Kalex Bendigo Terrace Central Otago Riesling 2014 $32 ★★★★½

Wow! Lime alert! This southern star smashes through the palate with green apple and quartz-powder, minerally mouthfeel that lingers long and will send your saliva glands into overload.  Dry and bony, but packed with character – here’s a wine that’ll work

Bernard Schurr Organic Cote du Rhone Villages 2014 $30 ★★★½

Bernard Schurr’s wines are now made at his friend Laurent Delaunay’s estate, Domaine de Lambisque, in the northern reaches of the Cotes du Rhone appellation.  This softly spiced, earthy red is a blend of 50:50 Grenache and Syrah, aged for 9 months in large, seasoned oak vessels.  It’s got a lovely forest-floor character alongside fragrant, […]

Reynella Basket Press McLaren Vale Shiraz 2014 $40 ★★★★

Alongside the bog standard technical stuff written on the notes that accompanied my sample of this bottle (things like acidity, alcohol, pH etc…) the winemaker has added ‘Occasion = Late Night’.  I concur.  Dark chocolate, seasoned leather, cigar box and blackcurrant compote notes followed by cockle-warming, juicy, spiciness on the finish, makes this the perfect […]

De La Terre Hawke’s Bay Barbera 2014 $43 ★★★★½

‘De La Terre’ means ‘of the earth’, which fits as they have New Zealand’s only earth brick winery building up on the Taihape Road. ‘They’ are Tony and Kaye Prichard, who’ve been working on their own label following Tony’s departure from Church Road a little over a decade ago. Barbera is super-rare and the Prichard’s […]

Billaud-Simon Chablis 2014 $41 (4 stars)

That delicious, chalky, limestone & crushed oyster shell character merges with lemon pith, white pepper, green apple and a faint touch of almond to produce a really pretty chardonnay that’s light yet beautifully structured in the mouth.  Waves of white florals and spice lull you into thinking it’s going to be a gentle ride until […]

Pask Declaration Gimblett Gravels Declaration Chardonnay 2014 $50 (5 stars)

Chardonnay lovers have I got a bottle of ‘batta bing, batta bing’ for you!  Crafted by the seriously talented team at Pask, (where it’s compulsory to adore chardonnay) here’s a grapefruit and peach-packed wine stitched together with butterscotch, custard crème, tweaks of cinnamon and a long, juicy finish.  As soon as you sip, your palate […]

Sacred Hill HALO Hawke’s Bay Merlot Cabernet 2014 $28 (4.5 stars)

Holy hand harvest batman! What a wine!  It’s tricky to even start explaining how glorious this wine smells – but I’ll do my best for you.  Vanilla, soft boysenberry, cocoa, caramelised walnuts and smoked plums – how does that sound?  To drink, it’s fresh, vibrant, woven together with muscular tannins and extended with a marathon-like […]

Millars Vineyard Syrah 2014 $25 (4.5 stars)

Take the little bendy track called Bush Lane above Mangawhai beach, and you’ll find the small but perfectly formed vineyard belonging to Ross Millar. He grows tiny amounts of darn lovely wine and this syrah is no exception. Ultra-pure peppercorn characters on the nose merge with lifted violet, dark cherry, blueberry and juicy, succulent fruit […]

Unison Gimblett Gravels Rocky Red 2014 $22 (4 stars)

Phil and Terry Horn have absolutely immersed themselves in a Hawke’s Bay life in wine ever since taking ownership of the 6ha, Gimblett Gravels icon Unison Vineyard in 2008. With the help of expert winemaker Jenny Dobson, they have elevated the quality of their reds to stratospheric levels. This ‘Rocky’ merlot cabernet blend follows the […]

Karikari Esate Calypso Northland Merlot 2014 $27 (3.5stars)

If you were looking for New Zealand’s northernmost vineyard then you’ve come to the right place.  The heat bakes those vines and the breezes which gust in from the coast directly below the peninsula keep the bunches dry and clean.  Winemaker Alan Collinson uses wild, natural yeasts to ferment the juice, which adds to the […]

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