Three Dark Horses Frank Ernest McLaren Vale Shiraz 2015 $50 (4.5 stars)

The three ‘dark horses’ are Matt Broomhead, his father and his grandfather Frank, who all decided on a handshake to go into the wine growing caper together around 8 years ago. This deeply inky shiraz is sourced from 70 year old bush vines grown in their Romano vineyard. Wild-fermented with 20% whole clusters and matured […]

Sons of Eden Selene Barossa Valley Tempranillo 2014 $54.95 (5 stars)

The ‘sons’ happen to be young winemakers Corey Ryan and Simon Cowham and they’ve named this wine after the Greek Goddess of the moon, fertility and productivity, which is all very lovely. However I really love the aromas of dark berries and salted caramel, saddle leather and its whiff of old sawmill. It’s also incredibly […]

The Fifth Innings Limited Release Marlborough Chardonnay 2016 $59

Only 600 bottles were made of this wine and they’re all individually numbered. While numbers are things you can count on, safety is definitely not on the agenda for this chardonnay. It’s huge in every respect and those with a delicate constitution may opt for something more tame because this wine will ruck and maul […]

Giesen The Fuder Clayvin Marlborough Chardonnay 2014 $55.99

If there’s such a thing as a taste orgasm then this incredible wine delivers them relentlessly. In multiples. Sipping it rendered me incapable of commanding the English language save for mumbling the occasional “oh wow” and “more please”. Sourced from Clayvin, one of the nation’s most famous vineyards, it bursts with grapefruit, ripe nectarine and […]

Ostler Caroline’s Waitaki Pinot Noir 2016 $50 (5 stars)

Located on the cusp of South Canterbury and North Otago, Waitaki is an extreme place, like the last frontier for winegrowing, because it’s such a harsh environment. Jim Jerram however, is like the Gandalf of grape growing down there, and occasionally, when the weather gods shine on him, he’s able to eke out enough precious […]

Pask Declaration Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2014 $50

Glossy and gorgeous in the glass, this syrah is exactly the style that made wine pundits prick up their palates when it came to how good the Gimblett Gravels really is for this variety. The nose hits that beautiful balance of red berries, cherry, peppercorn, red rose, and violets, and the palate is ridiculously succulent […]

Matawhero Irwin Gisborne Chardonnay 2016 $59.99

Launched in September 2017 as Matawhero’s first-time, flagship wine, this chardonnay has so many French hallmarks I think I’m going to christen it a ‘Gisburgundy’ style.  And yet no French oak was used, instead the grapes were crushed and fermented wild in a combo of American and Hungarian barrels which imprint a smoked vanilla character […]

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 […]

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