The latest issue of Consumer magazine, issue #526, July 2012 has the results of their Red Wine tasting published. As with previous years, Australian Shiraz performed best out of the 50 wines tasted by the regular panel led by Larry McKenna with Diane Langman, Gary Bowering and Sue Davies as the team members.
Consumer NZ has upped the ante now, with an increased price level with a limit of $35.00. This allows the inclusion of quality wines that still remain affordable and accessible to the general buyer. The varieties and categories tasted were N.Z. Pinot Noir, N.Z. Syrah and Australian Shiraz, Bordeaux-varietal wines, and for the first time, some ‘interesting reds’ from varieties less widely grown, such as Tempranillo, Gamay Noir and Montepulciano. These changes to the format may reflect the perceived increased interest in better and more diverse wines in the market.
There were four wines awarded 5-stars, of which three were Australian Shiraz. Topping the list was Jim Barry ‘Lodge Hill Shiraz 2009. Consumer writer Libby Manley reports “the Kiwi Syrah didn’t fare as well”, with two wines awarded 4-Stars. However, the Newton Forrest ‘Stony Corner’ 2009 Bordeaux-style came through with a 5-Star rating. There were no 5-Star Pinot Noir wines, but three wines achieved 4-Stars. Manley noted that “the very best pinot is usually beyond our $35 price limit. And that’s for good reasons: it’s a tricky grape to grow and even trickier to turn into fine wine.”
The wine (and beer) tasting reports in Consumer magazine add another dimension of interest to what the Consumer NZ organisation does best: providing advice and information to consumers to enable them to make good decisions on purchasing goods and services. I recommend subscribing to Consumer NZ. You will be able to read the full results of the tastings and indeed reports of products such as T.V.s, slow cookers, dehumidifiers and peanut butter! www.consumer.org.nz