Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Alpha Domus

Alpha Domus 'The Barnstormer' Syrah 2016 Hawkes Bay
Very engaging bouquet of Syrah - meaty, spicy, masculine an oaky; fruit aromas of dark berries suggesting dark and ripe black currant, dark plum then clove and toasty oak suggestions, youthful. On the palate - firm, dry, youthful and tense with firm tannins, medium+ acidity and weight, plenty of oak and strong flavours including the darker berry fruits suggested earlier. A youthful example still finding its way to balance, but does have good potential to become a finer wine with time. Decant for service and service with high protein food. Best drinking window from late 2018 through 2024.
89 Points

Alpha Domus 'The Navigator' 2014 Bordeaux Blend
Very engaging bouquet showing ripe dark berry fruits aromas, violet and oak spices; baked vanilla and clove centric oak, tobacco and ceder/cigar box scents, an herbal vegetal/herbaceous layer from the Cabernet(s), dark plum. On the palate - dry, firm, youthful and flavourful; if you like oak, fuller bodied red wine and spicy wood laced dark berry fruit flavours then this wine will tick all these boxes for you. Decant for service with very high protein food or wait and drink from 2020 through 2030.
92 Points

Terra Sancta

Terra Sancta 'Jackson Block' Pinot Noir 2015 Bannockburn Central Otago
Generous and distinctive aromas Pinot Noir with a brown spice and ripe light red fruits bouquet - cinnamon and ceder layered between, dried herb, red cherry, raspberry and red plum, noticeable complexity and quite engaging. On the palate - abundant flavours of cherry and brown spices then other light red berry fruits, a savoury layer, and oak; fine yet abundant tannins with a chalky texture, medium+ acidity and length. Overall a lovely example and true to the TS style. Best drinking from late 2018 through 2024.
92 Points

Charles Smith Wines

Jung Fu Girl  Riesling 2015 Washington State - USA
Pungent aromas of lime and green apple laced with apple blossom and mandarin. On the palate - off dry with just enough residual sugar to tease and balance against a definitive line of acidity; flavours reflect the nose especially the apple and lime with a squeeze of lemon; balanced and well made with a moderate finish. Drink now and through 2022.
89 Points

Eve Chardonnay 2015 Washington State - USA
There's no mistaking the classic combination of fresh and baked stone fruit alongside oak and its spicy vanilla and toast and butter aromas; a creamy almost cheesy layer adds to this Chardonnay bouquet. On the palate - flavours of peaches and some grapefruit with vanilla and oak spice, a toasty layer, medium acidity, medium+ weighted, firmly textured - masculine in style - balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2020.
88 Points

Boom Boom Syrah 2015 Washington State - USA
Attractive, bold and fruity expression of Syrah with aromas of black currant, dark cherry and raspberry - all laced with a peppery spice and toasty wood layer - clove and vanilla with some cedar notes. On the palate - firm at first then fruity and finishing dry; flavours of ripe and sour black currant, dark cherry and plum, medium tannins and medium+ acidity, a toasty wood layer and overall a balanced and very drinkable style. Best enjoyed now and through 2022.
90 Points

Monday, 17 July 2017

Amisfield

Amisfield 'Burn' Pinot Gris 2016 Central Otago (Orange style wine)
A bouquet with a point of difference showing spice and earthiness a savoury showing a little spice and saffron with a mushroom earthy layer, overall quite complex. On the palate - dry with flavours of tangerine and orange peel, saffron and apricot, a savoury spice and earthy tones add layers. If you would like to take a peak at the world of orange wine this is a decent example to show how well done it can be.
89 Points

Rameau d'Or

Rameau d'Or Cotes de Provence Rose 2016 Golden Bough
Attractive fragrances of light red fruits - light red cherry and strawberry with a hint of cranberry; these are repeated on the palate with a crisp and refreshing acidity, very light and fine needle point tannins showing off a chalky mineral-like moment. 
88 Points

Waipara Hills

Waipara Hills 'Soul' Gruner Veltliner 2016 Waipara
Ripe and fragrant bouquet with aromas of citrus, apple and a gentle vegetal quality typical of the variety - a hint of radish and snow pea, a light mineral wet stone layer adds some depth.
On the palate - crisp and dry with a pristine layer of acidity; flavours reflect the nose with apple and citrus, but also a pineapple note - balancing the vegetal attributes. Balanced and well made with a medium finish. Great alternative to both Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling. A must try wine.
88 Points

Giesen

Giesen 'The Brothers' Gewurztraminer 2014 Marlborough
Bold and very fragrant with aromas of spicy white peach and apricot, roses and pot pourri. On the palate - equally powerful and flavourful with flavours that reflect the nose, quite spicy, creamy rounded texture, a gentle phenolic bite adds length and depth, medium acidity, lengthy and lush finish; overall a lovely example.
92 Points

Alan Scott

Alan Scott 'Generations' Gewurztraminer 2016 Marlborough
Very fragrant and quite floral with white rose and orange blossom aromas; fresh red apple, white peach and some hints of lychee. On the palate - soft and creamy texture with flavours that reflect the nose - apple, peach and a nudge of tropical; moderately spicy, well balanced with medium acidity and medium+ alcohol. Calm and quite lengthy finish, well made.
89 Points

Babich Family Estates

Babich Family Estate Individual Vineyard Gewurztraminer 2014 Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay
Soft and gentle fragrances of Gewurztraminer unfurl slowly with aromas of white peach and nectarine, baked apple, gentle rose and soft tropical fruit nuances, white spices and a light stone/earth quality. On the palate - soft at first then the spice level increases dramatically helped along with some warming alcohol; just dry with a whisper of residual sugar; flavours fleshy white stone fruit, some floral and tropical layers, medium acidity,medium weight and lengthy finish. A lovely example of a variety that is well suited to food though equally  at home on its own by the glass.
91 Points

Friday, 14 July 2017

Rippon

Rippon 'Tinker's Field' Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2014 Lake Wanaka Central Otago
Fantastic bouquet, complex, varietal, richly scented and alluring; dark cherry, plum and dark raspberry; mineral, earthy layer, loads of floral suggestions, oak spices and brown spices. On the palate - fragrant, exuberant, dark berry fruits, fresh crushed black cherry, dry; flavours reflect the nose; plenty of refreshing cool climate acidity, focused fine tannins, plenty of mineral and lengthy finish. A great example of fine wine. Drink from 2020 through 2035.
97 Points

Rippon Mature Vine Pinot Noir 2014 Lake Wanaka Central Otago
Fleshy, juicy, ripe and distinctive, the signature of Pinot Noir is ripe and strong, plum and plum skin, spice, dark cherry, plenty of fresh oak and oak spices, toasty wood tones, youthful and quite complex. On the palate - youthful, tense, warm and generous of fruit - plum and dark berry layers, plenty of acidity and firm youthful tannins with fine chalky texture, plenty of acidity, length and charm. Decant for service, best drinking 2019 through 2030.
94 Points

Rippon 2013 Lake Wanaka Central Otago
Focused, concentrated and distinctive with some power and charm, quite pure with aromas of red florals, dark cherry and wild red berry fruits; brown baking spices, toasty oak and a complexity that builds as the wine relaxes in the glass. On the palate - firm, fruity, youthful, dry and poised. Flavours reflect the bouquet; fine tannins, plenty of acidity, floral, lengthy and complex. Decant for service; best drink  late 2018 through 2030.
93 Points

