Notes by Sue Courtney
Wines were tasted blind
Tohu Nelson Pinot Gris 2017
This golden beauty has a savoury nuance to the scent with hints of melon and bottled peach and it’s smooth flowing with a nutty apricot richness and a warm, lifted, slight peppery note to the tropical fruit finish. Oozing fruit concentration with mouthfilling textural complexity it’s Pinot Gris at the Viognier end of the spectrum. 13.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $14.99.
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Keltern Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2016
Glossy citrine gold in the glass with tantalising grilled peach and hazelnut scents and lightly toasty, savoury and nutty to the taste with warmth to the compounding mouthfilling finish that oozes malt and butterscotch with the lusciousness nicely offset by juicy grapefruit acidity. Noticeably dry and flinty as it lingers – a top wine that’s still evolving and will reward with further cellaring. 13.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $42.99.
Wrights Vineyard Reserve Gisborne Chardonnay 2015
There's a lime green glint to the light golden hue. The bouquet is full of sweet spices, mealy nuances and gunflint connotations and it's powerful and heady with a lightly viscous texture, sweet vanillin oak and tasty tropical fruit, mango, candied pineapple and grapefruit. Organically grown Mendoza clone chardonnay from the Ormond region (old Revington vineyard). Cuisine 5 stars. 15% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $32.99.
Lawson Dry Hills Marlborough Riesling 2015
This smells so bright, clean and refreshing with wafts of honeysuckle and sherbet more obvious in the lightly spritzy palate which is like a medley of citrus with a dried apple toastiness that has evolved with bottle age. It seems like a dry Riesling but the honeysuckle reins in the racy acidity and the super quenching finish is rounded and complex with phenomenal length. 12.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $18.99.
Beach House Stony Beach Gravels Hawkes Bay Riesling 2017
Lemon straw in the glass with pear nectar nuances and touches of oyster shell to the bouquet. A sweeter, delicate, low alcohol style with light viscosity to the texture and racy apple and lime acidity honed in nicely by tropical fruit and mandarin honey. Balanced and long. Gold Medal and Trophy NZIWS 2017. 9.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $18.99.
Vavasour Marlborough Rosé 2017
This is a deep watermelon hue. The bouquet is a like a bowl of candied strawberries and the taste even more so with blueberries, red cherries and crab apple adding to the juicy medley. Made from Pinot Noir it's an off dry, low acid, lightly viscous pink with a touch of spice on the finish. It begs for a plate of antipasto. 13% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $18.99.
Saint Clair Block 17 The Plateau Hawkes Bay Merlot 2016
The colour is seductive crimson black red. The bouquet entices with its vinous scent of blackberries, black Doris plums, spice and cedar and it's concentrated, sweet fruited, spicy and savoury to the taste with smooth tannins and a silky flow. The fruit is dense and ripe and there's a creamy milk chocolate character to the rounded finish. Harmonious and remarkably approachable. Finalist in the Winestate Merlot of the Year. 13.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $20.99.
Cascina Bruciata di Carlo Balbo Barbaresco Nebbiolo 2012 – Piedmont, Italy
Transparent bricking red garnet in the glass. The savoury, slightly salty, slightly leathery bouquet emanates the vinosity of older wine and it seems very dry on first tasting with its huge yet fine tannin structure, dried cherry fruit, hints of dried orange peel, tobacco and sappy dandelion herbs. Get past the dryness there's some lovely things happening as the vinosity of the wine evolves and the tannins dissolve. With an amazingly long finish that goes on and on this is a wine to sip and savour. Very true to type for the region and wonderful to experience. 14% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $59.99.
Wirra Wirra McLaren Vale Church Block Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz Merlot 2015
Youthful red black in hue with a touch of leather infusing the dark berry and cigar box scent and well-balanced in the juicy fruity palate with loads of currants, a touch of spice, hints of mocha and a smidgen of chocolate. A well balanced dry red with soft velvety tannins and a bright, satisfying, lingering finish. 14.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $17.99.
Kirrihill Regional Selection Clare Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
Rich black red in the glass with an enticing bouquet of chocolate coated almonds, sappy berries and just a smidgen of mint then in the mouth the tannins are fine with a silky flow. The taste conjures up chocolate coated roasted coffee beans with a satisfying depth of bright red plummy fruit, blackcurrant and blackberry and a creamy roundness to the harmonious finish. 14.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $16.99.
Rockbare McLaren Vale Shiraz 2016
Inky purple crimson with a dark chocolate and prune-like scent then succulent and rounded in the palate with a harmonious, seamless, velvety flow. Very approachable from the outset with intensity of berry fruit including raspberry and cherry with creamy nut chocolate nuances and a peppery brightness to the super juicy finish. 14.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $25.99.