Monday, 23 December 2013

Saint Clair

Saint Clair Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2013 13%
Explosive fruits in the bouquet with peach, fresh sweet citrus and crunchy apple; wet stones.
Equally expressive on the palate with , fresh, crisp and lively fruit flavors, high acidity and deliciously lush. A tasty and memorable wine.
Balanced, long finish and medium complexity.
5 Stars

Kim Crawford

Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Reserve 12.5%
Classic Kim Crawford expression with a vibrant, but not too overt fruit, plenty of grassy hay-like aromas.
Just dry with a juicy and fruity palate - laced with a mix of herbs, medium+ acidity adds freshness, juicyness and grip.
balanced, medium- length and Low+ complexity.

Yealands Estate

Peter Yealands Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 9%
Fruity and juicy bouquet with a fruit salad of aromas to choose from; low to medium herbaceous notes; fresh and lifted bouquet overall.
Lightly creamy texture with a saline note; off-dry with medium+ acidity; very fruity and fresh - an easy going expression. Balanced, medium length and low+ complexity.

Yealands Estate

Peter Yealands Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Awatere Valley 13.5%
Lots of vibrant fresh citrus aromas with tree and tropical fruits in the bouquet; inviting. Fresh and sweet herbs add a layer of vibrancy and style.
Just dry with a nudge of RS; flavors of sweet ripe fruits laced with aromatic herbs of basil.
High acidity adds length and finish. Balanced, medium+ length and medium complexity.
Overall very good.
4 Stars

Gunn Estate

Gunn Estate 2013 Pinot Gris Reserve 13.5% Marlborough 
Ripe and expressive Pinot Gris aromatics with lots of peach and white peach suggestions as well as  firm and crunchy Asian pear, green pear and hints of very sweet citrus.
All the flavors on the palate reflect the bouquet with medium+ acidity and medium body; this is a delightful example. A little white spice and a touch of RS and forward flavors - this is overall a lovely example;
balanced medium+ length and medium+ complexity.
4 Stars

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Osawa

Osawa Wines Prestige Collection Hawke's Bay Chardonnay 2012 14%
N: Sophisticated bouquet with an oak driven beginning refelcting sweet vanillin, butterscotch and spices, a little raw brown sugar note then roasted stone fruits - peach driven.
P: A full-bodied, rich and powerful wine with stone fruit and oak centred flavors. Medium+ acidity a big oak bite then all tapered and tamed with peachy stone fruit flavors, spicy apple and vanilla. Medium+ complexity and length.
A balanced, sophisticated wine ideal for restaurants with bold flavors weighty food.
4.5 Stars

Nautilus Estate

Nautilus Estate Methode Traditionnelle Pinot Noir Rose 2011
An elegance and precision normally associated with Champagne is presented in the bouquet of this wine; delicate, light red fruits and a subtle autolysis are insistent enough to add complexity and even a little mystery too.
The palate does indeed present an elegant wine with a just dry feel; the red fruits described above return with a little more intensity; the mousse is all about texture with a medium+ explosion then gentle push - accentuating both the high acidity and fruit flavors into a dry finish. 
For me the focus is on texture and elegance with this wine and the balance is just delightful; medium+ length and complexity.
5 Stars

Unison Vineyard

Unison Vineyard Gimblett Gravels Syrah Hawke's Bay 2010 13.5%
Medium+ intensity of Gimblett Gravels stony Syrah fruits - raspberry and blackberry with a touch of black currant; an easy layer of peppery spice and sweet oak. Definitive and complex on the nose.
Dry with textures leading the way  - medium+ tannins and acid, there's a youthful bite ; followed by by black currant and berry fruits; a meaty note adds complexity.
Dry with medium+ length. Still very youthful and will continue to reward if cellared still
4.5 Stars

Unison Vineyard

Unison Vineyard 'Classic Blend' Gimblett Gravels 2008 Hawke's Bay Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah 2008 13.5%
Lots of red and black fruit suggestions with plums - especially Dark and Doris, Blackberry and a little black currant; moderate oak.
Flavors on the palate are as the nose suggest, but also with  soft earthy quality of gravel and stone mix and brown oak spices with a toasty edge. The package of this wine is solid and enticing - balanced, medium+ length and medium complexity.
A serious by the glass wine at restaurants.
4.2 Stars

Woollaston

Woollaston Nelson Pinot Noir Rose 2013 13%
Fresh, lively and full of Summer fruits bouqet; plenty of cherry and strawberry laced red fruits and even a little red apple skin.
A dry wine on the finish with a soft layer of tannins adding just a little texture and style statement; the fruity aspect is a constant and ads to the length and finish.
Balanced, medium length and medium- complexity.
4 Stars

Little Harvest

Little Harvest Hawke's Bay Rose 2013 9%
Pink rose in color; very fruity bouquet with strawberry leading to a mix of almost abstract suggestions - candy floss and strawberry milkshake; other light red fruits have a very quiet voice within this wine.
Off-dry with a sweet top layer in the flavors; very fruity as well; a very easy drinking style.
Balanced, short length and low complexity.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Saint Clair

Saint Clair Family Estate 'Vicar's Choice' Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 'Bright Light Rose' 2013 9.5%
No mistaking the power of Sauvignon Blanc in the bouquet of this wine; that said - very light red fruit and floral notes.
Off dry with a sweet lick (of sugar) then the fruit flavors kick in with red melon and cherry; the overt side of Sauvignon Blanc adds an extra level of complexity and fun.
Great little Summer wine for 2014.
Balanced with medium length.
3.5 Stars

8 Ranges

8 Ranges Wines Pinot Noir Rose 2013 13.5%
Quite a delicate and light bouquet yet plenty of light red fruits - with soft strawberry and cherry then a Winter Rose and stony soil note.
Just dry on the palate with light red fruit flavors including strawberry and tart red cherry.
Medium+ to high acidity, dry on the finish.
Overall a lovely example. Balanced, medium length and low complexity.
4 Stars

Sacred Hill

Sacred Hill 'Halo' Syrah Hawke's Bay 2012 13%
Dark and broody bouquet with raspberry and black fruits laced with pepper and peppercorn; generous but not invasive oak.
On the palate a gently dry wine with flavors that reflect what the nose suggest although the darker fruit flavors become more focused and chocolate like. The tannins are medium+ in power and presence with an equal amount of acidity.
A youthful, toasty edgyness adds complexity and appeal.
Balanced, medium+ length and medium complexity.
4 Stars