Clearview Estate Winery

Clearview Estate Winery Reserve Cabernet Franc 2015 Hawkes Bay
Great bouquet of violet laced black berry fruits - black berry and black currant, some Doris plum and chocolate, some herbaceous notes, plenty of oak and youthful expressive complex overall. On the palate - rich, broody and packed with flavour, warm, oaky and toasty. Dark berry fruit flavours, plenty of tannins and a herbaceous layer adding complexity and depth. Youthful, expressive and distinctive. Well made. Decant for service. Drink from 2019 through 2030.
94 Points

Vidal of Hawkes Bay

Vidal of Hawkes Bay Reserve Syrah 2015 Gimblett Gravels
Distinctive and engaging bouquet of black and blue fruits with dark plum and blueberry, dark raspberry then spice; chocolate and toasty oak layer, some pepper and clove. On the palate - flavours of dark berries, toasty oak and spices; flavours of dark plum and toasted raspberry, ripe tannins with a dusty chalky texture, plenty of acidity and a lengthy even finish. Balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2022.
90 Points

Two Paddocks

Two Paddocks 'The Fusilier' Pinot Noir 2015 Bannockburn Central Otago
Very youthful bouquet of light red fruits - suggesting cranberry and red cherry mixed with kitchen spices of cinnamon and vanilla; a light toasty quality and gentle red rose moment. On the palate - tense, youthful, dry with flavours of red berries, cranberry and red cherry, medium+ acidity, fine yet abundant tannins, kitchen spice and oak layers. A lovely example still at the beginning of a lengthy integration time. Drink now if decanted; best drinking late 2018 through 2028.
95 Points

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Two Paddocks

Two Paddocks 'The First Paddock' Gibbston Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015
Proprietor's Reserve
Delicious bouquet and very enticing with aromas of wild strawberry, wild red cherry, baking spices and new oak, a layer of toastiness, mushroom crushed rock soil notes; alluring and quite complex. On the palate - complex, dry, packed with light red fruit flavours centering on wild strawberry and red cherry, the baking spices kick in with suggestions of vanilla and clove, fine to moderate tannins, plenty of acidity and lengthy engaging finish. Great balance and finish. Loads of potential. Drink now and through 2028.
97 Points

Rippon

Rippon Gamay 2015 Lake Wanaka, Central Otago
Ripe, fresh and abundant bouquet with aromas of wild flowers, wild red berry fruits, a hint of bergamot and dried herb, gentle spice layer and earthy/mineral note. On the palate - plush, ripe, fruity, dry; flavours reflect the nose with some darker berries now present, floral with a violet note, dried herb and soil notes present, fine tannins, plenty of acidity and lengthy finish. Lovely example from the Otago region.
91 Points

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Selaks

Selaks 'The Taste Collection Buttery' Chardonnay 2016 Hawkes Bay
Big, bold and fruity bouquet with fresh and roasted peach then vanilla laced oak and whipped cream aromas, yes and a little buttery as well. On the palate - nutty, toasty, creamy and oaky; flavours reflect the nose with yellow stone fruits and red apple, plenty of vanilla spice and chunky oak, some tobacco and Brazil nut, fine tannins and contrasting acidity, balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2020.
88 Points

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Mills Reef Winery

Mills Reef Winery reserve Chardonnay 2016 Hawkes Bay
A bouquet with shape and form - creamy, lush and rounded then fruity with baked peach and other stone fruits, a hint of raw brown sugar and butterscotch, a whisper of clove and vanilla with a toasty oak edge. On the palate - a core of fruit and oak with concentration as well as spice and oak tones, creamy texture, a citrus edginess and lengthy finish. Balanced, drink now or best from 2018 through 2026.
92 Points

Squawking Magpie

Squawking Magpie 'The Chatterer' Chardonnay 2016 Hawkes Bay
Classic and inviting bouquet of Hawkes Bay Chardonnay with a core ripe peach and red apple, a hint of white floral, some grapefruit and all laced with French oak vanilla spice; a light toasty layer adds complexity. On the palate - fruity, crisp, youthful and dry with flavours that reflect the nose showing off vanilla, spice, peaches and red apples, a light bite of wood tannin then grapefruit adds tension and length. Balanced and well made in a drink now style, but will also reward if cellared. Best drinking 2018 through 2022.
90 Points

Monday, 5 June 2017

Neudorf

Neudorf 'Tom's Block' Pinot Noir 2015 Nelson
Probably the most complex bouquet from a Tom's Block Pinot - aromas of ripe red and dark red berry fruits laced with scents of soil, oak and spices; a dark rose and sweet fruit tea layer, a mid-sniff concentration that suggests a little mystery and charm. On the palate - smooth silky tannins with an edginess that only a natural fermentation can deliver, concentrated and flavourful with messages of dark berries, oak, oak spice and balance, acid level is pretty much spot on, lengthy finish. Drink now and through 2025.
95 Points

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Moss Wood

Moss Wood Wilyabrup Semillon 2016 Margaret River, WA.
Alluring bouquet of citrus, peach and  hay with a dried grass layer, a gentle waxy edge, youthful, fresh and varietal. on the palate - crisp, fresh, varietal, fruity with a distinctive texture and palate appeal; loads of acidity accentuate the varietal signature and adds to the length - which is long and consistent. Great balance - drinking well now and through 2030.94 Points

Moss Wood Wilyabrup Chardonnay  2015 Margaret River, WA.
After a few minutes in glass the bouquet begins to unfurl aromas of fresh and baked yellow stone fruits, gentle yet distinctive oak spices, vanilla, brazil and cashew nut, quite complex overall. On the palate - almost full-bodied, creamy, rich and dry; flavours reflects the bouquet with a stronger citrus layer, the nut layer returns as do the oak spices, a leesy note adds texture and length. Overall a lovely wine, still very youthful and developing. Drink now if decanted and through 2026.93 Points

Moss Wood Wilyabrup Merlot 2014 Margaret River, WA.
Lightly spiced ripe dark plum led bouquet with black cherry and toasty oak, complexity builds as the wine relaxes in the glass. On the palate - firm with youthful textures from tannins and acidity then flavours of red plum and dark cherry return, plenty of oak spices with cloves and vanilla tones, medium+ weight, dry finish. Decant for service through 2018, best drinking 2019 through 2028.90 Points

Moss Wood Wilyabrup Cabernet Sauvignon Ribbon Vale Vineyard 2014 Margaret River, WA.
Attractive and masculine bouquet of ripe Cabernet fruit - blackberry and dark plum aromas; dark kitchen spices and a mix of cigar box and toasty oak. On the palate - full bodied, spicy, woody and fruity; a wine beginning a slow development with power and finesse underlying the core of ripe fruit and dry textures. Decant for service through 2019, best drinking from 2024 through 2035.94 Points

Moss Wood Amy's  Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot 2016 Margaret River, WA.
Vibrant, ripe, alluring and enticing bouquet of black berry fruits, dark plum, blue fruits, chocolate and loads of oak; dark clove and vanilla. On the palate - concentrated, fruity, plenty of texture from firm tannins with a course silk texture, plenty of contrasting acidity, great concentration, balance and length.  Overall a fine wine that will shows its best from 2025 through 2040.95 Points

