Yvonne Lorkin wine column for week beginning Sat 10th Feb

A couple of mornings ago I got out of bed at sparrows to catch a 6am flight. I had a quick rinse under the shower, threw some clothes on by the light of my cellphone torch so as not to disturb the slumbering husband and then I tore through my makeup and hair at warp speed. Standing back from the mirror to survey my efforts I thought I’d done well. No globby mascara, cheeks, eyebrows, lips all looked half symmetrical and I’d managed to tizzy up something new with my hair. Happy days. Then just as the clock struck the ‘get in your car and drive like the wind’ hour, I suddenly had doubts. My brain-voice asked “Yvonne, is today really the day to debut a hair-do you don’t know and trust. Is today the day to display such a rushed job out in public?” No brain. No it probably is not. But I don’t have time to change it so let’s just hope for the best. I made it to the plane, 50 minutes later landed in Auckland sat for another 50 minutes in an Uber to get to the office all the while trying to convince myself that I didn’t look like a blond Worzel Gummidge. The door opens and my lovely co-workers are all smiles and laughs, but no-one comments on my hair. This immediately makes me suspicious as we are usually a very commenty lot. Any new pair of shoes or shade of lipstick or bangle or nailpolish is noticed and complimented. I’m nervous.

The day bangs on as it normally would. Still no one says anything about my lid, that is until the young son of my workmate (who I adore because he’s a great kid) walks into the room, we say hi, then very earnestly, he says “Yvonne you look different today”. “Oh?” “Yes. I think the ponytail and the fluffy bits around your face make you look like Fat Amy from that movie Pitch Perfect”. And then the babe whose mouth that came out of grabbed a cracker off the kitchen bench and went to play on his ipad. I on the other hand needed an enormous goblet of pinot gris and fast…

Moutere Hills Nelson Pinot Gris 2016 $23 (4 stars)
Nelson is known around the globe as a force to be reckoned with when it comes to turning out aromatic whites erupting with eye-poppingly pure, clean floral notes and crisp, stonefruit and apple characters. Produced by Rusty Rayne and Lisa Goodson, this pinot gris hits that zingy, spicy spot that sneaks through the dry, pear and quince layers on the palate. Delicate and, bracingly dry and cleansing.

River-T Estate Waitaki Pinot Gris 2017 $22 (4.5 stars)
It’s got to be the limestone-laced, river gravels that these vines grow in that makes the wine so bouncy-fresh in the mouth. Think tangy nectarine, quince and nashi notes combining with speed-racer acidity and a lengthy, fruit-soaked finish. Cleansing and crunchy – I love it!


2014 definitely had talent if these three are to go by…

Stanley Estates Block 8 Marlborough Pinot Noir 2014 ($28) (4.5 stars)
Such a deliciously earthy undercurrent sweeps across the nose and palate of this wine. Gold medal winner at last years Japan Wine Challenge, the Block 8 is a taut, tamarillo-laden lovely that’s edged with spice, wild fruits, bold acidity and chewy tannins – this Awatere Valley-grown pinot noir is definitely one to watch. Actually don’t watch it, sip it ok.

Lime Rock Central Hawke’s Bay Pinot Gris 2014 $24 (4 stars)
Go for a hoon around Rosie Butler and Rodger Tynan’s vineyard located just outside of the tiny township of Tikokino (about 20mins from Takapau and 10 mins from Onga Onga) and you’ll see incredible lumps of limestone rock puncturing the ridgelines. It’s this fossil-rich soil which gives this gris its classically crisp, cleansing, mineral-like texture, subtle pear and spiced nashi notes. Four years on from harvest it’s maturing beautifully and the finish is finely tuned and textural.

Brennan Central Otago Chardonnay 2014 $33 (4 stars)
The whack of super-ultra-fresh acidity in this wine makes you think it could have been made yesterday! Bright nectarine and grapefruit notes on the nose lead to a creamy, biscuity mouthfeel and zesty length of flavour. It’s a medium weight chardonnay that’ll get the party started.

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