Thursday, October 14, 2010

New wine labels

I have come across a couple of labels in the last few weeks that are new to me and I think they are both worth talking about. One is from Nelson and one from Central Otago.
Auburn Wines only produce riesling with the ambition of building a portfolio of rieslings from each of the sub-regions of Central Otago, wines that express the site differentiation. Each wine in this selection of rieslings will be named after their respective sub-regions (Lowburn only from 2009, Lowburn and Alexandra from 2010, and Lowburn, Alexandra, Bendigo and Northburn for 2011). The intention is to make this regional selection in a very clean and pure style so the key differences will be imparted by soil and climate conditions rather than winemaker influence.

Rounding out the range will be a selection of wines that have had some winemaker influence. The incorporation of botrytis, indigenous ferments, skin contact and other influences will add variety to the pure styles of the regional selection and satisfy the winemaker’s desire to experiment. The “Twilight” from 2009 (harvested from the same site as the Lowburn, except with botrytis fruit and skin contact) is a great example but is unfortunately sold out.

In keeping with the boutique nature of the business only 1000 bottles of each wine will be produced. Find out more at .

The second label is local, Gareth and Alex Partington’s Partington Wines label. They purchased a lovely parcel of land in Wills Road, Upper Moutere about eight years ago and have since developed a BioGro certified organic vineyard. The small selection of wines is fully organic, BioGro certified and made in a truly artisan manner.

I particularly like this quote from their website “We believe the extra "hands-on" care we take at every stage allow this wine to express the subtleties of Nelson sunshine and our love and passion for creating an organic wine that treads lightly on the land.”

The wines currently on offer include 2007 ($38.00) and 2008 ($49.50) Pinot Noirs and 2009 Sauvignon Blanc ($24.00)

It is winemakers like Gareth and Alex Partington who make the wine industry so interesting. They are investing huge amounts of energy into creating artisan wines that gives us, the consumers, something exciting to look forward to. This is a new label worth exploring now and following in future years, I certainly will be.

Find out more about them and buy their wines at

I have been drinking

Partington 2008 Pinot Noir ($49.50) – sealed with a cork
The bronze medal this was awarded at the Liquorland International Wine Competition this year is only the beginning for this wine. Bright spiced dark cherry aromas are seductive and the taste is simply packed with flavour and complexity. Fine tannins provide the backbone for the flavours to hang from while a nice twist of minerality in the background adds even more complexity. A super, handcrafted wine that is worth searching for.

Auburn ‘Lowburn’ 2009 Riesling - $28 from the winery
Made from fruit sourced from 16 year old vines in Lowburn this is a pure expression of riesling grown in the region. The 31gms/ltr of residual sugar are delightfully balanced with low pH, ripe acidity. Delicate floral citrus aromas and flavours will be suppressed if you over-chill the wine but enjoy this lower alcohol wine (9%) late on a Sunday afternoon in the bright sprin

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