Neudorf Tom’s Block Nelson Pinot Noir 2015 $33

Opting to preserve every smidge of natural purity of flavour that viticulturist Richard Flatman has managed to coax into the pinot noir from Tom’s Block, winemaker Todd Stevens has bottled this wine without fining or filtration.  It’s paid off in that it’s bursting with black tea, wild raspberry and cherry layers that wrap around zesty […]

Hawkes Ridge Hawke’s Bay Pinot Noir 2013 $30 (4 stars)

One thing the RD9 district does supremely well, is grow great pinot noir. It’s where a large chunk of pinot is grown for some of New Zealand’s most famed sparkling wine bases. Julie and Douglas Haines have created a HUGE pinot noir here, with more meat on its bones than is typical, but it’s a […]

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 17 Plateau Syrah 2015 $37.90 (4 stars)

A couple of years ago, the Marlborough-based, Ibbotsen family managed to secure a prime piece of grape-estate in the middle of Hawke’s Bay’s Gimblett Gravels district and they have rocked it ever since.  Their winemaking team have fully got their talents around the big, gutsy, northern reds and that’s a great thing.  This syrah is […]

Trinity Hill Homage Syrah 2015 $130 (5 stars)

100% Gimblett Gravels fruit has been used to craft an incredibly floral wine that absolutely erupts with violets, red rose, lavender, dark berry and a whiff of toasted, roasted oak.  The mouthfeel is elegant, ethereal even, with finely-tuned acidity, fruit saturation and finished with deliciously dusty, sweet smoke notes.  It’s a joy to drink. www.trinityhill.com

San Marzano ‘Talo’ Primitivo di Manduria 2014 $25

Primitivo swings both ways and this sexy little sip errs on the sweet, spicy and super-smooth side as opposed to the more dusty, masculine, leathery examples out there. Named after the Talo family who grew the grapes which made the majority of the wine in this bottle, it’s a red that sings sweetly but has […]

Heron’s Flight Sangiovese Reserve 2013 $60

Holy squid squirt Batman!  This is quite possibly the inkiest, darkest wine I’ve sipped in forever.  Glossy magenta-black in the glass and showing mountains of mellow, meaty magic, soft spices, a hint of soy, olive and gently dusty tannins to tie it all up on the way down. Pricey, but oh so nicey from a […]

Byrne Wines Little Brother Red 2016 $19

Here’s a toasty (and tasty) blend of syrah, viognier which also uses a splishy splash of chambourcin (shom-bore-sarn) to frisk up the flavour profile.  Northland has a knack for turning out softly styled, savoury, earthy-toned, plump reds that clear the nose and soothe the throat and this is one of those.  Light, plush and plenty […]

Mount Edward ‘Ted’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016 $34 (4.5 stars)

Nursed from the vineyard into the bottle by the talented twosome of Duncan Forsyth and Anna Riederer, this pinot noir is beautifully rich and bursting with hedgerow fruits, 5-spice, sandalwood and cocoa and tree bark.  Complex and mouthfilling, it’s like a leather-laden overload of earthiness and wild cherries. www.mountedward.co.nz

Giesen Vineyard Selection Marlborough Pinot Noir 2014 $17.99 (3.5 stars)

This is a super-approachable pinot noir that’s really starting to hit its straps with a couple of years aging on it.  Bright, plush and cherry-driven, it’s bursting with cherries, berries and has a soft, gamey layer on the finish.  Lovely, lengthy and darn drinkable. www.advintage.co.nz

Matahiwi Estate Wairarapa Pinot Noir 2016 $28 (4 stars)

I LOVE this wine. From the powerfully smoky, spiced cherry lift on the nose to the intensely fruity core and the long, succulent finish – it’s an absolute star. Buoyant raspberry, rhubarb, pomegranate and pepper characters: they’re all there, too! Grown near Masterton (the place where pinot noir was first planted 130 years ago), it’s […]

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