Sunday, 2 November 2014


Neudorf Chardonnay 2013 Nelson 14%
When first considering this wine be careful not to make your judgement on the first 2 sips immediately after opening - this is a wine that requires 10 minutes in glass with a few swirls to allow it to really open up and show what lies beneath. This tasting note is therefore based on a post opening 10 minute - rest period: 
Vine-age and smart wine making has brought a real depth to the bouquet of this example - there is complexity surrounding the youthful fruits of lemon and apple; the depth and calm of new and older oak envelopes the nose almost masking a line of stony almost silty minerality.
On the palate - dry and quite creamy tempered by youthful acidity and warmth of alcohol; flavors of lemon, apple and white peach emerge then a stony mineral undertone; medium+ (ish) in weight. There is a real charm and even elegance about this wine that many Chardonnay fans will find appealing - I do.
4 Stars

Saturday, 1 November 2014


Crossroads Winemakers Collection Syrah 2013 Gimblett Gravels 13.5%
Fabulous bouquet of ripe, sweet red and black fruits; sweet meats and kid leather; a vibrant and youthful package of aromas - centering on the core of fruit.
On the palate - dry with lots of texture from the tannins; loads of red and black fruit flavors, some peppery moments, but not too many; youthful yet complex; juicy and long. A wine to decant, cellar or just enjoy. remarkably good!
5 Stars (92 Points)

Crossroads 'Talisman' 2012 Hawkes Bay 12.5%
The blend is a secret, but there's Cabernet X 2 and Merlot in here for sure
There's a silkyness to the way in which this wine reveals its core - lots of black fruits drive the varietal campaign with black doris plums making a show a long the way; there's no doubt about the complexity and masculine drive. Violets.
On the palate - very youthful indeed with loads of tannins and acidity, plenty of bold black fruit flavors, complex and long. A charming wine in its early years. A long adventurous finish. Well made.
5 Stars 

Paritua Vineyards

Paritua Vineyards '21.12 Twenty. One. Twelve' 2010 Hawke's Bay 13.5%
Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Cabernet Franc
Ripe, rich and Bordeaux-esque bouquet with loads of black fruit aromas, gun metal, stony hard soil and complexity that is hard to find in a NZ red of this nature. 
On the palate - equally rich and complex, but with a fabulous harmony and richness. The core of fruit key to a wine like this is not lost and carries the palate through it bold use of oak, high tannin and acid count and finish - which is long and complex!
Well done - really good wine.
5 Stars

Elephant Hill

Elephant Hill 2013 Syrah Hawke's Bay 13.5%
Fabulous color of rich ruby, and purple with a pink rim
Stony, gravelly minerals layered with rich and opulent fruits of smoked raspberry, blackcurrant and wild berries; loads of oak only enhances the complexity and polish this wine has on the nose.
On the palate - dry and lush, vibrant and fresh, new leather and smokey oak, meaty and rich; there's more than enough concentration of fruit so soak up the oak; medium+ acidity, peppery (ish) and plenty of tannin; gravelly minerals, long finish - excellent example.
5 Stars (91 Points)

Tin Pot Hut

Tin Pot Hut 2012 Hawke's Bay Syrah 13%
Smokey meaty and vibrant bouquet with the volume of each set to the mid-point: varietal with wild and fresh raspberry and black currant fruits; dried meat suggestion and plenty of oak to bring them altogether.
On the palate - dry with juicy red fruit flavors, medium+ acidity and tannins, mild white and black pepper and medium+ use of oak. Everything works well with this wine - complexity and harmony seem to be a natural attribute; longish finish - well made.
4.5 Stars


Ellero 2012 Pinot Noir Pisa Terrace Central Otago 13.9%
Romance in a glass - there really is something special about the wines of Ellero - particularly the Pinot Noir - a signature of minerality, vibrant light red fruit and specific oak choice all in harmony - yet youthful enough still to know there's development time ahead.
On the palate - tense and poised with a vibrant youthfulness that demands cellar time; medium+ acidity and tannins; lots of oak bite, but complexity too. The oak drives the palate for the moment, but this will change. Pretty long finish that ends with a reminder of the fruit and mineral.
5 Stars

Black Estate

Black Estate Pinot Noir 2012 Waipara Valley 13%
A bouquet with complexity and depth - mature vine aromas melded with well chosen oak alongside gulps of pinosity: mineral laden light red fruits and gently spiced oak and lite-brown spice suggestions.
On the palate - lots of pinosity and youth - a wine still in development. Dry with flavors of light red fruits and plum, lots of fine tannins with the fruit and oak sources competing a little - again a wine still in development; complex with a great mineral signature and finish.
4 Stars