NEW ZEALAND VINTAGE GUIDE
Click on each vintage to see what we currently have in stock on our main website:
2017- The 2017 vintage was a difficult one in New Zealand, especially for the North Island. Two large storms in early-to-mid April had devastating consequences for late-ripening varieties. Many varieties however, including Chardonnay, were picked before the rains came, and these are excellent wines. Central Otago in particular was spared the worst of the weather, and wines from this region look to be among the best for the vintage.
2016 - Ideal weather prevailed for the entire growing season in Martinborough, resulting in fruit-forward wines of great texture and purity. Conditions were moderate and dry in Marlborough, yielding classically-styled wines for New Zealand's most famous growing region. A warm and dry season in Central Otago has producers extremely happy with fully ripe Pinot Noir fruit, and the finished wines will surely reflect this quality. In Hawke's Bay, cooler than average conditions should have consumers seeking out wines from the warmest sites in order to find the best quality. Overall, a very solid growing season for the country as a whole.
2015 - Another very good year especially in Hawke’s Bay, Martinborough and Marlborough. Yields were down all over. Marlborough’s wines are very concentrated and textural both whites and reds with some seriously good pinot noir starting to come down the pipeline. Some key people in Martinborough are also starting to make noise about some legendary wines. Central Otago had a tougher season after some good years on the trot. Frost, unsettled weather, powdery and an abrupt end to the growing season means you should stick to Central producers you trust, but there are good wines out there for sure.
2014 - Just as Hawke’s Bay and Martinborough had finished proclaiming the greatness of 2013, 2014 came around and potentially threatened to surpass it! Another very dry drought vintage but this time much warmer than 2013, the warmest since 1998 and in some sports surpassing that notorious vintage. The wines have more fleshy fruit than the 2013s and are more accessible now. Syrah was a real star in Hawke’s Bay. Central Otago produced another crop of dark, concentrated wines but growers had to be on their toes with powdery mildew was an issue. Marlborough had a huge crop, the best growers knew they had to reduce yields and produced some fantastic wines of real drive and vibrancy, others got caught out with too much fruit on the vine when rain came later in the season.
2013 - The redemption year for Hawke’s Bay after two very tough years. 2013 was hailed quite early on as a “vintage of alifetime” in Hawke’s Bay. The vintage wasn’t overly hot but it was very dry with clear skies for months on end. The wines have big structure and focused fruit. They will be very long lived. Martinborough also produced some top quality pinot with structure and longevity. Central Otago had another good vintage with quite masculine, powerful wines very different from those producer the year prior. Marlborough had a great year too. Yields were down due to drought conditions but fruit was healthy and concentrated.
2012 - A very split vintage. The north was affected by very cool weather and rains at the wrong times meaning only the most selective growers made much of real merit. In Central Otago however they enjoyed a trouble free, long moderate growing season producing wines of real purity, elegance and length – some winemakers went on record calling it the best vintage ever. Marlborough made some great pinot noirs especially in the Southern Valleys when growers kept the fruit hanging and a stable late autumn saved the day. Waipara too made some quite late picked, exotic pinots.
2011 - A tricky vintage for most regions with some late season tropical moisture sinking south. Martinborough produced some excellent wines. Very tough in Hawke’s Bay and Central Otago.
2010 - Overall a very good vintage across the entire country. Generally on the cooler side especially for the Bordeaux Varietals in Hawke’s Bay which resulted in very structured wines that need time. Central Otago made some concentrated, age worthy Pinots that are now hitting their prime.