Saturday, 18 October 2014

Brown Brothers

Brown Brothers Merlot Victoria 2012 14.5%
Lots of plum and warm climate plum spice - a fruity, varietal and familiar bouquet with a mild intensity. on the palate - dry and quite fruity with flavors that reflect the nose; mild tannins and medium acidity - the bite on the palate is mostly from the impact of oak and a the dryness; a balanced and easy drinking style well suited to food.

Brown Brothers Shiraz Victoria 2012 14%
Lots of lifted fresh red fruit aromas - raspberry and cherry followed by aromas of vanilla and gentle toasty spice; On the palate - dry with a medium body; flavors of red fruits return along with medium tannins and medium+ acidity; noticeable alcohol adds a to the mild peppery spice layer. Balanced and well made with a short finish

Brown Brothers Cabernet Sauvignon Victoria 2012 14%
The blackberry fruits of Cabernet Sauvignon show easily with this example - blackberry and blueberry are followed with some black cherry suggestions - light and harmonious on the nose. On the palate - fruity, soft, creamy palate with medium+ intensity of flavor; the black and cherry fruits return with gusto; medium acidity and tannins make for a pleasant red wine experience. Balanced and well made.

Brown Brothers Tempranillo Victoria 2013 14%
Sweet smelling, lifted and fruity bouquet of red cherry, red plum and strawberry fruits, simple yet enticingly sweet. On the palate - dry and fruity with a light smokey layer, medium acidity and dryish tannins - powdery. Overall a very drinkable wine where food should be partnered to bring out the best this wine has to offer.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Wither Hills

Wither Hills Marlborough Rose 2014 13%
Sweet and ripe light red fruits bouquet with strawberry, red cherry and light yellow plum suggestions; mild floral layer and a hint of sweetness.
On the palate - charming, fruity, fresh and tasty. Flavors of light red fruits return; medium++ acidity adds zest and appeal, medium+ finish with a light floral kick. Overall a very smart example.
4 stars


Amisfield Pinot Noir Rose 2014 Central Otago 13%
Unmistakable bouquet of blossoms and sweet red fruits - roses and stony soil notes, sweet icing-sugar dusted strawberry, red apple skin and a lush red cherry.
A great palate reflective of the nose, but also a very full flavored palate in an off-dry style with a little residual sugar treat; medium++ acidity, lots of fresh red fruit flavors and medium+ length. A charming wine pretty much perfect for mildly spiced Asian fare and even a cheese board.
4 Stars

McBride Silig Vineyard

McBride-Silig Vineyard Franc Rose Cabernet Franc 2014 Awatere Marlborough 12.5%
A classically styled rose with masculine Cabernet Franc aromas leading; there's a little muscle in the light red cherry, yellow and red plum and a touch of guava; a stony mineral note adds complexity and charm; an old rose note adds even further depth to an already interesting bouquet.
On the palate - a very tasty wine with a harmony of flavors reflective of the nose plus a light sweet rose note; medium+ acidity, dryish finish and a hint of tannin.
Balanced and well made - great food wine example.
4 Stars 


Tohu Single Vineyard Pinot Rose Marlborough 2014 13%
A full bouquet of uber-fresh fruits - sweet yellow plum, red cherry and red melon alongside a sweet light rose petal layer.
On the palate - juicy, fresh and refreshing with flavors more inline with raspberry and red melon; still with a floral edge.
Medium length with a just dry finish.
3.5 Stars


Aronui Pinot Rose 2014 Single Vineyard Nelson 13.5%
A bouquet packed with floral scented light red fruits - red and yellow cherry suggestions alongside red apple skin and sweet strawberry - a simple yet effective flourish.
On the palate - fruity, fresh, striking flavors of red fruits - strawberry and red cherry leading; medium++ acidity and a lively finish. Balanced, well made and highly recommended.
This is a smart wine choice for lightly spiced soups of a similar weight or cold meats and even cheese.
3.5 Stars

Friday, 3 October 2014

Mudbrick Vineyard

Mudbrick Vineyard Reserve Viognier Waiheke Island 2013 14.5%
This wine takes several minutes in glass to really show its true bouquet - spicy and floral, apricots and apricot kernal; blossoms and roasted stone fruits.
The palate says - warmth, richness and layers of fruits with a light bacon oak spice note and complexity that builds as the wine continues to unfurl; medium(+ ish) acidity, light mineral layers and an apricot oak finish. Well made.
4 Stars

