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Tagged with 'riesling'

Summer Selection

First Glass 14 November 2018
Summer Selection
Notes by Sue Courtney
Wines were tasted blind

 
Huntaway Reserve Gisborne Chardonnay 2016
Served chilled this seems fresh and bright with lemon-infused buttery oak scents and a touch of caramel softening the palate with tropical fruit, accents of citrus and an increasing toasty richness. Gold NZIWS 2018. 13.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $16.99.
 
Beach House 'Selection' Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2017
There's a hint of apricot and marzipan to the nutty oak scent and juicy stonefruit fills the palate with a creamy malo-influenced softness and savoury oak underpinning the bright, dry finish. Cuisine Best Buy. 13.5% alc.Screwcap. First Glass Price: $18.99.
 
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Keltern Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2017
Radiating tantalising grapefruit and toasty oak scents that come to the fore again together with stonefruit in the full-flavoured tasty palate, this seamless-flowing wine has touches of gun smoke, hazelnut and a lingering vanilla-tinged finish. Superlative expression of chardonnay and it takes chilling well. Three gold medals so far. 13.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $52.99.
 
Vavasour Marlborough Pinot Gris 2017
Bright and fruity on the nose and soft in the palate with ripe fleshy pear, a fruit salad brightness and a lemonade tingle. A touch of passionfruit emerges as the flavours linger. Easy drinking. Juicy. A crowd pleaser. Gold NZIWS 2017. 13% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $19.99.
 
Maude Mt Maude East Block Central Otago Riesling 2018 
There’s a soft scent of apple on the nose and the crisp refreshing taste is bright and tangy with the most subtle suggestion of tarragon. Delicate to start but with increasing power and the medium sweetness is offset by racy acidity that makes it seem more dry. Gold NZIWS 2018. 9.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $26.99.
 
Te Kano Central Otago Pinot Noir Rosé 2018
This beautifully presented wine is watermelon pink in hue with strawberry, raspberry and pink bubble gum scents and juicy ripe berry fruit flavours that flesh out the mid palate, and the finish is crisp and dry. Two gold medals. 14% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $24.99.
 
Mud House Central Otago Pinot Noir 2017
Moderately deep bright pinky red, bragging of its youth. Attractively scented and full of flavour, this medium-bodied, smooth-flowing and immensely drinkable pinot gushes with chocolate-coated cherries nicely honed by the freshness of wild berries with lovely savoury notes emerging on the long tasty finish. Gold NZIWS 2018. 13.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $20.99.
 
Craggy Range Te Muna Road Martinborough Pinot Noir 2016
Dark Burgundy red with moderate colour intensity. Appealing aromas of chocolate and cherries underpinned by savoury oak follow through to the silky palate that is ultra smooth in its flow. Full of juicy cherry and raspberry fruit with touches of chocolate, vanilla and cake spices, this soft and beautifully balanced pinot is long, savoury and satisfying. Trophy for Best Wellington wine at NZ Wine of the Year. 14% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $38.99.
 
Quarisa Q Malbec 2017 – South Eastern Australia
Inky crimson-edged dark red with a savoury, earthy aroma embellished with concentrated berries and the slightest suggestion of mint. Spicy and bright in the silky palate that’s crammed with dark plums, jammy blueberries, vanilla, smoky oak and leather with a sprinkle of pepper and a firm, ripe finish that lingers more-ishly. Gold NZIWS 2018.
14% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $15.99.
 
Quarisa The Great Bonza Shiraz Cabernet 2017 – South Eastern Australia
Dark red with the slightest suggestion of bricking to the edges. The sweet fruited scent leads into a seemingly medium-bodied palate with upfront juicy red and black currant fruit and stewed plum flavours balancing out the slight edgy and subtle herb notes with an underpinning of tar, leather and spice. Soft. Easy going. Perfect BBQ wine. 14% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $15.99.
 
Reillys Dry Land Clare Valley Shiraz 2016 – South Australia  
Inky black red, intense, bright, deep. Seductive spices infuse the deep winey scent and it is intensely concentrated in the succulent palate. Full of black and blue berries, plums, prunes and a raspberry jam brightness with dark smoky cigar box vibes and peppery spices, this opulent wine is framed by massive tannins that will soften over time. One to buy for the cellar right now. Trophy for Champion Shiraz, NZIWS 2018. 15.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $35.99.

Gold Medal Bargains

First Glass 31 October 2018 
Gold Medals from the 2018 NZIWS
Notes by Sue Courtney
Wines were tasted blind

 
Lawson's Dry Hills Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018 
Flamboyantly scented with passionfruit, lime, mango and fragrant summer herbs. Juicy and quenching to the taste with vibrant zesty citrus and peppery pawpaw seed vibes, moderate palate weight with a pleasing lightly oily texture, and lingering tropical fruit salad, tangelo and passionfruit underpinned by an exciting savoury complexity. Gold NZIWS. 13% alc. Screwcap.
First Glass Price: $21.99.
 
