Fontanafredda Asti DOCG NV $29 ★★★½

With its pillowy mousse, sweet, musky, candied aromas edged with spice and lemon; it’s a tropical treat from Italy that’ll have your mouth watering in no time.  A positively demure 7% alc means you can treat yourself to a couple of glasses over lunch without being sent sideways. Sip with: Pear, blue cheese, candied walnut […]

Rockferry Brut Non-Vintage Chardonnay Pinot Noir $35

Made from from organic vineyards owned by the Hutchison family, this blend of 60% Marlborough chardonnay and 40% Central Otago pinot noir is a rich, nutty, citrus-edged sparkling that has beautiful, biscuity complexity on the finish.  Fine and elegantly structured, it’s a magic méthode that tastesas it looks. Sip with: salmon blinis

Aurum Central Otago Blanc de Blancs 2008 $45

Joan and Tony Lawrence planted their first Pisa Flats vineyard in 1997, and over the coming couple of years, son Brook and daughter-in-law Lucie took over the winemaking side of the story and things have rocketed ahead ever since.  This ‘solely chardonnay’ sparkling wine has those classic, clean, lean, almond meal and lemon shortbread flavours […]

Champagne Collet Brut Art Deco NV $85

If this doesn’t get your Great Gatsby going then I don’t know what will.  One of my favourite champagnes, this exceptionally stylish fizz from the Aÿ region has butterscotch and brioche, shortbread and crushed cashew characters on the nose, followed by crisp, lemony layers on the palate, all clad in a cloud of freshly rising […]

Sileni Estate’s Art Deco Sparkling NV $32

Created in homage to the rebuild of Napier and Hastings cities after the devastating 7.8 1931 earthquake, this fizz was served last week at Hawke’s Bay’s Tremains Art Deco Festival and went down a treat.  I’m not usually a huge sparkling pinot gris fan, however this is dry, clean, perfumed with nashi pear and crushed […]

Matahiwi Estate Cuvee NV $22 ★★★★

In the past I haven’t been very welcoming of sparkling pinot gris.  Nothing’s wowed me until now.  Winemaker Jane Cooper and her team at Matahiwi have clearly cottoned on to something because this snazzy sparkler captures the lovely nashi, quince and musky characters pinot gris is famous for, but in a lean, subtle way.  There’s […]

Misty Cove Pippa Methode Traditionelle Rose NV $29 ★★★★

Much darker than conventional rose bubbles due to the juice spending some extra time on its skins, this is an ultra-dry, bony-textured fizz that shows watermelon, raspberry leaf and mineral-rich peppery notes on the finish.  Really unusual and powerfully structured, it’s an unusually strong, muscular methode – and one you should try. For stockists near […]

Johner Estate Blanc de Noir 2012 $36 ★★★★

Pale apricot colour and boasting beautiful, pin-prick beads of bubbles and a rather gorgeous aroma of ripe stonefruit, berry brioche and almonds, this characterful methode is luscious and tangy but has an elegant, stylish edge.

Champagne Cristian Senez Cuvee Renoir Brut $45 (4 stars)

Where has this champagne been all my life?  With its pale gold hue, ultra-fine bead, pillowy, creamy mousse and enticing aromas of milk chocolate, lemon, fresh rising dough and delicately toasted almonds, it’s swoon-inducing from the first sip.  It may rock an old-school label, but it’s a fresh, 50:50 pinot noir/chardonnay blend with vibrant acidity, […]

Ruby Bay Jewel Methode Traditionelle NV $38 (5 stars)

Where has this fizz been all my life?  With ultra-fine beading and plucky, persistent mousse in the glass, it just looks like money.  Thankfully it more than measures up in the mouth.  Subtle and beautifully structured, it oozes almond and brioche aromas, raspberry shortbread and shows a creamy, full-bodied yeasty, biscuity backbone.  Vibrant, rich and […]

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