Cuisine Wine

NZ Sweet Wine Tasting results

25 October 2017 (Cuisine magazine Issue 185)

The quality of New Zealand sweet wines is on the rise, with one region – and one winery – dominating the field, says John Saker.

IN A RELATIVELY short time, the New Zealand sweet wine category has moved from offering far too many “sweet nothings” to a good number of “sweet something specials”. Quality is on the up, and this year saw that momentum being maintained, with nine wines out of the 36 entered being awarded four stars or more. One region dominated the field, and particularly one winery from that region. Central Otago’s Mt Difficulty is emerging as one of the country’s standout producers of a wine style that is not easy to get right, but is pure nectar when that happens.

The tasting panel

For this sparkling wine tasting, John Belsham, an international wine judge and owner of Foxes Island Wines in Marlborough, was joined by owner-director of Oenotec Pty Ltd, Australian Dr. Tony Jordan. Tony has enjoyed an illustrious career at the top of the sparkling wine world with various roles at Moët Hennessy, Domaine Chandon, Cape Mentelle and Cloudy Bay. Rounding out the tasting panel was John Saker, author, and Cuisine wine writer.

Ready to drink

Cellaring recommendations are not given for the Champagnes and sparkling wines reviewed in this issue, as they arrive on the market ready to drink. A few may surprise with longer bottle age, especially younger examples of vintage wines, but most are released with enough age already.

Top 5 NZ Sweet Wine

Mt Difficulty Single Vineyard Long Gully Noble Riesling

THIS WINE SHONE out like a beacon. It exhibits gorgeous sweet purity and a structure that shows off the glories of its fruit to perfection. Luscious fruit laced with honey, marmalade, ginger and lavender notes flows creamily to a succulent finish. Fine acidity supplies the necessary definition. Have it with a lovely, soft gorgonzola dolce.

| $35.00
→ more 1 View All Results in the Mt Difficulty Single Vineyard Long Gully Noble Riesling Tasting

Star ratings for this tasting

» How ratings work

  • Outstanding 4
  • Excellent 2
  • Very Good 3
  • Good 7
  • No Award 20
  • Total Entries 36