Saint Clair Pioneer Block 17 Plateau Gimblett Gravels Merlot 2014 $32.90 (5 stars)

Incredibly bright on the nose, bursting with ripe boysenberry, plum cherry and sweetly spiced, smoky notes.  Here’s a deeply flavoured, rich  and satisfyingly fruity, with layers of leather and cocoa carrying through to the finish.  I love the refreshing, vibrant acidity and its gripping, yet supple tannins.  It’s a very precise yet plush and generous […]

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 17 Plateau Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Merlot 2015 $37.90 (4.5 stars)

I love the lift of pepper, plum, cocoa and buckets of fruit cake spices this wine possesses.  It’s beautifully balanced with smooth, cuddly undertones and elegant, finely-grained tannins. Fleshy, succulent and seriously good. Clearly the team at Saint Clair in Marlborough are now experts in dealing with smoulderingly good fruit from Hawke’s Bay’s Gimblett Gravels […]

Unison Gimblett Gravels Reserve Merlot 2012 $30 (4stars)

I used to work on a raspberry farm when I was in high school (loved it btw) and every time I sniff this wine it takes me back to those days of repeatedly sticking my face inside a leafy, fruit-scented canopy to harvest those plump, juicy berries. Fresh, spicy, with layers of plum-rubbed leather and […]

Craggy Range Gimblet Gravels Chardonnay 2015 $31.95

This is a sexy example of how restraint can be applied to quality Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay fruit.  People assume that because a wine is from the rockstar region of the Gimblett Gravels that it’s going to be a monster.  Yet this wine proves the opposite is just as impressive.  It shows really artistry at play, […]

Beach House Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Malbec 2014 $25

2014 was a slightly cooler in the ‘Gravels than 2013, and that’s good for blended reds like this.  They’re more likely to retain elegance, freshness and that all-important fragrance-factor.  There’s a lift of dried herb, blackberry and classic sweet tobacco, cocoa and violet notes into the warming, meaty mouthfeel. Sip with: smoked venison salami www.beachhouse.co.nz

Stonecroft Gimblett Gravels Gewürztraminer 2015 $25

This organically produced wine is golden and glossy in the glass and absolutely heaves with heady spices, musky pot pourri and Turkish delight aromas.  On the palate it’s defiantly dry, boasting a touch of flinty, mineral and ginger-edged heat, layers of ripe stonefruit and has a long, indulgently exotic finish. Sip with: Saag Chicken Tikka […]

Mills Reef Elspeth Gimblett Gravels Chardonnay2014 $39.95 ★★★★

Tim Preston and his team at Mills Reef have done a cracker of a job with this wine.  I love the aromas of grapefruit pith, vanilla, peach and pineapple.  All those elements also flood across the palate alongside a layer of buttery, creamy complexity.  Plus there’s a lovely cleansing character on the finish which makes […]

Pask Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2013 $22 ★★★★

Can Kate Radburnd and her crack-team of winemakers do no wrong?  This Gimblett Gravels pioneer producer has syrah expertly sewn up, crafting an ultra-bright, intensely aromatic example, which oozes fruitwood smoke, cracked pepper, rose and violet notes alongside an underlying earthy character on the nose.  Flavour-wise it boasts juicy dark fruit, vanilla and cocoa, tannins […]

Squawking Magpie The Gravels Syrah $30 ★★★★½

The impenetrable, inky-dark colour saturation is the first thing that gets you with this wine; it’s incredibly dense, dark, a stormcloud in a glass.   Perfumed with blackcurrant, cherry and pepper-dusted damson plums, the nose is exciting, spice-driven and has smoke around the edges.  Elegantly structured, the core of this wine has dark fruit, exotic […]

Squawking Magpie The Gravels Chardonnay 2015 $30 ★★★★½

For starters I really love the slick new label design at play here, mysterious, brooding and very ‘magpie’. Here’s an incredibly ‘pure’ chardonnay that’s packed with tropical tang, so expect pineapple, nectarine and tangelo notes alongside honey-buttered cinnamon toast and creamy layers in the mid-palate.  The acidity is elegantly structured, there’s lovely balance and interest […]

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