The Date and Time: Thursday, May 8, 2014 1:30 PM to 5 PM
The Event: New Zealand in a Glass, Toronto 2014.
The Venue: St. James Cathedral Centre
The Target Audience: wine trade
The Availability/Catalogue: all wines are available in Ontario, but through different distribution channels.
The Quote/Background: There was a regional tour of New Zealand pinot noir wines, a self-pour experience of some 16 wines from 7 regions, along with a teaching booklet. I have folded my tastings into the list below, but I should point out that Coal Pit was way above the others in my scoring.
The Wines: There were about two dozen wineries pouring over 100 wines. I did not taste them all.
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Ostler Vineyard Caroline's Pinot Noir 2001 Waitaki Valley
-Waimea Estate Pinot Noir 2012 Nelson
-Saint Clair Pioneer Block Awatere Valley Pinot Noir 2012 Marlborough
-Pegasus Bay Pinot Noir Waipara Valley 2011
-Coal Pit Tiwha Pinot Noir 2011 Central Otago [my fave]
-Akarua Brut Sparkling Central Otago NV
-Akarua Rose Brut Sparkling Central Otago NV
-Hunter's Wines Miru Miru Sparkling Marlborough NV
-Lawson's Dry Hills Reserve Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2013
-Marisco The Kings Legacy Chardonnay Marlborough 2012
-Mud House The Woolshed Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2011
-Te Pa Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2013
-Te Pa Oke Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2012
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Felton Road Block 3 Pinot Noir 2011 Central Otago
-Akura Pinot Noir 2011 Central Otago
-Villa Maria Cellar Selection Pinot Noir 2010 Marlborough
-Whitehaven Pinot Noir 2012 Marlborough
-Astrolabe Valleys Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2013
-Babich The Patriarch Cabernet Sauvignon Hawke's Bay 2011
-Nobilo Icon Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2013
-Craggy Range Te Kahu Gimblett Gravels Merlot/Cabernet Franc Hawke's Bay 2010
-Craggy Range Te Muna Road Sauvignon Blanc Martinborough 2012
-Elephant Hill Syrah Hawke's Bay 2013
-Forrest Pinot Noir Marlborough 2012
-Hunter's Chardonnay Marlborough 2012
-Lawson's Dry Hills Gewurztraminer Marlborough 2011
-Loveblock Pinot Noir Central Otago 2012
-Oyster Bay Sparkling Cuvee Brut Hawke's Bay NV
-Oyster Bay Sparkling Cuvee Rose NV
-Sileni Estates Cellar Selection Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc NV
-Te Pa Pinot Gris Marlborough 2013
-Te Pa Pinot Noir Rose Marlborough 2013
-Te Pa Pinot Noir Marlborough 2011
-Marisco The Kings Wrath Pinot Noir Marlborough 2012
-Matua Squealing Pig Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2013
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Astrolabe Province Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2013
-Elephant Hill Le Phant Red Hawke's Bay 2012
-Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2013
The Food: catered by Daniel et Daniel with an assortment of cold cuts and cold pizzas, breads. The Dairy Farmers of Canada contributed Le Riopelle de l'Isle (PQ), Five Brothers (ON), and Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar (PEI).
The Downside: hot pizza food smells in the self-pour area took some getting use to.
The Upside: there was a small, but brief, food pairing seminar with Chef Matthew Sullivan, formerly of Skin & Bones. There was lamb shank and lamb filet. The two regional blends from Marlborough went with both; the other two single vineyards were debatable (the Akarua went better with the lamb shank, the Marisco went better with the filet)
The Contact Person: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 88.