2000 New Zealand

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In Marlborough cool and overcast conditions prevailed for much of the growing season, with cloudy weather in late October and November severely affecting the flowering and fruit set of most varieties. The cool weather led to the growing season being longer than normal and has resulted in aromatically rich, concentrated Sauvignon Blancs which display marvellous purity of fruit and very good balance. However, yields were down by as much as 40%. In Hawkes Bay an Indian summer led to very high quality super-ripe Chardonnays and Merlots being produced. The Cabernet Sauvignons were less successful, as they were harvested in wet and windy conditions. In Central Otago the Pinot Noir grapes ripened fully but still managed to retain excellent acidity levels. The result is a smaller than usual crop of concentrated, well-structured wines, that lend credence to New Zealand's claim to be the New World's finest Pinot Noir producer.

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