Vasse Felix

Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Margaret river 14.5%
A bold, masculine and rich bouquet with Blackberry fruits leading the charge; the herbaceous side of the Cabernet is well tamed in favor of the fruit, oak and spice signatures.
Dry wine with a full-bodied and full palate appeal, plenty of black fruit and brown spice flavors; medium+ tannins, medium+/- acidity; lovely balance and finish.
Love it!
5 Stars

Vasse Felix

Vasse Felix Cabernet Merlot 2011 Margaret River 14.5%
Classic and 'classic' WA Cabernet blend - lots of cigar and blackberry plum fruits laced with the pyrazine hit that one expects from CabSav and WA.
The plum component steps up on the palate providing mid palate weight and flavor contrast to the Cabernet; dry with medium+ (ish) tannins, medium acidity and a lengthy finish. No mistaking the role oak plays with this wine.
Balanced, medium+ length and medium+ complexity.
Overall a great example.
4.5 Stars

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Yealands

Peter Yealands Reserve Pinot Gris 2013 13.5%
Lots of sweet white fleshed fruits - pear - tinned and poached then a light but obvious golden yellow apple note; touch of Asian pear and hints of white pepper spice.
Just off-dry and noticeably fruity with medium+ acidity; balanced and well make wine; medium- length and L+ complexity.
Solid example.
3.5 Stars

Wither Hills

Wither Hills 'Ben Morven' SV Pinot Noir 2010 14%
Like the Taylor's Pass this wine has a lovely Pinosity but unlike the TP it has a more 'terroir' driven layer in the bouquet: hay, mushroom, wood soaked red cherry, hay, gentle brown spices.
The palate shows off lots of ripe and sweet fruit with strawberry and cherry driving the bus, quite dry as well; fine tannins from noticeable French Oak influences; Balanced, medium+ length and medium+ complexity.
4.5 Stars

Wither Hills

Wither Hills SV 'Taylor's River' Pinot Noir Marlborough 2010  
A lovely Pinot Noir bouquet - exudes softness as well as youthful fruityness and fresh oak; There is also a mature charming side with some dry soil/stony notes and medium+ complexity.
Classic Wither Hills flavors on the palate and a vinbrancy & complexity that can only come from great fruit and solid, skillful winemaking.
Medium+ acidity and tannins, well balanced, medium+ length and medium complexity.
A must try wine!
4.5 Stars

Mills Reef

Mills Reef Reserve Pinot Noir 2012 Marlborough 13.5%
Dark cherry and raspberry scented fruit - racing between layers of sweet oak stained with vanilla spice and toast features.
Generous on both the nose and palate with a fruity yet varietal and easy groups of textures: medium tannins - quite fine, medium +(ish) acidity; balanced, medium length and medium_ complexity. Overall a very easy wine to drink, but not a wine for the cellar - just enjoy now.
3.5 Stars

Ellero

Ellero Pisa Terrace Pinot Noir 2011 Central Otago 13.9%
Complex and distinctive; even at this young age the wine suggests more mature vines; a specific oak resonance; spiced cherry fruits with gentle brown spices from the oak, inky red apple skin and rose highlights - complex!
Dry and youthfully firm - cellar if you can; medium+ fine tannins (Oak and fruit) Medium+ acidity.
Overall a charming and distinctive expression. Balanced, medium+ length and medium+ complexity.
4.8 Stars

12000 Miles

12000 Miles Wairarapa Pinot Noir 2012 12.5%
Produced and bottled by Gladstone vineyards
Very light in color matched by light, bright red fruit aromas - with red cherry, red apple skin and strawberry suggestions at the top of my list; lightly oaked.
Palate is as light and fragrant as the nose suggests; dry, soft and gentle with mild tannins.
Very easy to drink example.
Balanced with medium length and moderate- complexity
3 Stars

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Gladstone Vineyard

Gladstone Vineyard Wairarapa Pinot Noir 2011 13.5%
Lots of strawberry and cherry rich fruits, a generous mushroom like earthy layer accentuated by the choice of oak; Dry with medium+ acid and tannins - a wine that is also quite fine in texture - a lovely drifting finish;
Finishes as it begins with soft and generous strawberry and cherry fruit flavors.
Balanced and well made.
4.5 Stars

8 Ranges

8 Ranges Wines Pinot Noir 2010 13.7% Central Otago
Vibrant red cherry, some black cherry, but mostly gentle layers of complexity from soil, oak and fruit liaisons, soft brown spices.
A youthful wine on the palate, dry with medium tannins, medium+ acidity - making this quite the age worthy example (2-4 years). Spice note on the finish highlights some of the alcohol, but this does not unbalance the wine in any way; medium weight and a generous finish.
4 Stars

Vasse Felix

Vasse Felix 2010 Heytesburg Margaret River Cabernet/Petit Verdot/Malbec 14.5%
Richly fruity with medium+ intensity - matched by an equal drive and force from the oak; a slight sweetness to the fruit, but overall a generous blend;
On the palate the flavors are quite rich, yet in balance and harmony with the style and regional influences; mild pepper and chocolate notes; dry with medium+ to ++ weight with plenty of ripe black fruit flavors, medium++ tannins, warm and generous.
Balanced with medium+ length and medium complexity.
4 Stars

Mills Reef

Mills Reef Gimblett Gravels Merlot Cabernet 2012 12.5%
Generous, forward and fruity, but not too intense either; red and wild plum with blackberry and raspberry aromas; medium+ oak in the bouquet.
A dry wine with flavors that reflect the nose; medium (+ ish) weight with an oak intensity to match; medium+ acid and a stony Hawke's Bay warmth and generosity on the finish.
Balanced medium+ length and medium complexity.
3.9 Stars

Man O' War

Man O' War 'Valhalla' Chardonnay Waiheke Island 2012 14.2%
Big, nutty, creamy, full and rich bouquet; Packed with peach laden roasted stone fruits.
Palate reflects the nose with lots of stone fruit flavors, medium+ acidity, butterscotch and raw brown sugar flavors.
Balanced with a long finish and medium+ complexity - you can't go wrong with this wine!
4.5 Stars
Must like oak though

Odyssey

Odyssey Reserve 'Iliad' Gisborne Chardonnay 2012 13.5%
A lovely smokey drift in between the ripe stone fruit and tree fruit suggestions of the bouquet; a gentle vanilla scent accentuates another layer of complexity.
On the palate a dry wine with a full-bodied feel, lots of stone fruit and tree fruit flavors with a creamy texture; medium+ acidity, length and finish.
A very nice wine!
4.5 Stars

