New Zealand Day 7, Sacred Hill

Got picked up by Simon of Sacred Hill this morning and given a tour of the district, including the farmer’s market.

Then we ran through about a dozen wines of Sacred Hill. Their base level yellow label wines are all decent, well made wines. This is hardly a surprise, as that’s the price of entry these days.

Their reserve labels are where things start to get interesting. REALLY interesting.

Let’s start with Sauvage. This is a sauvignon blanc fermented with wild yeast, and then aged in oak barrels, a sort of NZ Fume blanc. It is softer on the attack than a steel fermented SB but with a kind of mellow richness that was infinitely appealing.

This won’t be a wine for every white drinker but I fell in love.

The Helmsman was the reason I came to NZ. The Bordelais style blends from Hawkes Bay are getting notice around the world as they should.

If you like Bordeaux but are a little put off by the excessive price (and sometimes excessive tannins) check out NZ.

The Helmsman has an earthy nose, with some herbs, and a rich integrated palate. This isn’t a superfruited CA style wine. It’s less flabby, leaner, and for my palate altogether more interesting.

The surprise was Deerstalker. These NZ syrahs are just bloody amazing. If you like an integrated wine, with fine tannins (and who doesn’t?) you have to try these wines. I took the Deerstalker away with me and drank the balance of the bottle over two days.

This is just a fabulous wine. If you see any on the shelf buy it. You’ll spend hundreds of dollars to equal it from other countries.

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