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The wines of Herzog, Marlborough, New Zealand

81 Jeffries Road, RD3, Blenheim, Marlborough, New Zealand
Phone: +64 (0)3 572 8770 Fax: +64 (0)3 572 8730
E-mail: info@herzog.co.nz  Website: www.herzog.co.nz

Hans and Therese Herzog began as winegrowers in their native Switzerland before deciding that New Zealand was the place for them. They now have 11 hectares of vineyards which they purchased in 1994, and from which they make an unusually red-focused range of wines, at least by New Zealand standards, including a varietal Montepulciano. They made the move in time for the harvest of 2000.

Yields are low – on average 3 tons per hectare – and everything is done here in a non-interventionalist way. In a reflection of their old world origins, they prefer the term ‘winegrower’ to ‘winemaker’. The Herzogs are moving towards organic viticulture, but won’t be certified – this move isn’t a marketing gimmick to them. The grapes are hand harvested and they don’t use sulphur dioxide when the grapes come in to the winery. They prefer to use as little sulphur dioxide as possible during winemaking, typically 70 mg/litre which results in a free SO2 level of some 10–15 mg/litre.

The wines are very impressive – with the Spirit of Marlborough and Montepulciano among the best reds that I’ve encountered from New Zealand. The Pinot Noir is very good, but perhaps not quite in the same league in 2002. Noel Young stocks these wines in the UK.

Herzog Pinot Noir 2002
Intense nose of savoury dark cherry fruit and spice. The palate is ripe and vibrant with good depth of dark cherry and berry fruit. Attractive with some sweet and sour character. Nice depth; a good effort. Very good/excellent 90/100

Herzog Spirit of Marlborough 2000
A blend of Merlot, Cabernets and a touch of Malbec. Intense nose of lovely ripe, sweet pure blackcurrant fruit, with just a hint of earthiness. The palate is concentrated with some sweet fruit and earthy, spicy tannic structure. Very deep and intense. Very good/excellent 92/100

Herzog Montepulciano 2001
They have nearly 1 hectare of this variety, of which there are only 3 ha in all of New Zealand . Intense cherry and spice nose is quite Italian in style. The palate is bold and intense with lovely vivid spiciness and firm dusty tannins. A lovely spicy wine with good acidity. Super stuff, full of character. Very good/excellent 93/100

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