The Wine Rack with Dennis Knill

As the winds of change continue to sweep our wine industry with new and interesting varietals there is so much happening and so much to report.  One of the most exciting developments is the progression of blended wines. With the reasons for blending varying from one winery to another most wineries blend their wines to improve the quality or to enhance their wines.


Winemakers usually ferment the grapes separately before the actual blending takes place. The process itself can be categorised into two broad forms. Wines produced with more than one grape variety or wines using the same grape but grown from different vineyards or regions. Blended wines crafted with more than one grape combination are the most common.


In New Zealand our wineries tend to follow the classic French model. Typical red blends include cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc and malbec. Typical white blends include sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, pinot gris, riesling, gewürztraminer and semillon. Even if you prefer the tried and true there is still plenty of adventure to knock you off your drinking perch.


Here are two with their own flavours and personalities that will not disappoint

1. Yealands Estate, Single Vineyard ’18
Pinot gris, gewürztraminer, riesling $25
A gentle but well balanced trifecta of lively fruity aromas making this compelling all round drinking.

2. Vidal Legacy, Gimblett Gravels ’09
Cabernet sauvignon, merlot $61
An exceptional duet with rich concentrated flavours not lacking in structure while delivering great balance.