Marlborough’s 2009 Vintage, The Artists’ Lounge, and a Chance to Win a Kiwi Vacation

Vinted on January 12, 2010 binned in giveaways, wine review

Given that the Southern Hemisphere, whose “reversed” seasons give their winemakers a leg up on vintage releases, already have 2009s hitting the wine store shelves, it’s not too early to call the 2009 vintage for Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc a strong one.

I won’t go so far to protest 2009 as excellent for all of New Zealand, because I’ve simply not tasted enough ‘Kiwi’ wine (yet) to make a determination, but I can say that the `09 Marlborough SBs that have made their way into my sample bins have, for the most part, been very good and in some cases excellent.

Case in point is the 09 Drylands Sauvignon Blanc, which is absolutely screaming with passion fruit goodness and a quality finish that is much longer than I’d have expected at a price point under $15.  The QPR on that wine is just roof-busting.

Anyway, it seems that every big wine brand has some sort of social network initiative popping up these days, and New Zealand is no exception – Kim Crawford, who produce a few very good Marlborough wines, has recently jumped into the social networking game in a unique way with their Artists’ Lounge concept.  The interesting thing about the Artists’ Lounge is that Kim Crawford actually has four artists in residence as part of the community – a poet, a songwriter, a painter, and a photographer.  So if you’re into art and NZ wine, Artists’ Lounge might be a cool place for you.

If you’re into winning trips to NZ, then Artists’ Lounge might also be a cool place for you – from now through the week of January 18, members of the Lounge have a chance to win a trip to New Zealand by posting ideas for artistic inspiration in the member forums – the winning entries are chosen by the resident artists, who will create new art works based on the winning entries.

That seems like a pretty cool idea for a contest (and there are worse prizes than visiting the land where Lord of The Rings was filmed!).

More details available here:

Got thoughts on the 2009 NZ wines, the land of Kiwi, or the Artists’ Lounge?  Let’s hear ’em!






  • gwendolyn alley

    Thanks for the tips here! As a poet & artist myself, I'm definitely going to check this contest out! And will seek out the Drylands Sauv Blanc 09–I have a fondness for NZ sauv blanc ever since the first WBC.

    • 1WineDude

      Cool – sounds like you are exactly the unique demographic that the site appeals to! :)

  • Stephen Wong

    Interesting. Is there any reason why you are only mentioning wine brands from the Constellation Brands portfolio? I'm just curious that you've used Drylands as an example of 09 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc – locally, it's regarded as one of our poorer wines – with Kim Crawford, it's most often found in supermarkets in the discount bins rather than on good wine lists. Many restaurants, including ones I consult to, refuse to list wines from them because of their poor brand association – most people consider them to be cheap, supermarket brands. They're the New Zealand equivalent of Woodbridge and Gallo Twin Valley wines.

    • 1WineDude

      Yeah – so far, those are the only samples I've tasted through. In terms of Drylands, the wine I tasted had a kick-ass nose for the price. It was screaming out of the glass, and I dug it. I guess what I'm saying is, I wouldn't care if the wine was Harlan or Woodbridge, if it was good then I'd say it was good. Cheers!

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