Notes by Sue Courtney
Wines were tasted blind
Daniel Le Brun Methode Traditionelle Brut NV
This straw gold bubbles made from a cuvée of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir is a ripe creamy full-bodied style with a hint of pear to the scent and a nutty sweetness to the lemon bread flavours with the most subtle hint of mushroom and a flinty shimmer to the rather moreish finish. A stylish bubbles looking very good on the night. 12.5% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $24.99.
West Brook Barrique Fermented Marlborough Chardonnay 2015
Light yellow gold in the glass with a touch of grapefruit wafting through the tropical fruit and grilled peach scent and toasty in the palate with a seamless flow. It’s creamy and malty with well-balanced acidity, masses of peach, a touch of spice on the savoury oak finish and a lingering hint of butterscotch. Very tasty. Almost everyone in the room liked it. 13.8% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $19.99.
Simonsig Stellenbosch Chardonnay 2016 – South Africa
Light glossy gold. A little shy on the nose with hints of melon and jubey sweet fruit. Light, mellow and creamy in the palate with a malo note coming through and a smooth flow. Savoury oak underpins the vanilla custard and apricot dominant fruit salad flavours. An easy drinker with a flavoursome finish. 13.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $21.99.
McGuigan 'The ShortList' Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2016 – South Australia
A full-bodied reductive style with an arresting aroma of gunflint, gunsmoke, hazelnut and grapefruit zest. In the palate it’s dry and flinty with a touch of malt and cedar, complex yeast lees notes and a tropical fruit and stonefruit finish that goes on and on. A head turning wine that's very enjoyable now but will blossom even more with cellaring time. Winestate’s No.1 wine of 2017. 13% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $29.99.
Anne-Laure Vin D’Alsace Pinot Gris 2015 – Alsace France
Straw in the glass and light and delicate on the nose with a luscious overtone to the pear and spice scent that carries through to the off dry palate that has substance and texture. A delightful aromatic wine with a deliciously long finish. 12.5% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $24.99.
Wooing Tree Central Otago Blondie 2017
Made from Pinot noir grapes yet the hue is a barely-there pink. The bouquet is cherry-tinged candy floss and it's fashionably just off dry to the lightly viscous taste with the hint of sweetness balancing slight herbal notes and the fizzy fruit sherbet citrussy zing. Delicious. 13.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $24.99.
Esk Valley Hawkes Bay Merlot Rosé 2017
There's a luminosity to the spinel pink hue. The bouquet is all plum and cherry and it's quite citrussy to the ripe, juicy, thirst-quenching taste with summer berry flavours shimmying through and finishing with just a hint of anise. While followers of this label will find it much lighter in hue and palate weight than it has been in the past, it’s equally enjoyable and drinkable. Gold Medal NZIWS. 12.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $15.99.
Castelforte Corvina Veronese IGT 2013 – Verona, Italy
There’s a little bricking to the Burgundy red hue, it's dusty on the nose with a hint of chocolate and there’s loads of fruity satisfaction in the palate where there is bright cherry-like fruit with a sweet jammy overtone and a touch of rose petal, tar and leather. Medium bodied with super smooth fine flowing tannins that have the slightest of grip to the finish, this fruity wine is easy to enjoy and can be lightly chilled for summer drinking. 13.5% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $14.99.
Sebastiani Sonoma Country Zinfandel 2014 – California, USA
This is an attractive dark pinky/black red hue. The bouquet overflows with berry fruit and spicy cedar that carries through to the smooth flowing palate. It’s a soft, mouthfilling, intensely fruity red with chocolate and cherry, a touch of coconut oak and just the slightest tingle of pepper and while it seems voluptuous and velvety it’s actually not too heavy. 14.5% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $19.99.
Kirrihill Regional Selection Clare Valley Shiraz 2016 – South Australia
This bright inky blackberry red-hued wine has a dark chocolate biscuit and concentrated berry scent, and it's dry and firm in the palate with deep purple/red fruit and a lifted peppery vibe. It's a concentrated wine that would benefit from slosh decanting but opens up beautifully with lots of swirling. A massive wine at an irresistible price. 14.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $16.99.
Molly Dooker 'The Boxer' McLaren Vale Shiraz 2016 – South Australia
Inky black red - almost impenetrable. The heady bouquet fills the senses with sumptuous chocolatey oak and concentrated black cherry. There a firmness to the tannins but they are fine and ripe. It’s full of succulent fruit and loads of pepper and spice with underling savoury notes and creamy mocha and vanilla on the long and memorable finish. Quite simply mesmerising! 15.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $35.99.