Matahiwi Estate Wairarapa Pinot Noir 2016 $28 (4 stars)

I LOVE this wine. From the powerfully smoky, spiced cherry lift on the nose to the intensely fruity core and the long, succulent finish – it’s an absolute star. Buoyant raspberry, rhubarb, pomegranate and pepper characters: they’re all there, too! Grown near Masterton (the place where pinot noir was first planted 130 years ago), it’s […]

Gladstone Vineyard ‘Pushmi’ 2016 $31.50 (4 stars)

It’s a rare thing in this country to see sauvignon blanc blended with anything. It’s usually pure, crisp, punchy and clean. However, the team from Gladstone Wines in the Wairarapa have opted to get a tad funky on it by creating a co-ferment of Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier in homage to the Dr Doolittle beast, […]

Yeastie Boys ‘Pullyu’ 750ml $45 (as part of a gift pack)

Ever tried beer made with wine? Here’s your chance with this white ale that the Yeastie’s have added to their 2014 ‘Spoonbender’ series. Taking a small portion of Gladstone Vineyard’s ‘Pushmi’ white wine (sauvignon and viognier) to create a candy-sugar to use alongside the malts and hops in the brew, the ‘Pullyu’ is a strong, […]

Gladstone Vineyard Wairarapa Sauvignon Blanc 2015 $27

Throwing themselves headlong into organic viticulture, Christine Kernohan and her team of sauvignon sensei’s are reaping the rewards right here. Softly, softly is how this super-floral example plays out, with hints of fresh lawn clippings, basil, sweet pea and some plucky, preserved lemon layers give it lusciousness, length and complexity. Sip with: steamed snapper with […]

Gladstone Vineyard Gladstone Pinot Gris 2016 $25 (3.5 star)

Aged on its yeast lees (what’s left over once the yeast finishes fermenting), this Wairarapa-grown gris is deliciously dry, lean, clean and shows an edge of apple skin, nashi juice and white pepper.  There’s a splash of citrus on the finish and it’s got some good persistence on the palate.  Grown organically and clearly there’s […]

Matahiwi Holly Wairarapa Sauvignon Blanc 2014 $26 ★★★★★

One sip and I punched both fists in the air and yelled out “Jane Cooper is a genius!”  Jane’s been creating award winning wines at Matahiwi since 2002 and when it comes to making darn glorious sauvignon, she’s a master.  I love the intense nectarine, fresh mango and lime flavours that smash across the palate.  […]

Johner Gladstone Syrah 2013 $50

Reds-wise, people tend to think the Wairarapa is pinot noir country, but sensational syrah is their secret little talent.  Earthy, gamey aromatic layers of smoke, old leather, cocoa and pepper entice the nose and osmose into the palate leaving a juicy, succulent and seriously savoury impression. Sip with: Strong, crumbly aged cheddar www.johner-estate.com

Johner Estate Moonlight Wairarapa Pinot Noir 2014 $26 ★★★½

Despite the slightly odd label (nipple spikes anyone?) the wine itself is a super-sippable, fruit-soaked, spicy pinot that’ll definitely be a conversation-starter at your next dinner party.  Berries, cherries and hints of cocoa, alongside a soft, velvety finish make this a dangerously drinkable pinot that rocks with roast lamb. www.johner-estate.com

Fairmont Estate Wairarapa Sauvignon Blanc 2014 $15 ★★★½

John McNab grows grapes on Martinborough’s Gladstone Terraces.  Grapes which produce softly textured, clean, tropical, tangy sauvignon like this.  If you prefer softer acidity and less of the cats-pee and gooseberry – then this is definitely for you.  The cruchy white peach, lifted florals and juicy, lemony finish make it sing with seafood.  www.fairmontestate.co.nz

Paper Road Wairarapa Pinot Noir 2014 $21 ★★★½

Grown and made in Opaki, just north of Masterton, this gently fruited velvety-plush pinot boasts a hit of sweet rosehip tea, ripe cherry and smooth, slippery raspberry notes on the finish.  For lovers of sweet fruit and soft spices, this will absolutely hit the mark with a spicy warm lamb salad. www.paperroad.co.nz

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