Vasse Felix

Vasse Felix 2012 Chardonnay Margaret River Western Australia 12.5%
Nice bouquet! Lots of fuzzy peach and citrus especially grape fruit intertwined with oak woodsyness, oak spices and mild toasty suggestions. I find the bouquet also very nutty with a hazelnut and brazil nut aroma.
Dry and deliciously flavorful with everything a 'traditional' Chardonnay drinker would look for - body, complexity and flavor, just enough toasty butteryness and complexity. Fruity and peachy with a dry finish; balanced, long finish with medium+ complexity.
4.5 Stars

Little Harvest

Little Harvest Gisborne Moscato 2013 6%
Very fragrant and very fruity both on the nose and palate with a sweet medium style feel; medium+ acidity brings balance to the wine; balanced, short finish and low complexity.
Serve well chilled - and as a quaffer!

Ellero

Ellero 2012 Gewurztraminer Central Otago 13.9%
Striking spiciness commands the lead in this wine's bouquet; ginger, white pepper, stewed white nectarine and apple with floral highlights of lavender and rose.
A lovely drier expression of Gewurztraminer with complexity and texture in the driver's seat before fruit - it does have fruit of course! Dry finish; balanced with a lengthy finish and medium+ complexity.
A lovely example.
5 Stars

Man O' War Vineyards

Man O' War Vineyards 'Exiled' Pinot Gris 2013 Ponui Island 14.5%
Voluptuous with lots of honey, apple, white nectarine and poached pear suggestions in the bouquet - no mistaking the Pinot Gris effect.
On the palate - lots of spice and warmth along with flavor; off-dry with medium+ acidity.
A wine with multiple food application choices from gently spiced fare to gently sweet desserts.
Generous and lush; balanced with medium+ length and medium complexity.
4 Stars

Richmond Plains

Richmond Plains Nelson Blanc de Noir 2012 13%
Made with organically grown fruit - Crisp, dense and quite fruity, but also reserved a little with an elegant, quiet side; A gentle layer of silty minerality completes the bouquet.
Dry on the palate with a spiced white fruits layer; medium+ acidity and generous texture, flavorful too.
Balanced with medium length and medium complexity.
Overall a very good and sound alternative to dry Pinot Gris
3.5 Stars

Mills Reef

Mills Reef Pinot Gris Hawke's Bay 2013 13%
A pungent and classy bouquet with white spice, citrus and stone fruit laden suggestions; the complexity is obvious and rings in at about medium.
Palate flavors reflect the nose well and then some with lots of texture and presence from the fruit and wine-making interventions. 
Overall very nice - balanced, medium+ length and medium complexity.
4.5 Stars

Spy Valley

Spy Valley SV 'Free Range' Riesling 2013 Waihopai, Marlborough 9%
Distinctive sweet and baked apple bouquet with a lees-like edgyness and dry stone mineral layer.
Off-dry with lots of texture and flavor; medium+ acidity, noticeable residual sugar, lemon pith, apple and stony flavors; plenty of acidity too which will keep this wine ageing gracefully for another 2 - 4 years yet. Very Good indeed. Balanced, medium++ length and medium complexity.
4.5 Stars

Chard Farm

Chard Farm Central Otago Riesling 2009 12.5%
Distinctive lime, lemon and green apple bouquet with some white rose highlights; a crisp, clean aromatic profile.
Palate reflects the nose and also highlights a schist-like mineral under-currant to the citrus and tree fruit flavors; high acid with a dry finish masking a little residual sugar.
Overall a very nice wine with a developing, slightly toasty appeal - 2 to 3 years solid drinking or cellaring ahead. Balanced, medium+ length Medium- complexity
3.5 Stars

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Wild South

Wild South Marlborough Riesling 2012 13.5%
Awatere Valley Fruit
Sweet ripe fruits with lots of apple, lemon and pineapple suggestions; gentle floral layer and stony mineral note; quite rich and inviting.
Flavors on the palate reflect the nose nicely in an off-dry style, balance for this wine is in the synergy between the citrus, tree fruit and floral attributes; overall a lovely example.
3.9 Stars

Waipara Hills

Waipara Hills Riesling 2012 12.5%
Floral, fruity and mineral bouquet; sweet white flowers, pear, apple and white fleshed fruits; quince.
Off-dry style, but wonderfully crisp too (high acid) showing off the mineral layers; Citrus and apple flavors with quince and a floral twist; mandarin tea note as well - very nice indeed.
Balanced, medium+ length medium+ compelxity.
4.5 Stars

Brancott Estate

Brancott Estate 'Flight' Riesling 2013 Waipara 9%
Sweet apple - red, apricot stone and a touch of peach.
Off-dry with in a simple, attractive and fruity style with a noticeable bite of acidity to balance and lengthen the palate. Crisp finish with a fruity flick at the end. Balanced, medium- length, low complexity.
3 Stars

Woollaston

Woollaston Riesling 2013 Nelson 8.5%
Sweet, fresh and baked apple (tart-tartin like too) with a rose and jasmine note, hint of sherbet.
Off-dry sitting firmly in the medium sweet category. Highish acidity brings a lovely balance; flavors of apples and flowers return with a mandarin and lime tea attribute;
Balanced, medium+ length medium complexity.
4 Stars

Sacred Hill

Sacred Hill 'Halo' 2012 Hawkes Bay 13%
Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc
Rich and dark berry fruits - lush and ripe; chocolate, summer berry pudding and toasty oak suggestions; medium++ complexity.
On the palate a wine with immediate intensity and complexity; lots of dark berry fruit, Doris plum and Blackboy peach, vanillin and spice notes with a little gentle warmth from the alcohol; a very approachable and drink now style - that said 2-3 years in cellar also a good idea.
4.5 Stars

Te Mania

Te Mania Nelson Gewurztraminer 2012 13.5%
Floral, fruity and spicy bouquet - quite intense - very fragrant and forward varietal character - charming and invitiing. The palate is equally intense and charming with lots of peach, apple and apricot flavors, some lychee and exotic fruits, but mostly floral and fruit centred; medium acid, medium+ weight, balanced.
4 Stars

