Lime Rock White Knuckle Hill Central Hawke’s Bay Pinot Noir 2013 $60 (5 stars)

The White Knuckle is a vertigo-inducingly steep vineyard where large life insurance policies are necessary for the mug that loses the toss to tackle it with the tractor. It’s worth the pain and fear because the ripe cherry and spice-saturated flavours are sensational.  Only made in years when the fruit is exceptional, it smells like […]

Moët & Chandon Imperial Golden Sparkle Limited Edition NV $69

I love the aromas of rising dough, biscuity notes, and almond meal drizzled with lemon and a touch of tropical fruit in this festive fizz. On the palate it’s zesty and dry, full, yeasty and edged with a squeak of citrus to elongate the flavour layers. The bead is delicate, it looks and tastes like […]

Moet & Chandon Ice Imperial Champagne $69.99 (4 stars)

Here’s the opposite of what Moet used to be all about.  Lean, dry and minerally, this is not.  Fat, tropical tones, peach and sweet, musky layers that cry out to be poured over ice and sprinkled with mint or flecks of dried berries.  Apricot, caramelised characters and a rich, luxurious sweetness wash across the palate […]

Brancott Estate Reflection Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc/Sauvignon Gris 2016 $60 (5 stars)

This blend of the top parcels of sauvignon blanc and sauvignon gris that Brancott’s winemaker Patrick Materman has had his eye on for aeons, this unique wine has exotic aromas of white peach, marzipan, elderflower and a hint of lemongrass.  Juicy, mouthfilling and incredibly textural, it’s absolutely gorgeous to sip.  Created in collaboration with New […]

Quinta Da Romaneira 10 Year Old Tawny Port $64.90

Da Romaneira are one of the oldest Quintas in Portugals’ Douro Valley and this 10 YO Tawny is produced from a blend of  old ports made from Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Barroca that have an average age of 10 years before bottling.  Russet-coloured, perfumed with caramelized raisin, roasted, nutty notes, dried […]

Bodegas Olivares Dulce Monastrell 2013 500ml $63

Looking for the ultimate sweet red wine?  Deep in the heart of Jumilla in Spain grows a patch of ancient, ungrafted, monastrell vines owned by Bodegas Olivares.  The bunches are left on the vine long into the autumn to naturally begin to raisin.  This concentrates the blackcurrant intensity and spicy, caramelized characters, resulting in a […]

Heron’s Flight Sangiovese Reserve 2013 $60

Holy squid squirt Batman!  This is quite possibly the inkiest, darkest wine I’ve sipped in forever.  Glossy magenta-black in the glass and showing mountains of mellow, meaty magic, soft spices, a hint of soy, olive and gently dusty tannins to tie it all up on the way down. Pricey, but oh so nicey from a […]

Villa Maria Reserve Library Release Gimblett Gravels Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 $69.99 (5 stars)

Impenetrably inky in the glass, brooding and stormy and saturated with tobacco leaf, sandalwood, Christmas cake spices and cocoa, this is my favourite of the Library Release wines.  The mouthfeel is elegant, slippery and edged with an earthy grip around a core of dark berryfruit.  Love it! www.villamaria.co.nz

Villa Maria Reserve Library Release Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 $69.99 (5stars)

Eight years on from harvest and this straight cabernet still bright, buoyant and incredibly fresh.  I love how plucky and precise the fruit is, the berry and plum definition is just lovely and an injection of smoky cedar really fleshes out this delicious experience.  This is great kiwi cabernet right here and it’s a treat […]

Villa Maria Reserve Library Release Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2009 $69.99 (4.5 stars)

Purple-black and gorgeously glossy in the glass, this is a deliciously dense, berry-saturated cabernet blend edged with bouquet garni herbs and cocoa characters.  Softly peppered, fleshy and plump in the mouth and boasting a line of black olive, bay and smoke, it’s a big blend with real pluck and personality. www.villamaria.co.nz

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