My notes on Obsidian Waiheke Island new releases…

Obsidian Reserve Waiheke Island Chardonnay 2017 $48 The stylish, chablis-like elegance of this wine makes it a showstopper for me. I love the purity of fruit, intense citrus, and minerality on the mid-palate, peachy backbone and the dusting of subtle nutty notes on the finish. It’s a beautifully balanced example and I’m officially obsessed with […]

Osawa Wines Prestige Collection Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2015 $50 (4.5 stars)

Osawa’s chardonnay vines send their roots down deep into the soils on a river terrace about 30 minutes west of Hastings, where the boulders along the rows are so big they’re called “Mangatahi Swedes” by the local farmers. With aromas of grilled grapefruit, struck match, flinty intensity and lemony notes – it’s hard to pull […]

Felton Road Block 2 Central Otago Chardonnay 2016 $51 (5 stars)

Right in the front of the winery is the Elms Vineyard and this chardonnay comes from select vines, the oldest ones, within that site. Grown organically, and carefully shepherded into the bottle by winemaker Blair Walter, there’s a creamy, luxurious soul to this chardonnay, softly caramelised oak, roasted stonefruit and it’s impeccably balanced and sexy […]

Passage Rock Reserve Waiheke Island Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2014 $50

This is Passage Rock’s flagship red. Using only the best looking and best behaved berries, the winemaking team have fashioned a deliciously dense and sultry wine, perfumed with bouquet garni herbs, dark cocoa, espresso and smoke. Ribsticking and robust to drink, it has dusty tannins, fresh fruit saturation and marathon-like length of flavour. Sip with: […]

Giesen Single Vineyard Selection Clayvin Marlborough Pinot Noir 2013 $56.99 (5 stars)

Fact. Clayvin is the most famous pinot noir vineyard in the country and it’s now lovingly looked after by Marcel Giesen. Perfumed with red rose, fresh-cut tamarillo, red cherry, wild-grown herbs and a hint of pepper, this is sultry elegance personified. The feeling I get tasting this wine is very similar to how I feel […]

Linden Estate Reserve Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2014 $50.00

In 2010 Trevor Shepherd talked his way into a job at Linden, where for four years he toiled (unpaid mostly) to restore the vines and get the decrepit, but legendary winery back up to scratch. It’s clearly worked. There’s a bold, fleshy plum and cocoa character to this wine, complete with grippy tannins, smoky warmth […]

Unison Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2013 $55.00

Tucked away down a long, olive-lined shingle driveway in the middle of the Gimblett Gravels is a tiny winery where Unison’s owner Philip Horn and winemaker Jenny Dobson toil tirelessly to create some of Hawke’s Bay’s most sought after reds. This syrah hails from “the vintage of the century” according to the locals, and it’s […]

Bannock Brae Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015 $52

Heaving with black tea, soused cherries, tamarillo and truffle, this is a flavour-laden, silky-textured and seductive southern star.  Beautifully juicy and edged with allspice, it’s a generously proportioned yet totally sophisticated performer; Adele in a bottle if you will. Sip with: pork and plum casserole. www.bannockbrae.co.nz

Champagne Jean Josselin Audace Rosé NV $57

This deliciously dry, melon and raspberry-licked lovely is an exercise in elegance combined with fulsome generosity. A delicate line of cherry zips through the mid-palate and merges with creamy, cashew and yeasty complexity combined with berry brioche bodaciousness. It’s an extremely sexy champagne indeed. Sip with: Oysters Charantaise www.threefrenchvines.co.nz

Peregrine Central Otago Methode Traditionnelle NV $50

Frustratingly small amounts are made of this blissfully good blend of 58% pinot noir and 42% chardonnay, but it’s one that any lover of fine fizz should seek out immediately. Crafted by Nadine Cross, it boasts soft, lemon shortbread and rising dough aromas, finely tuned acidity and a rich, creamy, textural finish. Sip with: a […]

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