Rivera Negroamaro Salento 2015 $16.99

Down in southern Puglia, negromaro is the most common red grape in the ground and it’s easy to see why its so loved.  Juicy, succulent, red cherry and berry layers combine with sweetly-spiced flavour saturation and terrifically taut texture in the mid palate. Sip with: Italian shredded beef sandwiches www.glengarrywines.co.nz

La Valentina Colline Pescaresi Auha Fiano 2014 $39.50 (4 stars)

Gorgeously golden in the glass and bursting with daisy pollen and marzipan-like aromas, Fiano is an ancient grape that’s experiencing a modern renaissance.  I love the light peach, soft almond notes, its  bright, vibrant, mineral-driven mouthfeel and white pepper and freshly-baled hay layers on the finish. It’s an envelope-pusher of a white wine that’ll rock […]

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 […]

Villa Pisoni Chianti Riserva 2013 $25.99 (4 stars)

Long gone are the days of your Chianti coming complete with a wicker basket wrapped around the bottle (they’re called ‘fiascoe’s’ btw) Thankfully today Chianti is much classier. Crafted from 100% sangiovese fruit, this light, supple, cherry and berry bang of a wine has powdery, clinging tannins and an earthy undercurrent that I really like.  […]

Fuedi Lacryma Christi Bianco 2013 $30

This wine reminds me of a sea breeze, all crisp, bracing and slightly briny.  Lovely lemon pith and peach notes underpin the chalky mineral layers too.  Made from Verdeca and Coda di Volpe grapes grown on the fertile lower slopes of Mt Vesuvius, the name ‘Lacryma Christi’ comes from the story of when Lucifer fell […]

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 […]

COS Frappato 2015 $39

This is the very first time I’ve tasted anything made from the Frappato grape, and it’s a revelation. COS, is a fully biodynamic, ‘natural’ wine producer in Sicily, named after the surnames of the three founders, friends Giambattista Cilia, Giusto Occhipinti and Pinuccia Strano and launched in 1980. It is “pregno” with plush raspberry, cherry, […]

Ocone Piedrosso del Sannio Plutone 2015 $22

Plutone is the name of the grape grown by the good people at Ocone for this wine from the Campagnia region of Italy. It’s the first time I’ve tasted it and I’m loving the fresh, spicy, slap in the face florals of this spunky red. Tangy, lush and leafy, it’s got huge vibrancy and life […]

Velenosi Lacrima de Morro d’Alba 2014 $25 ★★★★

This is the first time I’ve ever tried the ‘Lacrima’ variety, and grows in Velenois’s own vineyards in the coastal municipality of Ancona in Italy’s Marche region.  The bottle is a cute, stumpy shape that I love.  Then the smell of roses, violets and cranberries and pomegranate all cascade into the palate and smash into […]

Banfi Principessa Gavia Gavi 2014 $30 ★★★★

Grown at the Principessa Gavia vineyard in the region of Novi Ligure in the lower Piedmont, this snappy, zesty white crafted from 100% cortese di gavi grapes, has gorgeous sweet, poached quince characters on the nose and ripe pear, nashi and zesty spicy florals in the mouth.  Incredibly complex and characterful, it’s a wine with […]

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