Château Trébiac Graves Rouge 2011 $27.20 (3.5 stars)

‘Graves’ translates to ‘gravelly land’ in French, and here’s a blend of 30% cabernet sauvignon and 70% merlot from this important subregion of Bordeaux, located on the left bank of the Garonne river.  It’s a medium-weight, savoury, soy and dark olive edged red with hints of prune, cocoa and smoke running through the middle.  The […]

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 […]

Flying Sheep Hawke’s Bay Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 $35

Crafted by the talented team at Osawa Wines comes this berry-focused, plum-packed and velvety textured red.  I love the red fruit, pepper and dried herb layers that are stitched together with solid acidity and sinewy tannins. Sip with: truffled beef tournedos www.osawawines.co.nz

Fontanafredda Barolo 2011 $69 ★★★★½

100% nebbiolo grapes have been used to create a seriously earthy, lush, leathery red wine with sweet, tobacco and cedar notes on the nose and palate.  Cherry, white pepper and dried herb characters surround grippy elastic tannins and leave a warming, slippery finish. www.glengarrywines.co.nz

Kaimira Estate Nelson Syrah 2011 $38 (3.5 stars)

A highly savoury wine, with aromas of cured meats, black olive and peppercorn dominating the nose and then coursing through onto the palate.  Rooibos tea, dark cocoa and just the most subtle hints of rhubarb and leather also soak through, leaving a richly complex mouthfeel behind.  Mellow and warming on the finish.  Sip with:  Lamb […]

Chalk Hill Sidetrack Mclaren Vale 2011

Chalk Hill Sidetrack Mclaren Vale 2011 $27 ★★★½ This is a lush, spicy blend of shiraz and grenache which carries an exotic, slightly medicinal aroma that wraps around slightly earthy characters like prunes and pepper.  There’s also a lovely smoky, nutty note and a long, gently savoury finish. Winemaker Jock Harvey fashioned the Sidetrack in […]

Santagostino Nero D’Avola Syrah 2011

Santagostino Nero D’Avola Syrah 2011 $30 ★★★★ The groovy, gothic-style circular design on the label comes from the façade of the 14th century Sicilian Santagostino Monastry in Trapani, so yes, the bottle looks good, but it tastes like money too. Liquorice, raspberry, dusty rose and pepper aromatics merge with rosehip and pomegranate flavours, fresh acidity, […]

Allan Scott Cecilia Brut Vintage 2011

Allan Scott Cecilia Brut Vintage 2011 $28 ★★★★ The Scott family have been making wine in Marlborough since way back in 1990, however it’s only been in recent years that their sparkling wines have really started to make a real impact, well on my palate anyway.  This vintage Methode Traditionnelle is crafted from chardonnay only […]

Carpineto Dogajolo Rosso Toscano 2011

Carpineto Dogajolo Rosso Toscano 2011 $22 ★★★ A lighter style of red that’ll appeal to those who like a soft, savoury edge to their reds, this Italian quaffer has a flick of dried herbs, gentle meaty notes and a smooth, easy-to-drink style.  www.blackmarket.com  

Marisco Pride and Glory Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011

Marisco Pride and Glory Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 $65 ★★★★★ Yes, you saw it correctly, a four year old sauvignon blanc that’s a new release!  For Brent Marris and his team this has been a special project to produce a sassily complex sauvignon sourced from the Waihopai Valley that oozes white peach, lemon verbena, creamy […]

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