Cantine Riondo Castelforte Veneto Valpolicella Superiore 2013 $19 (3.5 stars)

The Valpolicella Blend is based on three indigenous red-wine grape varieties grown in the Veneto region in Italy’s northeast. Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara are the trio primarily involved in the Valpolicella DOC, Corvina plays the starring role in Valpolicella (up to 75 percent) and is regarded as the blend’s lynchpin. Known more for its acidity […]

Fairhall Downs Single Vineyard Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016 $23.75 (3.5stars)

From their Wrekin Road vineyard, comes this intensely herbaceous sauvignon, with loads of crushed nettles and a wave of jalapeno on the nose before morphing into a soft, basil, passionfruit and lemony layers in the mid-palate.  It’s a plump, tropical sauvignon that’ll win with mussel fritters. www.fairhalldowns.co.nz

Allan Scott Marlborough Riesling 2014 $18 ★★★½

Aromas of green apple, carrot cake spices and musky, honeysuckle and apricot kernel characters all merge together on the palate and crash into a wave of sweetness.  There’s a soft, grainy texture to the finish of this tangy example that’ll definitely appeal to those who prefer a more honeyed style of riesling. Sip with: spicy […]

Cannonball California Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 ★★★½

As Californian as tans, teeth and tiny dogs, this is a bold, bouncy cabernet that dials the spice and plushness up to high gear.  Named after what we kiwi’s call the ‘bomb’, one sip of this and you’ll definitely be in the deep end – with a cabernet crush that is.  Made from fruit grown […]

Fontanafredda Asti DOCG NV $29 ★★★½

With its pillowy mousse, sweet, musky, candied aromas edged with spice and lemon; it’s a tropical treat from Italy that’ll have your mouth watering in no time.  A positively demure 7% alc means you can treat yourself to a couple of glasses over lunch without being sent sideways. Sip with: Pear, blue cheese, candied walnut […]

Matawhero Gisborne Albarino 2014 $25 ★★★½

While it’s bold and golden in the glass, you’ll need to dig deep in the nose department.  But it’s worth the effort because you’ll uncover subtle lemon verbena, white nectarine and wild flowers, while on the palate it’s seriously, palate-exfoliatingly dry.  Matawhero’s owners, Kirsten and Richard Searle, are clearly fans of the variety, and this […]

Squawking Magpie The Chatterer Chardonnay 2015 $19 ★★★½

Toast and roast peach characters on the nose lead to a biscuity, complex, dry style of chardonnay on the palate.  There’s a squeak of grilled apricot and honey on the finish alongside a seam of clean acidity running it’s entire length.  Fans of toasty, oaky chardonnays will enjoy this wine.  Sip with creamy smoked chicken […]

Spade Oak Gisborne Rosé 2015 $18.50 ★★★½

Most rose styles in New Zealand are made from pinot noir or various combos of merlot, syrah and the like.  However, Steve and Eileen Voysey at Spade Oak have chosen to go with saucy, Spanish tempranillo for theirs – and it works a treat.  Dry, spicy and packed with red apple, raspberry, spiced watermelon, hints […]

Tohu Mugwi Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014 $25 ★★★½

Prepare to have your perceptions of sauvignon blanc altered immediately!  With intense aromas of watercress, freshly-baled pea hay and smoked jalapenos, this is a seriously funky, complex style style that’s definitely not for the faint-hearted.  Named in honour of Mugwi MacDonald, the late treasured Kaumatua of Maori-owned and operated Tohu Wines, it’s a wine crafted […]

Pegasus Bay Waipara Merlot Cabernet 2013 $31.50 ★★★½

Southern-style Bordeaux blends might not have been on your radar before, but a sip of this will have you honing in on it pronto.  Deeply savoury aromas of soy, black olive, dark berries, dusty cocoa characters and dried bay and thyme all cuddle around plump, ripe plum and bold spicy fruity flavours.  Caramelised oak and […]

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