New Zealand With a View

Could there be a more iconic restaurant setting in Seattle?  Canlis sits on a bluff on the eastern side of Queen Anne hill surveying Lake Union and its environs.  For all the years I have lived in Seattle I had yet to visit.  The opportunity presented itself yesterday afternoon.  New Zealand wine hosted a tasting event in their upstairs dining space.

New Zealand has done an outstanding job marketing its Sauvignon Blanc.  Marlborough is renowned for the distinct, punchy white wines that are produced in abundance.  Over the decades as the wine industry on the north and south islands has grown so the diversity of what is available to consumers.

Like other countries with wine industries, regions have specialized to take advantage of their area’s specific climate and terroir.  At the Canlis tasting the room was set up to progress from spirited sparkling wines, aromatic whites, and iconic savvy b’s to Pinot Noir of varying depth and complexity.  Finishing with robust, structured red blends as well as a late harvest Sauvignon Blanc.

Some highlights from the day included:

2014 Lawson Dry Hills Gewurtztraminer  Expressive on the nose with flavors of lychee, rose, cumin, and chalk.  The light, citrus palate refreshed the senses after the heady aromas.  A wine that would pair well with shellfish.

2014 Greywacke Wild Ferment Sauvignon Blanc An aged style of sauvignon blanc and not the only one available to taste.  It was more French in style with a strong chalky back bone, apple, gooseberry, and a crisp herbal, citrus finish.

2014 Escarpment Martinborough Pinot Noir  Deep, rich fruit flavors of plum and cherry with cherry pit, and tobacco on the backbone.  Another example of a balanced high acid wine.

2013 Craggy Range Sofia Gimlet Gravels Hawke’s Bay Craggy Range sets a high standard of production year after year.  This ode to the right bank of Bordeaux is elegant, structured, and rich.  Even with a few years under its belt the wine is tight with fine grained chalky tannins with flavors of plum, tomato vine, spices.



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