Pask Declaration Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2014 $50

Glossy and gorgeous in the glass, this syrah is exactly the style that made wine pundits prick up their palates when it came to how good the Gimblett Gravels really is for this variety. The nose hits that beautiful balance of red berries, cherry, peppercorn, red rose, and violets, and the palate is ridiculously succulent […]

Black Barn Hawke’s Bay Merlot Malbec Cabernet 2014 $33 (4.5 stars)

Winemaker Dave McKee is like a silent assassin. He just quietly shuffles about in Black Barn’s ridiculously tiny winery each year, never saying boo about how the wine is tasting until he’s fully confident that it’s in the bottle safely – and even then he doesn’t give anything away. Fleshy, plum-saturated, seriously smooth and bursting […]

Alpha Domus Hawke’s Bay The Navigator 2014 $32 (4.5 stars)

Close your eyes and imagine this wine being a shiny, skintight, leopard print suit inside chunky, glittery platform boots. It’s David Lee Roth in a bottle basically. Suspended on wires above an arena, belting out ‘Jump!’ It’s a slick, masculine, Hollywood wine that’s impenetrably dark and doused with blackberry, plum, boysenberry and voluptuously spicy characters. […]

Quest Farm Grand Central Pinot Noir 2014 $28 (4 stars)

If silky, slippery, spice-saturated pinot noir for under $30 is your jam then get the good glasses out of the cabinet and get ready to pour. Crafted by Mark Mason (one of the founders of Sacred Hill) and viticultural consultant Michelle Crawford, this frisky four year old has buckets of moody, broody cherry and boxwood […]

Macaw Creek Organic Preservative Free Mt Lofty Shiraz 2014 $26

Located in the Gilbert Valley, in the Mount Lofty Ranges east of Adelaide, Macaw Creek are responsible for a rather rare thing, creating a shiraz made without sulphur dioxide or other preservatives and… It’s. Actually. Very. Good*. Pure, fruity and packed solid with raspberry, blackcurrant and cherry characters, its super-fresh, plucky and very pretty. Sip […]

Te Awa Single Estate Hawke’s Bay Tempranillo 2014 $29.99 (4.5 stars)

Hands up if you even knew tempranillo was being grown in Hawke’s Bay? Not many if any I’ll vouch. The grape responsible for producing the great Rioja’s of Spain has found a happy home smack bang in the middle of the Gimblett Gravels and it’s thriving. Chock full of intense dark berries, intense dark cocoa, […]

Eight Ranges Central Otago Pinot Noir 2014 $38

Brian Biggs has enlisted the legendary Matt Connell to craft this softly spiced, cherry cola scented sip.  Clean, precise, showing classic red fruits, a hint of cocoa, leafy notes and lovely, silky layers on the finish.

My notes on Obsidian Waiheke Island new releases…

Obsidian Reserve Waiheke Island Chardonnay 2017 $48 The stylish, chablis-like elegance of this wine makes it a showstopper for me. I love the purity of fruit, intense citrus, and minerality on the mid-palate, peachy backbone and the dusting of subtle nutty notes on the finish. It’s a beautifully balanced example and I’m officially obsessed with […]

Te Hera Reserve Martinborough Pinot Noir 2014 $42 (5 stars)

Prepare for a spice overload in this certified organic example from the lovely John Douglas at Te Hera. I say ‘lovely’ because he is quite possibly the smiliest man in all the Wairarapa. What he’s able to produce from his tiny Te Muna Terraces site is year-after-year is reliably delicious, like he’s some sort of […]

Karikari Estate Northland Chardonnay 2014 $45 (5 stars)

Creamy, creamy and creamy! Prepare for a tidal wave of tropical gloriousness to break and crash across the nose and palate. Sweet fruit concentration, macadamia and cashew complexity to create a butterscotchy bodaciousness that’ll blindside you. Maturing beautifully, fresh and frolicsome, caramelised and concentrated. Absolutely gorgeous. www.karikariestate.co.nz

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