The main drink of choice by us and guests has been sparkling wine. And why not with the excellent choices now of New Zealand Methode Traditionelles and the very attractive specials on Deutz.
We stocked up on Deutz Cuvee, Deutz Rose and surprisingly the previously unspecialled Deutz Blanc de Blanc ($20 off at Countdown).
Interspersed with the bubbles were bottles of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay - nothing outstanding but some good bargains to be had in Church Road, Selaks Reserve and Huntaway. Excellent wine at giveaway prices in the supermarkets.
The real standout though was a French Chardonnay. Whether this was because we hadn't opened a really top-notch New Zealand or Australian Chardonnay or because the county of origin style was so different is uncertain and unproven. Nevertheless the wine was very good drinking.
The wine was Barraud 'Les Crays' Pouilly Fuisse 2008.
Now Pouilly Fuisse (Macon) is not representative of the best Chardonnay to come from France and this label is not top notch Pouilly Fuisse but the wine was excellent. It had ripe fruit that had been treated really well by a good winemaker. The rich creamy fruit was balanced by nice minerality, spicy oak flavours and an edgy leesy characteristic. The 'French stink' was subdued with only traces of complexity hinting that it wasn't a new world wine. The overall impression was of a soft and round wine but with a nice lemon/lime edge. Lemon meringue pie was mentioned.
The wine had been given to us by friends so I don't know the price of it but I'm guessing in the mid $30's. This makes it excellent value when comparing to (non special prices) the New Zealand equivalents.
I am always in danger of developing a 'cellar palate' in drinking so much New Zealand wine compared to other countries and this was a good wake-up call.