Lower yields and optimum weather have prompted New Zealand's Montana to declare this year's vintage "one of the finest".

The Pernod Ricard-owned wine brand said last year's "cooler than expected summer combined with the perfect warm autumn" meant the crop in all Marlborough sub-regions was showing impressive flavour development.

"The lighter-than-usual yields, plus warmer and drier conditions over the fruit development stages, have produced some very high-quality grapes and the 2010 vintage is shaping up to be one of our finest, a fantastic follow on from the multi-awardwinning 2009 vintage," said chief winemaker Patrick Materman.

In January, New Zealand Winegrowers said it had "put vineyards to sleep", left grapes on vines and unearthed roots to lower yields and avoid the oversupply that has blighted Australian wine.

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