Misha looks back at some of the accolades we achieved last year
The end of 2013 saw many of Misha’s Vineyard wines getting top accolades and we made it to a few ‘top wines of the year’ lists by several wine critics. The fact is we’re coming up to our 8th vintage on the vineyard and our wines continue to evolve – both the older wines are tasting better (if you can find an older vintage) and our newest vintages are really impressing people even as young wines.
In November, the latest New Zealand report came out from Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Editor-in-Chief of Robert M Parker Jr’s Wine Advocate, the world’s leading wine publication (which is also online at https://www.erobertparker.com/entrance.aspx). For the past 5 years, Lisa has taken on the role of being the chief reviewer for Australian and New Zealand wines and has made many visits to both countries and reviewed thousands of wines. No other international wine title has put the focus and energy on New Zealand wines as much as Wine Advocate and the regional reports and wine reviews reflect Lisa’s detailed knowledge and understanding of the country’s wines and the various wine styles. We were delighted to see across our entire range that we were either the highest rated or within the top 2 or 3 scores of all the New Zealand wines rated (respective of vintage). We were also delighted to see our Misha’s Vineyard ‘Verismo’ Pinot Noir score 93+ points – equal to that elite group of New Zealand’s most celebrated Pinot Noirs with ‘The High Note’ 2010 scoring just one point less at 92+. Other highlights included having The Starlet as the 2nd highest rated Sauvignon Blanc in New Zealand, and The Gallery the highest rated Gewürztraminer – both varieties grown in very small volume in the Central Otago region, so it’s nice to be able to get recognition for these varieties too.
Rebecca Gibb, unmistakingly from the north-east of England, now resides in New Zealand and has launched her own website recently. She won the UK’s Young Wine Writer of the Year in 2006 and then joined the UK wine trade magazine, Harpers, and went on to become its features editor. As a freelancer, she wrote for such prestigious titles as Decanter and Wine Business International and since 2012 she’s been the editor at Wine-searcher.com. Having passed 2 parts of her Masters of Wine exam, she only has one dissertation to go before joining the elite group of MWs. In late December, Rebecca published “My Top 10 NZ Reds of the Year” – and we were delighted that our 2010 Misha’s Vineyard ‘The High Note’ Pinot Noir made the cut! Thanks Rebecca! http://rebeccagibb.com/2013/12/23/my-top-10-nz-reds-of-the-year/
Another of New Zealand’s highly respected key wine reviewers is Wellington based Raymond Chan who published his report of the top rated wineries of 2013. We were delighted to be named as one of the Outstanding Producers of 2013 on Raymond’s list. Less than 20 wineries were named in his report of the top wineries, so when you consider there are 700 wineries in New Zealand, it’s great honour to be included in this group.
Raymond also published his top 20 wines of the year and it was nice to see our Misha’s Vineyard ‘The Gallery’ Gewurztraminer 2012 on the list – in fact it was the only wine from Central Otago on the list!
In Michael Cooper’s Buyer’s Guide to New Zealand Wines 2014, we had some fantastic reviews. We were pretty pleased with 4 of the wines getting a 5 star rating. The highlights from Cooper’s scores and comments were:
5 stars – Misha’s Vineyard ‘Dress Circle’ Pinot Gris 2012. “…It’s the best vintage yet’!
5 stars – Misha’s Vineyard ‘Lyric’ Riesling 2012. “This is the sort of dry Riesling New Zealand needs a lot more of…”
5 stars – Misha’s Vineyard ‘The Gallery’ Gewurztraminer 2012 “..Fleshy, rich and harmonious, it’s a drink-now or cellaring proposition”
5 stars – Misha’s Vineyard ‘Verismo’ Pinot Noir 2010 “…an outstanding vintage…powerful, dense red, still very youthful, it’s sure to be long-lived..”
4.5 stars – Misha’s Vineyard ‘Limelight’ Riesling 2012 “…The instantly appealing 2012 vintage..”
Michael Cooper’s new guide is available in all bookstores and newsagents or you can subscribe online at http://www.michaelcooper.co.nz/
Reviews from wine journalists are important as it’s an important way of getting objective feedback on one’s wines. A lot of producers enter wine shows which is another way of getting one’s wine assessed but we had made it a policy of not doing wine shows. However we decided that since we were coming up to the 8th vintage, that it would be nice to also do some international benchmarking. We submitted one wine, the Misha’s Vineyard ‘Verismo’ Pinot Noir 2010 into one show – the International Wine & Spirits Competition in London – the largest and most prestigious wine show it the world. The wine was awarded an Outstanding Gold (which is only awarded at the judge’s discretion) and it was the only New Zealand Pinot Noir to achieve this level with only one other Pinot Noir from Oregon achieving this. Our ‘Verismo’ 2010 has also garnered some amazing reviews of the year including:
• 96/100 – “Very classy wine with excellent cellaring potential” – Bob Campbell, Gourmet Traveller Wine
• 97/100 –“This is one of the most profound pinots from New Zealand I’ve tried.” Sam Kim, Wine Orbit
So we’ve had some amazing successes across the board with our wines. We are so happy we planted aromatic white wines as well as Pinot Noir as those varietals do so well in our bony rocky soils. Central Otago is really a special place given you can craft not only Pinot Noir into world-acclaimed wine but also Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer. And we can’t forget, it’s not just our special location that’s making great wines, but we have a vineyard manager, Rich Williams, who is meticulous in ensuring all 65,000 vines are happy and healthy and who treats the vines as ‘his girls’ and a winemaker, Olly Masters, who is one of the most gifted winemakers in New Zealand.