New Zealand House with Villa Maria's Karen Fistonich and The Modern Pantry
Villa Maria is a byword for well-made, classical-style wines with a typical New Zealand purity and crystalline freshness.
At this lunch, Karen Fistonich, Chair of Villa Maria, showed us the company's more ambitious side, including the new flagship wine, Ngakirikiri, as well as a few museum pieces.
Esk Valley Verdelho 2015 elegant, clean and pure with fresh acidity and exotic peach and passionfruit. Good.
Single Vineyard Keltern Chardonnay 2015 complex oaky, slightly sulphide nose; pure white nectarine fruit with toast. Sleek and tightly woven. Very elegant and adept. Will improve with age. Good.
Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve 2013 black fruits with spice and smoke; some fruitcake, cherry and chocolate. Complex and still very youthful with an excellent structure. Needs aging. Very Good.
Ngakirikiri, The Gravels, Hawkes Bay 2013 the first vintage of this super-prestige wine; Cab-based from a spectacular vintage. Intense and aromatic, with dark fruit, plum and herbs, coffee and cedarwood. Complex with fine tannins. Still very youthful and needs age. Very Good.