Woollaston

Woollaston Nelson Pinot Gris 2012 13%
Fresh, crisp and clearly defined bouquet of white tree fruits then sweet lemon; moderate complexity and fragrant with a floral note.
Generous wine on the palate with a warm fruity beginning and flavors white fleshed tree fruits and citrus returning; the medium+ acidity brings bite and crispness; dry finish with medium+ length; nice poise, balanced and well made.
4 Stars

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Forrest

Forrest The Doctor's Marlborough 2013 Petit Manseng 11.5%
The terroir for this wine contributes a lot to the bouquet: stony, dry river bed, whispers of herbs and lot of citrus fruit, apple and blossoms.
On the palate this is a sweet wine, but also crisp and lively with flavors that reflect the nose, a smokey floral note with golden apple - baked - and a tart custard flavor as well (so there's a bit of complexity here too); high acidity.
A thoroughly interesting wine with M+ length.
4 Stars

Millton

Millton Vineyards 'Muskats at Dawn' Gisborne 2013 9.5%
Exotic and friendly bouquet; dense, rich, floral; there's also a botanical note that reminds me of Hendricks Gin and Elderflower.
On the palate the wine is beautiful and lush; fresh and quite elegant as far as Muscat can be; plenty of sweetness with a piquant acidity; balanced, juicy and satisfying.
4 Stars

Te Mania

Te Mania Nelson Pinot Gris 2012 14%
Fleshy and sweet green pear and a little golden yellow apple for the majority of the bouquet; On the palate an off-dry wine with a natural white pepper spice enhanced by the acidity - M+ - leading to ripe fleshy tree fruits flavors of pear and apple and white peach; overall fruity, a little warm with a medium finish.
3 Stars

Ellero

Ellero 'Pisa Terrace' Riesling 2012 Central Otago 12.4%
N: Everything about the nose on this wine speaks of mineral, earth and a sense of place first; the fruit signature suggests apple skin, green and red apple, lemon pith, kaffiar leaf and a gentle wild herb note.
P: Acidity leads the palate only because it is so precise and crisp - it carries the flavors of the fruits and minerals suggested above; perhaps a hint of RS, but a wine that finishes dry; a lovely long finish - not intense, but evocatively alluring.
5 Stars (90 Points)

Little Harvest

Little Harvest Marlborough 2013 Sauvignon Blanc 9%
Fruity on the nose with a smorgasboard of tree, tropical and citrus to choose from; a light herbaceous/grassy note; on the palate the RS is a notable feature - as is the low alcohol - the RS however does drive the palate in terms of texture and sweetness; there is some releif from the high acidity bringing balance to the wine.
A very 'easy going' style destined to please all at its price-point
2 Stars

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Spy Valley

Spy Valley SV Area H Sauvignon Blanc 2013 14%
Spy Valley wines always display an extra layer of complexity - whether it be from the soil or wine making this is captured well in nearly all of their wines; This wine seems to display an alien intervention with a dry stone minerality laced with fragrant herbacousness and a gentle leesy edgyness; there's plenty of fruit intensity here as well lemon, gooseberry and tropical flavors; great balance and crisp on the finish.
4.9 Stars

Sacred Hill

Sacred Hill Marlborough 2013 Sauvignon Blanc 12.5%
This is a slightly softer style of Sauvignon Blanc with a combination of soft herbs, moderate fruit intensity and flavor (but still very varietal) and a little wet stone suggestions; the palate tasty, crisp, just dry and enjoyable. Overall a reliable and well made example.
3 Stars

Monday, 2 December 2013

Stoneleigh

Stoneleigh 'Latitude' 2013 Sauvignon Blanc 13.5%
Classic Stoneleigh and Marlborough wine with plenty of passion fruit, peach and sweet citrus suggestions, a mild edginess adds a little mystery; high, fresh and vibrant acidity contrasts well with plenty of fruit on the finish; as always balanced and well made.
4.5 Stars

Aronui

Aronui SV Pinot Rose Nelson 2013 14%
Sweet melon, strawberry and red cherry bouquet; the palate shows off the rose/floral and pink candy floss suggestion (a little pink marsh-mellow too); quite a lovely wine with a gentle sweetness to off-set some youthful fresh acidity; A very Summer style - and worthy of a bottle in your fridge.
3 Stars

Unison Vineyard

Unison Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Hawke's Bay 2013 13%
A thoughtful bouquet and one that captured my attention and sharpened the senses to discover a mineral, stony and elegant appeal - soft peach, pear, appeal and mild tropical flavors and a little herbal quality; Medium++ acidity; a tasty and delicious wine for those who like an 'Old World' style of Sauvignon Blanc in a 'New World' setting.
4 Stars

Aronui

Aronui 2012 SV Sauvignon Blanc Nelson 13%
Herbaceous, fruity and even a little vegetal with a vibrant yet forward mix of sweet peach, pear lemon and a little lime; high acidity brings all these elements together showing off the medium+ finish, moderate complexity and balance.
4 Stars

Mills Reef

Mills Reef Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 13%
Humms along on the nose and palate with a passion fruit led bouquet followed by sweet citrus and gentle herbal layers; the high acidity combined with peach and tropical fruit flavors offer a wine that is very drinkable on its own and an easy choice with food of similar power and intensity (M+); Medium+ length, balanced and very well made example.
3.9 Stars

Mission Estate

Mission Estate Winery 2012 Hawke's Bay Sauvignon Blanc 12%
Fruity, fresh and clean bouquet that is also vegetal and herbal - with fresh cut red and green bell-pepper and soft herbaceous edges; Peach and citrus flavors on the palate bring a sense of completeness and balance; high acidity gives the bite and crunch finish to this traditional and well made example.
3.9 Stars

Saint Clair

Saint Clair Marlborough Premium Sauvignon Blanc 2013 
Classic St Clair and classic Marlborough - exciting and bracing bouquet with sweet tree fruits and poised citrus; the palate is full of juicy sweet pear, apple and lemon citrus flavors with medium++ acidity and a juicy finish; balanced and well made.
4 Stars

Saint Clair

Saint Clair 'Vicar's Choice' Sauvignon Blanc 2013 13%
A very fruity bouquet with a citrus highlight followed with crisp apple, pear and hints of tropical fruit suggestions; on the palate the wine is juicy with a quenching impact - lots of fruit flavors and acid to match; although simple in complexity and quite forward in style it more than delivers on its promise and price point.
3.5 Stars and excellent value

Stoneleigh

Stoneleigh Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 13%
Fresh, fruity and vibrant aromatics, a mix of citrus tree and tropical all an equal intensity and allure; on the palate the wine is vibrant, crisp, fresh and dry; the herbal fruityness that is Marlborough is well captured with this example.
3.5 Stars

Yealands

Yealands Estate Single Block L5 Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Awatere Valley 13%
N: Similar to the S1 wine in the initial bouquet, but a more refined and elegant expression: green melon skin, sweet hay, green and yellow cape gooseberry, angelica leaf and plenty of stony soil undertones; A little creamier on the nose as well.

