1999 New Zealand

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In Marlborough the growing season was warm and dry, with rainfall being around half of the long-term average. The harvest began exceptionally early on 1st March. The Sauvignon Blancs are of extremely high quality and display outstanding varietal character. The best examples exhibit the intense aromatic fruitiness of the 1997s combined with the richness and body of the 1998s. In Hawke's Bay the warm and dry weather, combined with lower than expected crop yields, resulted in harvesting starting 2 weeks earlier than normal. There was some rain at harvest time but its effect on the grapes was minimal. Very fine Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blancs were produced and have the edge over the reds. The 1999 vintage in Central Otago was one for the record books. The summer was one of the hottest in history and some extraordinarily ripe and complex Pinot Noirs have been produced.

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