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Tagged with 'california'

Summer Selection

First Glass 28 November 2018
Summer Selection
Notes by Sue Courtney
Wines were tasted blind

 
Bedin Extra Dry Prosecco NV – Treviso, Italy
Softly sweet and foamy with a light lemon colour, fine lacy bubbles, apple aromas, creamy apple and fleshy green grape flavours, and a crisp steely refreshing and slightly salted tarragon undercurrent that keeps the sweetness in check. Delightful fresh summer fizz attractively presented. 11% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $19.99.
 
Alchemy Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2015 
Light gold in the glass with a tempting butterscotch aroma and smooth creamy peach and malt flavours framed by polished savoury oak that's bold and spicy on the finish. This has mellowed out nicely with time in the bottle and is seamless drinking now. 13.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $25.99.
 
Harken Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2016 – California, USA
The creamy peach bubble gum bouquet doesn’t really hint of oak and it’s initially soft in the intriguingly sweetish palate then the power of the wine takes over with nutty oak infusing canned tropical fruit flavours of pineapple and chunky papaya. Ripe and generous and terrific summer quaffing as it can be chilled to the bones. 13.5% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $19.99.
 
Kendall Jackson Grand Reserve Santa Barbara County Chardonnay 2016 – California, USA
Yellow gold in the glass with a buttered toast and apricot jam scent that belies the savouriness of the slightly zingy palate with light viscosity to the warm, mouthfilling, lightly viscous texture and a varnishy oak and gunflint note to the incredibly long and fleshy finish where the apricot, now with custard, brims again. 14% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $30.99.
 
Starborough 'Sons of the Soil' Marlborough Pinot Gris 2018 
Straw gold radiating vanilla poached pear  / pear drop scents and bright refreshing red apple, pear and zingy citrus flavours nicely balanced by a tickle of ginger on the finish. Just off dry in sweetness level, it's soft, juicy and easy to drink. Gold NZIWS. 13% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $17.99.
 
Vavasour Awatere Valley Marlborough Rosé 2017 
A darker coloured, fuller bodied rosé with a hint of orange to the grenadine hue, fruity aromas and an off dry sense to the taste with a lightly viscous texture and a nice touch of earthy savouriness underpinning the slightly confectionary raspberry and cherry fruit, finishing dry. 13% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $16.99.
 
Rockburn 'Stolen Kiss' Central Otago Rosé 2018
There’s a hint of rose petal on the nose of this alluring pink sapphired-hued wine together with hints of cherry and pear, and it’s off dry to the taste tending at first towards medium in sweetness level with a light earthy savouriness underpinning the apple, pear and watermelon flavours with a lovely touch of tarragon and refreshing acidity reigning in the sweetness for a beautifully rounded and definitely more-ish finish. 13% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $26.99.
 
Greystone North Canterbury Pinot Noir 2016
Translucent Burgundy-hued hinting of a little age, this emanates a cherry jam scent and is spicy and savoury to the lightly tannic taste with upfront earthy, gamey, truffle-infused, savoury notes falling back to firmly support the dark cherry and Black Doris plum fruit and nicely honed savoury oak. Silky in its flow with the tannins asserting themselves again on the savoury finish with the fruit sweetness kicking in again as the fabulously long and replete flavours linger. 13.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $36.99.
 
Te Awa Single Estate Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Merlot Cabernet 2016
Inky crimson red in the glass, this emanates Bordeaux-like scents of leather, cedar, plums, brambles and earthy complexities and ripe juicy brambly fruit fills the medium bodied palate with savoury, cedar, cigar box, pencil shavings and sweet leather characters making their presence known.  A smooth flowing, classically dry red with a silky edge to the velvety tannins and well balanced acidity completing the package. Gold Hawkes Bay Wine Awards. 13% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $24.99.
 
Quarisa Wines Caravan Petite Syrah 2016 – South Eastern Australia
Inky black red with a sweet heady raisin and berry scent infused with a gamey, savoury vibe. A big, plump, mouthfilling wine fill of plums, prunes, mulberries and cake spices with a light twist of pepper, this is soft and comfortable despite the power to the tannins while the fruitiness yields to the savouriness on the finish making the wine seem a little more serious than initially thought. Multi gold medal winner. 14.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $15.99.
 
Sevenhill Inigo Clare Valley Shiraz 2016 – South Australia 
Inky crimson black with an alluring and deep winey scent infused with chocolate and dark berries and a beautifully honed palate where the firm and beautifully structured tannins are tamed by the intensity of dark berry fruits. It’s mouthfilling, plush, lush and velvety with vanillin oak, nut chocolate, liquorice, mocha and a gentle touch of spice. A blockbuster wine that punches above its price point. Gold NZIWS. 15.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $23.99.

