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

Clearview Estate Hawke’s Bay Old Olive Block 2015 $39 (4 stars)

Here’s a rumpty, ribsticking blend of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, malbec and merlot from talented winemaking duo Matt Kirby and Rob Bregman.  It’s inky-dark and boosted with aromas of blackcurrant leaf, cocoa powder, intense cherry and berry notes and a pinch of pepper.  Succulent and juicy to drink, there’s a line of herbaceousness that cloaks […]

Soho Zabeel Blue Blood Waiheke Island Reserve Blend 2014 $138 (5 stars)

Excruciatingly gorgeous to drink in that it’s torture knowing that your glass will eventually end.  I love the lift of vanilla, pepper, dark chocolate and intense boysenberry layers in this merlot syrah malbec blend by the talented team over at Soho.  Dense, dark berries, smoke, cured meats and solid, dusty oak creates supreme definition of […]

Pask Small Batch Wild Yeast Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016 $25

Kate Radburnd and her team at Pask decided to get jiggy on it with the wild yeasts during the 2016 harvest and this snazzy little sip is the result.  People often think if indigenous yeasts are used, the wine is going to smell and taste a tad funky, however this is a dangerously drinkable, clean, […]

Domaine Bernard Defaix Cuvee Vielle Vigne Chablis 2014 $53

Get ready, get set and go to a happy place of intense lemony, chalky notes that sit up and shout “Oi! I’m a Chablis!” Made from clean, concentrated chardonnay fruit, the result of 100% tank fermentation is a wine bursting with buckets of smashed quartz, grapefruit pith and minerality to burn.  Punchy, peach-driven and deliciously […]

Ake Ake Preservative Free Northland Merlot 2016 $30

“We basically just guide the wine from grape to bottle with as little interference as possible” says Ake Ake’s winemaker, John Clarke.  Totally inexperienced when he bought the property in 2004, he went to the library and borrowed some books on how to grow grapes and make wine.  Many medals later, he owns Northland’s only […]

The Family Company Gisborne Viognier 2015 $25

When art dealer Gene Walker married Gisborne-based clothes designer and café owner Chelsea Thorpe, little did he know that soon he’d be in business making wine with her dad.  The Family Company are now one of Gisborne’s most exciting producers, crafting viognier (vee-yon-yay) perfumed with apricots, cardamom, jasmine and orange oil and showing ripe peach […]

Fox by John Belsham Marlborough Pinot Noir 2015 $26

This is a classic ‘berries and cream’ pinot noir, packed with pomegranate, red cherry and raspberry on the nose and palate.  However there’s also this really curious aroma of roasting pan juices and savoury, spicy notes in the background, all followed by a wave of super-fruitiness again on the finish.  It’s a lithe, luscious pinot […]

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