Hawkdun Rise HR Central Otago Pinot Noir 2014 $40 (4 star)

John Grant and Suzanne Bali-Grant run the Hawkdun Rise property on Letts Gully Road in Alexandra. Their HR pinot noir is floral and feisty on the nose, all raspberry tea and cherry. It’s a lighter style which shows soft waves of cherry and pomegranate that sneak up and grip you around the gums. Textural and […]

Sacred Hill Halo Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2014 $25 ★★★★½

Born in the now nationally-reverred Rifleman’s Vineyard which lies in a secret spot inland-west of Napier in Puketapu’s Dartmoor Valley, this is an ‘impress-your-friends’ chardonnay if ever I tasted one.  Prepare for a burst of fennel, peach and vanilla, alongside some white pepper and a big, juicy, satisfying texture.  It’s fat, fresh and fabulous. www.finewinedelivery.co.nz

Canvas column week commencing

Want change out of $30 on your wine this weekend?  Reward your savvy purchasing power with a Moro bar from the dairy.  Or two Moro bars, because you can. Middle Earth Nelson Pinot Noir 2014 $24 Ryan O’Connell did a very clever thing naming his wines after the Tolkien-inspired locale, because now they’re a firm […]

Canvas column week commencing 20th August, 2016

Spread your style-sense across the wines you serve.  Pop the cork.  Twist the cap.  Fash! On! Earthkeepers Otiake Blend #1 2013 $30 Here’s a gorgeously floral, delicately structured blend of pinot gris, riesling and gewürztraminer grown in the Waitaki Valley, one of the most unforgiving wine regions in the country.  Aromas of crushed shells, lemon […]

La Valentina Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC ‘Spelt’ 2011 $44.50

This is a super-sexy Italian montepulciano grown in La Valentina’s coastal vineyard in Spoltore in the province of Pescara.  It’s dense and saturated with dark fruit, cocoa, black guava and dusty, leathery flavours, chewy, yet supple stretchy tannins and a fresh, juiciness on the finish.  It’s an exciting, seductive wine. Drink with: Italian meatloaf in […]

Squawking Magpie The Chatterer Chardonnay 2015 $19 ★★★½

Toast and roast peach characters on the nose lead to a biscuity, complex, dry style of chardonnay on the palate.  There’s a squeak of grilled apricot and honey on the finish alongside a seam of clean acidity running it’s entire length.  Fans of toasty, oaky chardonnays will enjoy this wine.  Sip with creamy smoked chicken […]

Bret Brothers Mâcon Uchizy Grand Vin de Bourgogne 2014 $43 ★★★★★

Some chardonnays erupt with x-factor for me and this is definitely one of them.  I love the aromas of buttery, toasted crumpets, grilled grapefruit and spiced stonefruit alongside citrus concentration at its core which balances beautifully with subtle oak and luscious acidity.  Crafted by the supremely talented Jean-Guillaume and Jean-Phillippe Bret from a tiny plot […]

Te Mania Nelson Chardonnay 2015 $23 ★★★★

The team at Te Mania appear to be unstoppable when it comes to producing “o” for organic and “aw” for “awesome” wines year after year.  It’s the combination of soil, sunlight and sheer talent that produces juicy, stonefruit-packed, creamy, toasty chardonnay like this.  Vibrant, tangy and tropical – it’s delicious.  Trust me. www.temaniawines.co.nz

Zabu Il Passo Nerello Mascalese Nero d’Avola 2014 $32 ★★★★★

I absolutely LOVE this wine!  With intense blackcurrant, cherry and sweet, concentrated plum flavours, it’s a total Sicilan fruit fest.  Yet these fresh, juicy berry layers are cloaked in dark chocolate, bouquet-garni herbs, cedar and seasoned leather, juniper and hints of espresso.  Velvety, plush and practically unputdownable. www.firstglass.co.nz

Wine column week beginning 27 Aug, 2016

It’s amazing what one can find if you’re hunting for a chance at fame.  After shooting an episode for my new series of Thirsty Work (Saturdays 3.55pm TV3) on innovations in glass technologies, I decided I’d like to know out more about how old bottles were made.  I Googled ‘glass casting’ and a whole raft […]

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