Pukeora Estate Ruahine Range ‘The Benches’ 2013 $28

From what was heralded as the ‘vintage of the century’ comes this powerfully built blend of merlot, malbec, syrah and cabernet sauvignon from the limestone-laden hills of Central Hawke’s Bay. Sweet saddle-leather, pepper, mocha, hints of prune, liquorice and showing bold, juicy tannins – it’s a muscular, sinewy sip that has loads of life in […]

Junction Wines Persistence NV $22.00

I actually have zero, nada, nil, no idea what grapes have actually been used to create this lemony, mineral-focused, chalky wine because despite repeated pleadings to winemaker Liam Ashworth, alongside offers to give him my next born son (the first is turning out ok) – he refuses to tell me. Grown on the Takapau Plains, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Saint Clair Premium Marlborough Pinot Noir 2011

Saint Clair Premium Marlborough Pinot Noir 2011 $26  Incredibly rich, bright, vibrantly fruited with wild strawberry, cherry and exotic spices.  It’s a sensational pinot for the price and boasts lovely complexity and luscious length of flavour.  www.saintclair.co.nz

Pukeora Estate Central Hawke’s Bay Pinot Gris 2010

Pukeora Estate Central Hawke’s Bay Pinot Gris 2010  $15  Clean and minerally, with classic pear and quince characters on the nose and palate.  I really like the texture and length in this gris, it’s juicy and buoyant in the mouth, and represents what I think is great value for money. www.pukeora.com

Tukipo River Estate Fat Duck Pinot Noir 2009

Tukipo River Estate Fat Duck Pinot Noir 2009 $48  In a word, jaw-dropping.  Roland Norman has created a wine exotically perfumed with cherrywood smoke, hedgerow fruits, lush, forest leaf litter and japonica.  I love the wild strawberry and rhubarb flavours and its silky, slippery mouthfeel.  It’s an absolutely sensational example and one I desperately wish […]

Lime Rock Gruner Veltliner 2011

Lime Rock Grüner Veltliner 2011 375ml $22  The debut example from the best little winery southside of the Te Hauke swamp, and it has interesting white pepper, apple and sake-like aromas followed by green apple, fruitwax and subtle, salty notes on the finish.  A really interesting wine that is also rare as hens teeth, so […]

Lime Rock Central Hawke’s Bay Pinot Noir 2008

Lime Rock Central Hawke’s Bay Pinot Noir 2008 $29  Attractive garnet-red colour and simply oozes fresh raspberry, cherry and hedgerow-fruit essences.  In the mouth it has purity of fruit combined with wild game notes and sexy, earthy spices.  If that doesn’t grab you, the long, silky, slippery finish definitely will.  Just lovely.  www.limerock.co.nz 

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