Saint Clair Pioneer Block 17 Plateau Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Merlot 2015 $37.90 (4.5 stars)

I love the lift of pepper, plum, cocoa and buckets of fruit cake spices this wine possesses.  It’s beautifully balanced with smooth, cuddly undertones and elegant, finely-grained tannins. Fleshy, succulent and seriously good. Clearly the team at Saint Clair in Marlborough are now experts in dealing with smoulderingly good fruit from Hawke’s Bay’s Gimblett Gravels […]

Château Trébiac Graves Rouge 2011 $27.20 (3.5 stars)

‘Graves’ translates to ‘gravelly land’ in French, and here’s a blend of 30% cabernet sauvignon and 70% merlot from this important subregion of Bordeaux, located on the left bank of the Garonne river.  It’s a medium-weight, savoury, soy and dark olive edged red with hints of prune, cocoa and smoke running through the middle.  The […]

Cantine Riondo Castelforte Veneto Valpolicella Superiore 2013 $19 (3.5 stars)

The Valpolicella Blend is based on three indigenous red-wine grape varieties grown in the Veneto region in Italy’s northeast. Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara are the trio primarily involved in the Valpolicella DOC, Corvina plays the starring role in Valpolicella (up to 75 percent) and is regarded as the blend’s lynchpin. Known more for its acidity […]

Craggy Range Te Kahu 2014 $27

Craggy Range’s ‘Giants’ winery (located in Hawke’s Bay’s Tuki Tuki Valley) is often enveloped in early morning mist which rises above the river.  They’ve named this wine Te Kahu, (‘The Cloak’ in Maori) in homage to this mist. Like the 2013 vintage, this blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, malbec and cabernet franc, has deep colour […]

Domaine Mas Theo Ferme Theolas 2012 $27

If you wanted a crash course in what great tasting ‘natural’ wine tastes like – then here’s your opportunity. Organic and biodynamically certified, this fantastic Francais blend of 40% grenache, 40% syrah and 20% carignan has bright, sweet red cherry, boysenberry and smooth, peppery characters and a juicy, succulent mouthfeel.  I absolutely love this wine. […]

Sacred Hill Halo Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 $25

Holy moly!  How do I even begin describing how glorious this wine smells?  Here goes: Vanilla bean, ultra-ripe berries, dark cocoa powder and plum – almost like a liquid Jelly-Tip inside the glass.  To drink, it’s incredibly fresh, vibrant and boasts sinewy, muscular tannins and a marathon-like finish. Sip with: Garlic studded Roast Lamb www.caros.co.nz

Beach House Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Malbec 2014 $25

2014 was a slightly cooler in the ‘Gravels than 2013, and that’s good for blended reds like this.  They’re more likely to retain elegance, freshness and that all-important fragrance-factor.  There’s a lift of dried herb, blackberry and classic sweet tobacco, cocoa and violet notes into the warming, meaty mouthfeel. Sip with: smoked venison salami www.beachhouse.co.nz

Jérôme Quiot Vacqueyras 2014 $33

A blend of syrah, grenache and mourvèdre from France’s Rhone region, produced by the Quiot family who’ve been making wine since 1748.  1748!  This new puppy has a lovely lift of fresh raspberries and redcurrant, cracked pepper and rosehip tea on the nose, followed by fresh berryfruit on the palate and a spicy kick on […]

Ogier Heritages Cotes du Rhone 2014 $25

This  wine is SO delicious and fruity and saturated with cherry cola, raspberry and black forest gateaux flavours, that I want to shout from the rooftops how much I love it! A blend of grenach, syrah and cinsault, its texture is toasty and mouthwatering and edged with peppercorn, blueberries, cocoa and redcurrant characters. It’s fleshy, […]

Flying Sheep Hawke’s Bay Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 $35

Crafted by the talented team at Osawa Wines comes this berry-focused, plum-packed and velvety textured red.  I love the red fruit, pepper and dried herb layers that are stitched together with solid acidity and sinewy tannins. Sip with: truffled beef tournedos www.osawawines.co.nz

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