Kia Ora to the Wines of New Zealand

Taurus Wines' Managing Director, Rupert Pritchett, and General Manager and Assistant Buyer, Lucy Dallyn, ventured up to London for the ATT Wines of New Zealand tasting and masterclass earlier this month. 

Oz Clarke presenting a wine masterclass at the Wines of NZ tasting

Among many of the other tastings that our team headed to (February is one of the busiest months for the trade, with tastings happening almost every day for the first couple of weeks), this one really stood out - and not just because industry icon and all-round legend Oz Clarke was holding a masterclass. Fans of the former Top Gear cast will spot Oz's friend James May in the Polaroid photo on the screen - and from what we were hearing from the tasting benches, they had quite the adventure!


People milling around a room tasting wineThe wines of New Zealand have long been favourites here at Taurus, such as the elegant food-friendly Pinot Gris, Burgundian-style Pinot Noirs and the pure and fruity Albarinos. And now with Lucy, herself a Kiwi by birth, overseeing the buying, we're approaching the country and its wines with renewed vigour. 


Lucy Dallyn tasting wine

Having so many wines in one room can be overwhelming, but with a little prep work and a keen eye we soon channelled our palates towards some gems we felt we were missing, and could add interest to our range. For example, a 2023 Albarino from Yealands that we both loved - and it seemed the critics agreed as well, as it won a trophy at the New Zealand wine awards.

We were trying to find a Bordeaux-style red, but to no avail, but unsurprisingly we did find some stunning Pinot Noirs! Rupert loved the Valli Bannockburn 2021 for its delicacy of touch that meant it could easily match any top Burgundy, while the clone-focused Akitu A2, with its depth of flavour and opulent fruitiness won over Lucy.

And one more thing - did you know... 60% of carrot seeds are from New Zealand? (Thanks Oz for that gem!)