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, […]

Heron’s Flight Matakana Amphora Sangiovese 2016 $120

Tiny amounts of handpicked sangiovese were fermented wild on their skins inside 500 litre clay amphorae for six months then rested another 6 months in traditional terracotta vessels before being transferred to this gorgeous wax-sealed bottle.  Naturally handled with no additional sulphites, it’s exceptionally delicious.  Bright, vibrant, dark fruit, floral intensity and buckets of pepper, […]

Mazuran’s Vintage Port 1974 $P.O.A

Mazuran’s on Lincoln Road, West Auckland have been crafting port wines since the early 1940’s, and magnificently, have vintage ports still available to buy dating back to 1942.  They are the only New Zealand winery to distil its own grape brandy for fortifying its wines, many of which are made using 79-year-old vines.  79!  I […]

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 […]

Man O’War Waiheke Cabernet Franc Merlot Malbec Petit Verdot 2014 $28 (4 stars)

Winemaker Duncan McTavish has stitched together a gorgeously bold blend of four Bordeaux varieties from their sun-baked vineyards overlooking Man O’War Bay. 18 months in oak has unleashed powerful aromas of blackcurrant, liquorice and spice that osmose into an invitingly soft palate packed with dark berries, bay leaf, chocolate and coffee and finishing with delicately […]

Graham Norton’s Own “Pink by DesiGN” New Zealand Rosé 2017 $18.99

Here’s a case of ‘norton hemisphere meets southern hemisphere’ where the eponymous Mr Norton has totally embraced the winemaking process AND agreed to pretty much every example of word play possible on the use of his initials. Crafted from pinot noir sourced from around the country, it’s been given just enough time on its skins […]

Soljans Estate Gisborne Gewurztraminer 2016 $19.90

You’ll be wanting to move the Monaro and the Commodore to get to the Cortina so you can take this little bottle from West Auckland out to the local BYO Thai. With classic musky notes on the nose, ginger, lychee and all that gewürztraminer good stuff, stylistically it’s grown on the East coast, schooled out […]

Hãhã Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2016 $16

Berries?  Check.  Plum?  Check.  Truckloads of spices?  Check.  Ribsticking length of flavour?  That’s a check by heck.  Basically it’s a warming, cuddly, fabulously tongue-fuzzing, multi-tasking merlot that’ll please the crowds and win friends and influence people.  Your wallet will remain calm and zen too. Sip with: slivers of prosciutto www.pointwines.co.nz www.yvonnelorkin.com

Soho Zabeel Blue Blood Waiheke Island Reserve Blend 2014 $138 (5 stars)

Excruciatingly gorgeous to drink in that it’s torture knowing that your glass will eventually end.  I love the lift of vanilla, pepper, dark chocolate and intense boysenberry layers in this merlot syrah malbec blend by the talented team over at Soho.  Dense, dark berries, smoke, cured meats and solid, dusty oak creates supreme definition of […]

Mudbrick Reserve Syrah 2014 $60

Fresh peppercorn, cherry, violet, pomegranate and liquorice layers kind of ‘peacocks tail’ it out across the palate, leaving dried herb and dark berry flavours cloaked in furry tannins.  Unlike some Waiheke syrahs that tend to the chunky side, this is an elegant example – the cigarette pants of syrah if you were to get fashionista […]

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