Quartz Reef Chauvet Brut NV Central Otago

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So immersed am I in getting the 1,250 Burgundy 2006 notes ready for publication that it completely slipped my mind to tell you about today's wine of the week.

Funnily enough the most striking wine for me from last week's annual generic tasting of New Zealand wines in London was a sparkling one, the traditional method Pinot and Chardonnay fizz of Rudi Bauer at Quartz Reef, currently sold by Wheeler Cellars, one of the new companies into which Lay & Wheeler has fractured, both by mail order and at their Colchester shop for £13.99. Tel +44 (0)1206 713560.

I thought this wine from the southernmost wine region in the world was really interesting and was refreshingly bone dry. Besides, Austrian-born Rudi Bauer was one of the most memorable characters I remember from my single visit to ths beautiful wine region, puzzlingly (for a time) referring to a place called Joska Fay, which turned out to the favourite Queenstown hangout of Central Otago's winemakers Joe's Cafe.

The blend is 70% Pinot Noir, Otago's signature grape variety, and 30% Chardonnay and I thought it excellent value for the amout of autolysis character it had gained from ageing on the lees.

Really well done – and very refreshing.

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