Bald Hills Last Light Central Otago Riesling 2010 $28 (5 stars)

How awesome is this wine! I’ll tell you how. Maturing beautifully, this is a superb example of how dry riesling should be standing the test of time. Pure, precise citrus elements shine through creating an intensely clean wave of flavour across the palate and zingy acidity compliments the classic honeysuckle, hints of mandarin, racy lime […]

Doubtless Bay Northland Merlot 2010 $22.00

How often is it that we get to taste merlot that’s had a decent stretch of time inside the bottle. Time enough for all that nervous teenage fruit and spice to actually settle into a calm kind of companionship. All edges and elbows have smoothed over, all that youthful hot air is now a warm […]

Buller Wines Calliope Rutherglen Shiraz 2010 $49.99 (5 stars)

With its intensely concentrated, ripe red fruits, Christmas pudding spices and masses of cherry and blackcurrant flavours, this shiraz had me swooning. Seven years since vintage and the acidity is incredibly fresh and juicy, while the tannins are deliciously dusty and have lovely grip. Made from century-old vines, this Aussie beauty is named after the […]

Villa Maria Reserve Library Release Gimblett Gravels Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 $69.99 (5 stars)

Impenetrably inky in the glass, brooding and stormy and saturated with tobacco leaf, sandalwood, Christmas cake spices and cocoa, this is my favourite of the Library Release wines.  The mouthfeel is elegant, slippery and edged with an earthy grip around a core of dark berryfruit.  Love it! www.villamaria.co.nz

Unison Gimblett Gravels Selection Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2010 $57 (4 stars)

Maturing nicely, this classic Gimblett Gravels cabernet oozes bouquet garni aromas, cocoa, mint and graphite alongside a squeak of vanilla and blackberry.  The acidity is still right up front, while the tannin layers are softening into a support structure as opposed to being a chewy-dry mouthful.  Savoury, peppery, leathery notes show themselves on the finish […]

VIGNERONS DE BUZET BARON D’ ALBRET ROUGE 2010 $35 (4 star)

Immediate aromas of coffee grinds, cocoa and ripe plum all osmose onto the palate in a wave of vanilla-soaked red fruits, medicinal spices, velvety tannins and a woolly, wonderfully dry mouthfeel. A cracker of a Bordeaux blend where Vignerons de Buzet is the union of winegrowers and employees who decided to take their future in […]

Esk Valley The Hillside Hawke’s Bay Malbec Merlot Cabernet Franc 2010 $69

Esk Valley’s ‘The Terraces’ is a magical blend of fruit grown in a tiny, 28 year old terraced vineyard overlooking the winery.  Occasionally there are stunning parcels of wine which don’t make it into the final blend and winemaker Gordon Russell has decided to create this, a sister blend called Hillside.  Rich, powerful and erupting […]

Ca’ Di Rajo Marino 2010 $46 ★★★★½

Italian cabernet sauvignon can be intensely fruity and this example from Ca’ di Rajo, grown on the banks of the river Piave is exactly that.  I love the dark plum and boysenberry characters which merge with tobacco leaf, vanilla, pepper and violets.  Nicely structured tannins elongate the savoury flavours and combine to create a stunning […]

Hopes Grove Hawke’s Bay Silver Lining Syrah 2010 ★★★★

Deeply saturated, glossy and dark, here’s an intensely spicy syrah showing hints of smoke and leather. Six years in the bottle has borne violets, fresh pepper and gamey characters on the palate and a finish loaded with bay leaf, black tea and earthy cocoa characters. Grown in the limestone loveliness of Hawke’s Bay’s lesser-known sub-region […]

Quartz Reef Central Otago Methode Traditionnelle 2010

Quartz Reef Central Otago Methode Traditionnelle 2010 $40 ★★★★ Produced organically and biodynamically by Rudi Bauer down in Bendigo, this southern star has soft, smoky, flinty aromas and a rich, nutty, marshmallow-like texture in the mid palate.  Very precise and cleansing it is too. www.vinofino.co.nz  

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