Moi Wines Waimauku Cabernet Franc 2015 $32

Young winemaker Renée Dale managed to secure some rare cabernet franc fruit from the Twin Totara vineyard out in Waimauku, and then rose every day at 4am to plunge the ferment before heading over to her other job at Westbrook Wines. Were those red-eye starts worth it? Yessir! The palate has glorious dark berries, blackcurrant, […]

Steininger Langenlois Kamptal Grüner Veltliner 2016 $29

Grüner Veltliner (groo-ner felt-leener) is the signature white grape of Austria, and the Langenlois-based Steininger family have been producing it in the beautiful Kamptal Valley for generations. Incredibly brisk and bracing and bursting with Golden Delicious apple, elderflower, pure white pepper and a flick-flack of fennel on the tongue, this is a crisp, precise and […]

Pukeora Estate Ruahine Range ‘The Benches’ 2013 $28

From what was heralded as the ‘vintage of the century’ comes this powerfully built blend of merlot, malbec, syrah and cabernet sauvignon from the limestone-laden hills of Central Hawke’s Bay. Sweet saddle-leather, pepper, mocha, hints of prune, liquorice and showing bold, juicy tannins – it’s a muscular, sinewy sip that has loads of life in […]

Ostler Lakeside Vines Waitaki Valley Pinot Gris 2017 $29.99 (4.5 stars)

Jeff Sinnott is the winemaker at Ostler, and together with his brother-in-law Jim Jerram, they’ve snaffled fruit from Jeff’s father Paul Sinnot’s vineyard on the banks of Lake Waitaki to create a luscious, quince and apple-saturated gris that zings with freshness and roars with life. The vineyard sits on land once named ‘Lemon Springs.’ Lemon […]

Earthkeepers Waitaki Otiake Blend #1 2016 $29

Grant Taylor, one of my favourite winemakers has turned his hand to crafting this bracing, tangy, citrus and spice-fuelled blend of pinot gris, riesling and gewurztraminer – and it’s just sensational. From one of the harshest winegrowing regions in NZ comes this dynamite, zesty, threesome, boasting a chalky-dry texture and a green apple finish. It’s […]

Moutere Hills Nelson ‘Chendoza’ Chenin Blanc 2015 $34

While it says ‘chenin blanc’ on the front label, this is actually a curious blend of chenin blanc and Mendoza-clone chardonnay, grown on the Moutere clay gravels of Rusty Rayne and Lisa Goodson’s Nelson vineyard. Toasty, apple-pie aromas merge with roast peach, almond meal and rich, grilled-grapefruit characters come from 11 months maturation in French […]

French Peak Canterbury Pinot Gris 2017

French Peak Canterbury Pinot Gris 2017 $30 Golden in the glass and powdery complexity and quincey characters, fresh apple and intensely dry.  Edged with white pepper and minerally, licking wet stones texture to it.  Bracing and bouncy, but seriously dry – so it’ll appeal to those who like wines that rip across the gums and […]

Urlar ‘The Mediator’ Gladstone Pinot Noir 2016 $32.50 (4 stars)

I love that the back label of this wine says to ‘put away until the cosmos tells you to enjoy it’ although I think it’s one to definitely be enjoyed now. Produced organically and biodynamically by Angus Thomson and their talented team, this is a bright-as-a-button pinot noir, bursting with cherry, raspberry and rosehip tea […]

Escarpment ‘Noir’ Martinborough Pinot Noir 2017 $30 (3 stars)

This is Larry McKenna’s (or Larry McPinot as he’s affectionately known) first foray into organic, minimal intervention, ‘natural’ winemaking and its, it’s ok. Unfined, unfiltered and minus any additions like sulphur (to prevent premature oxidation), this wine was fermented in a clay amphorae and left on its skins for around 9 months before being pressed […]

Brodie Estate Martinborough Pinot Noir 2011 $27.50 (4 stars)

Seven years on from vintage and this wine is at peak. The great thing is that it’s beautifully made and at under $30 is a bargain. Seriously juicy and woven through with wild strawberry, cherry and hints of pepper, it’s also got black tea and cranberry characters which lead to a long, tangy, spicy finish. […]

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