Waimea Nelson Gewurztraminer 2016 $23 (4 stars)

Winemaker Hamish Kempthorne has crammed a cruise-ship sized chunk of creamy florals, luscious lychee, peach and ginger-dusted, musky notes into this bottle. Waimea produce crisp, satisfying, richly flavoured aromatic whites that, if I had my way, would be less of a secret and more of a ‘mustsip’. Try this with your next Thai green chicken […]

Pukeora Estate Ruahine Range Pinot Gris 2015/2016 $21 (4 stars)

It’s a rare thing to see these days, blending two vintages of a still wine together (multi-vintage blending is common in sparklings), yet winemaker Max Annabell has made this work. A tiny pinot gris harvest in 2015 meant the wine was kept aside and when an equally tiny (but delicious) vintage followed in 2016, he […]

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Merlot Cabernet Franc Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec 2015 $22.70 (4 stars)

Fans of softly structured, fleshy, fabulous merlot-dominated reds can kick off their shoes, flick on the telly and pour a glass of this and be confident that it’ll deliver in every respect. Dark red fruits, peppery, cocoa and dried herb characters, deliciously dusty tannins and a long, fresh finish make this a must sip with […]

Hunter’s Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017 $21 (4.5 stars)

I really love the elderflower, lemon pith and passionfruit aromas and its plethora of deeply punchy and pungent flavours. Hunter’s are an absolute aristocrat when it comes to creating darn delicious sauvignon blanc, because they’ve seen it all and been through everything nature could possibly throw at them, so they know how to ensure that […]

Mahi Marlborough Rosé 2017 $22

In Māori, ‘mahi’ means many things. It can mean ‘to ferment’ (verb) or (noun) ‘an abundance of’, it can even mean the ‘mast’ of a ship, but I prefer the multipurpose nounverb ‘work’. As in “You do the ‘mahi’, you get the treats” because that’s exactly what you get with this wine. Treats galore. Delicate […]

Mills Reef Reserve Hawke’s Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2017 $24.95 (3.5 stars)

Crafted from fruit sourced from Crownthorpe (or as the locals call it “the RD9”) this sauvignon has gentle lemongrass and basil and peach aromatics followed by soft tropical layers on the palate. Freshly herbaceous and a winner with beer battered terakihi. www.millsreef.co.nz  

Johner Estate Wairarapa Riesling 2016 $20 (4 stars)

Karl Heinz Johner makes wine in opposite hemispheres, with family estates in Baden, (in Germany’s Kaiserstuhl region) AND in Martinborough’s Gladstone sub-region. Riesling is a hero grape for him and he loves the crunchy green acidity, pear notes, baked pipfruit, lime zest and honey characters that Martinborough grapes give. So much so that he’s decided […]

Lake Hayes Central Otago Pinot Gris 2017 $24 (4.5 stars)

This is a definite new favourite for me because I love the pure pear, apple and cleansing, quince-like characters in this wine. Produced by the talented team at Amisfield, it’s a bracingly fresh, fruit-focused gris that pops with personality and brightness. There’s a twang of natural sweetness upfront, yet it finishes refreshingly dry and zesty. […]

La Marca Prosecco D.O.C $24-$27

How stylish is this bottle? It shouldn’t matter I know, but it helps if it looks like money on the table right. Unlike many Prosecco’s on the market, it’s not sweet. In fact it’s deliciously dry, snappy-fresh, citrus-driven and has a light, ‘frizzante’ texture, so it doesn’t erupt in your mouth like a fizz-bomb. Instead […]

Stonecroft Gimblett Gravels Rosé 2017 $22 (3.5 stars)

Certified organic syrah grapes have been used to craft this dry and mineral-driven rosé that’s light and lean and best served super-chilled. Not overly full or spicy, it’s a tangy, fruity, refreshing quaffer. www.stonecroft.co.nz

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