Saturday, 31 December 2011


Matawhero Gisborne Pinot Gris 2011 12.8%
N: Varietal notes of late harvest pear and golden delicious apple, hints of honey and honey-suckle, a dash of white pepper and pot-pouri.

P: A gentle fruit expression with the apple and pear tree fruits dominating; knocking on the door of medium with some residaul sugar balanced by medium+ acidity. A very approachable drink now style, medium finish and balanced. 
3 Stars

Friday, 30 December 2011

Jackson Estate

Jackson Estate 'Stich' Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Marlborough 13%
N: Juicy and fleshy Sauvignon Blanc aromas with sweet peach and pineapple, gooseberry, red apple, citrus and sweet herb. Overall an attractive and appealing fruit expression.

P: Reflects the nose with a luscious and densely fruit sweet flavors including meyer lemon and apple, gooseberry and light tropical notes. High acidity balances the sweet edged fruit; medium+ length, juicy and refreshing finish; balanced and well-made.
4 Stars

Mt Beautiful

Mt Beautiful Cheviot Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2010 14%
N: Powerful yet slightly restrained aromas of tree fruits and tropical fruits laced with steely and stoney minerality.

P: Herbaceous and dry, steely then fruity and very crisp - a bracing wine with palate piercing acidity, crisp apple, pear, golden kiwi fruit and light tropical flavors. The finish is moderate and firm with a mineral lift at the end and a touch warm. Overall well made.
3.5 Stars

Two Rivers

Two Rivers 'Altitude' Pinot Noir 2010
100% wild Ferment, Basket Press, 100% New Oak
Nose and Palate: Classic (for New Zealand) in many ways - lovely strawberry and cherry fruit quite intense; a fare wack of oak and concentration.
On the palate - softer sweeter fruit flavors with brown spice edges and vanilin oak; slightly warm, but a great drinking wine; the tannins while firm still in this very youthful wine are starting to loosen a little offering proise with food.
3 barrels - 100 cases produced.
5 Stars

Passage Rock

Passage Rock Reserve Syrah 2010
Nose and Palate: Toasted raspberry, oaky, gravelly/clay like bouquet; great intensity with Medium++ complexity.
On the palate the wine is meaty and spicy with black and red fruits; reminds me of apple and blackberry pie with a crusty pastry edge; the complexity shows just enough on the palate to know that this wine is a keeper and can be enjoyed now too if decanted.
92 Points

Sunday, 11 December 2011

John Forrest Collection

John Forrest Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Gimblett Gravels 14%abv
Nose and Palate: Very ripe bouquet with black and red fruits, but in a very youthful frame; varietal - yes, edgy - yes, a big future - definitely! On the palate the core of fruit on the nose begins to show its power with powerful fruit and oak tannins along with some youthful acidity bring this wine together into something special. At four years of age already this wine is still a puppy and I expect will begin to relax and integrate over the 2013 season. The higher complexity potential is showing, but I further expect it to deepen and evolve.
A keeper in the darkest corner of your cellar with a showing around May 2015 probably about right.
92 Points

John Forrest Collection

John Forrest Collection Syrah 2007 Gimblett Gravels, Hawke's Bay 14.5%abv
Nose and Palate: Vibrant, varietal and peppery; Red and black fruits, sweet meats and fleshy fruits, damson plums, crushed violets, complex. On the palate - very youthful still - high acid, high tannins - ripe; vibrant raspberry, damsons and keri-berry flavors; Needs another two years before it makes any wine list debut; gravel undertones and complex with excellent texture and potential.
95 Points

Saturday, 10 December 2011

John Forrest Collection

John Forrest Collection Pinot Noir 2009 Waitaki Valley
Nose and Palate: Rich raspberry, dark cherry, Central Otago bouquet - schist notes and undergrowth suggestions. The palate is delicious, youthful and mealy with fruit tannins a little more forward than the oak tannins. Juicy finish with a drink now feel, but also has cellar potential. Overall very good.
88 Points

John Forrest Collection

John Forrest Collection Pinot Noir 2009 Bannockburn 13.5%abv
Nose and Palate: Herbal - dried - with dark cherry, cherry and cranberry notes, youthful and vibrant aromatics. The palate reflects the nose with vibrant fleshy fruits, packed with skin tannins, understated oak; medium+ acidity and length with a dried herb note on the finish. Very good - balance and presence with pinosity and personality.
89 Points

