Hãhã Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017 $17.99 (4 stars)

First things first. The fact that this wine sells for under $20 is baffling to me. It roars with stonefruit and citrus and has just the right amount of roasty toasty, hazelnutty flavours to kick it into ‘must-sip’ territory. Ripe, tropical, round and rumpty – just the way I like my chardonnay. Yum. www.hahawine.co.nz

Mount Brown Barrique Ferment Waipara Sauvignon Blanc 2016 $19 (3.5 stars)

Here’s a sauvignon blanc for chardonnay fans. Roasty, toasty and tropically taut and crisp, it’s bursting with smoked passionfruit punchiness and a lick of lemongrass on the finish. A very drinkable, in fact dangerously drinkable example. www.mountbrown.co.nz

Mount Brown Waipara Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2016 $16 (3.5 stars)

There’s something about the North Canterbury soils and the drying, Nor’west winds that create incredibly floral, super-concentrated sauvignon blanc. Lime, lemongrass, elderflower and bruised basil combine with passionfruit and tropical tones, cut grass and sweet pea combine with crunchy acidity to make a zesty, sexy sip indeed. www.mountbrown.co.nz  

Yvonne Lorkin canvas column for sat may 19 2018

Hit the smorgasbord and fill your boots with toasty, roasty, buttery, wuttery chardonnays from across the land… Obsidian Reserve Waiheke Island Chardonnay 2017 $48 The stylish, chablis-like elegance of this wine made it an absolute showstopper for me.  I love the purity of fruit, intense citrus and minerality on the mid-palate, its peachy backbone and […]

Vavasour Anna’s Vineyard Awatere Valley Marlborough Chardonnay 2016 $42

Stu Marfell was only 9 years old when he helped harvest the very first vintage for Vavasour back in 1989.  29 harvests later, he’s their head winemaker and this, their flagship chardonnay, is his baby. Only made in years when the fruit is exceptional, this creamy, barrel-fermented blend of Mendoza and Clone 95 fruit sings […]

Matawhero Irwin Gisborne Chardonnay 2016 $59.99

Launched in September 2017 as Matawhero’s first-time, flagship wine, this chardonnay has so many French hallmarks I think I’m going to christen it a ‘Gisburgundy’ style.  And yet no French oak was used, instead the grapes were crushed and fermented wild in a combo of American and Hungarian barrels which imprint a smoked vanilla character […]

Mahi Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017 $22

You’ve heard the saying “You do the Mahi, you get the treats”, it’s totally true with wine too. Meaning ‘work’ in Maori, Mahi’s winemaker Brian Bicknell and his team battled through two cyclones during the season, yet succeeded in crafting this passionfruit, lemongrass and sweetpea-soaked stunner. A tiny 7% splash of barrel ferment adds complexity […]

Wild River North Canterbury Sauvignon Blanc 2017 $13.99 (4 stars)

2017 was a tricky vintage for Cantabrian wine producers, but Catherine Keith and Tony Rutherford made a cracking go of it to turn out tangy, lemony, passionfruity sauvignon blanc that will keep the crowds happy at that Spring wedding or for those family fish and chip Friday nights. www.centrecity.co.nz  

Boekenhoutskloof The Wolftrap Franschhoek Viognier Chenin Blanc Grenache Blanc 2015 $22 (4 stars)

This is one of my go to wines of the moment and this blend of 48% viognier 41% Chenin Blanc and 11% grenache blanc should be on your shopping list too.  Layers of white peach, apple, hints of citrus oil and jasmine and a mash-up of minerality on the finish make it a complex, juicy, […]

Richmond Plains Organic Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2016 $21.99 (4 stars)

The team at Richmond Plains produced New Zealand’s first vegan-friendly sauvignon blanc from fully-certified organic and biodynamic grapes years ago, and this new vintage could be their best one yet.  Lemongrassy, lighty-structured and showing leafy, herbaceous notes alongside a hint of feijoa that stitches it all together.  It’s a ripe, bouncy, citrus-stacked sauvignon blanc that […]

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