Liberty Wines Les Vignes de L’eglise Merlot Grenache IGP Pays D‘OC 2014 $23 (3.5 stars)

IGP means ‘indication géographique protégée’ which is one of the new French classification terms.  It indicates some of the best value for money brands in the land, and I’ll tell you what, this is indeed a lithe little lovely from the Languedoc.  It’s not often you get a blend of merlot and grenache in your […]

Yering Station Little Yering Yarra Valley Shiraz Viognier 2012 $23 (4 stars)

I just love it when shiraz is tizzied up with a splash of viognier.  Just a tiny amount of viognier can elevate the dark fruit and spice aromatics of shiraz into floral realms of freshness that you’ve got to experience.  I also love that this wine presents in a slimline, elegant bottle – which just […]

Crazy By Nature Cosmo Red 2015 $26 (3.5 star)

Grown biodynamically by James Millton in Gisborne, this ‘field blend’ of Malbec, Syrah and a splash of Viognier is produced using special herbal, mineral and animal preparations and looking to the laws of nature. No herbicide, insecticide, systemic fungicide or soluble fertilizer was used, also no cultured yeasts or bacteria came within coo-ee of the […]

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

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