Mostly Italian with a Primitivo/Zin Shootout
Notes by Sue Courtney
Wines were not tasted blind
San Lorenzo Verdicchio Dei Castelli Di Jesi 2016 – Puglia, Italy
Golden in hue with at first a slight buttery touch to the nutty aroma and later bright tropical fruit delights. The taste is bright, fresh and tangy with peach and apricot fruit, oiliness to the texture and softness to the finish. A touch of almond and lime zest adds to the intrigue. Tasty unoaked apertif style.
13% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $19.99.
Escarpment Martinborough Pinot Blanc 2016
Golden hued with a flinty sense to the shy tropical fruit scent and a touch of spritz to the texture that makes it seem so bright and fresh, yet this is a wine of Chardonnay-like body and weight and as the spritz subsides flavours of lime and white peach emerge and the finish is lightly savoury.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $21.99.
Crossroads Winemakers Collection Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2015
Golden in colour with a struck match smell to the scent and a gunflint feel to the initially grapefruit driven taste but under that is some lovely nectarine fruit and oak spice and as the wine warms up stone fruit, mealy notes and savoury oak emerge. A big bold dry wine with an exceptionally long and alluring finish but still seems youthful wanting further time to unfold. Gold NZIWS.
14% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $26.99.
Leone De Castris II Medaglione Negroamaro 2106 – Salento, Italy
Deep ruby, moderately opaque with pinky edges. Very appealing aroma of summer berries then firm yet fresh in the mouth with vibrancy of fruit and a lovely underlying savouriness and a lingering touch of anise. Gutsy, juicy and salivating fruit driven wine.
14% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $15.99.
Leone De Castris Salice Salentino Riserva Negroamaro 2015 – Salento, Italy
A dark black red with the edges suggesting a little age. Currants and fruit cake on the nose and rich, ripe and sweet in the fleshy palate with juicy berries and touches of vanilla-tinged spice underpinned with dark savoury leathery tones and finishing reasonably dry – the fruit masks the tannins until the end.
13.5% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $24.99.
Masseria Li Veli Orion Primitivo 2016 – Salento, Italy
Deep rich red with pinky edges. The bouquet is ripe and vinous with fruit cake nuances and a spicy flare. Concentrated and mouthfilling in the palate with a peppery vibe, deliciously juicy fruit and leather savoury tones simmering along in the background then vanilla and tobacco come to the fore with a spicy brightness as the wine lingers.
14% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $21.99.
Leone Du Castris Villa Santera Primitivo Di Manduria 2016 – Manduria, Italy
Dark red with moderate opacity and youthful pinky edges. Perfumed yet slightly rustic with a nuance of violet and a waft of menthol tobacco and cedar. Bright in the palate with a touch of musk / chocolate-coated Turkish delight, fresh acidity, juicy plum and cherry fruit and a tingle of spice shimmying through the background. Fine and silky with the tannins more obvious on the finish. A crowd favourite on the night.
14.5% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $25.99.
Fatalone Giola Del Colle Fatalone Primitivo 2015 – Puglia, Italy
A moderately deep red black in the core of the glass. Perfumed with a sensual savouriness and red berry fruit. Savoury and spicy in the palate with firm tannins quickly making themselves known yet at the same time radiating a plum and dark berry fruit succulence with oak-infused peppery spices, underlying boot leather and savoury cigar box-like notes. The tannins melt away on the deliciously long dry finish. It hides its high alcohol well.
15% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $28.99.
Brazin Cellars Old Vine Zinfandel 2015 – Lodi, California
Deep red black with a creamy, spicy, cedary, bright, lifted berry scent and flavours that overflow with vanillin oak, smoky oak, sappy oak, oily oak and sweet, ripe, succulent berry fruit. It's ripe, luscious, full-bodied, meaty and chocolatey. Sweet and ripe with appealing bright flavours lingering for ages and while some will find the oak overpowering, others will love it. As someone said on the night, "A wine to drink with a knife and fork.".
14.5% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $30.99.
The Prisoner Wine Company Saldo Zinfandel 2015 – California
Bright pinky/red black. Concentrated and fruity on the nose with vanilla and spice and touches of leather. A high alcohol opulent wine brimming with bright berry fruit and jam biscuit notes yet with a well-balanced underling savouriness, juicy acidity and tannins that seem silky and seamless yet assert their presence on the finish. A blend of 85% Zinfandel and 15% Petite Sirah and Syrah matured in French and American oak, 25% new, this is a powerful wine that as someone said, ‘needs a buffalo to accompany it.”
15.9% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $40.99.
The Prisoner Wine Company Napa Valley Red 2015 – California
A deep purple red with a profoundly vinous bouquet with a waft of chocolate biscuits. A big wine, a creamy wine, a spicy wine, a fruity yet savoury wine with obvious high alcohol that masks the immense tannins. This blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Syrah and Charbono matured in French and American oak, 30% new, is overwhelming at this stage of its life and really should be cellared. Patience will reward.
15.2% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $45.99.