P: Follows though with all the flavors described above; what I like most about this example is the texture and finish; classic Awatere herbaceous drive; balanced and well made.
5 Stars
Very Nice Wine

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Yealands

Yealands Block S1 Awatere Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2012 13.5%
N: A striking bouquet with sweet herbs - basil, green melon, hay, gooseberry and even cape gooseberry; not shy on intensity.

P: Flavors are exactly what the nose suggests with a citrus and cool climate bite to the acidity. A wine that reflects it Awatere home, region and style; Balanced, well made and with a longish finish.
5 Stars

12000 Miles

12,000 Miles Gladstone Sauvignon Blanc 13%
Produced and bottled by Gladstone wines
N: A slightly reserved and lean expression with a bouquet reflecting grapefruit and gooseberry with a light mineral notes which adds complexity.

P: The flavors on the palate reflect the citrus and mineral highlights on the nose; a nicely dry wine with an easy texture, medium+ acidity and length; balanced and well made.
3 Stars

Stoneleigh

Stoneleigh Marlborough 'Rapaura Series' SV Sauvignon Blanc 2013 13%
N: Powerful and vibrant on the nose with an attractive and very fruity bouquet; lots and lots of sweet herbs and passion fruit; some citrus elements and stony soil attributes add to the overall impact.

P: Follows through on what the nose suggests with lush, rich and vibrant flavors - citrus centred but with plenty of tropical fruit suggestions as well; High, fresh and vibrant acidity and a tasty long finish.
5 Stars

Woollaston

Woollaston Nelson 2013 Sauvignon Blanc 13%
N: Delightful and lifted aromatics with all the vibrancy and zest expected of a Sauvignon Blanc; lots of sweet citrus laced with apple and tropical notes, moderate herbacousness. 

P: Dry with lots of sweet citrus flavors; palate is lush and fresh with high (ish) acidity; a little spice with an overall medium complexity; Balanced and well made with medium+ length and finish.
4.5 Stars
If you ever find yourself in Nelson be sure to make an appointment to visit the folk at woollaston; apart from being wonderful hosts the vineyards, winery and overall setting is just lovely.

Vasse Felix

Vasse Felix Heytesburg Chardonnay 2012 Margaret River 13.5%
N: Lots of deliciously ripe Chardonnay fruits enhanced with nutty, buttery French Oak; Lots of inviting  and familiar characters that speak of Chardonnay giving a medium+ complexity to the overall bouquet.

P: Driven by the oak which is okay by me - it's a big wine yet there is plenty of fruit lushness to soak it up; acidity is medium+ along with the overall power of the wine; full-bodied with medium+ length and finish.
4 Stars

Gunn Estate

Gunn Estate 2013 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 12.5%
N: Very intense bouquet with waves of fresh tree fruit, citrus and tropical fruit suggestions; obvious, but not overdone herbaceous/grassy layer; a fine steely note.

P: Just as intense with emphasis on the ripe citrus flavors once on the palate; there's a decent amount of tropical fruit flavors that follow and mild herbaceousness; high acidity pushes the steely note mentioned above; lovely balance, medium length and well made.
4.5 Stars

Desert Heart

Desert Heart 'Enlightenment' Chardonnay Bannockburn 2011 Central Otago 14%
N: Lots and lots of Chardonnay fruits with sweet creamy peaches and sweet apple laced with a creamy vanillin oak suggestions.

P: Flavors reflect the nose with a smooth and slow unfurling; the stone fruit signature is at the core of this wine with a little bottle development adding a layer of complexity; medium+ acidity adds freshness and bite; slightly elevated alcohol does add some warmth, but well managed adding to the lengthy finish. Overall a lovely wine.
4 Stars

Saturday, 30 November 2013

8 Ranges

8 Ranges Pinot Gris Central Otago 2013 12.9%
N: A lovely fresh, clean, vibrant and varietal Pinot Gris bouquet with sweet, crisp yellow pear and apple suggestions and white pepper spice.

P: The flavors are immediately the same as the nose suggest with a fullish body, medium++ acidity contrasting the fresh fruit impact; balanced with medium length and complexity.
A smart well made wine that will please many who buy this on a by the glass program.
3.9 Stars

Odyssey

Odyssey Gisborne Chardonnay 2013 13%
N: Another classic Odyssey Chardonnay from Rebecca Salmond - the fruit bouquet for this wine is pristine with California, Carolina and New Zealand Summer peach aromas (yeah that much) supported by a creaming soda, vanilla oak layer, raw brown sugar note and even a touch of popcorn.

P: Flavors described above flood the palate; Medium+ acidity adds contrast and a crisp finish; lush almost sweetish fruits with a very easy texture throughout; balanced and well made.
4 Stars

Craggy Range

Craggy Range SV Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Martinborough 13%
N: Lovely complex bouquet with a blend of peachy stone fruit then sweet citrus, a noticable depth and complexity adds charm and elegance.

P: Crisp, youthful and firm with almost high acidity and flavors that reflect the nose as well as citrus zest, hints of tropical fruits and a range of herbs (quite slight) these complete the palate with a long finish.
A great addition to any wine list - Very Good!
4.8 Stars

Saint Clair

Saint Clair Family Estate 'Vicar's Choice' Sauvignon Blanc Bright Light 2013 9.5%
N: A very fruit forward bouquet with an ocean of fresh apple, sweet citrus, layers of ripe tropical fruits and sweet herbs

P: Off-dry with a juicy and lush palate with flavors reflective of the nose, medium+ acidity, crisp, cheerful and fruity on the finish.
3.5 Stars

