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alastair maling mw of new zealand villa maria winery

Just Back From: New Zealand


While eating and drinking (and golfing) my way across New Zealand last week, I was invited to lunch with Alastair Maling, a Master of Wine (MW) and the chief winemaker for Villa Maria Estate wineries, one of NZ’s highly regarded producers.

“We’re better known in the States for our Sauvignon Blancs,” Maling told me over a main course of local lamb (naturally) and more than a few glasses of wine, “but it’s our Pinot Noirs that are really hitting the marks.”

“New Zealand is making some of the best Pinot in the world right now,” agrees EscapeHatch contributor and Dallas sommelier Jason Hisaw. “Their wines are plush and refined, and they express a real sense of place that’s unique to each specific vineyard.”

While it’s easy to find Villa Maria’s Sauvignon Blancs in Dallas  (Costco carries them), their Pinots are tough. (Anyone seen one here?)

That’s a real shame, because, on the whole, New Zealand’s Pinots run a close second to those from Burgandy for their elegance. When you find one, buy it. You won’t be disappointed.

But don’t trust me. Trust Maling:

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