Steve Bird Winery and Vineyards Ltd

Steve Bird Winery 'Big Barrel' Pinot Noir 2015 Marlborough
Vibrant, fresh and fruity bouquet with aromas of raspberry and dark cherry, a juicy and fleshy texture surrounds these ideas, moderate oak impact with vanilla and spice moments. On the palate - also very fruity with flavours that reflect the nose - dark cherry and raspberry tones, medium+ acidity, silky fine tannins, some vanilla oak spice and mild toasty quality, balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2022.90 Points

Mahi

Mahi 'Twin Valleys Vineyard' Chardonnay 2015 Marlborough
Complex and enticing bouquet with aromas of soil, earth, white fleshed stone fruits, grapefruit and lemon custard/Brulee; plenty of oak with layers of spice and cashew. On the palate -  flavours of apple, citrus some stone fruit and oak, spices and lees inspired complexity, plenty of length in a medium+ weighted expression. A lovely example, drink now and through 2025.
93 Points

Hihi Wines

Hihi Wines 'The Full Monty' Chardonnay 2016 Gisborne
Very fruity expression with aromas and flavours of yellow California peach, red apple and loads of vanilla oak, a creamy texture; toasty edge, a lite nutty layer, almost full-bodied, balanced. Drink now and through 2021.88 Points

Fromm Winery

Fromm 'La Strada' Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Marlborough
Vibrant, expressive, fresh herbs and hay tones, a grassy edge precedes aromas of citrus/grapefruit, some tropical tones and apple. On the palate - crisp, dry fruity with citrus, red and green apple, some grapefruit and refreshing acidity. Fairly lengthy finish. Drink now and through 2021.
89 Points

Fromm 'La Strada' Pinot Noir 2015 Marlborough
Very youthful and expressive bouquet with a strong varietal signature of dark red berry fruits - cherry and wild raspberry led, toasty oak spice layer with some clove and vanilla spices, fresh, lively, sound. On the palate - dry, firm, plenty of acidity, flavours of dark red berry fruits and oak spices; a youthful tension and poise too with firm ripe tannins - chalky textures; overall a lovely wine with youth and cellar time ahead. Drink now- if you must, but decant it first - others from late 2018 through 2028.
93 Points

Matawhero Wines Ltd

Matawhero Wines 'Church House' Chenin Blanc 2016 Gisborne
Attractive bouquet with a floral and fruit led package - fresh and baked apple, white flowers and wet clay mineral tones, a light soft spice layers adds complexity and depth. On the palate - fruity, fine balance between minerality, apple and white fleshed fruits with an underlying floral note, a gentle spice or lees led layer adds charm and depth; overall balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2020.89 Points

Murdoch James

Murdoch James Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Martinborough
Fruity, rounded and distinctive bouquet of grass and dried herb, some fresh herb, apple and tropical fruit tones, some mineral suggestion. On the palate - crisp, silky texture, dry finish and flavours of citrus and apple with a little tropical fruit. Overall balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2020. 86 Points

Murdoch James

Murdoch James Estate Pinot Gris 2014 Martinborough
Varietal and quite fruity with scents of fresh and canned pear, apple, a touch of spice and dry stone mineral tones. On the palate - quite fruity also with a mix of red apple, pear and lemon/grapefruit, crisp and refreshing acidity, dry on the finish.87 Points

Burn Cottage

Burn Cottage Riesling, Gruner Veltliner 2015 Central Otago
Gentle fragrances, soft and floral, light dried herb layer, plenty of mineral tones - wet stone and mineral water; lemon and radish, complexity builds as the wine opens up in the glass. On the palate - complex, dry, loaded with mineral and citrus flavours, radish, white flowers, apple and a hint of apricot stone; complex and lengthy. A lovely wine and great varietal combination. Drink now and through 2022.
95 Points

Friday, 2 June 2017

Forrest Wines

The Doctor's Rose 2016 by Forrest Wines Marlborough
Aromas and flavours of fresh ripe just picked strawberries and cherries then suggestions cranberry and a touch of bubble-gum; bright, fresh and enticing. On the palate - just as fruity with flavours that match the nose, crisp and refreshing acidity with lower alcohol; balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2018.
88 Points

A Mano

A.Mano Negroamano 2015 IGT Puglia, Italy
Aromas and flavours of dark red berry fruits, mild spice layers and moderate oak layer; fruity yet dry finish, mild to moderate tannins, warm fruity finish. A balanced wine in a drink now style with flavours to please many at the dinner table. Drink now and through 2020.
86 Points

Fromm Winery

Fromm Winery 'La Strada' Syrah 2014 Marlborough
An alluring floral and core of fruit bouquet with ripe black currant, raspberry and blueberry fruits, no mistaking the toasty spicy oak layer, but not overdone either - aromas of clove and vanilla and hints of bacon. On the palate - very expressive, fruity, dry and spicy with a mix of peppercorn and clove, plenty of tannin action and a back bone of acidity; a youthful wine still on its development journey. Overall youthful and complex with a great core of fruit. Drink now and through 2028.
92 Points

Fromm Winery Riesling Spatlese 2016 Marlborough
Distinctive bouquet of fresh picked citrus fruits and green apple, some reductive signs swirl away to leave a sherbet and wet stone mineral layer adding complexity and charm. On the palate - off dry in a sweeter Spatlese style - castor sugar, sherbet, grated green apple and crisp preserved lemon flavours; high acidity and lengthy finish. A delicious wine destined to age for a long time if you can wait long enough. Drink now and through 2030+.

92 Points

Nanny Goat

Nanny Goat Syrah 2015 Central Otago
Youthful fruity bouquet with aromas of peppery Syrah fruit - black currant and cherry then some spicy oak, a steely note then vanilla and brown spice oak tones. On the palate - spicy, dry, moderate fruit intensity with black currant and cherry tones, the spice kicks in a few times more then some cherry fruit returns. Dry finish, overall balanced. drink now and through 2022.
86 Points

Pegasus Bay

Pegasus Bay Chardonnay 2015 Waipara Valley
A powerful bouquet led by aromas of oak with caramel and burnt butter, oak spices of vanilla and clove, a brazil nut toastiness then stone fruits of peach and nectarine, overall quite complex, but also quite loud. On the palate - quite intense, creamy, fruity and nutty, peach and nectarine flavours, loads of spicy butterscotch and raw brown sugar oak, fine oak tannins, medium+ acidity, full-bodied and quite 'full-on'. A powerhouse wine that will feed the enthusiasm of many chardonnay fans. Drink now and through 2025.
92 Points

Alpha Domus

Alpha Domus 'The Wingwalker' Viognier 2014 Hawkes Bay
Varietal bouquet with a lifted aroma package including ripe apricot then peach and nectarine tones, spice, some yellow flower scents, a hint of lees stirring and vanilla oak. On the palate - dry, creamy, fruity with aprioct and peach flavours, a bite of oak, medium+ (ish) acidity and plenty of length. Balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2022.
88 Points

Poverty Bay Wine Estates Ltd

Poverty Bay Wine Estates Ltd 'Le Pont'  Chardonnay Grand Vin Blanc 2015
Aromas and flavours of toasty brioche like oak, some butterescotch and roasted stone fruit flavours; fine wood tannins, medium+ (ish) acidity, quite a weight wine with a dry finish, overall balanced.
85 Points

