Black Barn Hawke’s Bay Merlot Malbec Cabernet 2014 $33 (4.5 stars)

Winemaker Dave McKee is like a silent assassin. He just quietly shuffles about in Black Barn’s ridiculously tiny winery each year, never saying boo about how the wine is tasting until he’s fully confident that it’s in the bottle safely – and even then he doesn’t give anything away. Fleshy, plum-saturated, seriously smooth and bursting […]

Alpha Domus Hawke’s Bay The Navigator 2014 $32 (4.5 stars)

Close your eyes and imagine this wine being a shiny, skintight, leopard print suit inside chunky, glittery platform boots. It’s David Lee Roth in a bottle basically. Suspended on wires above an arena, belting out ‘Jump!’ It’s a slick, masculine, Hollywood wine that’s impenetrably dark and doused with blackberry, plum, boysenberry and voluptuously spicy characters. […]

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 4 Sawcut Chardonnay 2015 $30 (4.5 stars)

Sourced from a vineyard located at the entrance to the limestone Sawcut Gorge in the south-of-Marlborough Ure Valley, this smart chardonnay from the team at Saint Clair is an absolute cracker. I don’t know how they could have crammed any more flavour into this bottle if they tried. Citrus-stacked, it hurls zesty minerality at you […]

Te Awa Single Estate Hawke’s Bay Tempranillo 2014 $29.99 (4.5 stars)

Hands up if you even knew tempranillo was being grown in Hawke’s Bay? Not many if any I’ll vouch. The grape responsible for producing the great Rioja’s of Spain has found a happy home smack bang in the middle of the Gimblett Gravels and it’s thriving. Chock full of intense dark berries, intense dark cocoa, […]

Le Pont Gisborne Chardonnay 2016 $36 4.5 stars

Le Pont Gisborne Chardonnay 2016 $36 (4.5 stars) Old school chardonnay fans ahoy!  Named in Tribute to the pioneering Irwin family who bought the first Mendoza clone chardonnay to Gisborne in the 1970’s, they went on to found a French restaurant called Le Pont.  A combination of French and American oak barrels has injected a […]

My notes on Obsidian Waiheke Island new releases…

Obsidian Reserve Waiheke Island Chardonnay 2017 $48 The stylish, chablis-like elegance of this wine makes it a showstopper for me. I love the purity of fruit, intense citrus, and minerality on the mid-palate, peachy backbone and the dusting of subtle nutty notes on the finish. It’s a beautifully balanced example and I’m officially obsessed with […]

Osawa Wines Prestige Collection Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2015 $50 (4.5 stars)

Osawa’s chardonnay vines send their roots down deep into the soils on a river terrace about 30 minutes west of Hastings, where the boulders along the rows are so big they’re called “Mangatahi Swedes” by the local farmers. With aromas of grilled grapefruit, struck match, flinty intensity and lemony notes – it’s hard to pull […]

Godelia Viernes Bierzo Mencía 2013 $26 (4.5 stars)

Crafted by Josep Serra and Olga Verde, this hand harvested little mencía (pronounced ‘men-thee-aah) erupts with florals and spice and hedgerow fruits on the nose. Yet on the palate it immediately calms down into a smooth, soft sip with suede-like texture, alongside a hint of salt, mushroom and mineral notes combine with earthy layers to […]

Seresin Moana Blanc 2011 $43 (4.5 stars)

Moana is one of Marlborough’s best-kept sparkling secrets. A 100% organic & biodynamically-grown blend of 59% chardonnay and 41% pinot noir that’s been aged for 3 years on its yeast lees, it has a soft, nutty, yeasty fragrance of rising dough and cream cheese. A lick of lemon adds an extra layer of loveliness. Sourced […]

Vinteloper Urban Project Red 2016 $39.90 (4.5 stars)

I LOVED the bottle so much that no sooner was it empty than I bunged a candle down it’s spout and popped it on the mantlepiece. Art right there. Shiraz and Malbec are an unusual twosome, but this blend by the unconventional coterie of Vinteloper kids works on so many levels. Aromas of plum, raspberry, […]

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