Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Robert Parker finally breaks silence on NZ wine

Robert Parker finally breaks his silence on New Zealand

For immediate release 19th November 2008

For the first six issues of Robert Parker’s Wine Buyers guide, the world’s best known (and some might say the most controversial) wine critic declined to comment on New Zealand wine. Finally, with the release of the 7th edition, the silence has been broken.

Within this guide Parker’s team of writers grade wineries not on individual wines, but on their overall ability to deliver consistent excellence, bucking vintage ups and downs, in short delivering regardless of circumstance. Only a very small number of wineries around the world achieve his highest rating of “five stars: Outstanding”. One might liken this to the select group of restaurants worldwide who achieve three Michelin Stars.

New Zealand has had five wineries achieve this honour: Ata Rangi, Felton Road, Pegasus Bay, Rippon Vineyard and Winery and Te Mata Estate. A further 21 wineries have achieved the “4 star: Excellent” category.

As the guide says:

“Years of wine tasting have taught me many things, but the more one tastes and assimilates the knowledge of the world’s regions, the more one begins to isolate the handful of truly world-class growers and producers who seem to rise above the crowd in great as well as mediocre vintages. I always admonish consumers against blind faith in one grower or producer, or in one specific vintage. But the producers and growers rated “outstanding” and “excellent” are as close to a guarantee of high quality as you are likely to find.

“Those few growers/producers who have received five star ratings are those who make the world’s finest wines, and they have been selected for this rating for two reasons: first, because they make the greatest wine of their particular viticultural region, and second, because they are remarkably consistent and reliable even in mediocre and poor vintages.”

The wineries concerned are, naturally flattered to be raised into such a highly regarded international grouping but cautioned against the result being viewed as elitist:

“This shouldn’t be read as some sort of dictum that there are 5 wineries in New Zealand that stand above all others. Rather they are being held up as examples of what the guide sees as the right way to progress. Who the five are doesn’t matter so much as to look at what sort of effort and practice is earning positive comment.” A spokesperson commented.

“Robert Parker’s publications have always been rather neglectful of New Zealand, though they have been following a few Kiwi producers with enthusiasm for a few years. It’s good to see that the country is finally being given a chance to show what it can do and that recognition is being given that we can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best in the wine world.

“The most pleasing part is that there seems to be a focus on small family owned wineries, which put an emphasis not simply on making good wine, but on making wines of distinctive personality.

“Great wine is a direct mirror of a place, and of the people that grow it and make it. In choosing these wineries the guide has championed a small group who are devoted to these principles. It is an excellent message to send to the greater wine producing community: don’t make a product, make a personal statement of yourself and your land.

“We don’t think wine making should be a competitive sport and, like the other wineries chosen, we have a policy of not becoming involved in wine competitions. But this is a little different. It is the result of their following our work over dozens of wines for many years, tasting them both blind and sighted. It’s a considered appraisal of wineries, not a snapshot of a single wine. That makes it far more valid in our opinion.

Robert Parker’s New Zealand correspondent: Neal Martin, will be returning to New Zealand in January to further pursue his appraisal of the country’s wineries.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Serious Fraud Office: Commences Enquiries Into Allegations Of COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Fraud
The Serious Fraud Office has commenced a number of enquiries into alleged abuse of the Government’s COVID-19 Wage Subsidy. Director Julie Read said the allegations relate to multiple complex cases of potential fraud that have been referred to the agency following extensive investigations ... More>>

Environment: Preliminary Environmental Data On New Zealand’s Air Quality Released Today

The Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ have published the Our air 2021: preliminary data release today. We are currently working to revise the Our air 2021 report to incorporate analysis of the World Health Organization (WHO) 2021 air quality guidelines that were released on 23 September 2021... More>>

Statistics: Food Prices Rise For Sixth Consecutive Month
Food prices rose 0.5 percent in September 2021 compared with August 2021, mainly influenced by higher prices for grocery food and meat, poultry, and fish, Stats NZ said today. September’s movement is the sixth consecutive monthly rise. After adjusting for seasonality, prices rose 0.9 percent... More>>

Reserve Bank: Robust Balance Sheets Yield Faster Economic Recovery

Stronger balance sheets for households, businesses, financial institutions and the government going into the pandemic contributed towards maintaining a sound financial system and yielding a faster economic recovery than following previous deep recessions... More>>

Transpower: Releases Independent Report Into Events Of August 9
Transpower’s Chief Executive Alison Andrew has today released an independent report into the grid emergency of August 9 when insufficient generation was available to meet demand, leading to some customers being disconnected... More>>

Bayleys: Latest Lockdown Adds Further Fuel To Industrial Property Market

The recent construction shutdown resulting from Auckland’s Covid 19’s lockdown restrictions has put additional pressure on an industrial property market that is already struggling to keep pace with demand... More>>