Burn Cottage

Burn Cottage 'Moonlight Race' Pinot Noir 2015 Central Otago
Fragrant and distinctive bouquet with a mix of floral, earth and fruit messages, noticeable, but not overdone oak, fine toasty layer with some kitchen spice attributes. on the palate - dry, spicy, floral, fruity, mineral, dry, moderate tannins and plenty of acidity, lengthy and individualistic expression and finish. A lovely wine that can be cellared if desired; best drinking 2018 through 2024.
94 Points

Burn Cottage Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015 Central Otago
Steely and haunting bouquet with an enticing allure - aromas of crushed flowers, fine light red fruit layers, noticeable oak, plenty of mineral intoxication, spices and complexity. On the palate - dry, quite complex and enticing with flavours that reflect the nose as well as fine oak and fruit tannins, plenty of acidity, a very fine savoury layer, lengthy and flavourful finish. A fine wine, but also youthful still with a very specific pinosity message. Drink now if decanted otherwise from 2018 through 2028.
96 Points

Fairhall Downs

Fairhall Downs SV Pinot Noir 2016 Marlborough
A light and fruity bouquet with aromas of cranberry, cherry and some red apple skin, moderate oak intensity. On the palate - crisp and fresh, quite fruity and just dry; flavours match the bouquet, a simple expression, fine tannins, medium+ acidity.
84 Points

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Mahi

Mahi Chardonnay 2015 Marlborough
An attractive bouquet showing off a combination of fruit, mineral, judicious use of oak and complexity. On the palate - full bodied mouth feel, plenty of acidity - all contrasted with flavours of stone fruit and apple, pear, oak spice and most importantly - texture. Some mild tannin moments from the oak; lengthy finish. A wine that should be aged for a while longer. Best drinking 2018 through 2025.
92 Points

Mt Rosa

Mt Rosa Pinot Blanc 2016 Central Otago
Very attractive bouquet showing off spiced pear and apple, a hint of quince and white rose, a very light yet noticeable aroma of mineral. On the palate - crisp, fresh and quite fruity - a wine that has some tension too with a phenolic bite adding texture; rose, mineral, spice and light creamy feel. A great food wine for starters and white fish dishes.
89 Points

Main Divide

Main Divide Riesling 2014 Waipara Valley
Attractive bouquet of lemon, apple, grapefruit, spice, ginger and lime flower; honeysuckle and a core of apricot stone. On the palate - zesty, crisp, fruity and spice-laden; just dry with some residual sweetness from the ferment - adds to the creamy, rounded texture; plenty of acidity, great balance and length. Totally enjoyable example.
93 Points

Main Divide Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Marlborough
Vibrant, fleshy, fruity and packed with Marlborough messages of passion fruit and grapefruit, crisp apple and quince. On the palate - crisp, dry, fruity with apple and lemon, fresh herb and some grassy moments, loads of acidity and freshness; a classically style wine with decent flavour and length.
88 Points

Main Divide Gewurztraminer 2016 Waipara Valley
Distinctive, fragrant, fruity and packed with aromas of nougat and spice, poached white fruits, roses and perfume. On the palate - fruity, fleshy, spicy, engaging and textured; flavours reflect the nose, a wine with medium+ weight, just enough acidity and lengthy finish. Plenty to like and enjoy with this example. This is a great wine choice for Duck confit and paté
93 Points

Brick Bay

Brick Bay Pinot Gris 2016 Matakana, Auckland
Very fragrant and quite plush with aromas of sweet pear and white peach, a soft lees and whisper of ginger; fleshy, floral and alluring. On the palate - vibrant, youthful and fruity with flavours of pear and apple and a touch of quince; fresh ripe acidity adds texture and bite; a dry finish with decent length and harmony. A delicious wine and lovely example.93 Points

Brick Bay Rose 2016 Matakana, Auckland
Made from the Cabernets Sauvignon & Franc, Merlot and Malbec
Soft, fragrant, sweet scents of rose, young violet and talc; cranberry and bing cherry along with a little red apple skin show off fruit ripeness. On the palate - fresh and fruity with flavours the same as the nose suggests; a light creamy texture contrasted with ripe acidity, very fine tannins and  fruity finish. A lovely example to be enough on its own or with food.93 Points

Brick Bay Chardonnay 2016 Matakana, Auckland
This is the inaugural release of Chardonnay from the team at Brick Bay
Youthful yet layered bouquet with aromas of white and yellow stone fruit, apple and some pear moments; there's no mistaking the influence and scents of oak with soft vanilla and kitchen spices, a light toasty layer and lees influence emerges as the wine opens up in the glass. On the palate - youthful, fresh, weighty and loaded with texture; flavours of apple, pear and white peach, oak spices, lees and moderate oak tannins jostling for position. A wine for the cellar please - 2 to 3 years with an ideal drinking time between late 2018 and 2022. Great potential.92 Points

Brick Bay Martello Rock 2014 Matakana, Auckland
Malbec predominant, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. A dark ruby and purple core with a purple and crimson rim. Aromas of dark berries and plums, old fashioned blackberry pie notes and a hint of dark chocolate; toasty oak spice and a clay earth quality. On the palate - dry, firm, textured, youthful, earthy and dark fruited flavours. The tannins and acidity work to remind that this wine is young and requires decanting for service and food. Plenty of weight, texture and flavour this wine will age well for another 5-8 years if stored properly. Balanced and lengthy.
91 Points

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Black Estate

Black Estate Home Pinot Noir 2015 North Canterbury
Youthful, fruity, organic and pungent in aromas of plum and cherry then fermented rose and old barrel spices. On the palate - firm, savory, fruity and dry; an interesting mix of flavours alongside medium to fine tannins and medium+ acidity, the older oak spices return. Overall a food wine wine to be enjoyed now and through 2022. 
86 Points

Black Estate Netherwood Pinot Noir 2015 North Canterbury
A very engaging bouquet with scents of crushed rose and black cherry, a generous savory/whole bunch - like layer, new(ish) French oak spices and a lees and limestone earthy quality. On the palate - dry, fruity, savory and earthy, fine tannins and plenty of acidity, decent length and finish, overall well made. Drink now and through 2024.
89 Points

Black Estate Damsteep Pinot Noir 2015 North Canterbury
Fragrant, quite fruity and varietal with cherry and dark berry scents, a layer of savory and oak spice complexity with a hint of cocoa. On the palate - dry, fruity, savory and complex, a lovely example of Pinot Noir with  minerality, fine to moderate tannins, a back bone of acidity and core of fruity and lengthy finish. Drink now and through 2026.
93 Points

Black Estate Home Cabernet Franc 2015 North Canterbury
Quite floral and fragrant as well as masculine and tense; aromas of dark berries and savory earthy moments; some bell-pepper and dark oak spices, quite complex overall. On the palate - dry, fruity, masculine and gently floral with a violet side, plum, dark berries, medium tannins and medium+ acidity; a decent example of CF, moderate+ length and finish. Drink now and through 2022.
88 Points

