New Zealand vintages
2 Jul 2013 by Richard Hemming

2013
was slightly riper than 2012 in Marlborough, and 'nigh-on perfect' in much of the north island, especially Hawke's Bay, with a long, warm summer and no adverse weather - although early frosts did bring down yields for many.

2012
brought one of the coolest years on record, and an overall yield 18% below the norm. This resulted in Sauvignon Blancs with grass and citrus flavours instead of tropical fruit.

2011
 was warm and ripe across New Zealand, with a bumper crop of grapes. 

2010
 only produced 75% of average yields, but it was a very easy vintage otherwise. Sauvignon Blanc experienced particular concentration, while Pinot Noir was praised for its perfume and firm structure.

2009
 was good quality throughout New Zealand, with dry conditions making for lovely, healthy, naturally balanced wines. Reds from Martinborough and Hawke's Bay were especially noteworthy.

2008
saw a lot of rot in Marlborough, meaning careful selection was required to make good Sauvignon Blanc. Not a distinguished vintage.

2007
 was unkind to Martinborough, which suffered frost damage, but was welcomed across every other region as being good if not outstanding quality. For a much more detailed report of 2007 in New Zealand, click here.

2006
birthed good Sauvignon Blanc, but was more notable for Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah based wines that benefited from the warm and dry weather.

2005 was a small crop, producing wine with much greater concentration than normal.

2004
 had high yields of good quality fruit across most regions - with the exception of Central Otago, which suffered decimating frosts.

2003 was poor quality and low in yield. Best avoided.

2002 experienced warm weather that was good for Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, but less beneficial to Sauvignon Blanc.

2001 produced exceptional quality on the south island, but was lighter in style on the north island.

2000
 heralded much lower yields thanks to rot caused by rain. Marlborough was one of the best regions of the country.