Vintage is underway in Marlborough. All weekend the roads have been filled with mechanical harvesters driving from site to site. Grape boxes have been stacked up at the end of the rows. Trucks filled with fruit have been driving slowly to the wineries. This summer has been a pearler, and every indication is that this year’s vintage will be a great one, all over the country. Buy up in 2014/2015!
So, L and I visited a couple of Marlborough wineries on our way back to the Cook Strait ferry after the Graperide. I recommend visiting them.
We were given a very warm welcome at Fromm. We worked our way through a tasting of their sav, chardy, syrah, malbec, a couple of pinot noirs and a dessert gewurtz. The chardonnay was very stylish but I picked up a bottle of a wonderfully fragrant pinot. James Suckling awarded 95 points to this:
Fromm Brancott Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009 – $$$ – drink now – 2014
Then we moseyed over to Cloudy Bay. The company’s success at introducing the world to fresh Marlborough sauvignon blancs has been invested into building a spacious and stylish cellar door complex, with many enthusiastic staff to take us through the tasting process. It was particularly endearing seeing a bunch of little kids, in matching Cloudy Bay black T-shirts, running around the barrel room. Apparently it was ‘take your children to vintage day’.
What did we have? Their eponymous sav, riesling, chardonnay, Te wahi pinot noir, pinot gris, late harvest riesling, and this true NZ classic oaked sauvignon blanc, another 95-pointer:
Cloudy Bay Te Koko 2009 – $$$ – drink 2014-2017
And for completing the Graperide last year, Dr John Forrest gave all riders a bottle of:
Forrest Estate 100 Virgins Pinot Noir 2012 – drink 2015-2016