Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Brancott Estate

Brancott Estate 'Chosen Rows' Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Marlborough
Complex and engaging bouquet with lots of Marlborough citrus and stone fruit intensity, natural ferment fragrances of Manuka honey with subtle oak spice moments; the time spent on lees has pushed forward the reductive, flinty and suphide esters adding complexity, energy and depth. On the the palate - dry, spicy, powerful and packed with energy; lots of grapefruit, lemon and white peach flavours; jalapeno, a touch of oak spice and loads of acidity. A wine that maintains its varietal intensity whilst pushing the new world expression of Sauvignon Blanc into new territory. Drinking young in January 2016 I expect this wine will continue to age and mature evenly and hopefully slowly through 2020.
92 Points

Tankersley Estate

Tankersley Estate Pinot Noir 2013 Central Otago
A bouquet of Pinot Noir with fragrances of red flowers, light red fruits, red apple skin and a very mild oak undertone; soft balanced and inviting. On the palate - fruity, dry, fresh and packed with Otago flavours of dark cherry and plum, undergrowth of sage and thyme, some mineral and oak moments; mild soft tannins and plenty of acidity; balanced and well made with immediate drink-ability and cellar worthy attributes through 2019.
88 Points


Neudorf Moutere Pinot Gris 2015 Nelson 
Fragrant, fresh and distinctive bouquet of ripe white fleshed fruits, lush, floral and with a layer of minerality and gentle white spice. On the palate - soft and lightly creamy then when the acidity kicks in the palate embraces and new mix of flavours including sweet citrus, pear and apple fruit, a hint of spice and sweetness; beautifully balanced with a lengthy finish. A lovely example.89 Points

Main Divide

Main Divide Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Waipara Valley
Forward, lush, potent and  varietal SB with a bouquet of fresh sweet herbs, citrus and waves of tropical fruit. On the palate - fresh, vibrant, crisp, warm and fruity with flavours that reflect the nose, a jalapeno-like spice,  lots of acidity and youthful bite; a lick of sweet to balance the warmth and acidity; balanced and well made.
85 Points

Main Divide 'Tehau Reserve' Pinot Noir 2014 Waipara Valley
Juicy, bold and very fruity bouquet with a slightly broody masculine appeal; suggestions of plum and dark berry, oak spices and toasty wood moments. On the palate - equally bold and masculine with flavours of plum and dark berries, toasty wood tones, some spice and vanilla then a dry finish. Solid example.
84 Points

Main Divide Merlot Cabernetc 2014 Waipara Valley
Fruity and familiar bouquet of soft plum and moderate to darker red berry fruits; mild toasty oak and vanilla tones with a mild woodiness. On the palate - classic Merlot Cabernet combination with dark red stone fruit and black berry flavours; moderate weight with tannins to match, youthful medium+ acidity and a dry finish. Well made and totally drinkable now and through 2017.
87 Points

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Torre Do Frade

Torre Do Frade Reserva 2007 Alentejano Portugal
Blend of Trincadeira (33%), Alicante Bouschet (50%) and Aragonez (17%)
Deep ruby core, consistent through the wine fading slightly at the rim
Medium+ intense bouquet of ripe red fleshed fruits with Doris plums, black berries and suggestions of date; soft yet distinctive oak spice, chocolate, mild vanilla and toast - overall attractive and enticing. On the palate - bold, dry, fruity, spicy and youthful. The most distinctive component is the texture with tannins (firm through fine), acidity (medium+) and warmth from the alcohol - showing their measure first; flavors of dark red fruits - some fresh some drying - then suggestions of cacao, earth and fresh coffee bean. A balanced and well made wine with a masculine, youthful side and a richness with concentration leading to a fairly lengthy finish. 
A wine that would find appeal with northern California  red wine fans as well as those looking to venture into Portugese wine.
89 Points