Fromm

Fromm La Strada Pinot Noir 2015 Marlborough
Fresh, steely, youthful and quite primary with freshly gathered red berry fruits, judicious use of oak, but enough to add a layer of wood, wood spice and toastiness, a building complexity as the wine opens it doors. On the palate - frim, youthful and dry; flavours of red berry fruit, some garrigue and wood tones, moderate tannin presence with firm texture adding some tension, a pause, then flows into the finish. Youthful and needs some cellar time. Drink now if decanted first otherwise open from 2019 onwards.
94 Points

Fromm 'Fromm Vineyard' Pinot Noir 2015 Marlborough
Quite a lush and vibrant bouquet with aromas of fresh cherry and yellow plum, no mistaking a mineral undertone with a stone and dusty rock suggestion; moderate oak with a layer of spice, a floral note of rose. On the palate - varietal, fruity, tense and poised; a youthful example just beginning to integrate; abundant, firm youthful tannins and plenty of acidity. A wine for the cellar still unless decanted. Best drinking from 2018 through 2028.
92 Points

Fromm Clayvin Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015 Marlborough
Great core of fruit and varietal signature; dark cherry and berry fruits, floral and gently savory, obvious complexity and minerality, decent oak signature with spice and new oak. On the palate - firm, youthful, intense, great core of fruit matched by oak and acidity; rich and intense tannins - youthfully firm; lengthy finish and plenty of complexity. A wine still very young requiring some lengthy cellar time. Drink from 2018 through 2030.
95 Points

Fromm Quarters Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015 Marlborough
Savory, fruity, mineral and gentle oak spice core; aromas of dried herb, cherry and berry fruits, kitchen spices and some new oak, complexity builds as the wine relaxes in glass. On the palate - firm, youthful, fruity and savory, flavors match the bouquet; a mix of youthfully firm tannins and a silky tannins, plenty of acidity adding tension, fairly lengthy finish, balanced and well made. Drink now if decanted, best drinking from 2018 through 2026.
92 Points

Fromm Churton Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015 Marlborough
Complex and engaging bouquet with a mix of earthy organic scents then dark cherry and savory scents; quite a toasty oak component and overall complex. On the palate - tense, youthful, savory, earthy and organic, dark berry fruits, medium+ acidity and tannins; an engaging wine with good length and finish. Drink now and through 2025.
94 Points

Fromm 'Cuvee "H"' Pinot Noir 2015 Marlborough
Fragrant and quite floral then fruity, varietal, no mistaking the oak layer, engaging with a minerality and core of intrigue, complex. On the palate - equally intriguing and fruity with violets ans raspberry, cherry and oak spices; fine tannins and loads of acidity; a wine just beginning to integrate with a core of ripeness and intensity, well made and lengthy. Drink from 2019 through 2030.

96 Points

Friday, 12 May 2017

Black Estate

Black Estate Home Chardonnay 2016 North Canterbury
A mix of oak, fruit and minerality and as the wine unfolds these attributes begin to ease together finding a more integrated harmony. On the palate - an intense attack of fruit and oak spice - these too ease after several taste samples; flavours of yellow peach and ripe red apple, grapefruit and vanilla; medium+ acidity and weight; a youthful and engaging expression. Drink now if decanted otherwise from mid 2018 through 2025.
90 Points

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Ngatarawa

Glazebrook Ngatarawa Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Marlborough
Fruity, intense, varietal and packed with all the fresh citrus and tropical fruits of the style - passion fruit, lemon, crisp red apple and pink grapefruit; a layer of fresh herb/ grass adds typicity. On the palate - crisp, fresh, fruity and lush; flavours of tropical fruits and fresh herb, a wee nudge of residual sugar and plenty of refreshing acidity. Balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2020.
88 Points

Glazebrook Ngatarawa Chardonnay Regional Reserve 2016 Hawke's Bay
Varietal and fruity bouquet with aromas of sweet peach and vanilla, whipped cream and brazil nut; mild toasty oak and a light dry stone mineral layer. On the palate - juicy, peachy, creamy and flavourful; just enough oak, just enough acidity, just enough complexity; balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2022.
89 Points

Ngatarawa wines

Stables Ngatarawa Reserve Selected Vineyards Rose 2016 Hawke's Bay
Fleshy, juicy and very fruity bouquet with aromas and flavours of bing cherry and red plum, some strawberry and red rose moments; off dry with some residual sugar which enhances the fleshy fruits presence, medium acidity and moderate finish. Ready to drink now and through 2018.
84 Points

Stables Ngatarawa Reserve Selected Vineyards Chardonnay 2016 Hawke's Bay
Big and bold Chardonnay bouquet with aromas and flavours of peach and quince, plenty of nutty buttery tones, vanilla spice and cream; warm, lush, fruity and almost full-bodied. A classic old school style - done well. Drink now and through 2018.
88 Points

Stables Ngatarawa Reserve Selected Vineyards Pinot Noir 2016 Hawke's Bay
Engaging bouquet with aromas of light brown kitchen spice laced with red cherry and plum, some raspberry and English tea - this wine has Pinosity. On the palate - fruity yet dry, fine tannins and moderate acidity, some vanilla toasty oak notes, medium weight and fruit flavours that reflect the nose. Drink now and through 2021.
89 Points

Stables Ngatarawa Reserve Selected Vineyards Merlot 2015 Hawke's Bay
Fruity, plummy, fresh and simple with flavours of light berries and plum, some light to moderate oak spices and vanilla, youthful tannins, medium+ acidity. Overall a nice wine with immediate drinkability and some ageing potential. best enjoyed with food from now and through 2020.
86 Points


Symington Family Estate

Symington Family Estate Altano 2015 Douro, Portugal
From a trio of grapes - Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Barroca -  aromas and flavours of plums and dark berries, old kitchen spices and licorice; fine to moderate tannins and medium acidity,  a leather note and iron filings suggestion add some complexity and intrigue; balanced and well made in a drink now style.
88 Points

Stonecroft

Stonecroft Gimblett Gravels Viognier 2016 Hawke's Bay
A fragrant and engaging bouquet with aromas of yellow flowers, yellow and white peach, a lemon and honey layer then soft oak and very mild wood layer. On the palate - gentle creamy texture then flavours of yellow and white peach, yellow flowers and fragrant spices; medium acidity and moderate finish with plenty of length. A charming example. Drink now and through 2020.
89 Points

Stonecroft Gimblett Gravels 'Undressed' Syrah 2015 Hawke's Bay (Preservative Free)
Very forward, fruity and engaging bouquet with aromas of crushed dark red fruits, black currant and black currant leaf, black tea, aged meats and freshly ground pepper and barrel spice. On the palate - equally engaging though in a different way - the textures and fruit intensity seems quite raw and youthful still; flavours of dark berries and currants return, firm youthful tannins and plenty of acidity, no mistaking the oak; decent finish. A wine that could easily stand a few more years in cellar based on the shear intensity overall. Recommend decanting and drink now through to 2024.
89 Points

Stonecroft Gimblett Gravels 'Serine' Syrah 2015 Hawke's Bay 
Very engaging bouquet of violets and fresh berries, sweet meat and scents of toasty oak. On the palate - dry, fleshy, loads of texture and youthful grip; moderate tannin grip with silky textures, medium+ acidity, flavours of dark berries, meat and some new leather; very nice wine with attention to detail and complexity. Drink now if decanted or through 2026.
93 Points

