very sweet on the palate, and I find it lacking in complexity. There's quite a waxy feel in the mouth. 88/100



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Last updated: 27 April 2009