Sacred Hill

Sacred Hill 'Halo' Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014 12.5%
Bold, nose smacking bouquet of grapefruit, lemon, apple and tropical fruits wrapped in a blanket of nettles and sweet herbs.
On the palate - crisp, richly flavored and with equal impact to the nose - a zesty and even spicy mix of citrus and tree fruit flavors, tropical fruits and jalapeno make a guest appearance and then the sweet ripe herbs kick in again; high crisp and refreshing acidity grip the palate adding poise and tension.
A lovely example - dramatic, crisp and is what makes Marlborough famous.
Well made and the lower alcohol works a treat.
An easy 5 Stars

Sacred Hill 'Virgin' Chardonnay 2013 Hawke's Bay 12.5%
This is a great example of how Chardonnay can express itself without the use of oak - a delicate and complex bouquet of tree and citrus fruits laced with white peach; the mineral suggestions are both soil and wine making driven - benefiting both the wine and taster.
On the palate - crisp, dry, youthful and with tension; the aforementioned flavors begin to emerge after the initial drive of acidity subsides to reveal the light sulphide like mineral flavors and white peach/lemon core. A long and lean finish leave me hoping for a glass with dinner. Think I will.
5 Stars (90 Points)

Sacred Hill 'Riflemans' Chardonnay 2013 Hawke's Bay 13.5%
The appointment of oak in any Chardonnay must be a hard decision for some winemakers - less can sometimes mean more in the final blend and the integration equation over time can bring wonderful flavor development. The bouquet of this examples suggests all the above are in play with a range of nutty, roasted and fresh stone fruit suggestions along with some sweet citrus and fresh oak spice.
On the palate - a gentle creaminess gives way to a firm structure; the flavors of citrus and stone fruits reemerge with a well appointed oak adding complexity. The finish is not that long as yet but I think this will change over the coming 2 - 6 years.
A delicious example.
5 Stars (93 Points)

Yealands Estate

Yealands Estate SV Awatere Valley Gruner Veltliner 2014 13.5%
The bouquet of this example centers on white florals, lemon and apple fruit suggestions then a light chalky mineral note; there is also a light herbal note.
On the palate - the varietal character begins to emerge with a peppery spice throughout the fruit flavors; the GV signature of radish and bean also begins to show but is very mild (nothing be afraid of); medium++ acidity, zero oak and a crisp finish. 
Well made and made to enjoy as an aperitif or with light, dramatically flavored foods. This wine should also age well for the next 2-3 years. A wise alternative to Sauvignon Blanc.
3.5 Stars

Black Estate

Black Estate Waipara Valley Pinot Noir 2012 13%
A bouquet packed with pinosity and complexity; a fragrant beginning with rose, tea and sweet strawberry scented fruits; plum, creamy sweet vanillin oak all add up to a seductive first look.
On the palate - dry and equally exciting with a broad mix of flavors; light red fruits, medium+ silky tannins and medium+ acidity; complex and layered with a ledium+ finish.
Beautifully balanced and well made.
5 Stars

Black Estate Waipara Valley Chardonnay 2013 13.5%
Creamy, peach and vanilla bouquet with an apple and lemon core. On the palate  - firm, dry and lightly creamy with medium+ alcohol and acidity, apple, stone fruit and citrus flavors with a medium+ presence of oak; plenty of acidity and length make for an enjoyable example and food friendly style. Balanced and well made.
4 Stars

Black Estate 'Netherwood' Chardonnay 2013 13.5%
 A bouquet of flowers, minerality and ripe fruits - very inviting. A mix of apple and stone fruits wrapped in sweet scented oak with a vanilla highlight. On the palate - spicy and fruity with medium+ acidity and lots of texture; there's also a zesty citrus layer that adds drama and complexity - very nice!
Balanced and well made with a medium+ length finish. Buy!
5 Stars (90 Points)

Tinpot Hut

Tinpot Hut 2012 Marlborough Pinot Noir 13.5%
Quite a generous bouquet with a mix of cranberry and strawberry fruit suggestions; complexity from some old rose petal and fallen leaves laced with light brown spiced oak and touches of vanilla scented toast and barrel.
On the palate - dry with oak spice-laden light red fruit flavors; medium tannins with a fine chalky texture; medium+ acidity, light-ish in body and with a moderate finish.
Overall balanced and well made.
3 Stars