We begin our six day wine tour of Australia and New Zealand in New Zealand's Marlborough region at Neudorf Vineyards whose 100% wild fermented Sauvignon Blanc offers complex aromatics and a unique take on the country's most wildly planted variety. On night 2 we're off to Wild Earth in Central Otago, whose vineyards adjoin Felton Road, producing pinot noir with tremendous concentration - layers of dark red fruit, wild herb and distinctive earthy flavours complementing a richly textured palate. Then it's across the Tasman to the Kooyong Estate in Victoria's ultra cool climate Mornington Peninsula. Reminiscent of Chassagne-Montrachet, their Clonale Chardonnay boasts an aromatic nose with fresh lime/lemon and quartzy silica mineral characters, balanced with notes of toasted nuts, white peach and a soft creaminess.
For night 4 we head up to the famous Coonawarra region on the Victoria/South Australia border whose terra rossa soils are synonymous with Cabernet Sauvignon; tasting a wonderfully poised, single vineyard Cabernet from Jim Barry whose berried fruits are framed by well integrated and savoury tannins through to an exquisite finish. Night 5 sees us with John Duval, former winemaker for Penfolds Grange, tasting his superb Entity Shiraz whose blackberry and plum aromatics are complemented by a full-bodied palate with layers of dark berry fruit and youthful balanced tannins. For our last night we're off to the Margaret River vineyards of Larry Cherubino (former winner of Australian Winemaker of the Year) and a gorgeous and innovative white wine, the Laissez Faire Field Blend. With zero sulphur and no animal products used in fining , this beautifully integrated Alsatian blend of Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Pinot Blanc boasts an exotic yet fresh symphony of citrus, passionfruit, mineral notes and rose water. Layers of pear, nougat, Turkish delight are interwoven on the soft and refined palate through to a long finish with a subtle but drying acidity. A stunning finale to a wonderful vinous exploration!