Notes by Sue Courtney
Wines were tasted blind
Leveret Estate Hawkes Bay Reserve Chardonnay 2014
Tasted chilled on the first cold night of the year this four-year-old comes across as bright and fresh with a touch of oyster shell and a hint of smoke to the tropical fruit scent and more tropical fruit in the palate that's lightly creamy with a bright finish. Gold Hawkes Bay. 13.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $19.99.
Mission Estate Barrique Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2016
This is a smooth, medium to full-bodied style with lemony, malo notes to the bouquet and upfront savouriness to the taste with just a touch of zest and ripe stonefruit fleshing out the very dry finish with a nice touch of butterscotch emerging to linger. 13.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $19.99.
Harken Barrique Fermented California Chardonnay 2016 – California, USA
From the creamy vanilla biscuit aroma to the complex leesy full-bodied palate this oozes flavour and character. It's mouthfilling, mouth coating and mouth enveloping with tropical fruit bursts, banana bikes, pineapple and caramel with harmonious buttery oak and a creamy sweetness to the tasty finish. Verging on irresistible. 13.5% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $19.99.
Misha's Vineyard Limelight Central Otago Riesling 2014
The earthy / slatey / limey / honeyed bouquet with lashings of kero is so expressive and totally en pointe for this off dry to medium Riesling with flavours of apple, honey and touches of tarragon and a crisp clean mouthfilling finish. Complex, full, concentrated and tasty with the 33 g/l residual sugar balanced by refreshing acidity. 10.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $26.99.
Aronui Single Vineyard Nelson Pinot Noir 2015
Bright ruby with luminous translucency. There's richness to the cherry scent with touches of dried herb and woodsmoke, and complexity to the fruit driven yet savoury flavours with a nuance of smoky bacon coming through. It's soft and velvety and full of flavour. Upper Moutere fruit. Fabulous value. Gold Easter Show. 14% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $19.99.
Main Divide North Canterbury Pinot Noir 2014
Dark ruby heading towards garnet. The bouquet offers up bramble fruit with savoury, slightly herbal nuances and it is full of ripe berry fruit flavours in the firm yet silky palate with classical savoury, smoky, earthy, gamey vibes and appealing fruit sweetness to the lively finish. 13.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $22.99.
Russian Jack Martinborough Pinot Noir 2016
Brightly hued with a touch of barnyard on the nose but full of bright fruit that is a little reminiscent of raspberry in the silky palate that features sensual savoury undertones. It's still youthful with a spark of acidity and firmness to the finish. Made by Martinborough Vineyards. Gold New World, Gold Easter Show. 14% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $18.99.
Maude Estate Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016
Ruby hued, clear and bright. The deep fruited aroma suggests plum and blueberry with harmonious yet subtle spicy oak, and it’s wonderfully concentrated in the creamy palate with Christmas cake spices, bottled cherries, plums and hints of chocolate on the long, full-bodied and increasingly complex finish. 14% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $32.99.
Stoneleigh Rapaura Series Marlborough Pinot Noir 2016
Dark ruby hued with a lovely savoury expression of pinot both on the nose and in the palate that’s full of dark fruit and lovely savoury gamey notes with beautifully balanced smoky oak . It's smooth and complex with silky tannins and a long firm finish. Very impressive. 13% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $19.99.
Mission Estate Jewelstone 'Antione' Hawkes Bay 2016
Dark red black in hue with considerable density. The bright blackcurrant and plum aroma is infused with smoky oak and it’s full-bodied and concentrated in the palate with dark savoury notes, sappy herbs, oak spice, ripe juicy fruit, firm yet pillowy tannins and a gobsmacking succulent finish with nuances of mint adding brightness. Made from predominantly Merlot with a touch of Cab Sauv and Cab Franc, it’s stylish and memorable. 14% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $49.99.
A Good Dirt Barossa Shiraz 2015 – South Australia
Dark red black in hue with savouriness coming through on the nose to balance the dark, concentrated, ripe, almost jammy fruit scents and super ripe in the palate with touches of mint, savoury oak notes and iodine underpinning the succulent plum and blackberry fruit with touches of vanilla, mocha and chocolate. Velvety in its flow with a rounded finish. 14.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $18.99.