Mostly Italian with a Primitivo V Zinfandel Shootout

First Glass Template
Mostly Italian with a Primitivo/Zin Shootout
Notes by Sue Courtney
Wines were not tasted blind

 
 
San Lorenzo Verdicchio Dei Castelli Di Jesi 2016 – Puglia, Italy 
Golden in hue with at first a slight buttery touch to the nutty aroma and later bright tropical fruit delights. The taste is bright, fresh and tangy with peach and apricot fruit, oiliness to the texture and softness to the finish. A touch of almond and lime zest adds to the intrigue. Tasty unoaked apertif style.
13% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $19.99.
 
Escarpment Martinborough Pinot Blanc 2016
Golden hued with a flinty sense to the shy tropical fruit scent and a touch of spritz to the texture that makes it seem so bright and fresh, yet this is a wine of Chardonnay-like body and weight and as the spritz subsides flavours of lime and white peach emerge and the finish is lightly savoury.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $21.99.
 
Crossroads Winemakers Collection Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2015
Golden in colour with a struck match smell to the scent and a gunflint feel to the initially grapefruit driven taste but under that is some lovely nectarine fruit and oak spice and as the wine warms up stone fruit, mealy notes and savoury oak emerge.  A big bold dry wine with an exceptionally long and alluring finish but still seems youthful wanting further time to unfold. Gold NZIWS.  
14% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $26.99.
 
Leone De Castris II Medaglione Negroamaro 2106 – Salento, Italy
Deep ruby, moderately opaque with pinky edges. Very appealing aroma of summer berries then firm yet fresh in the mouth with vibrancy of fruit and a lovely underlying savouriness and a lingering touch of anise. Gutsy, juicy and salivating fruit driven wine.   
14% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $15.99.
 
Leone De Castris Salice Salentino Riserva Negroamaro 2015 – Salento, Italy
A dark black red with the edges suggesting a little age. Currants and fruit cake on the nose and rich, ripe and sweet in the fleshy palate with juicy berries and touches of vanilla-tinged spice underpinned with dark savoury leathery tones and finishing reasonably dry – the fruit masks the tannins until the end. 
13.5% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $24.99.
 
Masseria Li Veli Orion Primitivo 2016 – Salento, Italy
Deep rich red with pinky edges. The bouquet is ripe and vinous with fruit cake nuances and a spicy flare. Concentrated and mouthfilling in the palate with a peppery vibe, deliciously juicy fruit and leather savoury tones simmering along in the background then vanilla and tobacco come to the fore with a spicy brightness as the wine lingers.
14% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $21.99.
 
Leone Du Castris Villa Santera Primitivo Di Manduria 2016 – Manduria, Italy
Dark red with moderate opacity and youthful pinky edges. Perfumed yet slightly rustic with a nuance of violet and a waft of menthol tobacco and cedar. Bright in the palate with a touch of musk / chocolate-coated Turkish delight, fresh acidity, juicy plum and cherry fruit and a tingle of spice shimmying through the background. Fine and silky with the tannins more obvious on the finish. A crowd favourite on the night.
14.5% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $25.99.
 
Fatalone Giola Del Colle Fatalone Primitivo 2015 – Puglia, Italy
A moderately deep red black in the core of the glass. Perfumed with a sensual savouriness and red berry fruit. Savoury and spicy in the palate with firm tannins quickly making themselves known yet at the same time radiating a plum and dark berry fruit succulence with oak-infused peppery spices, underlying boot leather and savoury cigar box-like notes. The tannins melt away on the deliciously long dry finish. It hides its high alcohol well.
15% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $28.99.
 
Brazin Cellars Old Vine Zinfandel 2015 – Lodi, California
Deep red black with a creamy, spicy, cedary, bright, lifted berry scent and flavours that overflow with vanillin oak, smoky oak, sappy oak, oily oak and sweet, ripe, succulent berry fruit. It's ripe, luscious, full-bodied, meaty and chocolatey. Sweet and ripe with appealing bright flavours lingering for ages and while some will find the oak overpowering, others will love it. As someone said on the night, "A wine to drink with a knife and fork.".
14.5% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $30.99.
 
The Prisoner Wine Company Saldo Zinfandel 2015 – California
Bright pinky/red black. Concentrated and fruity on the nose with vanilla and spice and touches of leather.  A high alcohol opulent wine brimming with bright berry fruit and jam biscuit notes yet with a well-balanced underling savouriness, juicy acidity and tannins that seem silky and seamless yet assert their presence on the finish.  A blend of 85% Zinfandel and 15% Petite Sirah and Syrah matured in French and American oak, 25% new, this is a powerful wine that as someone said, ‘needs a buffalo to accompany it.”
15.9% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $40.99.
 
The Prisoner Wine Company Napa Valley Red 2015 – California 
A deep purple red with a profoundly vinous bouquet with a waft of chocolate biscuits. A big wine, a creamy wine, a spicy wine, a fruity yet savoury wine with obvious high alcohol that masks the immense tannins. This blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Syrah and Charbono matured in French and American oak, 30% new, is overwhelming at this stage of its life and really should be cellared. Patience will reward.
15.2% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $45.99.