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Stonyridge

Tasting Log – Eighteen Vintages of Stonyridge
By Cameron Douglas MS
Waiheke Island, in the Hauraki Gulf of Auckland, is arguably one of our most well known wine producing sub-regions. Whenever visiting wine experts arrive from overseas to commence their exploration of New Zealand with a stay at ‘ours’, you can bet the first item on their wish list will be this special place. The impact of annual weather patterns plays an important role in the viticulture, with generally lower summer rainfalls and warmer temperatures during the critical ripening season.  This simple, but important, attribute has allowed Cabernets Sauvignon and Franc, Merlot and more recently with Petit Verdot and Malbec to consistently fully ripen on many vineyard sites across the island.
One of the star wineries on Waiheke Island is Stonyridge - founded in 1982 by Steve White.
Steve and his then winemaking partner Dr. John McLeod teamed up in 1984 and together produced the first vintage at Stonyridge in 1985. The project nearly didn’t eventuate at all – convincing a bank to lend money in the early 1980s to establish a vineyard and winery on an Island was no easy task. It wasn’t until Dr. Richard Smart was appointed as head government Viticulturist that the message about the potential for wine on Waiheke was voiced loudly - thankfully the banks listened.
The soils at Stonyridge have quite low-fertility – based upon Waitemata clay and fractured with magnesium, manganese, and iron oxides. These are in fact important attributes for winegrowing, in particular influencing photosynthesis. The soil profile at Stonyridge is a key factor in much of the complexity and ‘terroir’ characteristics that the wines display.  Organically managed, the only additions to the soils are natural-ground limestone and homemade seaweed ‘tea’.
The third vintage, 1987 Larose, catapulted Stonyridge to national and later international fame. In fact 1987 was once hailed as the greatest red wine ever made in New Zealand, says Steve (it is also part of the tasting line-up that inspired this article, and my notes on how it’s drinking currently appear below).  Waiheke Island and its potential for fine wine growing very quickly became of great interest to many other vin-entrepreneurs and much has been grown, enjoyed and written about ‘Waihitian’ wine ever since.
In 1992 when the TV3 evening ‘Nightline’ Programme was airing, one of its more notorious hosts, the lively Belinda Todd, decided it needed a weekly wine commentator to liven things further: she called on a good friend, Grahame “Haggie” Haggart to fill the bill, exploring the wine scene throughout New Zealand. Haggie was a writer on the New Zealand section of Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book so his thoughts and ideas about the quality of New Zealand wine were well respected.   (They still are, but Haggie’s story is a long and special one that would take more space than currently allocated to tell).
Back in 1992, one of Haggie’s wine journeys took him to Waiheke Island where he tasted and “was astounded at the quality and potential” of the Stonyridge wines. He struck a deal with Steve on that day for a three case a year allocation that is still honoured.
Fast forward in time: having built a sizable collection of Stonyridge Larose and with a significant birthday imminent, Haggie decided it was time to share his wines with some friends and other passionate Stonyridge supporters.  With good mate Gavin Hubble from Hancocks they planned a vertical tasting. A couple of years later all the key people were available and in town at the same time. The guest list was made up mainly of close friends of Haggie’s and Steve’s, as well as some Stonyridge and Hancocks New Zealand staff, the latter providing the venue, glassware and hospitality. 
As the evening was centred around the eighteen Stonyridge Larose wines, Steve was able to give some great commentary on the vintage conditions and special stories surrounding the wines with David Jackson (the Stonyridge Manager) adding some great anecdotal reminders of significant world and local events that happened in the year each wine was made.

