Villa Maria Reserve Library Release Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2009 $69.99 (4.5 stars)

Purple-black and gorgeously glossy in the glass, this is a deliciously dense, berry-saturated cabernet blend edged with bouquet garni herbs and cocoa characters.  Softly peppered, fleshy and plump in the mouth and boasting a line of black olive, bay and smoke, it’s a big blend with real pluck and personality. www.villamaria.co.nz

Te Pa Marlborough Pinot Gris 2015 $19 (4.5 star)

Golden, glossy and gorgeous in the glass and a trophy winner weighing in at under $20 – how great is that?  Sweetly perfumed with roast pear and apple strudel notes, spice and lifted, peachy flavours.  It’s tangy and fruity to drink yet it finishes zesty and dry.  There’s a lovely zingy texture on that coats […]

St Hugo Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 $55.99 (4.5 stars)

Here’s a gorgeously glossy, eucalypt and herb-scented little star that’s classic Coonawarra through and through.  Blackcurrant, white pepper, smoky, cedar notes, loads of florals and a burst of black olive makes itself known on the finish.  It’s a masculine, complex example that’s leathery, earthy and definitely drinking nicely now. www.firstglass.co.nz

Pask Declaration Hawke’s Bay Methode Traditionelle 2009 $40 (4.5 stars)

One of things I love about Kate Radburnd and her team at Pask, is that they are great keepers of secrets.  Who knew they’d been sitting on an absolutely stunning sparkling wine for 8 years!  Just released, this classically crafted blend of chardonnay and pinot noir has a deliciously finely-tuned texture in the mouth, soft […]

Unison Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2015 $55 (4.5stars)

This wine may be from a ‘monster’ vintage, a vintage you’d expect to produce exclusively big, alcoholic, over-extracted wines.  Yet here we have elegance ‘wine-on-ified’.  Fresh pepper and vibrant plum and boysenberry backstroke through waves of vanilla and dried herbs.  The tannins are solid, yet stretchy and supple and it’s a wine that the team […]

Dopff & Irion Cuvée René Dopff Alsace Riesling 2014 $22 (4.5 stars)

Here’s a definite new favourite for me, because I adore this style of riesling that’s packed with pure lime and green apple on the nose, crushed shells and wet stones.  It’s a dry style, yet has some gloriously crunchy, natural sweetness allowing a round, citrus-focused mid-palate and a generously cleansing finish.  Love it! www.wineseeker.co.nz

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 […]

Hunter’s Marlborough Riesling 2016 $18.90 (4.5 stars)

If you’re looking for a bouncy, vivacious riesling that zings with flavour, you’ve come to the right spot because this new release from Hunter’s is so incredibly clean, fresh and limey.  With its snappy citrus and crushed shell notes, crunchy green apple and hints of honeysuckle, it’ll make any recipe featuring ginger, chilli, garlic and […]

Sacred Hill Halo Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2014 $25 ★★★★½

Born in the now nationally-reverred Rifleman’s Vineyard which lies in a secret spot inland-west of Napier in Puketapu’s Dartmoor Valley, this is an ‘impress-your-friends’ chardonnay if ever I tasted one.  Prepare for a burst of fennel, peach and vanilla, alongside some white pepper and a big, juicy, satisfying texture.  It’s fat, fresh and fabulous. www.finewinedelivery.co.nz

Tiki Single Vineyard Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2014 $23 ★★★★½

Crafted by winemaking legend Evan Ward, this wine oozes smoked apricot, toasty nectarine and oatmealy, creamy flavours.  There’s a gently juicy texture, silky citrus and vanilla-infused spices wash around the back teeth.  And it’s rich, fulfilling and rather fabulous.This is a great wine from a chardonnay master at work. For stockists visit www.tikiwine.com

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