Stonecroft Gimblett Gravels Reserve Syrah 2015 Hawke's Bay 
Intense yet reserved, varietal and ripe, soft pepper spices, no mistaking the oak - yet not overdone, complex and intriguing bouquet. On the palate - a tense, youthful and dry wine packed with flavour and complexity, youthful and poise. Dark berry fruit flavours, toasty and spicy oak, plenty of acidity and tannins to match, long finish, just beginning to unfold. One to watch, one to cellar.
95 Points

Greystone

Greystone 'Erin's' Chardonnay 2015 Waipara Valley North Canterbury
A very engaging and intriguing bouquet - quite Meursault like with a gentle melted butter and cashew nut drive; other aromas include fresh peach and other yellow fleshed fruits, a hint of grapefruit and apple. On the palate - delicious! full of flavour and texture; peach and quince, grapefruit and oak spice, vanilla and cashew nut; great acid line, loads of minerality and a lengthy and complex finish. 
96 Points

Coal Pit

Coal Pit 'Tiwha' Pinot Noir 2015 Central Otago
Fresh, fruity and varietal with a gentle light red fruits bouquet suggesting light and darker red cherry, some red plum and sour cherry, softer brown kitchen spice layer and light vanilla tones. On the palate - as the nose suggests - juicy and fresh with flavours of light red fruits then soft vanilla and brown spices, gentle oak layer and mild finish. A very drinkable and approachable expression, balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2022.
88 Points

Coal Pit Rose 2016 Central Otago (Pinot Noir)
Very engaging bouquet with strong scents of strawberry and light red cherry, a light floral/rose layer. On the palate - just dry, very fruity and fleshy, light red fruits and a hint of peach tea, plenty of acidity to contrast these attributes, a light and very fine tannin texture; overall an easy drinking style - fresh and juicy.
86 Points

Ash Ridge Wines

Ash Ridge Wines Premium Estate Syrah 2015 Hawke's Bay
A lovely bouquet and quite engaging with aromas of dark berries and spice; black currant and some blueberry, a meaty quality enhanced by some black pepper scents; an obvious oak layer. On the palate - dry, firm textures, fruity reflecting the dark berries and black currant; quite toasty, nice back bone of acidity. Overall balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2021.
88 Points

Ash Ridge Wines Vintner's Reserve Syrah 2015 Hawke's Bay
An engaging bouquet of smoke, toast, dark berry fruits and soft peppery spice; layers of dark berries then oak with some chocolate and dark brown spice notes, perhaps a hint of coffee spice. On the palate - dry and textured with plenty of acidity and tannins that are still finding harmony with the other attributes; flavours of aged meat and dark berry fruits, firm to fine tannins and plenty of acidity; lengthy finish; drink now if decanted and through 2024. One to watch.
91 Points

Ash Ridge Wines Premium Cabernet Franc 2015 Hawke's Bay
Masculine and engaging bouquet of dark berries laced with bitter chocolate and old violets; a mix of earthy tones and toasty oak add complexity and intrigue. On the palate - dry and firm(ish) with medium to fine tannins, youthful acid line and darker red berry fruit flavours, a chocolate and toasty wood quality returns. A decent drinking dry red wine that will respond well to a range of darker red meat dishes and earthy flavoured fresh pasta with cream. Overall a nice example.
87 Points

Mud House

Mud House Riesling 2016 Waipara
A ripe and fruity styled bouquet with pear, apple and some white peach aromas, a touch of floral. on the palate - a medium style with some residual sugar - this leads to flavours of apple and some citrus; fleshy texture, crisp medium+ (ish) acidity, balanced. A drink now style and through to 2019.
85 Points

Kalex Wines

Kalex Wines Alex Kaufman SV Riesling Pisa Terrace 2015
Ripe fruited bouquet with sweet apple and lemon aromas then a floral, candied citrus suggestion. A dry wine on the palate with distinctive flavours of preserved lemon, apple, honey suckle and rose; plenty of acidity bites into the palate, some minerality and moderate to lengthy finish. Well made overall
88 Points

Kalex Wines Alex Kaufman SV Bendigo Terrace 2015
Ripe tree and stone fruits bouquet with yellow apple, apricot and quince then lemon and a stone mineral note. Dry, firm texture, tense and poised for further ageing; flavours reflect the bouquet, a delicate note of residual sugar adds length and finish, overall a nice wine. Drink now and through 2024.
89 Points

Kalex Wines Alex Kaufman Pinot Gris 2016 Central Otago
Varietal and expressive bouquet of ripe pear and white fleshed stone fruits - nectarine especially; a fleshy texture suggestions and delicate floral note adds some depth and interest. A drier style Gris on the palate with decent texture from the acidity and some light lees work; a touch of spice and fleshy fruit flavours add up to a very drinkable and noteworthy example. Balanced and well made.
88 Points

Kalex Wines Alex Kaufman Pinot Noir 2014 Central Otago
A bouquet that shows off aromas of savory and spice then dark cherry and raspberry fruits, a layer of gently spiced oak and mild toasty wood add depth as well as complexity. On the palate - dry, youthful, firm textures from the tannins and flavours that reflect the  nose - a savory, dark berry fruit package; tannins have a finesse and youthful grip adding tension and cellar worthy attributes. A lengthy and dry finish. Drink now if decanted and through 2024.  
90 Points

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Ash Ridge Wines

Ash Ridge Wines Estate Pinot Gris 2016 Hawke's Bay
A bouquet of bright, fresh and varietal aromas of Gris with green and yellow pear, apple and a hint of quince, light spice moments and gentle mineral under tones. On the palate - dry and fruity with a youthful bite of fruit, acidity and texture; flavours of white fleshed tree fruits return, a little citrus and quince and moderate finish. Balanced, well made. Enjoy with food through 2018. Drink now and through 2020 overall.
87 Points


Ash Ridge Wines Estate Chardonnay 2016 Hawke's Bay
Nice bouquet with aromas of sweet roasted stone fruits with peach and nectarine, no mistaking the oak layer with vanilla and other brown spices & wood tones, a touch of grapefruit peel. On the palate - juicy, fresh and just dry, flavours of apricot and peach, quite fleshy and creamy with a rounded texture; wood spice and a touch of clove, medium+acidity and finish; balanced and well made. A wine for all occasions, but likely very good too with crispy skinned pork belly.
88 Points

Ash Ridge Wines Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2016 Hawke's Bay
An alluring bouquet of ripe fruit and layers of oak, there's texture in the way the wine delivers its aromas; firm and precise, defined and showing complexity. The bouquet also delivers aromas of sweet red apple and peach with a cashew-like nuttiness and wood spice. On the palate - dry, creamy, firm, youthful and fruity; flavours of peaches and apples, nuts and wood, all needing more time to soften and integrate, a wine with potential to age well and develop more complex textures and flavours over time. Drink now if decanted and through 2024. 
90 Points

Friday, 10 March 2017

Clearview Estate Winery

Clearview Estate Winery 'Cape Kidnappers' Syrah 2016 Hawke's Bay
Great appearance with crimson and purple hues; the bouquet is ripe, forward and packed with the aromas of red currants, black raspberry, wild red flowers and spice, youthful, fresh and very appealing. On the palate - firm, fruity, dry and tasty, the fruit flavours are as the nose suggests, medium+ acidity and youthful tannins presence, spice and some darker oak spice moments; needs more time in bottle to settle; decant for service or enjoy from 2018 through 2025
89 Points

