Maison Noire Hawke’s Bay Rosé 2017 $21 (4 stars)

It’s a rare thing in NZ to find rosé made from 100% cabernet franc and this one is a real cracker. Pretty, trout-pink in the glass, it bursts with raspberry marshmallow, watermelon and hints of cherry on the nose. There’s even a touch of creaming soda and tamarillo in there too. Fresh, succulent, saucy and […]

Lime Rock Central Hawke’s Bay Pinot Gris 2014 $24 (4 stars)

Go for a hoon around Rosie Butler and Rodger Tynan’s vineyard located just outside of the tiny township of Tikokino (about 20 mins from Takapau and 10 mins from Onga Onga) and you’ll see incredible lumps of limestone rock puncturing the ridgelines. It’s this fossil-rich soil which gives this gris its classically crisp, cleansing, mineral-like […]

Brookfields Indulgence Hawke’s Bay Botrytis Viognier 2016 $25 (5 stars)

Viognier (vee-yon-yay) made into a dessert wine is rare occurrence, yet Peter Robertson at Brookfields is the master and commander of the style. Scented with jasmine and citrus oils, followed by toffee and marmalade intensity on the nose and palate, caramelized mixed peel flavours and the most luxuriously sweet, tangy finish, I give it 6 […]

Maison Noire Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016 $25 (4 stars)

For fans of a leaner, cleaner, more Chablis-style chardonnay then this’ll be right up your cul-de-sac I reckon.  Lemon and grapefruit goodness unveil on the nose, while spicy, citrus-soaked layers last long in the background.  Plus there’s a ribbon of creamy almond laced with soft smokiness on the finish to keep you going back for […]

Askerne Reserve Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016 $31.90 (5 stars)

The perfume of this wine is so delicious it’s difficult to yank the glass away from your nose for long enough to actually sip it.  A hint of butterscotch merges with fresh nectarine, grapefruit and pineapple plushness on the nose and palate, while a zesty vein of spice and toasted crumpet joins them on the […]

Petane Station Esk Valley Chardonnay 2016 $30 (5 stars)

Philip Barber is a serious winemaking talent to watch if you’re a chardonnay fan.  With the ability to source fruit grown in the seashell-strewn soils of Esk Valley, thrust upwards after the 1931 Napier earthquake, his wines show incredibly complex minerality, texture and even a hint of delicious salinity.  I love the aromas of grilled […]

Lime Rock White Knuckle Hill Central Hawke’s Bay Pinot Noir 2013 $60 (5 stars)

The White Knuckle is a vertigo-inducingly steep vineyard where large life insurance policies are necessary for the mug that loses the toss to tackle it with the tractor. It’s worth the pain and fear because the ripe cherry and spice-saturated flavours are sensational.  Only made in years when the fruit is exceptional, it smells like […]

Matahiwi Estate Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017 $22 (3.5 stars)

Using a parcel of fruit they’ve sourced from Hawke’s Bay, these skilled, Wairarapa-based producers have created a wine bursting with classic grilled grapefruit and lemony, smoked pineapple flavours.  It’s toasty and roasty and yet really fresh, plus it has a solid citrus backbone and a nutty core.  I think it’s a winner with chicken schnitzel […]

Paritua Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2014 $42 (5 stars)

Winemaker Jason Stent 2014 vintage of this Bridge Pa-grown beauty is elegant, creamy, peach-and macadamia-crumble of a wine. Chock full of classic stonefruit and pineapple notes on the nose and palate, it’s refreshing, soulful and seriously satisfying, I absolutely love it. www.paritua.com    

Pukeora Estate Ruahine Range Pinot Gris 2015/2016 $21 (4 stars)

It’s a rare thing to see these days, blending two vintages of a still wine together (multi-vintage blending is common in sparklings), yet winemaker Max Annabell has made this work. A tiny pinot gris harvest in 2015 meant the wine was kept aside and when an equally tiny (but delicious) vintage followed in 2016, he […]

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