Unison Gimblett Gravels Reserve Merlot 2012 $30 (4stars)

I used to work on a raspberry farm when I was in high school (loved it btw) and every time I sniff this wine it takes me back to those days of repeatedly sticking my face inside a leafy, fruit-scented canopy to harvest those plump, juicy berries. Fresh, spicy, with layers of plum-rubbed leather and […]

Sottano Reserva de Familia Malbec 2012 $43 (4 stars)

Dense inky, muscular and shows a strong core of dark boysenberry, blackcurrant leaf, charred capsicum, and sensational smoky, meaty layers.  The texture of the tannins is chewy and deliciously drying, while a strong current of pepper and cocoa carry through to a long, persistent finish.  Enjoy with blackened lamb shoulder and pomegranate glaze. For info […]

Villa Pisoni Chianti Riserva 2013 $25.99 (4 stars)

Long gone are the days of your Chianti coming complete with a wicker basket wrapped around the bottle (they’re called ‘fiascoe’s’ btw) Thankfully today Chianti is much classier. Crafted from 100% sangiovese fruit, this light, supple, cherry and berry bang of a wine has powdery, clinging tannins and an earthy undercurrent that I really like.  […]

Mahana Davey’s Lease Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2015 $42 (4stars)

Winemaker Michael Glover has thrown so many ‘non-sauvignon’ techniques at this wine, it’s now something that might be sauvignon, but not as we know it.  Bright, glossy, golden and boasting a lean, smoky, watercressy nose and a palate layered with almond meal, celery seed, bay and tarragon characters.  A combo of French oak and acacia […]

Neudorf Rosie’s Block Nelson Chardonnay 2015 $33 ★★★★

Five different clones were hand harvested, fermented with wild yeasts and blended to create this buttered-crumpet-smelling chardonnay, which quickly unveils a backbone of grilled nectarine and grapefruit pith alongside deliciously textural, creamy almond characters in the mid palate.  It’s a juicy, cheek-puckering style that pretty much makes everything you consume with it positively bounce around […]

Alchemy Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2014 $27 ★★★★

Google will have you believe that Alchemy is defined as “a seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination” This wine however, has had much calculated thought put into it by owner Neal Cave and winemaker Ant Mackenzie. Clones 15 and ENTAV-548, were handpicked, 100% barrel fermented in 30% new French oak and given a […]

Blank Canvas Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2014 $45 ★★★★

Impenetrably inky in the glass, with a super-sexy sheen, I just wanted to devour it regardless of how it stacks up in the aroma and taste stakes.  Often, to give syrah an aromatic boost, a splash of viognier is added to syrah (a la Côte Rôtie). However this peppery upstart has had 7.5% gruner veltliner […]

Heartland Directors Cut Langhorne Creek Shiraz 2013 $45 ★★★★

With surnames like Tillbrook, Collett and Glaetzer behind this wine, you know it’s been made by talented wee things.  Slick and glossy in the glass and unveiling wafts of tobacco, pepper, dark berries and that smell of ancient Drizabone coats hanging in the woodshed – it’s completely unputdownable (that’s a technical term).  Fresh spices merge […]

Jules Taylor Marlborough Pinot Noir 2015 $33 ★★★★

If there’s one thing Jules Taylor knows how to do (other than being superwoman) it’s how to craft solid, character-packed pinot noir.  Here’s a highly refined, savoury-edged example, with a core of cherry and black doris plum, vanilla and baking spices.  Slippery, succulent and with a soft, smoky finish, it’s sexy. Sip with: lamb tagine […]

O:Tu Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015 $17 ★★★★

Wow!  If you’re partial to green, green and more greeny goodness in your sauvignon blanc, then this may be just the wheel-spinner you’re looking for.  Scented with intense jalapeno, basil and blackcurrant leaf and tomato stalk notes, followed by a smash of passionfruit and lime.  Great value, crisp and crunchy. www.winebox.co.nz

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