My notes on Obsidian Waiheke Island new releases…

Obsidian Reserve Waiheke Island Chardonnay 2017 $48 The stylish, chablis-like elegance of this wine makes it a showstopper for me. I love the purity of fruit, intense citrus, and minerality on the mid-palate, peachy backbone and the dusting of subtle nutty notes on the finish. It’s a beautifully balanced example and I’m officially obsessed with […]

Passage Rock Reserve Waiheke Island Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2014 $50

This is Passage Rock’s flagship red. Using only the best looking and best behaved berries, the winemaking team have fashioned a deliciously dense and sultry wine, perfumed with bouquet garni herbs, dark cocoa, espresso and smoke. Ribsticking and robust to drink, it has dusty tannins, fresh fruit saturation and marathon-like length of flavour. Sip with: […]

Passage Rock Waiheke Island Sisters 2015 $33

What happens when a talented winemaking team blend 48% syrah, 29% cabernet sauvignon, 6% malbec, 6% cabernet franc, 6% merlot and 4% petit verdot? A whole heap of joy, that’s what. With plum, boysenberry, a lift of chocolate and salted caramel, this wine is beautifully complex and juicy and dusted with pepper, it’s a stylish […]

Passage Rock Waiheke Island Matuku 2017 $65

David and Veronika Evans-Gander have combined chardonnay, pinot gris, viognier and sauvignon blanc and hands down, it’s absolutely one of my favourite things. Ever. An absolute tsunami of flavour, grilled grapefruit, apricot stone, passionfruit and musky florals crash across the tastebuds and smash your palate to pieces in a beautiful collision of complexity. Sip with: […]

Expatrius Advenus Waiheke Sauvignon/Viognier 2013 $39.50

Sauvignon blanc blended with viognier? Get out of the CBD! Yet Luc Desbonnet is a winemaker without boundaries, just a desire to create gorgeous white wine styles. I think he’s onto something with this quirky combo. The juice of both varieties is fermented in a combo of tanks and in new oak barrels to create […]

Man O’War Paradise Waiheke Pinot Gris 2016 $29.00

Standing in this tiny vineyard on Ponui Island overlooking Te Kawau Bay, you could easily imagine yourself in paradise and want to remain their full-time. And then you remember that it’s hard work making wine – so you shrug and say “best leave this to someone else” and walk away. Winemaker Duncan McTavish and viticulturist […]

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 […]

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