Mel Brown sits down with Andy Crozier from Burn Cottage to discuss all things wine in our “Down In The Cellar” series.
WHO DO YOU ADMIRE MOST IN THE WORLD OF WINE AND WHY?
Oh my goodness … I think it’s going to be a bit cliche but Claire Muholland, who I work with (General Manager/Associate Winemaker). If you look at Claire, she is a phenomenal winemaker and sort of sits under the radar a bit. She’s been consistently making some of the most amazing wines in New Zealand over her career. Outside of that somebody like Didier Dagueneau, I think if you look at the crazy mad wines that he’s made, that he really put Louire on the map in many ways and some of my most amazing wine experiences is with things like Persan, I think it’s the texture and weight of those wines that is great but also just him going “Screw you” and him doing things his way.
WHAT WINE VARIETY ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT FOR IT’S FUTURE IN NZ?
I think if you look at the way things have evolved, and if you look at say Central Otago… Pinot Noir has proved itself more and more and will continue to improve itself so I don’t think it’s necessarily a single varietal that’s going to change, I think it’s how we treat those varieties, the location, the viniculture and the wine style that we’re making and if you look at New Zealand as a whole, we’re growing up and learning and pushing the boundaries a bit but also dipping back into knowledge we’ve learnt from overseas, but also pushing the research around varietals and where they do best and how they do best, so I don’t think it’s about a single varietal.
WHAT ARE YOUR 5 FAVOURITE WINES AVAILABLE AT THE NEW ZEALAND CELLAR?
Outside of Burn Cottage OBVIOUSLY …. Neudorf Moutere Chardonnay & a tandem option would have to be Neudorf Moutere Pinot Noir as well. Pegasus Bay Riesling is outstanding, Millton Chenin Blanc my god you’ve got to drink that it’s phenomenal. And Framingham …Andrew Hedley is just the godfather of Riesling … the F-series all the way.
HAVE YOU TASTED MANY AUSTRALIAN WINES? IF SO WHAT WINE REGION DO YOU THINK IS PRODUCING THE MOST EXCITING WINES AT THE MOMENT?
Oh god I think if you look at the wines from Nick and Gary Farr from Geelong, By Farr wines they are bloody phenomenal. If you look at say Tim from Clonakilla, he was making the style of wines people are getting excited about now, 20 years ago! He’s just kept on making them more and more amazing. I also think those cooler climate sites like Adelaide Hills, those guys from Shaw + Smith, I think the M3 Chardonnay will have to be one of my go-to Chardonnays. Then out to Frankland Estate in Western Australia, Cullen … people like that. There are so many amazing wines coming out of Australia and I think timing wise Mel has hit at the right time because she is bringing out these wines that I think are really lifting the profile of Australia and showing they are not just a one-trick pony.
IS THERE A SPECIFIC WINE REGION YOU USE TO BENCHMARK AGAINST YOUR WINES?
No. We are a New Zealand winery based in Central Otago so our wines are reflective of that region. I think it’s good to taste Burgundy, it’s good to taste Oregon, It’s good to taste Northern California, but they are wines that speak of THEIR place. So for us to say we don’t want our wines to speak of the wines from those areas …. You just, you can’t do it. It’s just about going “Well this is what we make, and its reflective of our site” and if they happen to have similarities to other regions that’s cool, but that’s not what we’re about.
WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST LEARNING CURVE WHEN YOU GOT INTO THE INDUSTRY?
Just listening to people and not getting offended if someone doesn’t like your wine. Everybody’s personalities are different and their tastes are different and just because someone doesn’t like a wine, doesn’t mean you should get offended. And I think anybody that works in the wine trade long enough gets a pretty thick skin and they know that shit happens.
YOU ARE DRINKING A BURN COTTAGE PINOT NOIR – WHO ARE YOU WITH? WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO AND WHATS FOR DINNER?
Dinners easy because that’s gonna be Duck Confit … It’s probably going to be Christmas day … my partner will be with me … there will be a handful of people around the table, it will be in Wanaka and it will be a bloody glorious sunny day …. And there will be a bit of Nina Simone playing in the background and I think that pretty much sets the scene.
Burn Cottage wines are available from Specialist Cellars with free delivery UK wide on all orders over £150.