Saturday, 20 August 2016

Folding Hill

Folding Hill Pinot Noir 2014 Bendigo Central Otago 14.2%
Complex, varietal, toasty and layered bouquet of Pinot Noir with dark cherry, baked cherry, freeze-dried cherry and some raspberry plum moments; the mix of baking spices and older oak add complexity and intrigue. On the palate - fruity, floral, dry and complex; layers of red berry fruits and oak, textures of silk and chalk from abundant tannins; medium+ acidity; firm yet lengthy finish. A wine with tension and poise as well as charm and potential. Decant for a service or cellar through 2018 then check again. Will reward through 2025.
93 Points


Piramimma 'Pirra' Grenache Shoraz 2013 Mclaren Vale South Australia 14.8%
Quite aromatic with tart red berry fruits, spices and sweet vanilla scents; generous though not excessive oak, mild complexity. On the palate - fruity, lush, juicy and dry; plenty of red berry and sweet plum flavours, baking spices and a little pepper; medium acidity and tannins, warming alcohol and very easy to drink finish. Balanced and well made.
85 Points


Beresford Shiraz 2014 McLarenvale South Australia 14.5%
Very fruity, dark berries, toasty and sweet ripe raisin-like aromas; plenty of jam and brown sugar suggestions; vanilla and a light tart red berry note. On the palate - juicy, sweet red berry fruits, prune and chocolate moments, medium acidity and tannins; lots of toasty vanilla oak. Balanced and well made, a classic if not predicatble example.
86 Points

Sacred Hill

Sacred Hill 'Deerstalkers' Syrah 2014 Hawke's Bay 13.5%
Deep inky ruby purple core and bright pink rim.
A bouquet of ripe, almost jammy baked red fruits with dense raspberry, black currant and plum, aromas of soft pepper, fresh new barrel, vanilla and wet clove, concentrated and complex. On the palate - delicious! concentrated, full, rich and powerful; plenty of acidity and medium+ tannins from the fruit first and oak second along with focused fruit, oak and flavours synergies make for a powerful and intense example. Youthful and focused - a wine to cellar or decant for service. Solid cellaring through 2030.
96 Points

Sacred Hill 'Brokenstone' 2014 Hawke's Bay 13.5% (Merlot/Malbec/Syrah/Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc)
Dark ruby purple core and bright ruby rim.
Fully loaded bouquet of wild and fresh red berries, dark plum and blackberry; some dried herb and soft pepper notes, a little bell pepper and vanilla scented toasty oak; quite complex overall. On the palate - dry, savoury, firm, youthful, full and rich in flavour; dark berry fruits and a light tart red fruit layer, plenty of acidity and firm tannins; the light bell-pepper and hay layer re-emerges; tense, youthful and lengthy finish. A wine to decant or for the cellar; will reward through 2025.
94 Points

Sacred Hill 'Helmsman' 2014 Hawke's Bay 13.5% (Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Cabernet Franc)
Saturated ruby and purple through to a  a bright ruby rim.
Masculine, bold, a little broody and ripe with dark berry fruit aromas of blackberry and Doris plum, oaky with clove and dark vanilla, floral with dark violets, toasty, woody nutty new barrel and a gentle vegetal herb quality; complex. On the palate - fruity, dry, complex and layered, light savoury and dried hay note, some tobacco and dark spice layers; blackberry and plum; medium+ acidity, plenty of oak & skin tannins; complex and long finish. A tense and youthful wine that time in cellar will reward. Decant well ahead of time; will cellar through 2030.
96 Points

Friday, 19 August 2016

Te Hera Estate

Te Hera Estate Reserve Pinot Noir 2013 Martinborough 13.5%
Steely fresh fruit drive with red cherry and macerated starwberry lift, sweet oak and nutty cashew layer, fallen autumn leaves and vanilla note. On the palate - quite fruity with red charry and red plum flavours, fine to moderate tannins and acidity, balamced and well made; dirnk now and through 2018.
88 Points

Te Hera Estate 'Kiritea' Pinot Noir 2013 Martinborough 13.5%
Ripe and fruity core of red fruits with a sweet red cherry and raspberry; a light vailla spice and gentle toasty oak layer. On the palate - fruity and dry with medium+ noticeable tannins and acidity; tannins have a rough silk texture accentuated by the acidity and oak; flavours of red berries; decent finish and with some length. Drink now and through 2020; balanced and well made.
90 Points

Petane Station

Petane Station SV Pinot Gris 2015 Esk Valley Hawke's Bay 14%
Pronounced Pet-aa-knee- This wine shows a bouquet of ripe fresh and fleshy white fruits with peach and pear, apple and Nashi; some light white spice moments and light mineral layer of stone. On the palate - very fruity and lush with lots of white fleshed fruit flavours, a hint of button mushroom and white pepper; medium acidity (+/-), a creamy layer to the texture and a lengthy white fruits finish. Lots to like.
89 Points

