R.H Coutier A Ambonnay Grand Cru Champagne NV $75

The Coutier family has been in Ambonnay since 1619. 1619! So they know a thing or three about growing great grapes. This champagne is such a pretty wine in the glass, with tiny, delicate beads of bubbles, this fizz boasts caramel and fresh-baked breakfast bun and hints of walnut on the nose and soft, nutty, […]

Champagne Jean Josselin Audace Rosé NV $57

This deliciously dry, melon and raspberry-licked lovely is an exercise in elegance combined with fulsome generosity. A delicate line of cherry zips through the mid-palate and merges with creamy, cashew and yeasty complexity combined with berry brioche bodaciousness. It’s an extremely sexy champagne indeed. Sip with: Oysters Charantaise www.threefrenchvines.co.nz

Peregrine Central Otago Methode Traditionnelle NV $50

Frustratingly small amounts are made of this blissfully good blend of 58% pinot noir and 42% chardonnay, but it’s one that any lover of fine fizz should seek out immediately. Crafted by Nadine Cross, it boasts soft, lemon shortbread and rising dough aromas, finely tuned acidity and a rich, creamy, textural finish. Sip with: a […]

Paritua Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2014 $42 (5 stars)

Winemaker Jason Stent 2014 vintage of this Bridge Pa-grown beauty is elegant, creamy, peach-and macadamia-crumble of a wine. Chock full of classic stonefruit and pineapple notes on the nose and palate, it’s refreshing, soulful and seriously satisfying, I absolutely love it. www.paritua.com    

Waimea Nelson Gewurztraminer 2016 $23 (4 stars)

Winemaker Hamish Kempthorne has crammed a cruise-ship sized chunk of creamy florals, luscious lychee, peach and ginger-dusted, musky notes into this bottle. Waimea produce crisp, satisfying, richly flavoured aromatic whites that, if I had my way, would be less of a secret and more of a ‘mustsip’. Try this with your next Thai green chicken […]

Black Estate Home Chardonnay 2016 $45 (4 stars)

The Home Vineyard sits 6 kilometres north east of the Waipara Junction, in the Omihi sub-district of North Canterbury’s Waipara Valley. The un-grafted, Mendoza-clone chardonnay vines this wine was made from were planted in 1994 and since 2010 have been grown using organic and biodynamic practices, resulting in a wine oozing grilled citrus, layers of […]

Coopers Creek Select Vineyards Guido In Velvet Pants Huapai Montepulciano 2014 $26.60 (4.5 stars)

Dubbed ‘Guido’ after winemaker Simon Nunn’s work mate and super-cute Italian greyhound, whereas the ‘velvet pants’ bit has something to do with Carmelite nuns likening this smooth, ‘westie’ version of the famous Italian variety to a slippery son of God if you believe the rumours. With its intense berries, spice, liquorice layers and fuzzy, warming, […]

Pukeora Estate Ruahine Range Pinot Gris 2015/2016 $21 (4 stars)

It’s a rare thing to see these days, blending two vintages of a still wine together (multi-vintage blending is common in sparklings), yet winemaker Max Annabell has made this work. A tiny pinot gris harvest in 2015 meant the wine was kept aside and when an equally tiny (but delicious) vintage followed in 2016, he […]

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Merlot Cabernet Franc Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec 2015 $22.70 (4 stars)

Fans of softly structured, fleshy, fabulous merlot-dominated reds can kick off their shoes, flick on the telly and pour a glass of this and be confident that it’ll deliver in every respect. Dark red fruits, peppery, cocoa and dried herb characters, deliciously dusty tannins and a long, fresh finish make this a must sip with […]

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Gimblett Gravels Grenache 2016 $25 (4 stars)

This is literally the only grenache being produced in New Zealand, so best you get amongst it before its all gone! Crafted from 16-year-old vines growing in the company’s Ngakirikiri Vineyard, it’s a heaving monster of a wine, rammed with floral intensity and spiced berry and cherry flavours. The alcohol is 14.5% and its heat […]

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