Bellbird Spring Waipara Pinot Noir Rosé 2017 $26 (4 stars)

Guy Porter and his family are all hands on deck when it comes to making this unique style of rosé.  100% pinot noir grapes are crushed and fermented ultra-dry in old oak barrels to add to the complexity and character.  Mineral-driven, peppery, lipsmackingly dry – it’s a lean, clean style that’ll work beautifully with slabs […]

Coal Pit Central Otago Rosé 2017 $26.95 (4 stars)

With its enticing aromas of candyfloss, creaming soda and Eton Mess pudding, this shiny new pinot noir-based rosé also bursts with redcurrant, pink peppercorn and lipsmacking acidity. It’s a very complete wine, saturated with flavour while being delicate and stylish to the ‘nth’ degree. Sip with: pear and prosciutto salad. www.coalpitwine.com

Bird Wines Big Barrel Marlborough Pinot Noir 2015 $29.95 (4 stars)

Steve Bird employs the ‘Vernou Roll’ method to make this wine.  A process where he uses big old 900L barrels for fermentation and maturation.  Gently rolling the barrels regularly to allow greater integration of the oak flavours and the grippy, textural components.  Red rose, black cherry, smoke and a deeply succulent texture makes this one […]

Cloudy Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017 $32

Lucky Aucklanders can sip this snazzy new release at the Cloudy Bay ‘Sail Away’ pop-up dining experience at Prego during November.  Everyone else will have to trust me when I say that the CB crew have injected zesty herbaceousness, plucky passionfruit and citrus friskiness into this iconic sauvignon blanc.  Lime, basil and a squeak of […]

Dog Point Vineyard Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017 $27

Not a fan of masses of squinty acidity in your sauvignon?  Then fret no longer, this will keep you safe and sound.  Mellow in the mid palate, edged with soft passionfruit, lemongrass and limey notes, it’s got summer florals on the nose and a feisty finish. Sip with: Pea, mint and feta fritters. www.dogpoint.co.nz  

  Saint Clair Pioneer Block 17 Plateau Gimblett Gravels Merlot 2014 $32.90 (4.5 stars)

Incredibly bright on the nose, bursting with ripe boysenberry, plum cherry and sweetly spiced, smoky notes.  Here’s a deeply flavoured, rich and satisfyingly fruity blend, with layers of leather and cocoa carrying through to the finish.  I love the refreshing, vibrant acidity and its gripping, yet supple tannins.  It’s a very precise yet plush and […]

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 […]

Millton Opou Vineyard Gisborne Riesling 2015 $28

Organic, biodynamically-grown goodness here from East Coast icons James and Annie Millton.  At just 8.5% alc, it’s retained a hefty whack of natural, honeysuckle-like sweetness which harmoniously connects with zesty, citrus-led freshness, apple, lime and all-round loveliness. Sip with: chicken tikka marsala. www.millton.co.nz

Amisfield Central Otago Sauvignon Blanc 2017 $25 (4 stars)

Most people don’t realise that some of New Zealands best sauvignon blanc can be found the further south you go.  Dr Stephanie Lambert and her team at Amisfield, near Lake Hayes have created a classic example oozing green bean, green capsicum, green herbs, sweet pea and serious amounts of citrus.  Full, fat and firing on […]

Cicada Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2015 $25 (4 stars)

Crafted by Kevin Courtney and his team at Riverby Estate in Marlborough, this is a hot blooded, power gewürztraminer.  There’s nothing blousy here, just a magic melange of lychee, ginger, grain spirit and a flinty, dry-as-dry texture. If you’ve been hesitant to venture back to gewürztraminer because of sickly sweet memories from decades ago then […]

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