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Mar 15, 2010 07:18 PM

What do you think of New Zealand OSB (other than sauvingon blanc)?

I spent my honeymoon in New Zealand. Not being a big fan of the NZ style sauvignon blanc, and really only knowing about it and some $50 pinot noirs, I didn't have high expectations.

But I did some advanced research and found the Central Otago region on the South Island - known for pinot noir, and to a lesser extent pinot gris, pinot blanc, reisling, etc.

When I got there, WOW. I found not only some of the most beautiful vineyard landscapes I've ever seen, but also many a category of great value wines that I was never aware of. And better yet, there are better prices to be found in the U.S. than NZ -- I'll guess because "other than sauvingon blanc" isn't very popular here, and, there's a recession going on.

So, I'm wondering -- what do y'all think of the Central Otago value wines? $20 pinots? $13 pinot gris? Do you even know what I'm talking about?

Really interested to hear what you have to say....

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  1. Like any premium wine growing region, New Zealand has a multitude of outstanding, world class wines, whether it's Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough (from producers like Isabel Estate, Seresin Estate, or Cloudy Bay), Pinot Noir from Central Otago (from Felton Road, Mt. Difficulty, etc.) -- or from Marlborough or Martinborough (Ata Rangi), for example -- Syrah from Hawkes Bay (Southbank Estate), Cabernet from Matakana . . .

    All sorts of grape varieties are available, and they are many superb examples available here in the US . . .

    5 Replies
    1. re: zin1953

      Of course you knew this Jason! I had no idea.

      I have been finding lots of NZ wines around the Bay Area for less than retail prices I found in NZ itself. Guess this country's wine isn't performing well in the States. Which is fine by me!

      1. re: kaysyrahsyrah

        One of the best Pinots I've ever enjoyed was a Craggy Range from a few years ago. It wound up making the WS Top 100....... typically, at a point when it was no longer available at retail.

        BTW, kay.............. I'm a stumped by "OSB". ?????

        1. re: Midlife

          Pretty sure Kay uses OSB as shorthand for "Other than Sauvignon Blanc".

          1. re: Eugene Park

            Just figured that out before reading your response. Sometimes acronyms go to far for me ...... as in making them up as you go. Shouldn't it be oTsb anyway? :o))

          2. re: Midlife

            Craggy Range has made some great single vineyard Chards too.

      2. My 2 cents: They seem to be awfully proud of their pinot and for what you pay for a good New Zealand pinot you can get a much better pinot from California, Oregon and even Burgundy.

        1 Reply
        1. re: SteveTimko

          Well, that's debatable . . . .


        2. I liked the OSB in NZ as well. A few faves that I haven't seen in the states...

          Fromm in Marlborough had my favorite dry and off-dry rieslings
          Te Whare Ra in Marlborough's cool climate syrah
          Greystone in Waipara and Pegasus Bay's versions of gewurtz, riesling etc.
          Dry River has an amaranth gewurztraminer (not the lovat one)
          Ata Rangi's alsatian style pinot gris

          1 Reply
          1. re: StephP

            I picked up a Kim Crawford dry Reisling for 6 bucks at Costco recently. It was a real surprise and I hope they still have some left on Saturday. (I'm a SB drinker but on a trip to NZ in 2003 we were blown away by the wine lists at every motel restaurant and tiny bar we went to.)

          2. Don't forget about Tasmania! Some great rieslings coming out of there, sparklers and PN show promise for the future too.

            1 Reply