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

Man O' War

Man O' War 'Paradise' Pinot Gris 2016 Ponui Island - Auckland
Rich and honeyed bouquet of Gris with aromas of sweet pear and poached apple, some floral tones and sugary tones. On the palate - off dry with some noticeable sweet - well contrasted by elevated acidity; flavours of white fleshed fruits, some spice and floral flavours leading to a lengthy creamy soft finish. 
86 Points

Man O' War 'Little Beast' Chardonnay 2016 Waiheke Island
No mistaking the bold attack of an oak influenced Chardonnay - aromas of French vanilla, roasted stone fruits and toasty nutty oak suggestions; forward and precise. On the palate - loads of citrus and apple flavours, tangerine and all the oak suggested above; nice weighty wine with just enough creamy texture and acid bite to keep the palate entertained; decent length. Balanced and well made overall. Drink now and through 2022.
88 Points

Man O' War 'Death Valley' Malbec 2014 Waiheke Island
Bold and distinctive boquet of ripe red berries led by black currant, blackberry, boysenberry then plum and black cherry - plenty of red fruit aromas for sure; there's also a wack of oak (for me at least) that needs some time to find a greater harmony with the fruit. On the palate - intense and fruity with plenty of tannin and acidity along side the very fruity flavours of berries and some toasty oak. Generous lengthy finish. A wione that simply requires some cellar time. Decant for service if serving today; best drinking from 2018 through 2025.
87 Points

Ata Rangi

Ata Rangi Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Martinborough
Lovely bouquet which is fragrant, varietal and showing minerality. Aromas of citrus, peach and fresh red apple, a floral, mineral combination and overall complex allure. On the palate - also lovely with a persistent mealy texture, fresh ripe acidity then flavours of crunchy ripe tree and citrus fruits; lengthy finish leaving a stony mineral taste behind - yum!
94 Points

Dog Point Vineyard

Dog Point Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Marlborough
Very distinctive bouquet, highly aromatic with specific aromas of fresh apple, grapefruit & lemon, and wine-making technique using lees effect adding depth to the bouquet, maybe some old barrel. On the palate - a dry wine with a core of citrus and tree fruit flavours, a hint of tropical, piercing acidity and salivating lengthy after taste. Totally drinkable now and through 2019.
93 Points

Passage Rock

Passage Rock Reserve Chardonnay 2016 Waiheke Island
Distinctive and familiar bouquetof both Chardonnay, Waiheke Island and the Passage Rock style - aromas of sweet fresh oak and baked stone fruits laced with tones of rocks and tobacco, baked nuts and a touch of honey; youthful and new. On the palate - delicious! creamy and flavourful with ripe stone fruit, wood spices and new oak sweetness; fine wood tannins and medium+ acidity, a well balanced, lengthy and drinkable wine now, will also age well through 2025 if stored correctly.
93 Points

Passage Rock Reserve Syrah 2014 Waiheke Island
Bold bouquet of ripe dark red berry fruits, black currant and boysenberry, there's no mistaking the core of ripeness and black pepper layer, fresh well toasted barrel tones and hard stone earthy quality. On the palate - dry and equally intense as the aromas suggest - flavours of dark berries and currants, a back bone of acidity and firm tannins ensures attention, some olive and black peppercorn flavours; long finish and memorable. Decant for service through 2017/2018, best drinking 2018 through 2025
95 Points

Passage Rock Reserve Cabernet Merlot 2013 Waiheke Island
A bouquet that gets straight to the point - Cabernet aromas of tobacco, bell-pepper and cigar box oak, softened by Merlots' charms with a core of ripe plum and blackberry; the oak is bold, youthful and loud (as it should be) with the ripeness of fruit soaking this up well. On the palate - dry, varietal and textured with flavours of blackberry and roasted plum, chocolate and tobacco, big tannins and plenty of acidity. Very youthful with loads of potential and a fairly lengthy finish. 
94 Points

Passage Rock Late Harvest Cabernet 2016 Waiheke Island
Aromas of raisin and prune then an echo of dark berries  and a dry herb layer. On the palate - sweet wine flavours with plenty of residual sugar leading the charge, flavours of preserved red fruits, raisin and some honey, fine yet noticeable tannins and medium acidity. A balanced and well made wine, no harsh elements and finely textured yet sweet finish. A wine best enjoyed with food of equal intensity and sweetness.
86 Points

Villa Maria

Villa Maria 'R&D' Sauvignon Blanc On Skins 2015 Marlborough
Golden hues and very bright appearance; Aromas of sweet hay, peach and preserved lemon, some grapefruit and apple, fermented flower and crushed stone suggestions. On the palate - dry with a noticeably different expression from 'classic' Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc - this wine has a texture that speaks of less intense acidity, more natural ferment flavours, some mild tannin texture; baked peach and apple, preserved lemon/ citron tart; decent length and finish - a wine to explore more and test its food friendly potential.
88 Points

Waimea Family Estate Wines

Waimea Family Estate Albarino 2016 Nelson
Attractive bouquet of varietal Albarino showing a core of white peach, apple and honeysuckle, some stony mineral undertones and medium+ intensity overall. On the palate - equally fruity with a ripe and crisp acid bite, flavours of tree fruit and a distinctive citrus high note, light wet stone mineral, a hint of honeysuckle; balanced and well made  - a decent example.
88 Points

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Rock Ferry Wines

Rock Ferry Wines Blanc de Blancs 2010 Marlborough
Bright, fresh and fruity bouquet with a core of fruit suggesting white peach, apple and pear, a light floral layer and mild to moderate autolysis. On the palate - crisp, fresh, dry. Flavours reflect the nose with pear, apple, white peach and now lemon emerging; mild autolysis, balanced and well made.
88 Points

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Waimea Family Estate Wines

Waimea Family Estate 'Classic Riesling' 2015 Nelson
Delicious bouquet of sweet lemon and mandarin laced with aromas of stony minerals, a touch of saline and light floral tones. On the palate - only just dry with a light residual sugar note, the wine definitely finishes dry; flavours of ripe citrus, crisp apple, tangerine and rose; plenty of mineral tones and abundant refreshing acidity. Lengthy finish. 
92 Points

Waimea Family Estate Pinot Gris 2016 Nelson
Striking bouquet of ripe variteal Gris with aromas of green pear, apple and some tropical fruit such as pineapple; white spice and crushed florals. On the palate - vibrant and just dry with ripe  fruit flavours, medium+ (ish) acidity and warming alcohol; loads of flavor and style, some phenolic texture adding length and finish. Great balance and well made.
88 Points