Celia Hay

New Zealand Wines that Age

New Zealand Wines as they age

Presenting AUT Auckland University of Technology Professional Wine Knowledge programme this week, I was able to pull from the cellar a flight of wines that demonstrates that aging wine brings forth new characteristics that are not always apparent in young wines. It was a pleasure to taste these wines, now over 10 years old, which also prove that New Zealand wines can age with dignity.

Escarpment’s flagship Kupe Pinot Noir 2012 from Martinborough, still with a ruby hue, offers aromas of black cherries and plums with a vibrant layer of tertiary characteristics: leather, smoky bacon, grilled mushrooms that are also present on the palate. The silky tannins, along with a firm acidity make this wine a perfect pairing for a succulent rack of rare lamb with savoury meat jus.

Valli Waitaki Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011 from North Otago shows some garnet, brick tones and aromas of cinnamon-spiced black plums, crushed violets, and charred beef, just off the grill. On the palate, the acidity is balanced with the tannins, allowing a long, savoury finish. This is a more full-bodied style of Pinot Noir that comfortably pairs with barbeque meats beef or lamb.

Te Mata Bullnose Syrah 2011 from Hawkes Bay, garnet in colour with aromas of caramelised plums, white pepper, lavender, leather and sweet spices. The palate was surprisingly intense, full-bodied and still loaded with tannins, leaving a long finish of dried herbs, menthol and oak. Again, this wine is looking for savoury foods and would work well with pan-fried steak and thyme butter to complement the herbs present in the wine.

Celia Hay 12/3/22