Friday, 12 June 2015

Mills Reef

Mills Reef Winery Estate Chardonnay 2014 Tauranga
Forwardly fruity bouquet with a message of ripeness and even a sweet almost raw brown sugar suggestion; rich fruity aromas of fresh and poached peach, a hint of citrus and apple; oak comes next with a vanilla suggestion. On the palate - very fruity, crisp and dry with flavors of vanilla poached peach, crisp red apple and lemon; plenty of acidity and creamy texture; balanced and well made in a drink now style.
3 Stars


Vidal of Hawke's Bay Reserve Chardonnay 2014
Lots of modern wine making here with a flinty mineral beginning then white peach, lemon and fresh cashew; lots of energy and vibrancy with a floral lift. On the palate - dry, fresh, crisp and modern with citrus and white stone fruit flavors, moderate oak flavor, but mostly texture; and a fine flinty mineral suggestion. This wine is all about texture and palate impact. Works for me!
4.5 Stars

Black Estate

Black Estate Home Chardonnay 2014 Waipara Valley
Striking bouquet with a firm core of minerality laced with fresh vibrant fruit aromas; silty limestone mineral with sweet white and yellow stone fruit, lemon and grape fruit layer then a wild flower and wild honey note. On the palate - vibrant, crisp, dry and complex; flavors of creme brulee and raw sugar, mineral, wild honey, stone fruit and flowers - wow this wine just gets better; medium++ acidity and oak all in harmony with the rest of the wine's flavors. Fairly lengthy finish and well made.
5 Stars

Alpha Domus

Alpha Domus Hawke's Bay First Solo Chardonnay 2013
Rich bouquet of fresh and roasted stone fruits, a large bite of oak and a familiar nutty creamy energy. On the palate - dry, warm, rich and packed with waves of oak and fruit; medium+ to full-bodied, medium+ acidity; classic Hawke's Bay Chardonnay with plenty of texture and flavor to please many who try.
4 Stars

Richmond Plains

Richmond Plains Nelson Chardonnay 2014
An immediate mix of mineral and fruit laced with oak, very organic with a wild ferment aroma of honey; medium oak is obvious, but this is also a very youthful wine. On the palate - dry, crisp lively and fruity; flavors of citrus and white stone fruits, mild spice oak, medium+ acidity and a return of the honey ferment as flavor; medium length; a lovely wine on its own and will  also merge well with food.
4 Stars


Neudorf Nelson Chardonnay 2014
Generous unfurling of white and yellow fruits laced with oak and mild oak spice; a cream and vanilla layer adds complexity; fresh, lush and vibrant. On the palate - dry, spicy , warm and generous with plenty of white and yellow fruit flavors returning, lots of texture and a quiet mineral layer; the oak leads the palate for the moment, but that will calm over the coming months; as the wine warms in the glass even more flavors and textures begin to show. A keeper for a while please - 6-12 months just to let the various components settle in.
4 Stars

Lone Goat Vineyard

Lone Goat Vineyard Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Pungent bouquet with 'classic' New Zealand and Marlborough messages: vibrant, fruity, tropical and packed with fresh herb aromas of basil; white peach, lemon and passionfruit. On the palate - crisp and fresh with a light weight feel; flavors of tropical fruits and citrus return; high acidity and a steely mineral wet stone finish. 
3 Stars

Lone Goat Vineyard Canterbury Riesling 2009
Aromas of toasty lime and lemon with baked apple and honey - a wine showing bottle development; grapefruit and a touch faded white rose add some complexity and depth to the bouquet. On the palate - off dry with  some obvious sweetness contrasted well by medium+ acidity; flavors of lime and honey with apple and a touch of peach emerge; a balanced and well made wine with medium length.
3.5 Stars

Lone Goat Vineyard Canterbury Pinor Gris 2013
Classic Pinot Gris colors with a brassy pink hue from a touch of skin contact. Aromas of pear and red apple with a nudge of quince and Asian pear. On the palate - off dry with some sweetness off-set by medium+ acidity; medium weight; flavors reflect the white fruits above and a touch of white pepper. Solid drinking through 2015 and 2016
3 Stars


Stonecroft Gimblett Gravels Hawke's Bay Zinfandel 2013
Very fruity bouquet with lots of gently spiced red fruits of kerriberry, raspberry and jammy versions of the two; plenty of new oak and woody aromas with Bourbon-like note reflecting the American oak component. On the palate - very dry, lots of tannin and power with red and black fruit flavors. Not a wine for red wine beginners and should be approached with a large piece of cheese or richly creamy pasta to tame the tannins. That said it is a smart choice alternative to Syrah/Shiraz. Cellar for 2-3 years please.
3 Stars

Thursday, 11 June 2015


Neudorf Twenty Five Rows Chardonnay 2014
A very fresh and lively bouquet centering on the aromas of lemon, grape fruit, pear and white peach; a light floral moment adds some depth and charm; medium+ (ish) oak influences and an elegant mineral note. On the palate - quite dry with an immediate spice push from the oak then flavors of pear, white peach and lemon arrive; youthful punchy acidity, medium oak and an energetic lengthy finish with a moment of stony mineral; still very closed wine yet one with a great future.
The legend of Neudorf (and hard work) continues.....
4.5 Stars