Auckland’s bordeaux-blend wines from the 2010 vintage were tasted and compared at a grand inaugural tasting event on Saturday, organized by a group of the region’s growers. 2010 was perhaps the best Auckland vintage in living memory, so the sneak preview of these wines, some still in barrel, was a major draw card. Their quality shone.
The event was organized to highlight and celebrate the unique character of Auckland’s terroir, which indeed has the potential to produce the best bordeaux-blends in the new world. This terroir, shared by vineyards from Clevedon in the south to Waiheke in the east and Matakana in the north, includes:
- A long, temperate, maritime growing season which enables grapes to be dry-grown and supports the retention of delicate floral notes in the wines.
- Hilly, clay soils.
- Artisan winemaking and blending
These shared assets are a perfect platform for producing the elegant style of red wine made famous by Bordeaux.
Nineteen of Auckland’s bordeaux-blend wines were tasted blind with three of the great wines from Bordeaux’s equally fabulous 2009 vintage: Vieux Chateau Certan, Chateau La Conseillante and Chateau Lascombes. Sixty participants from the wineries and the general public convened before a panel of nationally-known critics.
Of the cabernet sauvignon dominant wines, six Auckland wine blends were tasted alongside Margaux’s Chateau Lascombes – Goldie, Te Whau The Point, Miro Bond, Brick Bay Pharos, The Obsidian, and Awaroa Requiem.
Six cabernet franc dominant wine blends were tasted alongside Pomerol’s La Conseillante – The Gabion, Gillman, Coxhead Creek Reserve, Messenger, Man O’ War Ironclad and Providence Private Reserve.
Seven merlot-dominant blends were tasted alongside Pomerol’s Vieux Chateau Certan – Ti Point One, Takatu, Poderi Crisci Reserve, Cliff Edge, Puriri Hills Pope, Cable Bay Five Hills and St Nesbit.
A show of hands revealed a number of the Auckland blends triumphed over the much more expensive and celebrated Bordeaux wines. The importance of this region’s wines awaits the deliberations of the wine panelists Bob Campbell MW, Michael Cooper and Geoff Kelly.
New Zealanders now have the delightful prospect of watching the emergence of a classical wine region of New Zealand. The red wines of the Auckland district are recognizably different. “At their best they are subtle and elegant, and reminiscent of Bordeaux in style”, organizers Judy Fowler and Lindsay Spilman said.