John Forrest Collection

John Forrest Collection Waitaki Valley Chardonnay 2008 13.5%
Nose and Palate: Cool climate and terroir suggestions of quartz and schist first then light white florals witha smokey and youthful mood.
The palate promotes the youthful features of the wine first with a vibrant acidity, mild creamy texture and citrus then more traditional chardonnay peach and stone fruits flavors. Great balance and length. A food wine through 2012 then anythings goes.
89 Points

John Forrest Collection

John Forrest Collection Chardonnay 2006 14% abv
Nose and Palate: This is a fabulous wine and any chance you get to try, buy or taste then do so - it is highly recommended; Golden Grapefruit and apple, peach skin and oak, feminine/gentle aromatics. The palate is great - medium+ body, creamy and rich in flavor and character; peach and sweet apple, grape fruit and other citrus flavors and gentle sweet vanillin. Complex and just begining to settle into a groove.
92 Points

John Forrest Collection

John Forrest Collection Riesling 2005 (30% Brancott fruit, 70% Wairau fruit)
Nose and Palate: Classic, classic, classic - just lovely with granny smith and pacific Rose apple aromas and flavors, sweet grape fruit and lemon skin; The 10gpl RS is perfectly balanced with piercing acidity (2.9 pH). 
A gorgeous wine - 5 Stars/90 Points 

John Forrest Collection

John Forrest Collection 'The White' 2007 13.5%
Nose and Palate: Citrus, white flowers, apples, apple tart, pears, stone fruits, wet stone, light herbs and a hint of oak; Definitely a blend of white varieties. The palate emphasises the ripe sweet notes of Sauvignon Blanc then the apple of Chenin and stone fruit with citrus from some Chardonnay - medium+ length, balanced and well made. John's best [The] White so far.
4 Stars

John Forrest Collection

John Forrest Collection Sauvignon Blanc 2009 13%abv
Nose and Palate: A terroir driven style with a lightly smokey - white smoke note; soft white chalk texture and white flowers; the palate is softer and more gentle than expected; bold fruit flavors are classic Sauvignon Blanc in nature with a mix of tropical and citrus; the emphasis is on the floral and mineral core (for me); a lovely finish and as always with John's wines - balanced.
4 Stars

Pruner's Reward

Pruner's Reward 2009 Pinot Noir
Nose and Palate: Varietal, fruity and juicy with raisin and cherry flavors, moderate weight with easy tannins and moderate+ acidity. Balanced and well-made.
2.5 Stars

Bellbird Spring

Bellbird Spring 'Block 8' Pinot Gris 2010 (40gpl RS)
Nose and Palate: Lush and full-bodied Pinot gris package. Some old barrel influence adds complexity and interest to the fruit and sugar - laden palate; Sweet pear and apple with a soda mix note; balanced acidity and medium length and finish.
Overall a balanced wine. I would suggest a well chilled bottle for service for customers who like sweet wine styles.
3 Stars

Bellbird Spring

Bellbird Spring 'Home Block White' 2010 (20gpl RS; Pinot Gris, Riesling, Muscat and Gewurztraminer)
Nose and Palate: A very tasty wine with some obvious RS that boosts the flavors of the fruits across the four varieties present; The gewurztraminer adds  spice and body, The Pinot Gris - flesh and familiarity; the Muscat - flowers and a feminine note and the Riesling - a back bone of acidity; Peach, apple and tart citrus flavors.
Overall a very good wine.
4 Stars

Bellbird Spring

Bellbird Spring Block 8 Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (100% old barrel ferment)
N: This wine has some depth and character with suggestions of moderate complexity and old barrel spice notes ; followed by gentlr and softer tree and tropical fruits.

P: Generous and richer in texture than its Pruner's Reward counterpart; touch of spice from the older oak and the softer fruit suggestions return with a medley of flavors - mainly tree fruit based. Slightly broader in style with Medium+ length; balanced and well made.
3.5 Stars

Pruner's Reward

Pruner's Reward Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (4gpl RS)
N: Fruity and ripe with peach and citrus suggestions alongside hints of older oak.

