Linden Estate Reserve Dam Block 2016

Linden Estate Reserve Dam Block 2016 $48  Trevor Shepherd has finally released his series of Reserve ‘Dam Block’ blends, and this is my favourite so far. Featuring 72.5% merlot, 17.5% cabernet sauvignon and 10% cabernet franc, this savoury black-olive-and-spice fest shouts ‘Make way for the King!’ to a parade of berries and plums on the […]

Petane Station Hawke’s Bay Pét-Nat Chardonnay 2018

PETANE STATION HAWKE’S BAY PÉTILLANT NATUREL 2018 $38 “Pet Nat” is the thing.  Everyone’s doing it – but not everyone is doing it well. Petane Station have crafted their debut example from chardonnay and while it’s got citrus hallmarks of classic chard, grapefruit, lemon et al, there’s a soft funkiness and spritzig.  In fact beware the […]

Petane Station Esk Valley Chardonnay 2017 $30

Sourced from a single vineyard known as the Puriri block, the chardonnay was handpicked, whole bunch pressed then it was entirely barrel fermented in 30% new French oak. The barrels were stirred every fortnight for 8 months to impart extra creamy, nutty complexity and yet the wine is lean, clean and elegant. Beautifully balanced, lithesome […]

Petane Station Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2015 $36

There’s some serious floral intensity going on in this succulent syrah, it’s like florals pashing peppercorns boysenberries, cherries and liquorice. Philip Barber is the winemaking talent behind this inky-purple, Esk Valley-based brand and he’s a fan of elegance and soft, peppery persistence of flavour in his syrah – and so am I. Sip with: sizzling […]

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 […]

Esk Valley Hawke’s Bay Verdelho 2017 $19 (5 star)

Verdelho the famous white grape grown on the Portuguese island of Madeira where for aeons it’s been used in the production of sherry. In 1998 the team at Esk Valley planted some in the rock star region of the Gimblett Gravels and in 2002 Gordon Russell produced the very first kiwi version. This shiny new […]

Linden Estate Reserve Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2015 $48

In 2010 Trevor Shepherd talked his way into a job at Linden, where for four years he toiled (unpaid mostly) to restore the vines and get the decrepit, but legendary winery back up to scratch. It’s clearly worked. There’s a bold, buxom, plum and cocoa character to this wine, complete with grippy tannins, smoky warmth […]

Linden Estate Reserve Hawke’s Bay Syrah

Linden Estate Reserve Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2014 $48 ★★★★ This Esk Valley producer is on its way to completing a radical turnaround of fortunes, from being run into virtual non-existence, it’s been rescued and revitalised by sparkie-turned-winemaker Trevor Shepherd, who clearly has a knack for creating quality syrah. Intensely spicy and showing plum, dark berries, […]

Petane Station Esk Valley Pinot Gris 2015

Petane Station Esk Valley Pinot Gris 2015 $27 ★★★★½ Hot off the bottling line, winemaker Philip Barber has created a pale gold, pear and peach-laden pinot gris that has absolutely lovely layers of dried pineapple, caramel, anise, rockmelon and fig.  Yes, you heard me correct – there’s THAT much in this wine.  Pronounced ‘Pea-tarny Station’, […]

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