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 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


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 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 '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