Monday, 26 February 2018

Ata Rangi

Ata Rangi Rose 2017, Martinborough
from Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Cabernet the aromas and flavour show off an obvious minerality, delicate floral moments and bright light red fruits. Crisp, dry and layered on the palate with flavours of wild raspberry and plum, a light white pepper spice and fine tannins. Balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2020.
93 Points


Amisfield Chenin Blanc 2017 Central Otago
Classic and enticing fragrances of sweet apple, green pear and stony mineral suggestions. Scents of sweet air and white flowers add charm and complexity. Just dry on the palate with flavours of apple, pear and quince; vibrant and refreshing acidity, mineral and gentle spice moments. A lovely example with a lengthy and memorable finish. Very well-made. drink now and through 2022.
94 Points

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Samuel's Gorge

Samuel's Gorge Shiraz 2014 McLaren Vale, South Australia
Classic bouquet of Shiraz with abundant dark berry aromas of blueberry and black plum, crushed black cherry, brown sugar, blackberry pie, black pepper and toasty oak showing with vanilla and clove. Dry, very fruity and toasty with flavours of blue fruits and dark plum, brown spices, moderate tannins and just firm acidity. Balanced and well made and very easy and approachable style. Drink now and through 2022.
89 Points

Mills Reef

Mills Reef Winery Estate Chardonnay 2016 Hawkes Bay
Many aromas of a classically styled Hawkes Bay Chardonnay with peach and yellow apple, banana and vanilla, nut and mild barrel notes; creamy rounded texture with a mild buttery suggestion. Just dry, creamy and fresh on the palate - flavours reflect the nose with creamy peach, tropical and vanilla flavours, mild wood notes with a gentle tannin layer; medium acidity and finish. Balanced and well made and delivers well for the price.
88 Points

Friday, 9 February 2018

Charles Smith Wines

Charles Smith Wines 'Kung Fu Girl' Riesling 2016, Washington State, USA
Fleshy, plump, ripe and varietal aromas of Riesling with sweet pear, apple and citrus, underlying line of minerality. Crunchy, fresh, lively and fruity on the palate with green apple, lemon and barely sugar flavours; plenty of acidity adds a fine texture and dryness on the finish. Balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2026.
90 Points

Charles Smith Wines 'Eve' Chardonnay 2015, Washington State, USA
Lifted, fresh and elegant bouquet of tree fruits and citrus, quite steely yet familiar with white and yellow peach then apple. Dry on the palate with flavours that reflect the nose - citrus and white fleshed tree fruits, warming alcohol and refreshing acidity; mild to moderate oak flavours with some spice and vanilla notes. Drink through 2020 - food recommended.
88 Points

Charles Smith Wines 'Boom Boom' Syrah 2015, Washington State, USA
Attractive bouquet of pepper-spiced dark berries, toasty wood and dark spices - clove and baked vanilla. Ripe, fruity and dry on the palate with flavours of sweet dark berries, a touch of brown sugar, soft pepper spice and toasted wood. Abundant yet easy to assimilate tannins, medium acidity, balanced, well made and ready to drink. Loads of fun - enjoy from now and through 2024.

90 Points


Vinoptima Reserve Gewurztraminer 2010, Ormond, Gisborne
Boldly fragrant, lush and fully laden with aromas of exotic fruits, gentle oak spice, fruit spice, varietal spice and a clay-like minerality. Lush and full-bodied on the palate with flavours of white, yellow and tropical fruits; creamy texture is contrasted with spices, medium yet focused acidity and lengthy finish. A classic and benchmark style for New Zealand as well as a reminder of the continued potential in Gisborne as a wine producing region.  
94 Points

Ata Rangi

Ata Rangi Lismore Pinot Gris 2017, Martinborough
Fragrant and complex bouquet filled with aromas of flowers and ripe fruit with a currant of minerality. Dried pear and apple, a hint of tropical fruit, white spice and light savoury lees layer adding complexity. Supple and silky texture on the palate with a warmth and spiced white flesh fruits; balanced, weighty, decent acidity and finishing dry. An excellent example.
95 Points

Friday, 2 February 2018

Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill Bush Vine Grenache 2016. McLaren Vale, South Australia
Ripe red and dark red fruit aromas with plum and dark berry fruits, some licorice and vanilla, a layer of toasty oak builds complexity. Youthful and engaging overall. On the palate - packed with flavours of wild plum and berries of the forest; dry with medium+ acidity and weight; balanced use of oak and fleshy texture contrasted by firm-ish youthful tannins. Great balance and uber food friendly example. Drink now and through 2024.
91 Points

