Saint Clair Pioneer Block 17 Plateau Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Merlot 2015 $37.90 (4.5 stars)

I love the lift of pepper, plum, cocoa and buckets of fruit cake spices this wine possesses.  It’s beautifully balanced with smooth, cuddly undertones and elegant, finely-grained tannins. Fleshy, succulent and seriously good. Clearly the team at Saint Clair in Marlborough are now experts in dealing with smoulderingly good fruit from Hawke’s Bay’s Gimblett Gravels […]

Byrne Vineyard Te Puna Syrah 2015 $42

Sourced from a tiny patch of land overlooking the jawdroppingly picturesque Te Puna inlet, this smooth, inky-maroon, unfiltered syrah just bursts with fresh berries, subtle cocoa and plucky pepper characters. 10% whole bunch fermented, 50% of which was aged in new French oak, this is fleshy, earthy fabulousness in a bottle. Sip with: Classic beef […]

Byrne Vineyard Waingaro Syrah 2015 $32

Ben’s original syrah, sourced from 5 clones grown on his tiny, north-facing block overlooking Lake Waingaro, Kerikeri’s main water supply, is 30% whole bunch fermented with a splash of viogier and some extra viognier skins to boost the aromatic lift.  Glossy, gorgeous and perfumed with pepper, violets, bay, cocoa and a hint of apricot kernel, […]

Byrne Vineyard Puketotara Syrah 2015 $24

Here you have 100% whole bunch fermented, ‘Chave’ clone syrah from the volcanic loam soils of the Fat Pig vineyard on Puketotara Road in Waipapa. Gently foot-stomped and aged in old French oak, this syrah is a delicate example, weighing in at just 11.5% alcohol. Scented with green peppercorn and violets, it has a plush, […]

Mahana Davey’s Lease Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2015 $42 (4stars)

Winemaker Michael Glover has thrown so many ‘non-sauvignon’ techniques at this wine, it’s now something that might be sauvignon, but not as we know it.  Bright, glossy, golden and boasting a lean, smoky, watercressy nose and a palate layered with almond meal, celery seed, bay and tarragon characters.  A combo of French oak and acacia […]

Nga Waka Home Block Martinborough Chardonnay 2015 $40

If you’re a fan of buttery chardonnay, this brand new vintage from Martinborough’s Parkinson family will have you grinning.  With roasty, toasty, nutty notes gleaned from barrel fermentation, soft, creamy layers from the full malolactic ferment and tangy nectarine and peach flavours soaking through to the finish, it’s a ‘thinkers’ chardonnay.  I’m also certain it’ll […]

Bladen Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015 $21

The thing that I really like about this wine is that it doesn’t have any thing OTT about it.  All the citrus layers of lemon, lime and feijoa are contained in layers of sweet, grassy goodness.  Elegant and herbaceous, it’s a wine that Christine and Dave MacDonald have done themselves proud with this snazzy, pea-pod […]

Craggy Range Gimblet Gravels Chardonnay 2015 $31.95

This is a sexy example of how restraint can be applied to quality Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay fruit.  People assume that because a wine is from the rockstar region of the Gimblett Gravels that it’s going to be a monster.  Yet this wine proves the opposite is just as impressive.  It shows really artistry at play, […]

Two Rivers Wairau Selection Marlborough Pinot Gris 2015 $25

There’s a sea of pinot gris out there and it can feel like a bit of a lottery trying to find one that ticks all your boxes.  Yet here’s one that somehow manages to pack ripe, musky pear, quince and strudel spices into the bottle alongside a canon of crunchy-crisp nashi notes, a bright, mineral […]

Neudorf Rosie’s Block Nelson Chardonnay 2015 $33 ★★★★

Five different clones were hand harvested, fermented with wild yeasts and blended to create this buttered-crumpet-smelling chardonnay, which quickly unveils a backbone of grilled nectarine and grapefruit pith alongside deliciously textural, creamy almond characters in the mid palate.  It’s a juicy, cheek-puckering style that pretty much makes everything you consume with it positively bounce around […]

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