Hunter’s Unoaked Marlborough Chardonnay 2016 $18.99 (4 stars)

It’s funny how if you put the word ‘un’ in front of something, people assume it’s going to be somehow lacking. They’ll have to eat their hats, however, because this heavenly little creature from Hunters hits all the right spots. Juicy nectarine and grapefruity goodness on the nose leads to layers of lemon and peach […]

Brancott Estate Reflection Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc/Sauvignon Gris 2016 $60 (5 stars)

This blend of the top parcels of sauvignon blanc and sauvignon gris that Brancott’s winemaker Patrick Materman has had his eye on for aeons, this unique wine has exotic aromas of white peach, marzipan, elderflower and a hint of lemongrass.  Juicy, mouthfilling and incredibly textural, it’s absolutely gorgeous to sip.  Created in collaboration with New […]

Sacred Hill Riflemans Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016 $70 (4.5 stars)

The thing that I love about Riflemans chardonnay is that it doesn’t follow any model, any recipe.  It’s simply the absolute best example that Sacred Hill can possibly produce, from the fruit sourced from the tiny, heritage, own-rooted Mendoza block high up on the chalky terraces of the Dartmoor Valley.  Clean, precise grapefruit pith layers […]

Ernesto Catena Padrillos Malbec 2016 $22 (4 stars)

It was SO exciting to open this new vintage of one of my favourite wines from last year to see that it’s just as delicious, albeit better than the 2014.  Fresh acidity, perfectly prickly alcohol and layers of dark berries, cocoa powder, roast beetroot and a squeak of tobacco.  ‘Padrillos’ means ‘stallion’ in Spanish, named […]

Snapper Rock Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016 $16 (3 stars)

If you’re looking for a peach-packed quaffer then you’ve come to the right place.  Soft pineapple and a splash of caramel add character to the wine and a creamy layer in the middle of the mouth brings a buttery finish.  Simple but seriously sippable. www.glengarrywines.co.nz

Domaine de Pennautier Rosé 2016 $19.99

Don’t let the ultra-pale, barely-apricot hue fool you because this southern French star has flavour in spades.  Soft stonefruit, chalky, delicacy on the nose leads to a snappy-dry, clean-as-a-whistle mid palate that rolls out fresh rockmelon and pepper.  Flinty and fabulous. Sip with: pan seared gurnard topped with mint, melon and basil salsa. www.poshslosh.co.nz

Saint Clair Premium Marlborough Chardonnay 2016 $14.95 (4 stars)

This is a real crowd-pleaser of a chardonnay that ticks all the boxes for tropical tastiness, toasty, nutty notes and some plucky peachy layers that’ll keep everyone happy.  Softer-styled and supple acidity adds extra complexity to the mouthfeel. www.saintclair.co.nz  

Valli Gibbston Vineyard Central Otago Pinot Gris 2016 $30 (5 star)

Created by the master pinot craftsman Grant Taylor, comes my new favourite pinot gris. Lovely nashi pear, peach and the softest of ginger flavours makes this Gibbston-grown gris kick start a happy dance in the mouth.  With a rich, creamy, textural mouthfeel and huge palate appeal, you’d best be quick to get your mits on […]

Judge Rock Central Otago Riesling 2016 $24

A lovely, honey-biscuit aroma leads to soft apple and citrus concentration in this Alexandra-grown goblet of goodness.  A burst of natural sweetness is balanced out by crushed shell minerality, tangy acidity and spicy complexity on the finish.  Textural and taut. Sip with: garlic smoked mussels. www.judgerock.co.nz  

Tohu Single Vineyard Marlborough Riesling 2016 $19.66

The soft, spicy apple and lime aromas of this beautifully bone-dry riesling really appeal.  Immediately zesty and gum-tingling on the palate, boatloads of mandarin, lemon, and grapefruity goodness abound on the finish. Sip with: parsley and panko crusted fish fillets. www.tohuwines.co.nz  

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