Château Trébiac Graves Rouge 2011 $27.20 (3.5 stars)

‘Graves’ translates to ‘gravelly land’ in French, and here’s a blend of 30% cabernet sauvignon and 70% merlot from this important subregion of Bordeaux, located on the left bank of the Garonne river.  It’s a medium-weight, savoury, soy and dark olive edged red with hints of prune, cocoa and smoke running through the middle.  The […]

Tony Bish Heartwood Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016 $35

The debut release this month from the chardonnay’s Commander in Chief is an exercise in pure balance and excess combined.  My quest for excellent chardonnay is basically what gets me up in the morning, so the day after sipping this, I had a blissful, snorey, sleep-in.   Fleshy, juicy, stonefruit notes combine with a whiff of […]

Murphy Goode California Chardonnay 2014 $25

Super-creamalicous on the nose and palate, this is classic California chardonnay from Santa Rosa that I’m sure will appeal to both mama’s and the papa’s and cool kids alike.  Bursting with ultra-ripe peach, coconut, vanilla and layers of roasty-toasty almond, it’s also fresh, citrusy and a total trop-fest on the palate. Sip with: Baked, cornflake-coated […]

Seresin Son and Moon Marlborough Pinot Noir 2013 $125

Organic, biodynamic and vegan-friendly, this gorgeous pinot noir smells like baking spices and sweet, dark cocoa dusted over caramelized plums served in a bowl carved from oak.  Seresin’s flagship pinot, the ‘purest expression’ they can make, is intense in the mouth, with high acidity and muscular, supple tannins. The length of flavour is persistent, brooding […]

Akarua RUA Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016 $25

Hugely spicy on the nose and palate, this shiny new southern star is heaving with hedgerow fruits, ripe cherry and berry notes, layers of leaf litter and sweet, succulent raspberry tea flavours.  Soft, sandy tannins add extra complexity. Sip with: Shredded Duck Burgers www.glengarrywines.co.nz

Canvas column week commencing 6th May, 2017

Schist Happens… This first weekend in May means two things.  1. For the next three months it’ll suck to be a duck, and 2.  It’ll be a non-stop Central Otago pinot noir party… Akarua RUA Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016 $25 Hugely spicy on the nose and palate, this shiny new southern star is heaving […]

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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, […]

Canvas column week commencing 29th April, 2017

In 2015, Northland winemaker Ben Byrne decided his parcels of fruit from three different syrah locations each had too much personality to lose if they were blended.  Hence, he bottled them individually and magic ensued… Byrne Vineyard Puketotara Syrah 2015 $24 Here you have 100% whole bunch fermented, ‘Chave’ clone syrah from the volcanic loam […]

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 […]

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