Happy 19th Birthday First Glass
Notes by Sue Courtney
All wines (except the Champagne) were tasted blind
Champagne Charles de Cazanove Stradivarius 2007 – Riems, France
This has a 24 carat gold colour, the bouquet oozes the gorgeous malty and slightly oxidative characters of bottle aged vintage Champagne and the taste is lemony, leesy, malty and savoury with tantalising salinity and brightness to the long, extra dry finish while a fine effervescence radiates all the way through. 12% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $85.99.
Mount Riley 17 Valley Marlborough Chardonnay 2016
This is a rich, oaky, grilled peach style of Chardonnay. It's golden coloured with an opulent toasty bouquet and a juicy taste where polished oak, gunsmoke, malty mealy notes, fig and stonefruit are all in harmony. Developing beautifully in the bottle. Gold NZIWS 2017. 13.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $24.99.
Dog Point Marlborough Chardonnay 2015
This light lemon-gold hued chardonnay is a full-on leesy, flinty, reductive style with nuances of gunsmoke, lemon, fig and cedar filling the bouquet and upfront youthful acidity in the palate with full, fat, leesy, gunflint, funky wild yeast notes taking over. Mouthfilling and increasingly complex with fruit in the lemon/melon spectrum and masterful use of oak. Still evolving so one for the cellar right now. 13.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $32.99.
Lawson Dry Hills ‘The Pioneer’ Marlborough Pinot Gris 2015
This lustrous light gold wine has honeyed poached pear aromatics that are delicate and enchanting. A sweeter, lightly viscous style with a nod to Alsace, it flows beautifully across the palate and teases with it’s powerful and almost gewurztraminer-like flavours that hint of violets and ginger infused spices. Impressive. 14% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $29.99.
Gerard Bertrand Cote des Roses 2017 – Languedoc, France
The most attractively bottled and romantic of any rosé on the market today, this blend of grenache, syrah and cinsault is a pale pink sapphire hue with a lightly floral / rose hip / pink candy floss aroma and tastes like it is just on the cusp of off dry. It's deliciously quenching with delicate wild strawberry, ‘rose de mai’, hints of violet and a whisper of tarragon on the refreshing finish. 13% alc. Vinolok Stopper. First Glass Price: $24.99.
Stoneleigh Rapaura Series Marlborough Pinot Noir 2014
There's a pink tinge to the garnet hue of this ripe, mouthfilling pinot with fruit sweetness infiltrating the slightly herbaceous scent and a nice touch of savouriness to the taste that brims with black cherry, plums and spice with a suggestion of woodsmoke and chocolate velvet tannins. Nicely aged expression. 13% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $19.99.
Dona Paula Estate Valle de Uco Malbec – Mendoza, Argentina
This deeply coloured wine smells quite earthy and savoury with a depth of red berry fruit, and it's sappy and juicy in the medium to full-bodied palate that has a smoky, leathery, meaty, tobacco-like character, touches of plum skin, fairly firm but nevertheless approachable tannins and a long, bright lingering finish. 13.5% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $24.99.
Chalk Hill McLaren Vale Shiraz 2014 – South Australia
This is an impenetrable deep dark red with an opulent bouquet suggestive of chocolate and mulberry with a haunting floral allure and a subtle suggestion of mint. It's irresistibly smooth with concentrated plum and blackberry fruit laced with mocha and chocolate, smoky oak and tingles of pepper and a mouthfilling succulent finish. 14.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $23.99.
Grant Burge Filsell Barossa Old Vine Shiraz 2015 – South Australia
This is a bright black red with luminosity to the hue. The bouquet is close to mesmerising with hints of dried roses, touches of chocolate, succulent berry fruit and wafts of oak and it's velvety smooth in the palate with vanillin oak, chocolate, dark berry fruit and a lovey savoury underpinning of spice that’s judiciously laced with pepper. Firm on the finish with an x-factor-like vinous sweetness that wells up and lingers. 14% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $29.99.
Two Hands Fields of Joy Clare Valley Shiraz 2016 – South Australia
This is a vibrant saturated crimson red in the glass. The bouquet is smoky with hints of cigar box and tobacco and the taste is juicy, succulent, silky and smooth yet with a profound berry fruit concentration with underlying youthful vibrancy, touches of pepper, herbaceous notes, hints of chocolate and an earthy, savoury finish that is dry and salivating. Lots going on. Will last for years. 14% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $32.99.