6 New Zealand wines to try

Columnist March 27
Recommendations

★★★Exceptional  ★★Excellent ★Very Good

Availability information is based on distributor records. Wines might not be in stock at every listed store and might be available at additional stores. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.

Dave McIntyre is a wine columnist for The Washington Post. He also blogs at dmwineline.com. View Archive

These six wines show the quality and subtle differences of Marlborough and Nelson, on the northern end of New Zealand’s South Island.

Dog Point Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010

★★★

Marlborough, New Zealand, $39

From vineyards planted in 1979, among the first planted in the southern valleys off the Wairau plain, this outstanding wine offers bright flavors of red fruits, impeccable balance and a long, graceful finish. Alcohol by volume: 14 percent.

M Touton Selection: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, MacArthur Beverages, Paul’s of Chevy Chase. Available in Maryland at Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits and Eastport Liquors in Annapolis, Old Farm Liquors in Frederick, Town & Country Wine Liquor Etc. in Easton.

Neudorf Chardonnay 2011

★★★

Nelson, New Zealand, $24

This delicious bottling comes from a warm, ripe vintage. The chardonnay grape is grown mostly on the estate vineyards in the Moutere hills, pressed in whole bunches, then barrel-fermented and aged for about 12 months. The wine begins toasty with butterscotch, then turns mineral before yielding to intense orchard-fruit flavors. ABV: 14 percent.

Country Vintner: Available in the District at Arrowine and Spirits, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Eddie’s Market in Baltimore, I.M. Wine in Fulton. Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Cheese in Arlington, Balducci’s (McLean).

Dog Point Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2013

★★★

Marlborough, New Zealand, $20

From the outstanding 2013 vintage, this wine gives a whiff of grass followed by juicy, mouth-filling tropical-fruit flavors that seem to take up residence even after you’ve gulped the wine down. ABV: 13.5 percent.

M Touton Selection: Available in the District at Ace Beverage, Burka’s Wine & Liquor, Cairo Wine & Liquor, Calvert Woodley, Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquor, MacArthur Beverages, Magruder’s, Paul’s of Chevy Chase, Sheffield Wine & Liquor Shoppe, Sherry’s Fine Wine & Spirits, Whole Foods Market (Tenleytown). Available in Maryland at Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits and Eastport Liquors in Annapolis; the Bottle Shop and Wine Harvest in Potomac; Cork 57 and Georgetown Square Wine and Beer in Bethesda; DiWine Spirits in Pikesville; Franklin’s Restaurant, Brewery and General Store in Hyattsville; Old Farm Liquors in Frederick; State Line Liquors in Elkton; Town & Country Wine Liquor Etc. in Easton; Wells Discount Liquors in Baltimore. On the list at Food, Wine & Co. in Bethesda. Available in Virginia at Chain Bridge Cellars in McLean, Clifton Wine Shop, Planet Wine & Gourmet in Alexandria.

Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2012/2013

★★★

Marlborough, New Zealand, $18

The 2013 is about to reach the Washington area market, and it is exceptional, with a silky texture and intense, lingering mango and passion fruit flavors. ABV: 13 percent.

Country Vintner: Available in the District at Arrowine and Spirits, Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquor, Cordial Fine Wine & Spirits, Rodman’s. Available in Maryland at Balducci’s and Georgetown Square Wine and Beer in Bethesda, Total Wine & More (Laurel). Available in Virginia at Arrowine and Cheese in Arlington, Balducci’s and Chain Bridge Cellars in McLean, Crystal City Wine Shop, Total Wine & More (various locations), Whole Foods Market (Alexandria).

Forrest Pinot Noir 2012

★★1 / 2

Marlborough, New Zealand, $26

With dark cherry and blackberry flavors, it’s jammy without seeming sweet. Satisfying and lovely. ABV: 13.5 percent.

Elite: Available in the District at MacArthur Beverages; on the list at Bourbon Steak. Available in Maryland at Decanter Fine Wines in Columbia, Fenwick Beer & Wine in Silver Spring, Wine Cellars of Annapolis; on the list at Grapeseed in Bethesda, Ray’s the Classics in Silver Spring.

Seifried Grüner Veltliner 2013

★★1 / 2

Nelson, New Zealand, $20

I’m a big fan of this winery’s sauvignon blancs under the Seifried and Old Coach Road labels, as well as the Seifried chardonnay, which isn’t imported to the United States. It’s one of a handful of New Zealand wineries experimenting with grüner veltliner, the white grape of Austria. This delicious wine is true to the grape’s mineral character while being lusher and more tropical than the Austrian expression. ABV: 13.5 percent.

Elite: Available in the District at MacArthur Beverages, Paul’s of Chevy Chase; on the list at Montmartre. Available in Maryland at Fenwick Beer & Wine in Silver Spring, Mt. Airy Liquors; on the list at Maggie’s Farm in Baltimore. Available in Virginia at Clifton Wine Shop, Unwined (Alexandria, Belleview).

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