Petane Station SV Viognier 2015 Esk Valley Hawke's Bay 14%
Great varietal attack with bold and muscly aromas of fresh and poached apricot, quince, peach tea and apple, a spice and floral layer adds depth to also solidify the bouquet as nothing but Viognier. On the palate - fuller-bodied, rounded texture, packed with orange orchard fruit flavours, spice and warmth. A lovely example of the variety and a wine to savour with paella or or orange buttered snapper.
89 Points

Petane Station SV Gewurztraminer 2015 Esk Valley Hawke's Bay 15%
Floral and very fruity bouquet with exotic ripe fruit aromas of white peach, apple, some lychee and lavender; mild spice and herb layer. On the palate - creamy, fruity, warm; a mix of yellow and white fruit flavours, medium acidity and warming alcohol; in a drink now style to be paired with mildly spice European/Asian fusion cuisine.
82 Points

Petane Station SV Syrah 2013 Esk Valley Hawke's Bay 12.5%
Deep ruby core with a pink rim - leads to a bouquet of dark plum and baked raspberry, black pepper and blue fruits, a layer of five-spice with clove at the front; velvet rose and toasty oak. On the palate - dry, spicy and firmly textured with medium+ tannins and acidity; flavours of dark plum and raspberry, black currant and clove; a wine that is beginning to merge its components and evolve; balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2022 - suggest you decant well ahead of time.
90 Points


Hunter's 'Jane Hunter' Pinot Noir Rosé 2016 Marlborough 12.5%
Juicy, lifted red fruits bouquet with crushed strawberry and red apple, a light rose layer, white peach and stony mineral core. On the palate - juicy, fruity, plush, fresh and balanced; flavours of red berry fruits, plenty of acidity and wet stone mineral; balanced and well made.
88 Points


Alluviale Rosé 2016 Hawke's Bay 13.5%
Light red fruit aromas of sweet red cherry and ripe cranberry then some plum and red rose; a light mineral layer adds depth and a light complexity. On the palate - dry, fruity and fresh with crunchy acidity, very fine tannins and mineral layer boosted by red fruit flavours and a completeness on the palate; balanced and well made.
89 Points

Sileni Estates

Sileni Estates 'Ridge' Rosé 2016 Hawke's Bay 13.5%
Starwberry, red plum, red cherry and light red rose aromas - a classic bouquet for rose tinted wine, simple, bold, fruity and forward. On the palate - just off-dry with some residual sweetness - contrasted with higher acidity then flavours of light red fruits especially strawberry and sweet red melon. Drink now and through 2017.
86 Points

Mudbrick Vineyard

Six of the most exciting wines I have tasted in a long time from a single producer

Mudbrick Vineyard Reserve Chardonnay 2015 Waiheke Island 13.5%
Complex and beguiling bouquet of fruit, oak and complexity: roasted fresh stonefruit aromas of peach and nectarine with layers of preserved grapefruit then oak spices and new barrel. On the palate - full bodied, rich and complex with flavours of stone fruit from the orchard, nectarine and apricot; some brown spices and complex wood tone layers, nutty burnt bitter layer and fine tannins; medium acidity and long finish - Chardonnay fans will enjoy.
92 Points

Mudbrick Vineyard Reserve Viognier 2015 Waiheke Island 14.8%
Bold and complex attack of concentrated fresh and preserved apricots and  other stoen fruit aromas, gentle to moderate spices from oak and lees and densly floral lift of blossoms; a chalk-like mieral note adds complexity. On the palate - juicy, fresh, rich and dry; the warmth of the alcohol adds volume to the fruit flavours while the oak and acidity add depth and richness; spices and some perfume moments, great balance and length. Enjoy now and through 2019.
91 Points

Mudbrick Vineyard Reserve Syrah 2015 Waiheke Island 14%
Concentrated ruby and purple core with fuchsia rim - leading to a bouquet of crushed black currants and old dark raspberries, plenty of other red fruit suggestions, a fresh pepper note and bold layer of oak and toasty complexity. On the palate - fresh, bold, very fruity and complex with flavours of pepper and sweet olive, dark currants and raspberry, brown and black oak spices and an almost sweet wood layer; medium+ tannins and plenty of acidity all combine to ensure this wine will age through 2025 easily.
96 Points

Mudbrick Vineyard Reserve Tempranillo 2015 Waiheke Island 14.5%
Dark ruby with a pink rim - leading to aromas of sweet ripe berries and dark sweet plum fragrances, a sweet meat and cushed brown spice core with clove and cinnamon, a fresh sage note just adds a deep complex layer. On the palate - youthful, vibrant, fresh, fruity and densely textured with moderate to bold tannins, plenty of acidity and new oak layer; brown spices re-emerge strongly with clove leading; the sage turns dry and the meaty layer returns stronger; long finish; still knitting together and will do so through 2020 - be patient.
91 Points

