Waimea Nelson Gewurztraminer 2016 $23 (4 stars)

Winemaker Hamish Kempthorne has crammed a cruise-ship sized chunk of creamy florals, luscious lychee, peach and ginger-dusted, musky notes into this bottle. Waimea produce crisp, satisfying, richly flavoured aromatic whites that, if I had my way, would be less of a secret and more of a ‘mustsip’. Try this with your next Thai green chicken […]

Black Estate Home Chardonnay 2016 $45 (4 stars)

The Home Vineyard sits 6 kilometres north east of the Waipara Junction, in the Omihi sub-district of North Canterbury’s Waipara Valley. The un-grafted, Mendoza-clone chardonnay vines this wine was made from were planted in 1994 and since 2010 have been grown using organic and biodynamic practices, resulting in a wine oozing grilled citrus, layers of […]

Pukeora Estate Ruahine Range Pinot Gris 2015/2016 $21 (4 stars)

It’s a rare thing to see these days, blending two vintages of a still wine together (multi-vintage blending is common in sparklings), yet winemaker Max Annabell has made this work. A tiny pinot gris harvest in 2015 meant the wine was kept aside and when an equally tiny (but delicious) vintage followed in 2016, he […]

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Merlot Cabernet Franc Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec 2015 $22.70 (4 stars)

Fans of softly structured, fleshy, fabulous merlot-dominated reds can kick off their shoes, flick on the telly and pour a glass of this and be confident that it’ll deliver in every respect. Dark red fruits, peppery, cocoa and dried herb characters, deliciously dusty tannins and a long, fresh finish make this a must sip with […]

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Gimblett Gravels Grenache 2016 $25 (4 stars)

This is literally the only grenache being produced in New Zealand, so best you get amongst it before its all gone! Crafted from 16-year-old vines growing in the company’s Ngakirikiri Vineyard, it’s a heaving monster of a wine, rammed with floral intensity and spiced berry and cherry flavours. The alcohol is 14.5% and its heat […]

Sileni Estates Pacemaker Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Franc 2014 $40 (4 stars)

Prepare for a bevvy of blossoms, boisterous berry fruit and buckets of dried herbs and spices on the nose and palate of this intense cabernet franc. Bay leaf, liquorice, black tea and sou bois lushness are all jostling for attention in the glass so sit back and enjoy the battle. If this is your pacemaker […]

Ara Single Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017 $15.99 (4 stars)

Steady yourself for some serious citrus intensity here from the very first sip. Freshly-juiced lime, bashed lemongrass and passionfruit compete for attention on the nose, while layers of lemon and green apple wash across the palate. Piercing acidity, a squeak of white pepper and a strong, mineral spine, make this a must-feature in your fridge […]

Tohu Rewa Marlborough Methode Traditionnelle Blanc de Blanc 2014 $29 (4 stars)

With its pale, lemon-gold colour, sexy, meringue-like mousse and finely-tuned, tiny beads, this wine looks like money in the glass. It stacks up in the taste stakes too. Soft lemon and panetone loaf aromas, biscuity boldness and its fresh, creamy finish make this chardonnaycentric fizz one of my favourites. www.glengarrywines.co.nz

Urlar Gladstone Riesling 2016 $25 (4 stars)

Angus and Davina Thomson sold up everything they owned in Scotland back in the early 2000’s to find themselves some prime vineyard land, grow grapes, make organic, biodynamically crafted wine, have a tribe of children and live happily ever after on the other side of the world. Urlar is Gaelic for ‘The Earth’ and yet […]

Johner Estate Wairarapa Riesling 2016 $20 (4 stars)

Karl Heinz Johner makes wine in opposite hemispheres, with family estates in Baden, (in Germany’s Kaiserstuhl region) AND in Martinborough’s Gladstone sub-region. Riesling is a hero grape for him and he loves the crunchy green acidity, pear notes, baked pipfruit, lime zest and honey characters that Martinborough grapes give. So much so that he’s decided […]

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