The Family Company ‘Cosmos’ Methode Traditionelle $25 (3.5 stars)

“All life begins with a bang” says winemaker John Thorpe of his fun, Gisborne-grown sparkler.  Cosmos is made from 100% Chardonnay aged for just over two years in bottle before being released, it’s scented with lemon, breadcrust and yellow plum, and also boasts tangy citrus pith, nutty notes and creamy complexity on the finish. www.gisbornegourmet.com

Veuve Laperrière Brut Rose NV $17 (4 stars)

If you prefer your rosé to froth and fizz, then this is going to seriously float your boat.  Created in France’s Loire (“loo-aah”) Valley, this is a super-smooth, berries-and-cream-crammed wine that has really seductive mouthfeel.  There’s a squeak of sweetness and spice, alongside a rich, slightly nutty finish.  Richly structured, it’s a real crowd-pleaser and […]

Hunter’s MiruMiru Methode Traditionelle Brut NV $28.90 (5 stars)

From the first sniff and sip, you’ll completely understand why this is one of the most highly awarded sparkling wines in the country and a much-loved favourite of mine. Generous and lush, with rising dough and smoky aromatics,  stonefruit and citrus wash across the palate leaving a rich creamy, textural finish.  It’s fresh, stylish and […]

Leveret IQ Premium Brut NV $20 (4 stars)

This méthode traditionelle (the same method of making Champagne) is a regional blend of Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier that’s been disgorged after a minimum of 18 months on its yeast lees (the residue leftover from the ferment). These guys have been making high-end sparkling wine since aeons ago, and […]

Sileni Estates Sparkling Cuvée Pinot Gris NV $19 (2.5 stars)

I know packaging shouldn’t matter, but I really loathe those plastic ‘zork’ corks. The colour blue works on very few bottles and my eyes ache trying to digest more than 2 fonts on a label – but if you go beyond all the ‘busyness’ there’s actually an OK wine inside. Aromas of caramel apple brioche […]

Yeastie Boys ‘Pullyu’ 750ml $45 (as part of a gift pack)

Ever tried beer made with wine? Here’s your chance with this white ale that the Yeastie’s have added to their 2014 ‘Spoonbender’ series. Taking a small portion of Gladstone Vineyard’s ‘Pushmi’ white wine (sauvignon and viognier) to create a candy-sugar to use alongside the malts and hops in the brew, the ‘Pullyu’ is a strong, […]

Quartz Reef Central Otago Methode Traditionelle NV $30

New Zealand’s largest quartz rock deposit looks a bit like an underground reef, and it sits directly below Quartz Reef’s vineyards in the sub-region of Bendigo.  This biodynamically-grown, classically-styled fizz is a blend of pinot noir and chardonnay sourced from both Bendigo and a small patch of vines in Gibbston and it’s one of the […]

Kumeu River Kumeu Crémant NV $50 (4 star)

For aeons, Michael Brajkovich MW has turned out tasty pinot noir and jawdroppingly good chardonnay at every level.  So it was only a matter of time before he opted to marry the two under holy methode traditionelle matrimony.  A base of 60% chardonnay and 40% pinot noir were handpicked, whole bunch pressed and fermented with […]

Champagne Marion Bosser Extra Brut Blanc de Blanc NV $60

Enjoyed by First Class passengers on British Airways, and recent winner of the Chairman’s Trophy at the ‘Ultimate Wine Challenge’ in NYC, this jaw-slackingly sensational champagne from a tiny vineyard in Hautvillers (home of Dom Perignon) is made by all-female team of Bernadette Marion-Bosser (who rebuilt the brand back in 1994) and her young daughter […]

Matahiwi Estate Hawke’s Bay Blanc de Blanc NV $22

I love the melon and nectarine notes and the deliciously fine bubbles.  Lemon and  peach flavours ooz through to something deliciously dry and fruity – it’s a nicely structured sparkling wine crafted by Jane Cooper and her team at Matahiwi Estate.  It’s a sip that hits the spot in every way and has ‘celebration’ written […]

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