Mudbrick Vineyard Reserve Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Waiheke Island 14%
Dark red and blue ruby core with a youthful rim - leading to aromas of plum and black-berried fruits, spice and tobacco, gun-metal or wet graphite, kalamata olive and roasted bell-pepper, some raw hay and grass notes adding depth. On the palate - dry, bold, raw red fruit and oaky; layers of bell pepper and dried herbs, tobacco and dark brown oak spices; medium+ tannins and acidity and a lengthy oak-lead finish. Cellar through 2018 and test again or decant for service well ahead of time.
93 Points

Mudbrick Vineyard Velvet 2015 Waiheke Island 14%
65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Malbec - opaque ruby core with deep purple hues and bright pink rim.
Aromas of fresh and baked plum, dark berries and concentrated vanilla oak, sweet tobacco, sweet herbs and violets. On the palate - concentrated, fruity, packed with flavour and sweet new oak; layers of clove, fresh toabacco and violets; medium+ acidity, bold layered tannins and long finiah. Really delicious wine.
95 Points

Johanneshof Cellars

Johanneshof Cellars Pinot Noir Rosé 2016 Marlborough 14.5%
Rich and fragrant bouquet of Pinot Noir with red cherry and red apple skin at the core, some silty mineral and lees-like complexity layered in; a very inviting bouquet overall. On the palate - generous, bold and rounded palate attack with some residual sweetness counterbalancing the alcohol; plenty of acidity and richness of flavour reflecting the bouquet well, red fruits flavoured, very fine tannin note and a lovely long finish just adds detail and desire to drink more. Well made indeed.
90 Points

Wooing Tree

Wooing Tree Rosé 2016 Central Otago 13%
From 100% Pinot Noir grapes - comes a bouquet of sweet red melon, strawberry and crisp red cherry, some floral and bing cherry suggestions along with a steely mineral layer. On the palate - fresh, crisp, dry and very fruity with flavours of bing cherry and cranberry with some red cherry and steely mineral tones; plenty of crisp acidity a wine for immediate enjoyment.
89 Points

Three Paddles

Three Paddles Riesling 2014 Martinborough 12%
Quite a fragrant bouquet of sweet green apple and mandarin, some wet stone mineral and attractive gentle perfume of kerosine. On the palate - just dry with some residual sweetness then a burst of flavour with grapefruit, lemon, peach and mandarin; plenty of acidity and light mineral tones leading to a moderate and balanced finish.
88 Points

Three Paddles Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Martinborough 13%
Vibrant, grassy, fresh green apple and light tropical fruits, grapefruit and lemon. On the palate - firm, crisp, dry and fresh with flavours of lemon and grapefruit, apple and a little quince; fresh herbs, high acidity and steely grassy finish.
85 Points

Three Paddles Pinot Noir 2014 Martinborough 13.5%
Fruity, plummy and fresh with aromas of red cherry and red apple skin, some soft dried herb notes and a hint of bacon. On the palate - fruity, fresh, dry and balanced; a very approachable and immediately drinkable example with fine easy tannins, medium+ acidity and fresh crunchy red fruits flavours, simple balanced finish.
86 Points

Nga Waka

Nga Waka Riesling Dry 2013 Martinborough 12.5%
Fragrant lifted aromas of red apple and citrus, some kerosine moments and and mineral lift adding some complexity and depth. On the palate - dry and fruity eith plenty of acidity - flavours of apples and grapefruit, lemon skin and stony mineral. Overall a balanced wine enjoyed now and through 2019  - with food.
86 Points

Nga Waka Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Martinborough 13%
Fragrant, fresh, fruity and lush with fresh tree and citrus aromas, plenty of mineral tones and soft fresh herb qualities. On the palate - fruity, crisp, dray and forward; flavours of fresh herb, citrus and tree fruits, a light tropical note and steely crisp finish. Balanced and well made.
88 Points

Nga Waka Chardonnay 2015 Martinborough 13.5%
Familiar aromas of creamy, nutty, vanilla, peach and apple that is Chardonnay from cool climate New Zealand - brioche, popcirn and baked custard - like oak and cream aromas; toasty and nutty vanilla layer. On the palate - creamy, nutty, toasty and packed with roasted stone fruit flavours and vanilla butter; a touch off lees adds texture; medium acidity and a mild complexity overall. Balanced and drinking well now and through 2018.
87 Points

Nga Waka Pinot Noir 2014 Martinborough 13.5%
Calm and gentle aromas of light red fruits laced with red floral and layers of gently toasted oak; red and dark cherry, red plum and some cranberry suggestions, brown spice layer and youthful energy. On the palate - fresh, fruity, generous of flavours and quite youthful with a tension and poise mid palate, medium+ acidity and fine medium tannins; cranberry, plum and cherry flavours return - a balanced and well made wine drinking well now and through 2020.
89 Points

Nga Waka 'Lease Block' Pinot Noir 2014  Martinborough 13.5%
Smoky and gently fruity bouquet with layers of spice and fruit; aromas of dark plum and cherry, some wood tones and brown spices; raspberry and starwberry with red cherry. On the palate - fruity and dry with layers of silty soil, abundant fine tannins and red berry fruits, medium+ acidity, lovely balance, complexity and finish. A wine worth your time with or without food.
90 Points