As a guest of Haggie’s at this prestigious event I am in the fortunate position of being able to share my thoughts on these wines with you. Many of you will have Stonyridge wines on your wine list or in your private collections, and while you can do research for a best estimate of when these wines are ready for drinking, I’d like to give my impressions as an additional confirmation. The overall message from me is going to be along the lines of ‘wait, so many vintages are still maturing and so wonderfully well too’.
With about twenty nine guests, several bottles of the each vintage were opened. There was (understandably) some bottle variation, and ullage in older vintages - this is to be expected at a tasting of this nature. All Larose wines are cork closed.
The first flight of nine wines, proved to me to be the more complex and interesting - they demonstrated how well Larose could age when well cellared – and also reinforced that Bordeaux blends can require significant integration time. This isn’t to say that the second flight of wines wasn’t fabulous, but they stood out as being way more youthful, tight, and very much at the beginning of their development as fine wine. Haggie and Steve both touched on the fact that at Stonyridge they are continually experimenting and trying fresh approaches. The wines of 2001 to 2009 reflect this philosophy and are very sophisticated expressions.
The first flight began with the 1987. As Haggie had insufficient quantity of this for the tasting, half the wine came direct from Stonyridge library stock. At 24 years of age it had some brown tones, but a blood red core and garnet hues throughout gave me confidence in its condition. On the nose the wine is well integrated and in fact quite masculine at first - then a heady almost feminine story unfolded - and showed more as the wine relaxed more in glass. The palate reminded me of sweet aged meats, old Blackberry pie, crunchy pastry, powdered bark tannins and rich earthiness. Overall - a wine in great balance with dusty, toasty tannins, fine mealy edges, coffee and mocha notes and a long finish. This has now become a ‘drink now’ wine, and if you have some stashed away – share it soon and enjoy one of the best wines of the decade.
The 1993 (and all the remaining seventeen vintages) was fully from Haggie’s personal collection. This wine had a blood red appearance - yet quite youthful looking at the core. On the nose a whiff of roasted green pepper, then emerged a sweet and gentle integration of chocolate, cassis, plum, raisin and seductive oak. The palate was equally interesting - enjoying a plateau - showing signs of leather, baking spices, hints of cedar, toasted driftwood, roses pressed between the pages of a leather-bound Bible, and a wonderful long finish. This wine will continue to reward for the next 3 to 5 years.
If you can secure a bottle of the 1994 Larose you will encounter a very special wine. On the nose old leather, dark red fruits especially Doris plums and Blackberry fruits. A complete wine in both bouquet and structure - violets, cassis and again leather. There was also a more feminine and gentle side that can be easily missed if you don’t give this wine a chance to show – the Riedel stemware at the tasting assisted in capturing this aspect. This wine finishes with dark berries, baking spices, well integrated with quite a long finish. If you have some of the 1994 on your wine list I would encourage more sales over the next 2 to 3 years - decant for service and ensure that you have Bordeaux stemware to enjoy the complexities this wine has to offer. Incidentally you may notice a black stripe on the label of this vintage. Sadly Dr. John McLeod died in 1994 and as a remembrance to him Steve added this special reminder.
The 1995 was at first a very fruity wine, quite chunky in fact but a gentler sniff reveals a much more subtle side – dark roses playing with crushed dried leaves, woody with specific barrel/cooper characteristics showing. On the palate this example has a slightly brown sugar edge/flavour, tannins were rich and velvety and integral to the personality - finishing very powdery. This was an absolutely delicious wine, but very specific - perhaps a wine for discussion alongside a fillet of Venison with olive tapenade.
The 1996 was quite a different wine, dark red centre, not that youthful looking but attractive all the same. On the nose a dramatic, enticing and striking wine: big and powerful - a V12, a Harley Davidson: leather, spices, black fruits, fragrant with Ceylon tea; lots of oak. On the palate - dry, rich, powerful, chocolatey, fruity and youthful, although integrating still there is much to be discovered from this wine in years to come - Wow!  a keeper for at least a half dozen years yet.
The 1997 had a big powerful fruity aroma with a cool minty note that preceded a very fruity profile with wild berries (perhaps a little more Malbec in the blend), Graham cracker terroir undertones and developing complexity. On the palate a dry, warm and fruity example, however a small doughnut mid-palate suggests a slightly more challenging year or perhaps some bottle variation? The Graham cracker note on the nose seemed more like toasted oats now on the palate, very enjoyable. The fruit driven tannins showed a hallmark powdery side that added a layer of complexity and finish.
1998: Steve White pointed out that this was a challenging year because it was so wet - challenging in the vineyard and therefore challenging in the winery. The wine however is a hallmark vintage for Stonyridge: on the nose violets, cassis, blackberry and dark red fruits, tar and sweet meats, chilli chocolate. On the palate - dry and formidable; a fine balance with great structure, hallmark powdery tannins packed with flavour and fruit driven. This wine is drinking superbly now and will continue to reward for at least five years to come. It was actually one of my favourites of the tasting.
1999: My first thought about this wine was that it had a Bordeaux–like bouquet: pencil shavings, black fruits and cassis, and gravelly earth notes. A touch of bottle variation noted with the other tasters around the room - however my example began to unfold with a good swirl of the glass. This is a wine for decanting and serving with food so that the tannins can be tamed and the true character of the wine revealed.
The last vintage in this flight was the 2000. I felt I had come home again to classic a classic Larose: leather, meat, black fruits and fruitcake. On the palate powdery tannins, again fruit driven and concentrated, rich and spicy with plenty of oak and the signature they bring to this wine demonstrates the understanding of the fruit and amazing potential inherent at the Stonyridge site.
The second flight of wines included 2001 through to 2009. Every vintage demonstrated a powerful concentration. The vintage I found particularly jaw-dropping is the 2008: Zut Alors! Smoky, toasty, cassis and fine gravel, burnt rose, pronounced oak. The palate in contrast is gentle with elegance, Grammy award-winning tannins, a wine yet to release its full potential - in fact it reminds me of a Chateau Laffite I once had - just outstanding! This wine scored 94 Parker points: I think that was on the conservative side - it's worth 98. Hold on to it if you have some.
Steve emphasised that Stonyridge wines are specifically designed to be enjoyed with food – so after some pretty extensive tannin build-up from the first flight of wines I appreciated the cheeses and cold meats on offer.
Stonyridge Larose is a Bordeaux style wine being a blend of five varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc) and has consistently been one of New Zealand's most sought after wines for the last 20+ years. The Larose consistently stands out in any competition it is shown in - it is sold mainly En Primeur and quickly sells out each year - a worthy investment.
Due to the generosity of a dear friend, I was able to experience an unprecedented insight into the development of the wines through the years as a representation of what can be achieved if you hold on to a dream.

Thanks Haggie.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Desert Heart

Desert Heart Pinot Noir 2010 Bannockburn Central Otago 13.5%
Nose: An integrating yet youthful bouquet with fragrant with rose, red apple skin, suggestions of raspberry and dark red cherry; just enough oak spice to entice.

Palate: Every bit a 'classic' Central Otago expression with a youthful fruity attack - crisp and edgy light red fruits, a touch of dried herb - mainly thyme, a little bracken undergrouth and schist-like earthy qualities. dry with moderate chalk-like tannins and medium+ acidity. A wine for the cellar (3-5 years) or decant for service. Large balloon a must.
4.5 Stars

Desert Heart

Desert Heart 'Renaissance' Chardonnay 2012 Bannockburn Central Otago
Nose: Soft - gentle peach, creamy vanillin - and mild oak spices; sweet apple and a quiet citrus lift; overall a sensual bouquet that will capture your attention the moment you nose this wine. 

Palate: The palate follows through on what the nose suggests with soft and creamy, silken textured wine; medium+ acidity adds bite to the moderate oak spice elements; stone fruit, tree and citrus flavors; overall a very satisfying Bannockburn wine - destined to please those who try.
4.8 Stars

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Brick Bay

Brick Bay Matakana Rosé 2013 13%
Made with Cabernet Sauvignon. A blushing candy floss pink in appearance with a soft purple hue at the rim
Nose: Blackberry bush, gardens and fresh Northland air come to mind first; strawberry syrup, candy floss and sweet red roses bouquet - seductive, perfumed and enticing.

Palate: Only just dry with a palate alive with the flavors of light red fruits, sweet red cherry, cranberry and red apple skin; a hint of pink candy floss; A silky and seamless texture with sweet red fruit highlights; medium+ acidity, gentle creamy texture and a dry finish - lovely!
5 Stars
Easily New Zealand's best Rosé

Brick Bay

Brick Bay Matakana Pinot Gris 2013 13%
Nose: Fresh, lively, fruity and packed with aromas of pear, white fleshed nectarine & peach and even Asian fruits; gentle spices, florals and sweet air*. 


