Sea Level Home Block Chardonnay 2017 $27

Nelson has long been my go-to nugget of niceness where chardonnay is concerned. Winemaker Sam Smail is mildly obsessed with making great examples and the force is strong with this one. Lemon, grapefruit, white peach and a hint of creamy complexity add layers of loveliness make this a fresh and frisky and fabulous fistpump for […]

Richmond Plains Organic Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2016 $21.99 (4 stars)

The team at Richmond Plains produced New Zealand’s first vegan-friendly sauvignon blanc from fully-certified organic and biodynamic grapes years ago, and this new vintage could be their best one yet.  Lemongrassy, lighty-structured and showing leafy, herbaceous notes alongside a hint of feijoa that stitches it all together.  It’s a ripe, bouncy, citrus-stacked sauvignon blanc that […]

Renato Estate Nelson Pinot Noir 2016 $25.90 (4 stars)

The grape gods must have been smiling on Renat Nussbaumer and his tiny Nelson vineyard in 2016. The fruit ripened beautifully, giving wine that roars with spiciness and the acidity is zesty-fresh and feisty. I get some soy and black tea amongst the usual cherry-suspects. www.renatoestate.co.nz

Aronui Single Vineyard Nelson Albariño 2016 $22.45 (4 stars)

The name ‘Aronui’ derives from ancient Māori mythology about the pursuit of knowledge and after a glass or two, you’ll definitely be schooled up on albariño’s awesomeness. Widely planted in northwest Spain and Portugal, it’s recognised as their best and most fashionable white grape – similar to sauvignon blanc for us I guess. I love […]

Brightwater Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2015 $20.00

Nelson might be claiming fame as the ‘aromatics capital’ of the country, but Garry and Valley Neale at Brightwater are determined their sauvignon blanc isn’t ignored. They don’t need to worry. I love the bright, lemony and floral flavours that leap from the glass and there’s classic elderflower and passionfruit for Africa. Tangy, generous and […]

Aotea Nelson Methode Traditionnelle 2011 $39.00

Created by winemaker Chris Seifried to mark the arrival of his and his sister Heidi’s first children (who both actually burst into the world within 15 hours of each other) – it’s a lovely, vibrantly toasty blend of 50% chardonnay and 50% pinot noir which is a bonza little baby of its own. I love […]

Te Mania Three Brothers Nelson Merlot/Malbec/Cab Franc 2015 $24.99

Winemaker Steve Gill has outdone himself here, creating a cheek-slappingly good Bordeaux-style red blend from supremely ripe Nelson fruit. Heaving at the seams with dense, dark berryfruit, juicy Christmas pudding spices, smoky oak, ultra-ripe berryfruit and red apple. I’m guilty of not thinking of Nelson when it comes to sourcing bold, merlot-based wines – but […]

Renato Nelson Merlot 2014 $27.90

Intensely lifted and floral, this shows plum blossom and black forrest essences which ooze through on the nose and palate. Highly youthful acidity and fine, emery-like tannins lead to a ripe yet ultimately elegant and very Bordeaux-like Merlot. It’s a sophisticated example from Nelson, (a region WAY more famous for its pinot noir, chardonnays and […]

Sea Level Home Block Nelson Pinot Noir 2015 $27.50

Winemaker Simon Smail has let loose on his own label here, and the results are predictably top of the leader board. Gorgeous aromas of wild strawberries, herbal tea, cherry, hints of fruitwood smoke, rhubarb leaf and concentrated cranberry characters make it a new favourite sip for me. The tannins are juicy and elastic and the […]

Greenhough Nelson Gewurztraminer 2014 $26.00

Andrew Greenhough is an absolute legend insofar as aromatics are concerned. I get really excited every time I see a pinot gris or a riesling from him, but lately I’ve wondered “where’s the gewurz?” That’s because it’s been mostly sent overseas – but huzzah! We’ve snaffled some after much begging and pleading and promising to […]

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