Saint Clair Pioneer Block 17 Plateau Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Merlot 2015 $37.90 (4.5 stars)

I love the lift of pepper, plum, cocoa and buckets of fruit cake spices this wine possesses.  It’s beautifully balanced with smooth, cuddly undertones and elegant, finely-grained tannins. Fleshy, succulent and seriously good. Clearly the team at Saint Clair in Marlborough are now experts in dealing with smoulderingly good fruit from Hawke’s Bay’s Gimblett Gravels […]

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 […]

Sottano Reserva de Familia Malbec 2012 $43 (4 stars)

Dense inky, muscular and shows a strong core of dark boysenberry, blackcurrant leaf, charred capsicum, and sensational smoky, meaty layers.  The texture of the tannins is chewy and deliciously drying, while a strong current of pepper and cocoa carry through to a long, persistent finish.  Enjoy with blackened lamb shoulder and pomegranate glaze. For info […]

Byrne Vineyard Te Puna Syrah 2015 $42

Sourced from a tiny patch of land overlooking the jawdroppingly picturesque Te Puna inlet, this smooth, inky-maroon, unfiltered syrah just bursts with fresh berries, subtle cocoa and plucky pepper characters. 10% whole bunch fermented, 50% of which was aged in new French oak, this is fleshy, earthy fabulousness in a bottle. Sip with: Classic beef […]

Mahana Davey’s Lease Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2015 $42 (4stars)

Winemaker Michael Glover has thrown so many ‘non-sauvignon’ techniques at this wine, it’s now something that might be sauvignon, but not as we know it.  Bright, glossy, golden and boasting a lean, smoky, watercressy nose and a palate layered with almond meal, celery seed, bay and tarragon characters.  A combo of French oak and acacia […]

Karven Bianco Vermouth 500ml $44.95

The lift of fresh orange zest, intense spices and a mouthfeel so smooth and seductive, it’s no surprise that good vermouth has been used for centuries to aid digestive health and fire up even the most flaccid of libidos.  Created from local grapes and botanicals like kawakawa and horopito sourced from near the Riverhead-based distillery, […]

Nga Waka Home Block Martinborough Chardonnay 2015 $40

If you’re a fan of buttery chardonnay, this brand new vintage from Martinborough’s Parkinson family will have you grinning.  With roasty, toasty, nutty notes gleaned from barrel fermentation, soft, creamy layers from the full malolactic ferment and tangy nectarine and peach flavours soaking through to the finish, it’s a ‘thinkers’ chardonnay.  I’m also certain it’ll […]

Fontanafredda Le Fronde Moscato d’Asti 2013 $35

At just 5% alcohol, this is a super-light, super-sweet little sip that’ll perk up even the most jaded tastebuds.  Forget any past experiences with bad old, mass-produced Asti because this is the genuine article.  Pure, uncut awesomeness.  With a deliciously delicate, creamy mousse, lifted, musky apricot and honeysuckle flavours and a long, spritzy finish – […]

Ma Maison Martinborough Chardonnay 2014 $45

Wellington-based dentist-by-trade Edward Leung has worked incredibly hard to produce small amounts of high quality chardonnay from his How on earth winemaker Wendy Potts manages to inject layers of crème caramel, roast nectarine, cinnamon and juicy, grilled grapefruit into this wine I’ll never know.  She’ll tell you it’s all in the fruit, whereas I think […]

Churton ‘Best End’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 $47

Visit Churton, in winter and you’re likely to spend a lot of time up on a hill looking at “poo pits” and sniffing compost.  The winter solstice is when owners Mandy and Sam Weaver choose to release their wines.  “In an agricultural sense it’s when one year ends and another begins” explains Sam.  “The earth […]

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