Te Kano

Te Kano Blanc de Noir 2017 Central Otago
White strawberry hue and brilliant sheen appearance. Aromas and flavours Asian pears and crushed golden apple, hints of lychee, white flowers and spice. Gentle creamy texture is contrasted with the bite of acidity and warmth of alcohol. Love to serve as an aperitif this wine has texture, the right measure of flavour and a lengthy persistent finish. drink now and through 2020.
90 Points

Te Kano Pinot Gris 2017 Central Otago
Intense varietal signature of white fleshed fruits, honeysuckle and spice. Aromas and flavours of pears and pear skin, white peach, spice, a little ginger and apple. There's a light botanical note that adds depth; the fruit intensity returns along with the warmth of alcohol, medium+ acidity and fairly lengthy finish. Generous finish. Drink now and through 2019.
88 Points

Te Kano Rose 2017 Central Otago
Made from Pinot Noir - aromas and flavours of raspberries and strawberries with a rose and red cherry highlights. Lush, crisp, dry and totally enjoyable. Balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2020.
89 Points

Scott Base

Scott Base Central Otago Pinot Rose 2017 (Allan Scott Wines)
Light salmon and Auckland rose hues. Aromas and flavours of red apple skin, red cherry and peach. Crisp, dry and intense with a core of fruit laced with fruit spice and a dusting of tannin. Great balance and length. Drink now and through 2018.
90 Points

Spade Oak Vineyard

Spade Oak Vineyard 'Heart of Gold' Tempranillo Rose 2017, Gisborne
Lovely bouquet of light red fruits with cherry, cranberry and strawberry; some red apple skin and steely freshness. On the palate - lush, crisp, refreshing and just dry with a light sweetness, but pretty much all fruit. Balanced and well made. drink now and through 2018.
90 Points

Big Sky Wines

Big Sky Gruner Veltliner 2017, Te Muna Road, Martinborough
Intriguing aromas of varietal GV with radish, pineapple and soft white herb layer then apple, lemon and a touch of almond. On the palate - dry, crisp and varietal flavours that reflect the nose; white pepper, pineapple, white herbs and apple. Balanced and well made. Requires some cellar time, but should be ready by late 2018. 
88 Points


Neudorf Moutere Riesling Dry 2016, Nelson
Intense aromas of wild flowers and honeysuckle set against a backdrop of apple and kaffir lime; a hint of spice and a whisper of ginger. On the palate - crisp and dry with an immediate tension, a pause, then a flourish of flavours that reflect the nose. Long finish, a keeper for sure - this wine is set to mature for a decade at least. Well crafted example.
94 Points

Measure & Guess

Measure & Guess Vine Hopper IPA & Sauvignon Blanc
A classic IPA nose with a hoppy, bitter apricot and beer lees nose, golden honey malt and toasted cereal. Flavours repeat on the palate with a light tropical fruit layer and a hint of herb. Balanced, drinkable and fun! Drink upon purchase.
88 Points

Allan Scott

Allan Scott 'Green Hopped Gooseberry Bomb' Sauvignon Blanc - with Nelson Sauvin Hops
This is indeed a gooseberry bomb, very intense aromas of spicy hops, tobacco, wild green beans and grated green apple. Flavours match the nose with a beer and bourbon layer, moderate at best acidity, persistent finish. Different, interesting and worth a try.

Peckham's Cidery & Orchard

Rare Nelson Cider

Peckham's Moutere Perry, 5.5% abv. Nelson, NZ
Aromas of crushed white fleshed fruit with pear and pear skin leading, a whisper of ginger and spice from lees residue. Crisp and refreshing on the palate with flavours that match the nose; a gentle petillant-like fizz adds texture and length. Plush finish. Drink anytime.
88 Points

Peckham's Taunton Challenge, Somerset Cider Apples. 5.9% abv. Nelson, NZ
Golden amber hues leads to a bouquet of bruised apple, pear with cooked versions of both. On the palate - quite tasty with flavours of tropical fruits, apricot and apple skin. Light sparkle and crunchy textured finish. Drink upon purchase.
85 Points

Peckham's Kingston & Alford with a touch of honey. 6.0% abv. Nelson, NZ
Gold and yellow gold appearance. Aromas and flavours of apricot, bruised apple and honey, a light waxy, leesy finish. Fine lightly sparkling texture and lengthy finish. Drink upon purchase.
89 Points

Peckham's Sweet Serious Frenchie. ancient craft wild ferment. 4.8% abv. Nelson, NZ
Gold and yellow gold appearance. Aromas and flavours of apricot, strawberry, a hint of cheese, ginger and fig. Well balanced with a hint of sweetness. Soft sparkle, lengthy finish. Balanced and well made. Drink upon purchase.
90 Points