New Zealand versus the Rest of the World
Notes by Sue Courtney
Wines were tasted blind
Simonnet Febvre Petite Chablis 2013 - France
The fresh, steely, orchard fruit bouquet of this light matte gold hued wine hints of Chardonnay, which indeed it is and the taste is crisp, malic, earthy and lemony with a suggestion of mountain pawpaw and honeydew melon. It's unoaked yet pleasingly textural with a chalky dryness and a long lasting finish. 12.5% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $25.99.
Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2017
Light yellow gold in the glass. Inviting aromas of ripe peach, toasty oak, and vanilla. Tasty, mouthfilling, malty, mealy flavours with gunsmoke, spicy oak, underlying flint and gobs of juicy tropical fruit that lingers tantalisingly. Exudes class all the way through. 13% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $31.99.
Sebastiani North Coast Chardonnay 2015 – California, USA
Citrine gold. Restrained at first on the nose but later tropical fruit rises to the fore. Full, fat and juicy in the palate with sizzled butter, vanillin oak, caramel and cream brûlée. Mouthfilling, easy to open with the screwcap and easy to drink. 13.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $19.99.
Framingham Classic Marlborough Riesling 2016
Light gold hued with an initial whiff of rubber band that succumbs to more intensely aromatic yellow citrus, heritage apple and delicate floral scents. Bright and zesty in the palate with refreshing tart apple acidity that's tempered by a touch of sweetness on the juicy quenching finish. 12.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $19.99.
Kerpen Alte Reben Wehlener Sonnenhur Spatlese Feinherb Riesling 2015 – Mosel, Germany
Light gold in the glass. The fragrant bouquet of honey and botrytis has a fascinating earthy aura like wet potters clay and flavours full of tropical and citrus fruits with a tickle of spritz to the texture and only moderate sweetness. A classic example of the great wines of this region. 10.5% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $33.99.
Guigal Côte du Rhône 2014 – Rhone, France
Dark tamarillo skin red. The bouquet is earthy, a little rustic and slightly metallic with a hint of cranberry, liquorice and tobacco. Fine flowing and vinous in the mouth with silky tannins, a suggestion of leather and a long savoury finish underpinned by well balanced acidity with fruit sweetness lingering. Made from predominantly Syrah with Garnacha and Mourvedre, this is excellent value. 14% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $20.99.
Craggy Range Gimblett Gravels Hawks Bay Syrah 2016
Deep crimson black. Warm comforting chocolate cake and cherry bouquet. Full-bodied, mouthfilling, spicy and peppery with juicy blackberry, mulberry and cherry fruit framed by savoury oak. The firmly structured tannins are still tight and youthful but the potential is clearly there. Patience will reward. 13% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $30.99.
Pepperjack Barossa Shiraz 2016 – South Australia
Inky black red with crimson edges. A rich berry chocolate nose and more chocolate in the sweet-fruited, creamy, silky-tannined, succulent palate together with cherry, vanilla, mocha, liquorice and hazelnut that meld into a mouthfilling delight. The firm finish is accented with spice and pepper and dry savoury notes linger. 14.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $19.99.
Rockbare Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 – South Australia
Dark pinky red with moderate density. Eucalypt and chocolate dust fill the bouquet and there's a warm fine chocolatey coating to the texture with fine tannins, mint, leather, cedar, vanilla and ripe blackberry and blackcurrant fruit underpinned by nicely balanced acidity. Smooth and velvety all the way through. 14.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $19.99.
Crossroads Talisman 2014 – Hawkes Bay
Glossy rich dark red with an intense and attractive bouquet of cedar and brambles laced with chocolate and cherry. Beautifully poised as it floats across the palate. Finely structured tannins, concentrated red and black berries, savoury oak and cake spice are some of the descriptors that come to mind. A classy wine made from a secret blend of classic and rare red varieties that grow in Hawkes Bay. 14% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $44.99.
Beach House Noble Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2016
Deep yellow gold. Citrus blossom and honeysuckle nectar fill the bouquet and sweet honeyed citrus of the mandarin / orange spectrum in the palate with grapey muscat-like notes and a zingy brightness. A sweet yet refreshing desert wine that’s lightly viscous with a silky smooth flow. 12% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $16.99.