Clearview Estate Winery Reserve Syrah 2016 Hawke's Bay
Powerful bouquet with aromas of light and dark red berry fruits, plenty of darker oak spice and newer wood tones, pepper, licorice and fresh meaty qualities, complex and intriguing. On the palate - full of flavor and spice, higher acidity and firmer more youthful tannins; a core of fruit and concentration has me captured; overall flavour reflects the bouquet - this wine has youthful charm, but does need some more cellar time to relax and find more harmony; great potential and plenty of length. enjoy from 2018 through 2030.
94 Points

SOHO

SOHO 'Havana' Pinot Noir 2015 Marlborough
Intense and fruity bouquet with aromas of dark red and some black fruit with plum and dark cherry, some currant and dark raspberry, moderate and well used oak adding some vanilla and lit toasty tones. On the palate - quite fruity and lush with flavours that reflect the nose, medium+ acidity fine tannins with a silky texture, balanced and well made with a fairly lengthy finish. Drink now and through 2024.
91 Points

Amisfield

Amisfield Dry Riesling 2015 Central Otago
Delicious, fresh romas of lime and grapefruit then apple and lemon, white floral note and a hint of savory and mineral. On the palate - nicely dry with a firm and youthful tension, plenty of acidity adding grip and poise; flavours of lemon, lime and green apple, some mineral tones and a lengthy finish all add up to a reliable and balanced wine. Drink now and through 2025.
90 Points

Amisfield Lowburn Terrace Riesling 215 Central Otago
Mineral at first then a layer of mandarin and lime followed by apple and white peach - a bouquet with allure and a little intrigue. On the palate - off-dry with a obvious but not overdone residual sweetness, the acidity kicks in just in tome to add both balance and show off the fruit flavours; some mineral and floral tones; failry lengthy finish, lovely balanced, freshness and length. Drink now and through 2022.
89 Points

Clearview Estate Winery

Clearview Estate Winery 'Beachhead' Chardonnay 2016 Hawke's Bay
Distinctive and familiar bouquet of Chardonnay, Clearview Estate and the style it has come to be known for - full, rich, giving and alluring; aromas of toasted butter brioche and vanilla, ripe peach and roasted stone fruits and wood spice, moderate complexity. On the palate - very engaging with a creamy texture and defined acidity, spicy wood tones and ripe lush fruit flavours that reflect the nose; lengthy finish, totally drink now style that will also reward if cellar aged through 2022.
90 Points

Clearview Estate Winery 'Coastal' Gewurztraminer 2016 Hawke's Bay
Very aromatic with an intense and forward bouquet of white fleshed fruits, spices and crushed roses, alluring for sure. On the palate - fleshy, juicy and tense with the spice and acidity working to hold my attention, some residual sweetness offsets the alcohol with both adding texture and weight. Quite a long finish with a persistent flavours and a hint of sweet ginger. Great balance. 
88 Points

Clos Marguerite

Clos Marguerite Rose 2016 Marlborough
Very generous and fruity bouquet of ripe light red fruits - sweet plum and cherry laced with strawberry. On the palate - lush, fruity and plump texture, a hint of spice and plenty of mineral tones, medium+ acidity and balanced lengthy finish. Well made - as usual and definitely looking for a second glass.
88 Points

SOHO

SOHO 'Carter' Chardonnay 2016 Waiheke Island (Auckland)
Exacting and to the point bouquet with a vibrant texture (shape) coupled with aromas of grapefruit and peach, oak and apple; oak tones suggest some new barrel. On the palate - gentle creamy texture and flavours that reflect the nose especially peach and apple followed by grapefruit, light spicy wood tones, plenty of acidity enhancing the textures; decent length and finish; well made and showing complexity now that should develop over time. Drink now and through 2020.
91 Points

SOHO 'Jonny' Chardonnay 2015 Marlborough
Attractive and fresh fruited bouquet of Chardonnay with aromas of orchard fruits, red apple and mild spice. On the palate - custard and cream, peaches and apple, crisp, firm and with a dry finish and easy by the glass choice; mild spice and medium+ weight and light creamy textures. 
86 Points

SOHO 'Maren' Riesling 2016 Marlborough
Ripe Meyer lemon laced with green apple and white blossom, this wine has always impressed with its mineral and fruit laden bouquet; a calm leesy note adds depth and complexity. On the palate - precise, elegant, minerally and packed with citrus and white peach, apple and wet stone; searing acidity and long finish, a great example of Marlborough Riesling.
93 Points

SOHO 'Stella' Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Marlborough
Pungent and distinctive boquet of 'Classic' Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc with fresh herbs, grass, passion fruit and green apple. On the palate - crisp, dry, fruity and dry - a classically styled SB with all the power and thrust expected of this variety and origin; loads of acidity and fruit with light+ body and lengthy finish. Balanced and well made.
88 Points

SOHO 'Peggy' Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Marlborough
Plush, juicy, fleshy and forward aromas of SB with peaches and tropical fruits, hay and herbs. On the palate - equally fruity with a fruit salad of flavours from apples to peaches to tropical fruits - all laced with a little fresh herb and herbaceousness. Plenty of acidity and presence leading to a just dry finish.
87 Points

Leung Estate

Leung Estate Ma Maison Chardonnay 2015 Martinborough 
Vibrant and precise bouquet with a full and rounded texture suggesting cream and butter then aromas of freshly picked peach and stone fruits, some red apple then oak tones of vanilla and spice. On the palate - firm, youthful, rounded and dry, layers of oak spice and lush orchard fruits, medium+ acidity and lengthy finish, balanced and well made with a decent lengthy finish. 
90 Points

Leung Estate Ma Maison Pinot Noir 2015 Martinborough
Loads of primary red berry fruit in the bouquet with freshly crushed raspberry and red cherry, even a sweet red beet note then cinnamon and brown spices of oak, youthful fleshy and new. On the palate - dry, fruity and reflective of the boquuet with juicy cherry and other red fruits, medium+ acidity, fine to moderate tannins - well in balance with the rest of the palate, the finishes as it begins with some decent length. Decant for service - otherwise cellar through the end of 2018 and taste again. 
90 Points

Leung Estate Ma Maison Pinot Noir 'Cuvee Two Richards' 2014 Martinborough
An engaging bouquet with aroma sof spice, toast, barrel, red fruits and a little bottle aged harmonising; quite complex and  definitely intriguing. On the palate - delicious! I do like the way in which the oak and fruit talk, medium+ tannins with a fine texture from the fruit and youthful almost bold voice from the oak, medium+ acidity adds poise and length; balanced and well made with a lengthy and ngaging finish.