Palate: A silky texture carries the flavors of white fleshed tree fruits, white spices and flowers, a light chalky texture adds complexity and finish; crisp youthful acidity, a finely crafted example, balanced with a longish finish which is ultimately dry.
A lovely example!
5 Stars
*For me - 'sweet air' is a reminder of Summer afternoons swinging in the hammock and breathing in sun ripened air - sending me off to sleep.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Lamont

Lamont Wines 
Central Otago 

Riesling 2011 12.5%
Nose and Palate: Very crisp - green apple, gentle white florals, firm white flesh tree fruits. On the palate a dry wine; medium++ acidity, lovely varietal character with crisp lime, apple and grape fruit finish - which is quite long and delicate.
4.5 Stars

Pinot Gris 2012 14%
Nose and Palate: Quite a voluptuous and rich bouquet with gentle spices, lots of fleshy white fruits especially apple then a citrus peel suggestion. On the palate - a lovely weight plus medium+ acidity and length, this is a classy Gris.
4.9 Stars

Pinot Noir 2011 (Bendigo fruit) 14%
Nose and Palate:  Tense, vibrant fruits with a youthful darker cherry, raspberry and red apple skin suggestion; A LOT of schistous like soil attributes and gentle thyme (or similar) layer - focused, tense, youthful. On the palate - exactly as the nose suggests, but with really fine tannins from the oak and moderate fruit tannins - in combination very nice!; Rose and wild berry fruit suggestions; Dry, balanced and very drinkable now, but will clearly grow and change for the next 2-3 years.
5 Stars

Schubert

Schubert 2010 Syrah Wairarapa 14%
Nose: A distinctive bouquet - a mix of new oak, red and black fruits, red peppercorn, bacon, brown spices and botannicals (time to swirl the glass another 20x) - there is quite a bit of complexity in this wine; it has a distinctive youthfulness about it as well.

Palate: Dry and as youthful and the bouquet suggests; this is a very specific wine that requires more than just a passing consideration; medium+ acidity and tannins (bold and youthful), with the oak speaking loudly and commanding palate attention; All the elements for a fine wine are here - great fruit presence, commanding structural foundation and a long finish. All it needs now is time to get used to being in bottle a little longer (2 - 3 years).
4.5 Stars

Richmond Plains

Richmond Plains Nelson Pinot Gris 13.5%
Nose: Floral at first with a 'Spring Air' bouquet then warm apple and tree fruit aromas, a little wild ferment note and grapefruit suggestion.

Palate: Just dry - with medium+ acidity and generous fruit flavors. A touch of complexity from the wild ferment and leesy notes andd a layer of flavor; medium length with a touch of residual sugar; Overall a balanced and well made wine.
3 Stars

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Champagne G.H. MUMM

Champagne G.H. MUMM Brut Rose NV
The tasting note that comes with this wine (from Champagne G.H. MUMM) suggests pink grape fruit, strawberry, cherry and red currant in the bouquet - absolutely true, but I also taste sweet grapefruit, sun warmed strawberries and crushed cherry - perception is a wonderful thing!
The palate delivers all that the bouquet suggests with a crisp acidity, mild to medium autolysis and a long balanced finish.
The key to this wine that sets it apart from other Rose Champagnes is balance - there is such a delightful poised elegance about this wine. It reminds me of late summer afternoons and listening to soft mood music and slow dancing.
5 Stars

Champagne G.H. MUMM

Champagne G.H. MUMM Cuvee R. Lalou 1999
This is a stunning wine - from the bouquet to the palate I am enticed into its charms and elegance; Lots of tree fruit suggestions - apple and pear (mature and fresh, cooked and juiced), a delicious and very obvious autolysis adding depth and complexity.
As the wine begins to lose a little bubble (talking too much while tasting) I noticed the Chardonnay standing out more with a Chablis-esque like flavor and texture.
I decided to change glasses away from a flute and into a Riedel white wine taster (larger bowl and wider aperture) - the wine is delivered a lot more elegantly with the fruits speaking a little louder and the autolysis a little quiter - the finish is extensive and poised for elegance.
Again this is a stunning wine and worthy of any wine list
5 Stars (95 pts)

Champagne G.H. MUMM

Champagne G.H. MUMM Brut Millesime 2004
There is a distinctive maturity to the bouquet of this wine - it displays a nuttiness highlighted with baked stone fruit suggestions. The palate tells a different story - it is powerful and rich with texture an important appeal - the mousse is fine and then gets even finer as the wine warms in the glass. There are plenty of fruit characters reminiscent of lemon peel and baked apple.
This particular wine begins to lose bubble just a little sooner than I would have liked, yet from a somewhat difficult vintage this wine is quite charming and elegant. The other attribute I notice as this wine warms a little is the finish gets longer.
Overall a delicious wine
4 Stars

Champagne G.H. MUMM

Champagne G.H. MUMM Cordon Rouge NV
This is the flagship style for the house of G.H. MUMM - the wine is fuller and richer in its bouquet and on the palate; The nose of this wine seems enriched with the fruit suggestions of peach and other stone fruits; the mousse on the palate is both powerful and and crisp with a rounded more creamy elegance; as the wine warms up in the glass -soil notes of chalk and even limestone like characters begin to emerge.
4.5 Stars

Champagne G.H. MUMM

Champagne G.H. MUMM Blanc de Blancs MUMM De Cramant
Elegant crisp, fresh and delicately fruity in its bouquet; hints of floral and lemon fresh fruits
The palate is equally charming with crisp lemon and apple fruit flavors, an explosive mousse with a piquant highlight, generous in length and finish.
A delightful aperitif style
5 Stars 

Friday, 13 September 2013

Richmond Plains

Richmond Plains 'Blue Moon' 2012 Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 13% alc
Nose: An enticing fragrance that has depth and charm, but also a sense of place woven amongst the soft lemon scented fruits; barrel ferment and lees ideas, hints of hay and soft herb notes all say Sauvignon Blanc; medium+ complexity.

Palate: I really like the completeness of this wine on the palate - a wonderful seamless harmony between the fruits, acid and gentle oak flavors; medium+ length with a line of minerality.
5 Stars (90 pts)
A wine to consider slowly and let the textures fill the palate as much as the flavors - a very nice barrel fermented style!

Opawa

Opawa 2013 Marlborough Pinot Gris 12.5%
Nose: A fruity bouquet with fresh and baked apple aromas, pear and a little citrus, overall ripe, fresh and lively with varietal character.

Palate: Reflects the nose with lots of youthful acidity making the wine seem dry; the fruit flavors do follow through tempering the youthful bite; The moderate alcohol (12.5%) is a big plus for this wine; there's lots of application too as it will please many who try and an easy match with food.
3.5 Stars

Opawa

Opawa 2013 Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 13% alc
Nose: A vibrant and punchy fruit laden bouquet - peach, citrus and apple all hold hands high shouting 'pick me'; there is also a softer floral note here which adds a wild ferment - like complexity (perhaps lees derived as well).

Palate: Crisp for sure - high acidity, but well balanced by vibrant citrus, sweet herbs and just picked pineapple flavors; a tiny hint of wood spice adds further interest and complexity; nice texture and a dry finish.
4.5 Stars
Note to Opawa's Winemaker - don't stop making this style please - the subtlety is delightful!
Buy today, drink today or cellar for 2 years.