ALKO: Gewürztraminer 2012 by Spy Valley (New-Zealand, Marlborough)

Producer: Spy Valley

Wine: Gewürztraminer

Vintage: 2012

Origin: New-Zealand, Marlborough

Price range: 10-15€ (Finland, Alko)

Available at Alko: Yes (04/13), 599237

Marlborough in New-Zealand is most famous for its Sauvignon Blanc and more recently for its Pinot Noir. Though, over the past years, experiments are increasing around other « nordic » grapes. These being Syrah, Riesling… and Gewürztraminer. On the paper this does not really look like a good idea. If you consider France, Sauvignon blanc favorable climates (Center France) differs widely from the Gewürztraminer climates. However, one must admit that results with Riesling (an other grape from Alsace in France or Mosel in Germany) are indeed positive…

The nose is not uninteresting, there is a hint of litchi, some stonefruit too. Nothing extremely expressive but decent. Good first impression. In the mouth however, the wine fells short. There is no complexity, only very direct and not longlasting notes of sweet peach only brought by the 12 grams of residual sugar. Otherwise, a not too unpleasant sweetness and some not too bad acidity. Overall pretty average wine. Not unbalanced though not astonishing. Slightly disappointing considering the price.

Wineops’ rating: 63/100 ; 0 0


ALKO: Vintage Widow 2009 and 2010 by Jackson Estate (New-Zealand, Marlborough)

One of the funny thing about Alko (or annoying…) is that Alko does not take into account the vintage. The wine will have the same reference number regardless of the vintage. Therefore you can never be sure of what you will get. This is not a little drawback as many wines can differ 100% from one year to an other, especially more expensive product or just terroir driven wines.

I have planned a tasting of Pinot Noir and with great happiness I discovered that I have been provided with two bottles of Jackson Estate Vintage Widow Pinot Noir of two different vintages! So we improvised and I decided to compare the vintages. On such a modern wine like these produced by Jackson Estate, can we notice the difference? Is it a big one or a small one? And the answer is… :

Jackson Estate Vintage Widow Pinot Noir 2009 is very opened in the nose. You can find pepper, aromatic herbs, a hint of red fruit (cherry). In the mouth, the wine was smooth and pleasant, bearing a touch of mint. Soft tannins. Decent wine but I would say slightly unripped: definitely less good than 2008. Also it was not typical as the aromas reminded me more of a Syrah than a Pinot Noir. This wine was a 75 ; 0 0 

Jackson Estate Vintage Widow Pinot Noir 2010 was much more closed. Not expressive in the day it was opened, after 6 hours and the day after, it displayed a very clean fruitiness, and again a distinctive spicy side. The mouthfeel was however much more convincing with nice tannins and a deep structure. No hesitation about its superiority. 2010 is definitely a better vintage. Again, the day after, it was better. This wine was a 79 ; 5 + which will be at his top in a couple of years.

As a conclusion, these wines proved to be clearly cousins but also had a distinctive identity. This shows again how important is the vintage when you pick a wine that cost more than 10€ at Alko. It would be a good thing that they start to take this aspect into account.

Alko’s description: HERE.

Vintage Widow 2010 by Jackson Estate (New-Zealand, Marlborough)

Alko : Matua Valley Marlborough Pinot Noir 2010 by Matua (New-Zealand, Marlborough)

This Pinot Noir has recently been acclaimed in Finland, so I was curious about it.

Matua Valley Marlborough Pinot Noir 2010 comes from the very famous Marlborough region in New-Zealand. This region is commonly considered as the best for Pinot Noir, although Central Otago is becoming a major contestant.

This wine is a classic Pinot Noir, with a little reduction on the nose. Obviously quite young, this reduction has its counterpart in the palate : the wine is little bitter and green in the finnish. Otherwise, it is consistent and clean. Little fruit, little earthy notes. Though very balanced I would not say it is the best Pinot ever, it is clearly less fun and worse than the other NZ Pinot Noir from Alko in this price range: Vicarage Lane. However, Vicarage Lane is from 2009 and the year difference is important as Pinot Noir tends to need aging even from New-Zealand.

Wineops’ rating: 70/100 , 0 +

For this very classic, little under ripe and not-so-exciting Pinot Noir, I would wait next year to taste it in better conditions. 

Alko’s page: HERE

Deux Pinots Noirs de Nouvelle-Zélande

Ce n’est plus un secret, la Nouvelle-Zélande assure en matière de Sauvignon Blanc, mais aussi de Pinot Noir. Il semble que le nouvel Eldorado soit la Syrah… l’avenir nous le dira.

Si j’ai récemment été déçu par certains vins néozélandais (Sauvignon ET Pinot), je dois bien reconnaître que les deux qui suivent n’ont pas été de ce tonneau. Et pourtant ni l’un ni l’autre ne sont badgés haut de gamme (un peu moins vrai de Villa Maria, où on atteint le niveau prix d’un Marsannay).

Le premier, donc, Pinot Noir 2009 Montana est une magnifique démonstration de savoir faire sur un produit simple et bon marché. Dès le premier abord, le nez affiche une belle variétalité, cette poésie toute particulière que je ne retrouve que dans le Pinot Noir. Le noyau de cerise, la rose, un brin de nostalgie. La bouche sans être transcendante est satisfaisante. Tient là un très bon exemple de Pinot Noir simple et bon. Le résultat est bien au delà de mes espérance et en remontre à beaucoup de Bourgognes régionaux que j’ai pu goûter en France (pour un tarif inférieur).

Ma note : 65/100 ; 0 0

Le Pinot Noir Cellar Selection 2007 by Villa Maria (Marlborough) est d’un autre acabit. Ici, nous sommes en présence d’un vin qui a une vraie personnalité et qui supporterait quelques années encore d’affinage. L’alcool n’est pas trop présent. La concentration est poussée mais équilibrée. Résolument moderne dans son approche, c’est un vin complet, solide et élégant. Que lui manque-t-il ? Peut-être un peu de terroir, un peu d’âme, mais rien qui n’interdise de se faire plaisir avec cette jolie bouteille.

Ma note : 78/100 ; 5 +

Dans la série Pinot Noir, carton plein de la Nouvelle-Zélande. Carton plein que l’on pouvait prévoir vu le climat nettement plus adapté. Ce sera par contre à confirmer car les maturités sont quand même très fortes au niveau sucre (alcool) tout en restant discutable au plan phénolique.