Notes by Sue Courtney
Wines were tasted blind
Blind River Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018
Crammed with pungent aromas and fresh tropical fruit salad flavours that brim with pineapple, passionfruit and mango with ripples of summery herbs and a wham bang punch of quiveringly tart grapefruit that leaves behind a vibrant zing. Trophy NZ Wine of the Year Awards. 13% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $19.99.
Sileni The Lodge Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2017
Butter tossed hazelnut and melon on the nose then bright and zesty in the palate with spicy oak underpinning juicy stonefruit and a toasty finish that increases in complexity as it lingers. Smooth, rounded and gutsy with plenty of flavour and slips down easily. 13% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $24.99.
Lawson's Dry Hills Reserve Marlborough Chardonnay 2016
Glinting like rays of sunshine in the glass, this has toasted grapefruit on the nose and is full of stonefruit, citrus, caramel and malt in the seamless flowing palate with vanilla and spicy cedar. A mouthfilling wine that has opened up beautifully since last tasting. Fabulous drinking now. 13.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $22.99.
Marisco Craft Series The Pioneer Marlborough Chardonnay 2016
A little shy on the nose with subtle nuances of butter caramel and tight and restrained in the palate. With noticeable acidity it is made for the long haul yet shows its class with balanced and harmonious (but not intrusive) French oak and its incredibly long and compounding length where the nougat, nutty, white peach flavours emerge and linger beautifully. One to put away. Gold NZIWS. Gold and Trophy at the NZ Wine of the Year Awards. 13% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $65.99.
Waipara Hills Pinot Rosé 2018
Light salmon pink with the bouquet emanating the purity of watermelon and cherry juice with a waft of pink bubble gum and just off dry to the taste that is full of summer berries. It has pleasing concentration and palate weight and a lightly spritzy finish with a zing of peppered strawberry. Gold and Trophy at the NZ Wine of the Year Awards. Gold and Trophy Sydney International. 12.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $14.99.
Julicher 99 Rows Martinborough Pinot Noir 2015
There's brightness to the deep Burgundy red hue, the bouquet offers up spiced cranberries, vanilla and nutmeg and while it seems a little mellow in the palate there are slightly furry firm tannins in the background, a typically Martinborough savoury, earthy, gamey undercurrent and bittersweet cherry fruit with tingles of orange zest and pepper and a fabulously long finish. 13.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $25.99.
Akarua Rua Central Otago Pinot Noir 2017
There’s a touch of pink to the Burgundy hue, a sense of black cherries and plums to the scent and it’s fruit forward in the palate with christmas spices infusing the succulent red and black cherry fruit, beautifully balanced savoury notes and silky tannins. Soft, juicy and ready to drink. Best Pinot Noir, Best Red and Best Wine at Sydney International 2019. 14% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $21.99.
Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Cabernet Merlot 2016
This super stylish Bordeaux-styled wine is inky vibrant purple red in the glass with leather, cedar and dark brambly fruit filling the bouquet and it’s tightly framed in the palate at first then succulent plump fleshy fruit spills through. A beautiful mouthful of plum, cassis and polished cedar on the finish. Four show golds plus Trophy NZIWS and Trophy NZWotY. 13.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $42.99.
Giodarno Primitivo di Manduria Riserva 2015 – Torricella, Italy
Deep dark red hinting of a little age. The inviting bouquet seduces with its succulent bottled cherry and raspberry jam scent and the juicy taste is verging on porty. It’s spicy and succulent with crushed velvet tannins and a lingering raisiny sweetness. Soft, delicious and easy to drink. 14.5% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $24.99.
San Marzano 62 Anniversario Primitivo di Manduria Riserva 2014 – Salento, Italy
Deep dark red in colour, no indication of its four years of age. A dark juicy wine with a perfumed berry pie scent and mouthfilling flavours of plums, prunes, christmas cake spices, mellow toasty oak and a light dusting of pepper. Smooth and velvety with a fine silky edge and a finish that lingers for ages. 14.5% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $51.99.
Reillys Clare Valley Shiraz 2016 – South Australia
This opulent wine is inky black red with black cherry and dark berry aromas laced with vanilla and more of the same in the full-bodied palate together with a red berry vibrancy, a twist of black pepper, a dusting of red clay, a smidgen of dark chocolate, and the slightest suggestion of mint emerging on the very dry finish. Big alcohol, big tannins, big pleasure. Gold NZIWS. 15.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $19.99.