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!

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.

Champagne Marion Bosser Extra Brut Blanc de Blanc NV $60

Enjoyed by First Class passengers on British Airways, and recent winner of the Chairman’s Trophy at the ‘Ultimate Wine Challenge’ in NYC, this jaw-slackingly sensational champagne from a tiny vineyard in Hautvillers (home of Dom Perignon) is made by all-female team of Bernadette Marion-Bosser (who rebuilt the brand back in 1994) and her young daughter […]

Mudbrick Reserve Syrah 2014 $60

Fresh peppercorn, cherry, violet, pomegranate and liquorice layers kind of ‘peacocks tail’ it out across the palate, leaving dried herb and dark berry flavours cloaked in furry tannins.  Unlike some Waiheke syrahs that tend to the chunky side, this is an elegant example – the cigarette pants of syrah if you were to get fashionista […]

Escarpment Pahi Martinborough Pinot Noir 2014 $65

The fruit that goes into Pahi comes from 30 year old vines growing on the tiny ‘McReanor’ block on Princess Street in Martinborough.  Maturity is key with pinot noir, and under the wizard-like guidance of Larry McKenna (or McPinot to his mates) the wine bursts with mixed spice, rhubarb, black tea, cocoa and sandalwood notes.  […]

Vidal Legacy Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 $65 ★★★★★

Let’s just get it out there.  I was well and truly wowed from the first sip.  Just 12 barrels were made of this berry and spice-soaked cabernet crafted by Hugh Crichton and his team.  Stitched together with smoke, caramelised oak and dried thyme, the palate is also awash with juicy, plush and supremely elegant layers […]

Crown Range Cellar China Girl Central Otago Pinot Noir 2014 $64.90

Handpicked fruit from the Chinamans’ Terrace Vineyard in Bendigo has been crafted by pinot-guru Grant Taylor into a delicate and highly floral wine with clove and cherry characters on the nose and a rich, juicy and youthful palate boasting hints of dried herbs and charred tree bark on the finish.  Created to celebrate the hardworking […]

Esk Valley The Hillside Hawke’s Bay Malbec Merlot Cabernet Franc 2010 $69

Esk Valley’s ‘The Terraces’ is a magical blend of fruit grown in a tiny, 28 year old terraced vineyard overlooking the winery.  Occasionally there are stunning parcels of wine which don’t make it into the final blend and winemaker Gordon Russell has decided to create this, a sister blend called Hillside.  Rich, powerful and erupting […]

Sacred Hill Riflemans Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2015 $69.95

I’ve often said that when I die I want this wine piped into my veins instead of embalming fluid.  I want to take it with me to the grave it’s that good.  2015 saw superb growing conditions in Hawke’s Bay, the third exceptional year in a row for this national treasure vineyard to shine.  The […]

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