Johner Estate Wairarapa Riesling 2016 $20 (4 stars)

Karl Heinz Johner makes wine in opposite hemispheres, with family estates in Baden, (in Germany’s Kaiserstuhl region) AND in Martinborough’s Gladstone sub-region. Riesling is a hero grape for him and he loves the crunchy green acidity, pear notes, baked pipfruit, lime zest and honey characters that Martinborough grapes give. So much so that he’s decided […]

Porters Kereru Martinborough Pinot Gris 2015 $30

I’ve lost count of how many lawyers I’ve met who tell me they have a vineyard and make wine, when they actually pay a consultant to come down and get their hands dirty instead.  John Porter is not one of those lawyers.  He’s been a hands-on winegrower and winemaker, since planting his vineyard in 1992. […]

Paddy Borthwick Martinborough Pinot Gris 2016 $24

Full, fat and generous with its time, this pinot gris from Paddy Borthwick washes clean nashi and white peach flavours across your tastebuds, leaving a creamy yet spritzy texture behind. 33% of the juice is run into older French oak barrels to ferment, which adds toasty, tangy, spicy apple strudel characters that line the oesophagus […]

Nga Waka Home Block Martinborough Chardonnay 2015 $40

If you’re a fan of buttery chardonnay, this brand new vintage from Martinborough’s Parkinson family will have you grinning.  With roasty, toasty, nutty notes gleaned from barrel fermentation, soft, creamy layers from the full malolactic ferment and tangy nectarine and peach flavours soaking through to the finish, it’s a ‘thinkers’ chardonnay.  I’m also certain it’ll […]

Ma Maison Martinborough Chardonnay 2014 $45

Wellington-based dentist-by-trade Edward Leung has worked incredibly hard to produce small amounts of high quality chardonnay from his How on earth winemaker Wendy Potts manages to inject layers of crème caramel, roast nectarine, cinnamon and juicy, grilled grapefruit into this wine I’ll never know.  She’ll tell you it’s all in the fruit, whereas I think […]

Nga Waka Martinborough Dry Riesling 2013 $25

Lemongrass, lime and tangelo zest aromas osmose onto the palate in a wave of cheek-puckering dryness in this tang-fest of a wine.  There’s also a waft of beeswax and honeysuckle sneaking through as you take the glass away from your lips.  A couple of years in the bottle has this wine developing nicely into a […]

Escarpment Pahi Martinborough Pinot Noir 2014 $65

The fruit that goes into Pahi comes from 30 year old vines growing on the tiny ‘McReanor’ block on Princess Street in Martinborough.  Maturity is key with pinot noir, and under the wizard-like guidance of Larry McKenna (or McPinot to his mates) the wine bursts with mixed spice, rhubarb, black tea, cocoa and sandalwood notes.  […]

Johner Estate Wairarapa Riesling 2016 $24

Karl Heinz Johner makes wine in opposite hemispheres, with family estates in Baden, (in Germany’s Kaiserstuhl region) AND in Martinborough’s Gladstone sub-region.  Riesling is a hero grape for him and he loves the crunchy green acidity, pear notes, baked apple, lime zest and honey characters that Martinborough grapes give so much, he’s decided to spend […]

Escarpment Nina Rosé 2016 $24

Larry McKenna is the high priest of pinot noir and every iteration he turns his hand to tends to err on the excellent side.  This is the first time he and his team have crafted a rosé and it’s darn lovely, especially if you’re driving down the dry end of the road.  Boasting gumtingling acidity, […]

Haythornthwaite Ursula Martinborough Pinot Gris 2012 $25

Don’t freak out if when you pull the cork (Yes, you’ll need one of those cork-pully-outy things) and you see tiny crystals attached to it.  These ‘wine diamonds’ are safe, natural and a sign of a wine made without fining or filtration.  Named after Mark Haythornthwaite’s sister, (who adores dry white wines), here’s a richly […]

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