You have to Taste these Beautiful New Zealand Wines
When a vineyard is truly in sync with its environment, wines of great complexity and appeal are possible. Mt. Beautiful wines from New Zealand are a product of just that scenario.
Mt Beautiful owner David Teece has a compelling back story. In short, an internationally acknowledged scholar with a love of his heritage applied the lessons he learned throughout his life of farming, academics and personal achievement to build a winery destined to serve up some of New Zealand’s most elegant …and affordable…wines. It is said that David, “… has poured every bit of his heart, soul and business savvy into Mt. Beautiful, attracting the best people, relying on only proven sustainable practices and crafting sublime New Zealand wines.” Drink one of his wines and you’ll see exactly what I mean.
A “sweet spot” refers to a place where a combination of factors, when in balance produces the best results. It can refer to many dimensions of everyday life including wine. I spent a summer on the Salish and Canadian Seas sipping and pairing my way through nine Mt Beautiful wines meant for warm weather consumption. What I found, where white and lighter red wines that delighted the palate and engaged the soul. You’ll love them too, I promise. Honestly, you can drink any one of these 12 months a year.
Here’s my impressions of the 9 wines and a recipe to go with the Rosés. You can find the wines online or in most wine stores and supermarkets. If the exact vintage is no longer on the shelf, try the next one up or down. These wines are consistently excellent.
Prices are approximate. Do your own research for the best deal.
- 2016 Chardonnay ($22): I am not necessarily a fan of Chardonnays. However, this one touched all the right buttons. Smooth and crisp with notes of focused fruit such as peach and nectarine and that ever present minerality and terroir that makes a New Zealand wines so distinctive.
- 2017 Pinot Gris ($20): I generally find Pinot Gris flat and tasteless. Not this one. The color is light golden with some green hues, a little darker than many Pinot Gris out there. On the nose expect aromas of white and yellow stone fruits and some subtle white floral notes. It’s the slight suggestions of pears and nuances of mouthwatering minerals that seal the deal.
- 2015 Pinot Noir 10 Barrel ($40): This is a beauty. Perhaps my favorite of the summer-long tasting. Who knew New Zealand could produce such elegant Pinot? Aromatic with layers of attention-grabbing aromas like spicy black cherry, orange rind, a few floral notes and of course a streak of graphite or minerality. It’s light to medium bodied. It will cellar well. Drink now–2025, but once you drink one bottle, you’ll want more and more.
- 2016 Riesling ($22): Just what an aficionado is looking for and a novice should take note of. Think juicy notes of apple tart, key and lime pie. Not overly sweet. You’ll like the crisp and aromatic notes of pineapple which this wine a bit of a New World twist. A solid and sophisticated balance.
- 2018 Rosé ($18): Full and round in the mouth. Delightfully round and softly sweet with notes of pink grapefruit, cranberry and watermelon. We welcomed guests aboard with this wine. It’s an outstanding starter for a relaxing time with friends.
- 2018 Sauvignon Blanc ($15): Of course, Sauvignon Blanc is what everyone thinks of when they think New Zealand wines. It is a dry Sauvignon Blanc with a yummy ripe tropical fruit aromas. On the palate, expect a balanced, inclusive ripe passion fruit, lovely citrus aromas and a full bodied minerality with a crisp finish.
- 2017 Pinot Noir Sisters Ridge ($20) : An Impressive light – but earthy – take on Pinot. Solid notes of cranberry, raspberry with a bit of mushroom to distinguish it from the fruitier 2015 Pinot Noir 10 Barrel. Try it with a veggie pizza smothered in mushrooms.
- 2018 Sisters Ridge Sauvignon Blanc ($16): What can I say? These guys know who to make a great Sav Blanc. Refined, fresh and dry with notes of peach, mango, lemongrass and chamomile. Iconic notes of grassiness with fresh kiwi fruit- and long green apple on the finish will make your mouth water. This wine focuses more on the green grass and bell pepper side of this varietal.
- 2017 Pinot Noir ($25): Another sassy Pinot well worth your attention. Sip it slowly. Appreciate what a Mt. Beautiful wine is all about. Refinement is the top-secret that tells the story of this wine. Enjoy the sophisticated aromas of black cherries and subtle tannins. As the personal favorite of owner David Teece, it’s incredibly important that the Pinot Noir showcases the best aspects of the varietal, therefore it is grown in the highest elevation in the vineyard. According to the owner, “The aim of these selections is to build sound palate structure in the wine, providing a vibrant ruby wine with ripe fruit, subtle tannins, great length and persistence of flavor.” Yup, I get that! Now, enjoy this fabulous recipe courtesy of Mt Beautiful.
Pair with Mt. Beautiful Rosé
10-11 oz cooked rare beef (Porterhouse or NY)
2T Fish Sauce
2T Light Soy Sauce
3T Brown Sugar
1 Lemon Juiced
Combine all ingredients, cover beef with
marinade and leave for at least 30 mins.
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 cup Cider Vinegar
1 Whole Red Chili – Sliced
1 cm Piece of Ginger – Sliced
3 Limes – Juiced
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer until liquid has reduced by half and become sticky
1 cup Mung Bean Sprouts
½ Carrot – Julienne
½ Cucumber – Ribbons
½ Red Onion – Sliced
2 Green Onions – Sliced
1 Tomato – Segmented
Bunch fresh Cilantro
Toss all salad ingredients together.
Top with the beef and drizzle over sticky dressing.
Garnish with extra:
Roasted chopped peanuts
Fresh Lemon Slices
Visit Mt Beautiful to learn more or to purchase Mt. Beautiful wines at mtbeautiful.co.nz
The suggested Rosé is, “A traditionally made Rosé with juice pressed off after a skin contact and co-fermented in tank and barrel. Our 2019 vintage has a delicate sea-run trout pink color with fragrant raspberry and savory aromas. On the palate the wine is dry with a clean fruitiness and crisp refreshing finish.”
Samples of each wine were provided by Mt Beautiful, however this review was not influenced by the generosity of the winery. The wines are smart, snappy and classy. They speak for themselves.