Whitehaven Marlborough Chardonnay 2017
Glorious scents of vanilla, hazelnut, lemon-scented oak and cream then powerful and flavoursome in the flavour-packed palate with a touch of gunflint to start then bursts of juicy grilled peach, touches of melon and an oaky, savoury finish with underlying orange zest and grapefruit acidity. A crowd pleaser on the night. Gold NZIWS. 13.5% alc. Screwcap.
First Glass Price: $22.99.
 
Starborough Single Vineyard Marlborough Chardonnay 2016
From grapes grown in the Awatere Valley, the nutty bouquet has delicate hints of peach and it’s dry on entry to the nutty savoury palate which is super smooth with a seamless flow. Subtle peach and hokey pokey notes are embellished with harmonious oak spices and the underlying youthful acidity is balanced by the wine’s creaminess. Gold NZIWS. 13.5% alc. Screwcap.
First Glass Price: $24.99.
 
Clearview Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2017
There’s a sunshine glow to this enticing wine with the bouquet emanating nougat, white chocolate, lemon biscuits, toasted nuts and vanilla cream. Mouthfilling and savoury with lovely flinty gun smoke tones abating to let the harmonious flavours of creamed nuts, peaches, vanilla and toasty oak sing. Concentrated and powerful with an irresistible spicy vibrancy. Gold NZIWS. 13.5% alc. Screwcap.
First Glass Price: $42.99.
 
Two Rivers Juliet Marlborough Riesling 2018 
Evocatively scented with hints of lemon and butter poached apple. An off dry style that served chilled is mouth watering and quenching with crisp, refreshing acidity, a slippery slatey texture, vibrant citrus and granny smith apple vibes and accents of pineapple on the lingering finish. Gold and Trophy at both NZIWS and NZWotY Awards. 12% alc. Screwcap.
First Glass Price: $19.99.
 
Farnese Fantini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2017 - Italy
Intensely coloured with touches of crimson to the deep red hue. The bouquet offers up chocolate-coated cherries with an underlying leathery vibe and the taste is youthful and refreshing with tingly acidity, touches of pepper and profuse brambly fruit together with plums and prunes. It’s juicy and drinkable with smooth rounded tannins and a sweet jammy finish where the chocolate detected on the bouquet lingers. Gold NZIWS. 13% alc. Screwcap.
First Glass Price: $16.99.
 
Paulett's Polish Hill River Clare Valley Cabernet Merlot 2014 – South Australia
A fruit-filled Aussie red that’s dark red in hue with a deep core and bricking emerging on the edges. There’s a hint of mint to the bouquet together with beautifully balanced oak and sweet juicy cherry, plum and blackcurrant fruit that all flow through to the velvety smooth palate that’s accented with spicy oak, berry pie and after dinner chocolate-coated mints with lashings of pepper, velvety smooth tannins and a long creamy finish. Delivers for the price, ready to go. Gold NZIWS. 14.4% alc. Screwcap.
First Glass Price: $18.99.
 
Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Merlot 2015
Intense purple red, vibrant and youthful in appearance. Deep and dark on the nose with suggestions of chocolate, plum, vanilla, pencil box and cacao. Beautifully structured in the seemingly still youthful palate where refreshing acidity balances out the power of the tannins that succumb to the intensity of the dark red and black fruit framed by the lovely savoury tones of cigar box, sweet leather and spicy cedar with lift and length to the long dry finish. Gold NZIWS. 13.5% alc. Screwcap.
First Glass Price: $42.99.
 
d'Arenberg The High Trellis McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 – South Australia
Inky red black in hue. A little brooding on the nose slowly revealing cigar box, leather, dark blackcurrant fruit and the most faintest hint of menthol that adds fragrance and vibrancy. Moderately firm in the palate with earthy tones enhanced by the brightness of the underlying acidity and the waves of concentrated sweet juicy plum, black cherry and black currant fruit with lingering hints of chocolate and mint. Gold NZIWS. 14.5% alc. Screwcap.
Sold out - for now.
 
Don't Tell Gary Shiraz 2017 – Grampians, Victoria, Australia 
Light purple with youthful resplendence. The bouquet is redolent of crushed mint chocolate biscuits together with savoury leather tones and concentrated bursts of freeze dried plum and raspberry. The palate is crammed with juicy berry fruit on a cushion of soft, plump, smooth flowing tannins with creamy oak, cake spices, crushed pepper and menthol tobacco. Gold NZIWS. 14% alc. Screwcap.
First Glass Price: $19.99.
 
