Good taste

By Joelle Thomson

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Opawa Pinot Noir 2008. Photo / Supplied
Opawa Pinot Noir 2008. Photo / Supplied

We're only three days into the new decade and already I'm deluged with a downpour of wines. Those vicious rumours of a global wine glut must be true. In the last decade, New Zealand wineries have almost doubled from 331 wineries in 2000 to nearly 600 today.

The deluge on my doorstep includes labels I've never heard of as well as rare, rave-worthy, impossible to find wines. Do you really want to hear about 2001 Ornellaia, 2003 Charmes Chambertin, 2009 Chalmers Vermentino or 2008 Misha's High Note Pinot Noir? I loathe lists, so won't wax on.

Many "wineries" are nameless, faceless brands rather than new ventures run by people with passion, but there are exceptions. Brett Bermingham is one. This pinot-phile is now dedicated to making Opawa Marlborough pinot noir and pinot gris. Both are too drinkable. If three days isn't long enough to recover from the end-of-decade party on December 31, try a little hair of the you-know-what...

Wines of the week

2009 Spy Valley Unoaked Chardonnay
$17

Unoaked might sound as if this wine lacks something. Far from it. This is all the better for its lack of oak, with fresh, vibrant, citrus flavours. It has stellar taste and value.

2009 Opawa Marlborough Pinot Gris
$22

Opawa means "smoky river" - a great description of a misty Marlborough morning. Opawa is also a tributary of the Wairau River, which leads us to the free draining gravels on which the grapes in this wine grow. Every sip is fresh, juicy and subtle - elusive and available from specialist wine stores or nautilus estate.com.

2008 Opawa Marlborough Pinot Noir
$25-28

If a girl could write about all the good pinot noirs at this price, I'd be doing little else all day. This soft silky pinot noir is a gorgeous, true-to-type drop. nautilus estate.com.

- Herald on Sunday

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