94 Points

Friday, 3 March 2017

Clearview Estate Winery

Clearview Estate Winery 'Two Pinacles' Reserve Malbec 2015 Hawke's  Bay
Pungent, wild and fruity with crushed berries and plums, violets and oak, forward, fresh and 'in your face' bouquet. On the palate - dry, firm, youthful, fruity, textured and warm; flavours reflect the wild berries and oak messages, firm and enegaging tannins, medium+ acidity, a lovely line of stony minerality through the core of ripeness, lengthy and memorable finish
90 Points

Huia

Huia Pinot Noir 2014 Marlborough
A beautiful bouquet of Pinot Noir with a beguiling and seductive package of aromas - wild flowers, wild fresh berries, a light savory and dried herb layer, texture and form, complex, youthful. On the palate - delicious! youthful and charming, but also tense and poised with fine firming tannins, palate egaging acidity, a core of ripe fruit and wild florals, long finish. Decant for service or cellar (preferred) till 2019 then try again.
96 Points

Neudorf

Neudorf Moutere Albarino 2016 Nelson
Lush, juicy and alluring fruit centred bouquet with aromas of peach and ripe apple, a floral moment suggesting white flowers then fine mineral undertone. On the palate - immediately engaging with vibrant acidity and flavours of peach then citrus with a lemon note, some apple and spice. Quite an engaging wine with a honey suckle and floral notes leading to a dry finish.
92 Points

Neudorf Moutere Pinot Gris 2016 Nelson
An obvious and immediately engaging aroma package of Gris with a light white spice and wild ferment note of wild honey which leads to suggestions of pears and a little quince. On the palate - juicy, fresh, silky texture, abundant core of fruit; spice layer returns, plenty of acidity and a light citrus note, lengthy and very satisfying finish. Great balance and quite weighty with decent length.
93 Points

Stonecroft

Stonecroft 'Ruhanui' Gimblett Gravels 2015 Hawke's Bay
Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon
Dark red and purple hues; juicy, fleshy and ripe bouquet of black plum and blackberry fruits, an obvious bite of oak with toasty wood notes, moderate+ complexity and intensity. On the palate - dry, fruity, masculine, spicy, toasty and lush; a mouth-filling example with plenty of weight and expression showing off both the plummy merlot fruits and muscle of cabernet; firm youthful tannins, medium+ tannins and decent lengthy finish.
91 Points

Clos Marguerite

Clos Marguerite Pinot Noir 2012 Marlborough
Very attractive bouquet centering on aromas of earth and spice and then soft and aged light red fruits - strawberry, plum, red cherry, quite complex and appealing. On the palate - textured, flavourful, dry and precise; flavours of red berries return, medium to fine tannins, medium+ acidity and earthy crushed bark and brown spice, moderate oak with flavor and tannin before any woodiness; old rose ideas, lengthy finish.
93 Points

Clos Marguerite Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Marlborough
Classic Awatere Valley scents with layers of perfume and intensity; vibrant ripe fleshy citrus and tropical fruits laced with sweet fresh herbs and dry stone mineral. On the palate - dry, salivating acidity, herbaceous and intense, grapefruit and tropical flavours, crushed stone mineral leading to a lengthy, vibrant finish. Overall balanced and well made - totally drinkable with age worthy attributes.

90 Points

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Maude Wines

Maude Wines Methode Traditionnelle NV Central Otago
Base wine is from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir - spanning 9 years, blending 5 vintages and aged on lees 36 months
The bouquet for this wine is quite remarkable with scents of complex lees autolysis capturing the first impression followed quickly by baked citrus peel and stone fruit; a gentle toasty nutty quality emerges slowly but becomes quite distinctive after a few minutes in glass. On the palate - a creamy texture, firm and bold mousse - as this settles a silky texture remains; flavours of citrus, honey and stone fruit return. A light baked custard note is constant through the tasting; lengthy, balanced and delicious. Drink now and through 2020.
93 Points

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Babich Wines

Babich Wines 'Black Label' Syrah 2015 Hawke's Bay
Masculine and forward bouquet of roast red berry fruits and toasty oak - vanilla and brown spices galore; black pepper and bacon note (oak) and even a touch of new leather adds complexity and intrigue. On the palate - equally bold and quite dry, flavours of dark berries - fresh and roasted, plenty of oak, plenty of tannin and plenty of acidity. This is a serious wine that needs decanting for service and specific protein selection. Drink from 2018 through 2026. 
94 Points

Church Road

Church Road Chardonnay 2016 Hawke's Bay
Bold and forward bouquet showing off aromas of ripe peaches and oak, a mild toasty layer and a touch of lees. On the palate - creamy, fruity, moderate oak flavours and dry on the finish; Medium+ weight, easy acidity and not too oaky; a reliable, balanced and well made wine ready to enjoy today and through 2019.
87 Points

Church Road Syrah 2015 Hawke's Bay
Bold bouquet of Syrah with aromas of dark red berry fruits and brown oak spices, a light dried herb note and a hint of mint. On the palate - fresh, fruity, dry and loaded with flavour - red berries, plum and red pepper corn, the dried herb note returns as does the oak and spice, finer tannins, medium+ acidity, balanced and well made in a drink soon-ish style. Best from 2017 through 2022.
89 Points

Church Road Rose 2016 Hawke's Bay
A rose with decent colours of raspberry red and pink - aromas and flavours of strawberries and red currants, some sweet candy, medium+ acidity, weight and a juicy, fleshy finish with a little sweetness thrown in for good measure. Drink now and enjoy - best from nnow and through 2018.
84 Points

Jules Taylor Wines

Jules Taylor Wines Chardonnay 2016 Marlborough
Gentle beginning to the bouquet that gets bolder as the wine opens up in the glass; aromas of ripe stone and tree fruit laced with oak suggesting generous flavours to come of white and yellow peach, red apple and grapefruit; scents of vanilla and moderate toasty oak complete the nose. On the palate - fleshy, ripe and fruity with flavours of white peach and vanilla, red apple and quince; no mistaking a bite of new oak adding some tannin, medium+ (ish) acidity; lengthy finish, great balance and well made. Drink now and through 2022.
90 Points

Jules Taylor Wines Rose 2016 Gisborne
Very fruity and ripe red fruits bouquet with sweet strawberry, plum and bing cherry; flavours mostly cherry and light red berry fruits on the palate - medium++ acidity and very fine tannin note; drink now and through 2019 - a balanced and well made wine.

87 Points

Jules Taylor Wines Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Marlborough
Juicy, fresh, lively and attractive honey fruits bouquet - poached quince and pear, sweet lemon and apple, some SB herbs notes and honey. On the palate - sweet, fresh, very fruity and crisp with high acidity, fully bodied and voluptuous - a balanced and tasty wine perfect for spicy Asians soups and of course a dessert of two. 

88 Points

Mills Reef Winery

Mills Reef Winery Reserve Pinot Gris 2016 Hawke's Bay
Fruity and engaging bouquet with ripe pears and other white tree fruit aromas, a distinctive honeyed fruit note and gentle white spice layer. On the palate - fruity and fresh, medium+ (ish) acidity, warming alcohol and medium+ weight; flavours reflect the nose precisely led by the pear and honey. Medium+ length and finish leaving me with the impression that this is a wine worthy of your attention. Drink now and through 2020 - of stored correctly.
88 Points

Mills Reef Winery Estate Syrah 2016 Hawke's Bay
Fruity and varietal with ripe raspberry and black currant juice, sweet red plum and cherry notes, mild pepper spices and oak. On the palate - a lovely core of ripe red fruits with flavours of cherry and raspberry leading, fine tannins and mild pepper tones, even milder oak and crunchy acidity. Balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2020.
89 Points