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The Times

Published:  23 July, 2008

'Long live the gang of 12,' announces JANE MacQUITTY. She is referring, of course, to the association of New Zealand winegrowers covering every major region and all the main grape varieties. 'Some commentators have grumbled about the elitism of the 12, whose wines are mostly priced around 925 a bottle, but provided the wines deliver great value for money at these prices, and most of them do, I cannot see what the problem is.' Her favourites include 2004 Te Arai Vineyard Chenin Blanc (8.99; Vintage Roots), which displays 'soft, spritzy, peach, pineapple and citrus-layered fruit'; 2004 Lawson's Dry Hills Sauvignon Blanc (Lay & Wheeler; 8.95), spicy, gooseberry, nettle and fresh lime delight'; and the same winery's 'gorgeous rose and lychee-charged' 2004 Gewurztraminer (Lay & Wheeler; 9.95).