Published NZ Herald Sat 5 Dec 2015


Tween television appears obsessed with churning out programs featuring perfect-looking kids striving to become a ‘triple threat’, meaning they need to sing, dance and act better than anyone else in order to be a STAR.  In winemaking you need great ground, great fruit and great skills – but that’s more a ‘triple treat’ than triple threat…


Natural Wine Co. Organic Gisborne Pinot Gris 2015 $19.99Natural Wine Pinot Gris

Crafted by Geoff Wright using organic, biodynamic methods or “chaos” as he calls it, this is about as “hands off” as you can get before basically expecting the grapes to turn themselves into wine.  This straw-gold pinot gris shows a lifted, chalky, nutty aroma and a rich quince and baked apple character.  It’s full, generous and has crazy complexity on the finish.  I really like this wine – it’s an oddball but loaded with personality.

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Tony Bish Summertime Gisborne Chardonnay 2014 $18

There’s a funky, roasted nut note on the nose which adds a seam of smoke to the creamy, peach and yellow plum flavours on the palate.  It’s crafted from fruit sourced from the Judd Estate vineyard in Gisborne, a place that’s turned out some chardonnay royalty in the past and when it comes to making chardonnay Tony Bish knows a thing or seven.  Good value for money right here.


Coal Pit ‘Tiwha’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2014 $42Coal Pit PN NV
This is one of those brands that I hardly ever see, but when I do, this tiny, Gibbston-based vineyard has a habit of impressing.  Owned by Rosie Dunphy and her family, Coal Pit’s winemaker is Lynn Horton, a woman obsessed with ‘scents’ and she’s married to Gary Crabbe, the company viticulturist – so it’s a family affair creating this super-juicy, cherry and berry-driven pinot that’s saturated with fresh spices and overflows with an easy, generous mouthfeel.  Lovely stuff.