My notes on Obsidian Waiheke Island new releases…

Obsidian Reserve Waiheke Island Chardonnay 2017 $48 The stylish, chablis-like elegance of this wine makes it a showstopper for me. I love the purity of fruit, intense citrus, and minerality on the mid-palate, peachy backbone and the dusting of subtle nutty notes on the finish. It’s a beautifully balanced example and I’m officially obsessed with […]

Coopers Creek Select Vineyards Guido In Velvet Pants Huapai Montepulciano 2014 $26.60 (4.5 stars)

Dubbed ‘Guido’ after winemaker Simon Nunn’s work mate and super-cute Italian greyhound, whereas the ‘velvet pants’ bit has something to do with Carmelite nuns likening this smooth, ‘westie’ version of the famous Italian variety to a slippery son of God if you believe the rumours. With its intense berries, spice, liquorice layers and fuzzy, warming, […]

La Valentina Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC ‘Spelt’ 2011 $44.50

This is a super-sexy Italian montepulciano grown in La Valentina’s coastal vineyard in Spoltore in the province of Pescara.  It’s dense and saturated with dark fruit, cocoa, black guava and dusty, leathery flavours, chewy, yet supple stretchy tannins and a fresh, juiciness on the finish.  It’s an exciting, seductive wine. Drink with: Italian meatloaf in […]

Jasci & Marchesani Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Biologico 2014 $20 ★★★★

For the last 30 years this estate has been run organically and while this wine is predominantly montepulciano, there could be a sneaky 15% sangiovese in there too.  I love how this wine has that sweet, sweaty smell of just-galloped horses, saddle leather and spice.  Underneath that initial wave of savoury is some seriously fresh […]

Beach House Gimblett Gravels Montepulciano 2013

Beach House Gimblett Gravels Montepulciano 2013 $45 ★★★★★ I swear the wines made by the small but perfectly formed team at Beach House wines on Hawke’s Bay’s Te Awanga Coast, just get better with every passing year.  Crafted from fruit sourced in the sun-trap that is the Gimblett Gravels (it’s always at least 2 degrees […]

Orlandi Contucci Rubiolo Montepulciano D’Abruzzo 2013

Orlandi Contucci Rubiolo Montepulciano D’Abruzzo 2013 $24 ★★★½ I LOVE that this Italian wine smells like Christmas cake, all cloves, mixed peel, allspice and cranberry.  In the mouth it is savoury, smooth, juicy and ultra-earthy, with hints of leather and pepper.  Light & fleshy. For stockists near you contact Macvine International 09 5797451

Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Montepulciano 2014

Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Montepulciano 2014 $30 ★★★★ There’s less than 1ha planted of this super-savoury Italian red in Trinity Hill’s Gimblett Gravels vineyard – and there’s precious little planted elsewhere in the country.  It’s a hearty, ribsticking red with really interesting meaty, leathery notes, lovely hints of coughdrop and cocoa alongside pepper and smoky, […]

Codici Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2009

Codici Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2009 DOC $17  If you’re looking for a sharply-priced, crowd-pleasing red that ticks all the boxes then it’s right here.  Plum, chocolate, spice – it’s not a blockbuster but there’s plenty of flavour going on here.  Available from www.labarrique.co.nz Codici Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

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