Hãhã Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017 $17.99 (4 stars)

First things first. The fact that this wine sells for under $20 is baffling to me. It roars with stonefruit and citrus and has just the right amount of roasty toasty, hazelnutty flavours to kick it into ‘must-sip’ territory. Ripe, tropical, round and rumpty – just the way I like my chardonnay. Yum. www.hahawine.co.nz

I Am George Langhorne Creek Shiraz 2016 $22 (4 stars)

George Wyndham is considered the founding father of shiraz in Australia, planting the grape in 1830. Winemaker Steve Meyer wanted to create a wine that was accessible to anyone, but captured the spirit of George – and here it is. Bursting with blackcurrant, plum and all manner of sweet, red fruits, it’s a warming, cuddly […]

Mount Brown Barrique Ferment Waipara Sauvignon Blanc 2016 $19 (3.5 stars)

Here’s a sauvignon blanc for chardonnay fans. Roasty, toasty and tropically taut and crisp, it’s bursting with smoked passionfruit punchiness and a lick of lemongrass on the finish. A very drinkable, in fact dangerously drinkable example. www.mountbrown.co.nz

Mount Brown Waipara Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2016 $16 (3.5 stars)

There’s something about the North Canterbury soils and the drying, Nor’west winds that create incredibly floral, super-concentrated sauvignon blanc. Lime, lemongrass, elderflower and bruised basil combine with passionfruit and tropical tones, cut grass and sweet pea combine with crunchy acidity to make a zesty, sexy sip indeed. www.mountbrown.co.nz  

Te Awa Single Estate Hawke’s Bay Tempranillo 2014 $29.99 (4.5 stars)

Hands up if you even knew tempranillo was being grown in Hawke’s Bay? Not many if any I’ll vouch. The grape responsible for producing the great Rioja’s of Spain has found a happy home smack bang in the middle of the Gimblett Gravels and it’s thriving. Chock full of intense dark berries, intense dark cocoa, […]

Yvonne Lorkin wine column for week beginning Sat 19th May 2018

For the last four decades or so, wine producers in Hawke’s Bay have been (in their own understated way) out there trying to convince the world that their Bordeaux-style reds (wines made from merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, malbec and petit verdot) are just as good, if not better in some cases, as the big […]

Yvonne Lorkin canvas column for sat may 19 2018

Hit the smorgasbord and fill your boots with toasty, roasty, buttery, wuttery chardonnays from across the land… Obsidian Reserve Waiheke Island Chardonnay 2017 $48 The stylish, chablis-like elegance of this wine made it an absolute showstopper for me.  I love the purity of fruit, intense citrus and minerality on the mid-palate, its peachy backbone and […]

Vavasour Anna’s Vineyard Awatere Valley Marlborough Chardonnay 2016 $42

Stu Marfell was only 9 years old when he helped harvest the very first vintage for Vavasour back in 1989.  29 harvests later, he’s their head winemaker and this, their flagship chardonnay, is his baby. Only made in years when the fruit is exceptional, this creamy, barrel-fermented blend of Mendoza and Clone 95 fruit sings […]

Matawhero Irwin Gisborne Chardonnay 2016 $59.99

Launched in September 2017 as Matawhero’s first-time, flagship wine, this chardonnay has so many French hallmarks I think I’m going to christen it a ‘Gisburgundy’ style.  And yet no French oak was used, instead the grapes were crushed and fermented wild in a combo of American and Hungarian barrels which imprint a smoked vanilla character […]

Mahi Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017 $22

You’ve heard the saying “You do the Mahi, you get the treats”, it’s totally true with wine too. Meaning ‘work’ in Maori, Mahi’s winemaker Brian Bicknell and his team battled through two cyclones during the season, yet succeeded in crafting this passionfruit, lemongrass and sweetpea-soaked stunner. A tiny 7% splash of barrel ferment adds complexity […]

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