Notes by Sue Courtney
Wines were tasted blind
Luna Argenta Prosecco DOC Brut NV – Italy
This is a white gold hue with fine bubbles forming a lacy rim. There's the merest hint of vanilla to the apple skin scent and lots of upfront fizz to the crisp steely taste with creamy apple and tropical guava fruit lingering on the long, dry, refreshing finish. Very pleasant with attractive bottle presentation. 11% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $18.99.
Villa Maria Reserve Clifford Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2017 – Awatere Valley, Marlborough
It's a lustrous pale gold hue and the aroma is bright and tangy with pineapple, passionfruit and summer herbs wafting out of the glass. The taste is fresh and invigorating with tropical fruit, grapefruit, peach and pungent herb flavours and an intense and terrifically long aftertaste. Gold NZIWS. 12.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $21.99.
Alchemy Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2015
Bright yellow gold in the glass with a butterscotch-coated stonefruit aroma and hints of gunflint and citrus. It’s soft, seamless and almost creamy with butterscotch and honeyed oak nuances, yet desirably dry with brightness to the finish. Served with only light chilling on the night, it really enhanced the texture and the mellow caramel and stonefruit flavours, which makes it hard to resist. Gold Medal NZIWS. 13.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $25.99.
Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Bay View Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2016
Tempting hazelnut and vanilla leesy notes fill the bouquet of this bright golden coloured wine. It’s one of those flinty reductive styles with loads of intrigue and fascination and while it seems quite linear to start with lifted lemon biscuit acidity, it’s actually quite mouthfilling and complex with elegant stonefruit and a spicy inflection to the cedary oak on the finish. Lovely to try now but will excel with a little more maturity. 13.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $31.99.
Tiki Estate Waipara Pinot Gris 2016
Straw gold with honey, spice and orange blossom aromas – a touch of botrytis I sense that comes through in the beautifully balanced palate with honey and spice and pear drop flavours and fresh apple brightness to the finish. With its lusciousness and texture it will be universally appealing. Very popular on the night. Gold Medal NZIWS. 13.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $14.99.
Gibbston Valley GV Collection Central Otago Riesling 2016
Light glossy gold with a touch of honeysuckle to the scent and maybe the merest hint of kero. It's searingly dry with racy lime and green apple acidity yet leaves behind a juicy and quenching aftertaste. It really does need food if you want to drink now – fish and chips would be perfect – or take the punt on cellaring for several years because it will morph into something absolutely magnificent. 13.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $24.99.
Gibbston Valley GV Collection Central Otago Rosé 2017
A delightful watermelon pink colour with an almost iridescent glow, the bouquet is suggestive of summer berries and it is just off dry to the taste which makes it so approachable and appealing. It’s full of plum and strawberry fruit with a long creamy finish and served chilled it is deliciously quenching. Gold Medal NZIWS. 13% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $24.99.
Alexander Dusty Road Martinborough Pinot Noir 2016
Deep rich youthful pinot noir hue. Generous bouquet of ripe cherry with just the most subtle nuance of chocolate. The tannins are supple and silky upfront yet firm on the finish, the fruit is dark, there's a touch of warmed spices and brightness to the finish with a well-balanced underlying savouriness coming through. A medium to full-bodied very drinkable pinot with a mellow, easy going aura. Gold NZIWS. 13.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $23.99.
Domaine Lafond Roc-Epine Cotes du Rhone 2015 – Rhone Valley, France
This is a fairly translucent light red-black colour that’s fading on the edges.The bouquet is soft, almost chocolatey with a touch of dark jammy fruit and just a little bit of oak char and it’s smooth and mouthcoating in the palate with generous blackberry and raspberry fruit and a long warm finish with a subtle tarry note adding well-balanced savoury rusticity. A blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah. 13.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $19.99.
Kingston Valley Clare Valley Shiraz 2016 – South Australia
This rich inky blackberry red hued shiraz has a warm rich inviting smoky aroma promising vinous pleasure. Velvety tannins shroud the rich plum and dark cherry fruit with a slightly tarry undercurrent and a long creamy finish with touches of chocolate. Superb value for summer BBQ drinking. Gold Medal NZIWS. 14% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $14.99.
Peter Lehmann 'The Barossan' Barossa Valley Shiraz 2015 – South Australia
Deep dark red with an inviting aroma of berries, cedar and mint. It's a juicy, succulent, mouthfilling shiraz full of mint, chocolate, berries and spice with warm supple tannins that impart a velvety smooth flow and a long creamy finish tinged with vanilla. Irresistible wine and for many the wine of the night. 14.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $19.99.