Johner Gladstone Syrah 2013 $50

Reds-wise, people tend to think the Wairarapa is pinot noir country, but sensational syrah is their secret little talent.  Earthy, gamey aromatic layers of smoke, old leather, cocoa and pepper entice the nose and osmose into the palate leaving a juicy, succulent and seriously savoury impression. Sip with: Strong, crumbly aged cheddar www.johner-estate.com

The Landing Bay of Islands Syrah 2013 $38

Wow!  Grown atop the so-beautiful-it’s-unreal Purerua Peninsula in the Bay of Islands and crafted by the legendary Rod MacIvor at Marsden Estate in Kerikeri, this syrah has alluring aromas of vanilla-spiced plum and lush, dark berryfruits, followed by a velvety-smooth, densely concentrated mouthfeel and finish. Sip with: slivers of venison salami www.thelandingvineyard.com

Tesch Krone Riesling 2013 $39

If riesling with a kiss of green apple, lime and ripe peachiness sounds like a bit of you, then wait until you sip this dry little dazzler.  Tesch’s Krone vineyard in the town of Laubenheim, lies directly next to the Löhrer Berg on an eyewateringly steep slope consisting of coarse, decalcified loess and weathered sandstone […]

Ernesto Catena Animal Natural Vineyards Malbec 2013 $31

I was seduced by the rich, sweet choco-espresso note on the nose and the lift of dried herb and earthy, succulence in this little bit of magic from Mendoza, Argentina.  It’s deliciously balanced and juicy and I love the layers of liquorice, wild pork and pepper and I also just love love love the label!  […]

Sticks Yarra Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 $29

Here’s an ultra-fresh, leafy cabernet that’s loaded with blackberry, boysenberry and ribsticking raspberry notes.  The acidity is gentle, yet adds to the powdery grip of the tannins around your back teeth.  There’s even a smidge of roast beetroot and cocoa powder on the finish also. Sip with: venison burgers For local stockists email daberhart@redwhitecellar.co.nz

Duca Di Castelmonte Diantha 2013 $22 ★★★★

Made from a blend of Malvasia and Grecanico, this delicious wine has the most alluring, musky-sweet, nashi pear and lemon blossom perfume and it’s so fresh and crisp and delicately fruity on the palate that it’s perfect for seafood dishes that feature a splash of chilli and spice.  The shiny, new, state-of-the-art winery is located […]

Pegasus Bay Waipara Merlot Cabernet 2013 $31.50 ★★★½

Southern-style Bordeaux blends might not have been on your radar before, but a sip of this will have you honing in on it pronto.  Deeply savoury aromas of soy, black olive, dark berries, dusty cocoa characters and dried bay and thyme all cuddle around plump, ripe plum and bold spicy fruity flavours.  Caramelised oak and […]

Staete Landt Annabel Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 $22 ★★★★½

This is absolutely my kind of sauvignon, something that pushes the envelope just a smidge, away from the capsicum and cats pee and into a spectrum of lemongrass, basil, marzipan and intense white peach and pepper characters.  Winemaker Ruud Maasdam has created a wine with real tension and tautness – and having a couple of […]

Stanley Estates Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2013 $19.99 ★★★½

This canny Awatere Valley producer has beefed up their portfolio by buying up a bunch of quality Hawke’s Bay fruit from a bumper vintage, to create a bold, berry-driven bottle of niceness and spiceness.  There’s a soft, powdery ‘chew’ to the texture of this wine, which ticks pretty much every box for good, flavoursome, all-purpose […]

Pruners Reward Waipara Pinot Noir 2013 $25 ★★★★

This is a very snazzy mid-priced label produced by the talented Porter family team at Bellbird Spring.  Don’t let the light, brick-red colour fool you, this is quite a dense and complex wine.  Scented with wild strawberry, cherry, pot pourri, sandalwood and allspice, plus it has lovely silky texture and deliciously savoury freshness.  It’s extremely […]

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