P: Reflects the nose with older oak light spice notes, peach and ripe citrus flavors, gooseberry and apple notes; medium+ length and finish; Balanced and well made.
3 Stars

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Framingham 'F' SeriesFramingham 'F' Series

Framingham 'F' Series 2011 Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese
Dry berry selected harvest - TBA. 375ml, only 210 bottles produced, 295gpl RS, 7.5%abv, Fermented in old oak
Nose and Palate: Super creamy, super lush and super sweet. There is balance to the wine from well appointed acidity. Flavors of lemon skin and honey with touches of hokey pokey entice the palate. A big and long sweet finishing wine.
89 Points

Framingham 'F' Series

Framingham 'F' Series 2011 Riesling Beerenauslese
375ml 230 bottles produced, 100% botrytised fruit, 205gpl RS, 9.0%abv
N: A complex wine with a note of oak spice and a gentle touch of VA - together make for an attractive and inviting bouquet. While the oak used a older barrel it adds a layer of complexity. Lemon and apple concentrate and a hint of pineapple.

P: A big and lush wine with citrus and freeze-dried pineapple, apple flavors; a hint of ginger on the absolute finish. The wines seems in perfect balance now and will offer great drinking through 2013.
91 Points

Framingham Series

Framingham 2011 Noble Riesling
375ml, 3000 bottles produced, 180gpl RS, 8.5%abv. Auslese style (Gold Cap)
N: Luscious and creamy with a 'classic' New Zealand Sweet Wine Bouquet; But wait! A second and more gentle sniff reveals rose edged fruits with some botrytis (not too strong) suggestions with marmalade and fresh yoghurt.

P: The palate flavors reflect what the nose suggests with a concentration of stone fruits and balancing acidity; the wine seems to carry a citrus theme overall with orange and tangerine dominating. A medium+ to long finish.
90 Points

Framingham Series

Framingham  2011 Select Riesling 
750ml, 65gpl RS, 8.5%abv, No Botrytis; only 1650 bottles produced;  At 92.4 Oechsle this is a Spatlese style.
N: Lemon curd, lemon brulee, brioche and hokey pokey aromas; some white flower and mineral wet stone suggestions.

P: Big acidity and crisp with lemon curd flavors; I agree with Andrew Hedley's suggestion of raspberry, but notice the crisp citrus and apple flavors first. The flavors just keep coming with green tea, mandarin and lime flower; The finish is well - long and because of the acidity almost dry in nature.
93 Points

Framingham 'F' Series

Framingham 'F' Series 2011 Riesling Kabinett
750ml, 58gpl RS, 8%abv, only 348 bottles produced
N: Lime, lemon, a melody of citrus suggestions, apple and an unmistakably Riesling bouquet.

P: The palate reflects the nose exactly with intense and focused lemon and lime flavors, a precisely balanced wine with a lovely cool climate expression; A touch of lemonade and kaffir lime on the finish then swings back to apple again; The flavours last for 1 minute easily.
A great aperitif wine or for dangerous liaisons with moderately spiced Asian seafood creations.,
94 Points

Framingham 'F' Series

Framingham 'F' Series 2011Gewurztraminer Selection de Grains Noble
375ml, 335 gpl RS, 7.5%abv
N: The intensity and power of the botrytis with its caramelised sugar notes combine to suggest a wine of power and concentration. A gentle rose scent manages to arise that further suggests a wine not without complexity.

P: Full-bodied and very lush, creamy textures and honey coat the palate and seems to stick around for a long time before subsiding; Wine-maker Andrew Hedley's notes on his wine are naturally 'on the button' with an "incredible unctous mouth coating texture"; There remains a gentle varietal Gewurztraminer lift on the finish. A very very good wine - must like it sweet though!
94 Points

Framingham 'F' Series

Framingham 'F' Series 2011 Gewurztraminer Vendange Tardive
500ml, 395 Bottles produced, 150 gpl RS, 8.5%abv
N: Varietal with a mix of flowers, spices, hints of ginger and stewing white flesh fruits.

P: I really like the texture of this wine and the harmony that comes with the acidity - there are pristine phenolics at work here; A long finish - not forceful - built around the interplay between the varietal flavors, spice and weight; a gentle tapering off of flavor and texture at the very end - delicious!
94 Points and one of my favorites from the 'F' series sweet wine line up.

Framingham 'F' Series

Framingham 'F' Series 2011 Pinot Gris Vendange Tardive
Only 400 Bottles produced. 500 ml. 160gpl RS, 8.5%abv
N: Gentle and feminine fragrance, definitely lush; a soft note and then waves of quince and marmalade; varietal.

P: A creamy textured wine with a quince and aged marmalade flavor; gentle honey and bees wax notes; The acidity is the key to this wines palate appeal, high and obvious, adds texture and bite; Long finish with apple and pear flavors.
This is definitely where New Zealand Pinot Gris can be a worldwide hit.
92 points