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Criticism of an English taster infuriates Malborough producers

Par Vitisphere Le 05 juin 2009
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Criticism of an English taster infuriates Malborough producers
T

he wine critic for the Times, Jane MacQuitty, who described several of the sauvignon blancs from Marlborough she was judging as part of the Decanter World Wine Awards as ‘evil, watery, grassy wines’, has left several Marlborough winegrowers very angry after her comments were published in the Times.
More than half of the production of New Zealand wines come from Malborough, with each attack a blow to the wine sector in the country. With each term progressing successfully, in terms of size and consistency in export sales, New Zealand hopes to pass the billion dollar mark in international wine sales in 2009.
With others marvelling at their planting and production which has been able to satisfy the international demand, MacQuitty’s comments highlight a downside. Indeed, she commented that Australian experts had told her that detrimentally high yields being squeezed out of sauvignon blanc grapes in Marlborough were taking their toll, with the record-breaking 2008 New Zealand sauvignon blanc harvest helping quantity, not quality. Of the Malborough Savignons in the Decanter competition she commented, there are none ‘to which I personally wanted to award even a bronze medal, and none that I would have paid £7 to taste again.’
A number of British journalists have contested MacQuitty’s judgement, in a way which echos the declarations of Philip Gregan, chief executive of New Zealand Winegrowers, who has nevertheless alerted producers of the neccessity to dedicate their efforts to maintaining and even improving quality. Despite MacQuitty’s opinion, several Marlborough sauvignon blancs received silver and bronze medals at the event.

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