**WINE LIST FOR MARCH 16, 2001 **

1. 1997 Domaine de La Romanee-Conti - Echezeaux  Burgundy - Pinot Noir 28,000yen

2. 1998 Grove Mill - Marlborough - Pinot Noir 4,400yen

3. 1999 Highfield - Marlborough - Pinot Noir NA yen

4. 1999 Whitehaven- Marlborough - Pinot Noir NA yen

5. 1998 St. Helena Reserve- Canterbury -  Pinot Noir NZ 29.95

When vintage conditions allow ,the wine maker selects the best fruit in their vineyards for the production of their reserve range of wines.

6.  1999 Stoneleigh Raupara Series- Marlborough -  Pinot Noir  NZ 22.95

Rapura series (meaning "running waters") is the name given to the distinctive stoney soils upon which the Stoneleigh Vineyards are situated.  It is from these unique soils, that this premium range of exceptional Marlbourough wines takes its name.  "Strict vineyard management with low yields coupled with a long dry summer gave us a ripe fruit with intense flavors.  The grapes were de-stemmed, then cool soaked before fermentation, maximising color and aroma extraction. Following fermentation the wine was aged in new and older French oak for twelve months.  This wine exhibits the silky texture, the black cherry fruit, the complexity, the spices and the gaminess that are the hallmarks of a great Pinot Noirs."

7. 1998 Ata Rangi Pinot Noir - Martinborough - NZ 46.95

Australian and New Zealand Wine Vintages gave this wine maximum ratings (5 stars - the continent's best + Maximum vintage rating of 7)

8. 1999   Felton Road Block 5 - Central Ontago - Pinot Noir NZ 58.69

Very hard to find.  The shop I purchased it in informed me they had to purchase it as part of a mixed case. (Same sales tactic as Romanee-Conti). Where thousands of gold miners once sought their fortunes surrounded by the rugged beauty of Banockburn grapevines now flourish in the "Cote d,Or" of New Zealand.  The long hot summers, northern aspects, free draining soils and low yields specially suit the elegant, classic wines of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling.  The 1999 Pinot Noir Block 5: An excellent vintage has enabled another vineyard selection to be bottled separately.  Intense fruit characters were matured for 18 months in barrel; to fully develop outstanding complexity and balance.  Non filtered.

 9. 1999 Dry River Amaranth Pinot Noir - Martinborough -NZ 73.33

Another hard to find New Zealand Cult wine.  I was informed they have a mailing list but there is a three year wait to get on it.

10. 2000 New Zealand Reserve Pinot Noir. NZ 80.00

A blend of wines from 64 New Zealand wineries represented atthe Pinot Noir 2001 conference.  These are from the spectacular 2000 vintage and are a unique first ever blend from all Pinot Noir growing districts of New Zealand.  The vintage was consistently sound with excellent ripe fruit and great length of flavor.  The wine was mature in 50% new French oak and now shows youthful exuberant fruit flavors, great structure, texture and early evidence of barrel maturation.  The wine is an exceptional opportunity to enjoy a genuine, one off Pinot Noir from the most outstanding wine growers of New Zealand.


At the end of the meal...

San Marino 1967 Palomino Dry (New Zealand)

Dry fortified Palomino wine style was produced by the late Mate-Brajkovich in 1967.  It was put away in old Sherry casks from Spain to produce a dry sherry style wine and it has been slowly aging in these barrel since that time.  In 1994 the wine was removed from wood, milk fined and bottled.  The wine has a beautiful pale gold color.  On the nose it shows the great benefit of long maturation in oak with a distinctive vanilla aroma to complement the nutty `rancio` character of a very old Palomino. The mid palate has a creamy texture that gives way to a crisp and clean dry finish.