Yvonne Lorkin wine column for week beginning Sat Dec 30 2017

The day I wrote this column everything went wrong. That morning, in a rare moment of Nigella Lawson domestic goddessness, I decided to make a cake. I’d creamed my free-range eggs, sugar and butter, had my organic oranges, lemons and sour cream on standby, and I’d even greased the tin. Then I picked up the flour container to add the essential ingredient and to my dismay it was empty. Cake would have to wait. It was sunny outside, so I thought I’d attempt to plough through two teenagers worth of washing. I sorted my whites, colours, towels and blacks, loaded up the machine, went to scoop up some washing powder out of the box only to find it was empty. Huge sigh. Eyes rolled.
Stomping back into the house, I was met by the cat (whose name is ‘cat’) and her loud meowing soon began doing my head in, so I thought I’d better feed her. I picked up the box of cat bikkies that was in the cupboard and guess what, empty. I yelled a bad word. By then I needed a coffee to calm my nerves but before I even attempted to grab the milk from the fridge I knew there’d be no point because there it was, sitting on the bench, empty.
Such is the price one pays for having a husband. And I know that if I so much as hint at my annoyance that he didn’t think to tell me when he’d used the last of the flour to fry last night’s gurnard, or the last of the washing powder to wash his fishing clothes or the last of the milk for his muesli – that he’ll snap back something like “Well forgive me for cooking dinner, doing the laundry and keeping my fibre intake up – I’ll just leave that all up to you from now on!” So there’s really no point. Good thing then that I’d had a couple of fantastic wines to take my mind off things.
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Mills Reef Reserve Hawke’s Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2017 $24.95 (3.5 stars)
Crafted from fruit sourced from Crownthorpe (or as the locals call it “the RD9”) this sauvignon has gentle lemongrass and basil and peach aromatics followed by soft tropical layers on the palate. Freshly herbaceous and a winner with beer battered terakihi.
www.millsreef.co.nz

Le Bessole Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2015 $39.90 (5 stars)
Here’s a cheek-slappingly gorgeous blend of Corvina Veronese, Corvinone, Rondinella and Rossignola from the good fold at Igino Accordini in Verona. Inky-dark and glossy in the glass, it’s perfumed with plum, red apple, earthy, caramelised oak and dusted with a smorgasbord of spices. Fresh and frisky and chock full of black cherries on the finish, it’s a stunning Italian red that’ll have you singing “That’s Amore’ in seconds flat.
www.stvincentscave.com

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The Gladstone sub-region of the Wairarapa produces exceptionally clean, pure riesling bursting with lime, apple and honeysuckle flavours that absolutely sing with seafood…

Urlar Gladstone Riesling 2016 $25 (4 stars)
Angus and Davina Thomson sold up everything they owned in Scotland back in the early 2000’s to find themselves some prime vineyard land, grow grapes, make organic, biodynamically crafted wine, have a tribe of children and live happily ever after on the other side of the world. Urlar is Gaelic for ‘The Earth’ and yet this riesling has heavenly honeysuckle, mandarin and granny smith apple aromas and flavours that’ll have your tastebuds tingling.  
www.urlar.co.nz

Gladstone Vineyard Riesling 2016 $25 (3.5 stars)
There’s something about the subtle, apple blossom, lime and floral notes that’ll hook you immediately. Here’s a wine with rich, dry, minerally layers which are a hallmark of the vineyards growing on the terraces of Martinborough’s Ruamahanga River. The team at Gladstone are rowdy riesling fans, and as their vineyards are now certified organic, you can enjoy the purity of fruit with smiles and peace of mind. Enjoy a glass of this with Chinese 5 spiced roast pork.
www.gladstonevineyard.co.nz

Johner Estate Wairarapa Riesling 2016 $20 (4 stars)
Karl Heinz Johner makes wine in opposite hemispheres, with family estates in Baden, (in Germany’s Kaiserstuhl region) AND in Martinborough’s Gladstone sub-region. Riesling is a hero grape for him and he loves the crunchy green acidity, pear notes, baked pipfruit, lime zest and honey characters that Martinborough grapes give. So much so that he’s decided to spend most of his time looking after it in New Zealand, while his son Patrick looks after the German operation. Sip with Thai green apple salad.
www.johner-estate.com

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