Vigne Vecchie Leggenda Primitivo di Manduria 2016 – Italy 
Youthful deep red with a pinky glow. A muscular wine on the nose with a suggestion of iron wafting through the prune-like scent. Concentrated, powerful, sumptuous and spicy in the dense, full-bodied palate with plush voluptuous tannins that dissolve into the dark berry fruit with touches of musk and spice and chocolate emerging on the long creamy and very gratifying finish. Gold NZIWS. 14.5% alc. Cork.
First Glass Price: $52.99.
 
Kirrihill Vineyard Selection Clare Valley Shiraz 2016 – South Australia
Bright black red. Creamy chocolate on the nose with a hint of jaffa and the most subtle yet delightfully alluring suggestion of mint. Rich and concentrated in the palate that’s brimming with juicy, plump redcurrant, raspberry and cherry fruit that’s beautifully magnified by the moderately firm tannins with underlying spices and savoury oak and a long smooth creamy finish with touches of tobacco and rosehip. Gold NZIWS. 14.5% alc. Screwcap.
First Glass Price: $24.99.
 

Glorious Gold Medal Wines

First Glass Wine Education Evening
Glorious Gold Medal Wines
Wednesday 3 October 2018


This week’s line-up included descriptions by Sue Courtney and Sam Kim.
 
Charles Wiffen Marlborough Chardonnay 2016 $19.99.
Sweet nutty oak and subtle orange zest fills the bouquet and its full of juicy peach and nectarine in the rich, creamy palate with a delectable nutty oak undercurrent that lets the vibrant fruit sing.
 
Clearview Beachhead Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017 $25.99
The bouquet is nutty and toasty with touches of vanilla and the seamless creamy nutty flavours are crammed with juicy peach and nectarine with a touch of oak spice and orange zest.
 
Mills Reef Elspeth Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2015 $35.99
Beautifully harmonious with alluring scents of vanilla pod, hazelnut, gentle oak spice and sandalwood joining poached peach in the creamy, smoky, rounded, complex and mouthfilling palate.
 
Domain Road Defiance Central Otago Pinot Gris 2018 $21.99
A little steely on the nose with aromas of apple and pear and honeysuckle flowing through the creamy apple and peach flavours with the beautifully rounded lingering taste accented with orange zest.
 
Johanneshof Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2017 $27.99
Super concentrated flower nectar and beeswax scents and expressive flavours of violet, hokey pokey, orange toffee, lychee and peach with tingly five spice and ginger infusing the lightly viscous flow.
 
 
Domain Road Central Otago Pinot Noir Rosé 2018 $21.99
Delectably dry with plum and nectarine scents and zingy fresh summer berry flavours melding beautifully. Tasty, juicy and deliciously refreshing with a soft creamy flow.
 
El Burro Kickass Garnacha 2017 – Spain $16.99.
A full-flavoured Garnacha, showing ripe plum, dark cherry, warm spice and subtle chocolate notes, backed by juicy and rounded palate that’s delightfully smooth and sweetly tasty. Great value.
 
Varvaglione Linea Oro Papale Primitivo Di Manduria 2015 $45.99
Powerful and sturdy, this substantial red delivers loads of black/blueberry, chocolate tart, spice and vanilla flavours with a firmly structured palate. It’s engaging with gratifying fruit flavours and an impressively long energetic finish.
 
Farmers Leap Random Shot Padthaway Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 $16.99
True to variety, exhibiting blackcurrant, juicy bramble, cigar box and spicy oak notes with succulent palate that’s flavoursome and filled with dark fruit flavours and rounded mouthfeel, well structured by chalky tannins. Very drinkable.
 
Alpha Crucis Titan McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 $29.99.
Captivating aromas of crème de cassis, plum jam, cigar and toasty oak lead to a superbly ripe and silky palate that offers outstanding depth and punchy flavours. Solid and persistent with dazzling richness. An outstanding Cabernet. Cellar 5-8 years.
 
Shingleback Davey Estate McLaren Vale Shiraz 2016 $22.99
Perfumed and compelling, this gratifying Shiraz displays gorgeous dark fruit, cranberry jelly, toasty oak and mixed spice notes with a concentrated and plush palate, finishing impressively long and sturdy. Drink now or cellar 5 years.
 

NZ versus the Rest of the World

Tasting Notes 18 July 2018
New Zealand versus the Rest of the World
Notes by Sue Courtney
Wines were tasted blind

 
Simonnet Febvre Petite Chablis 2013 - France 
The fresh, steely, orchard fruit bouquet of this light matte gold hued wine hints of Chardonnay, which indeed it is and the taste is crisp, malic, earthy and lemony with a suggestion of mountain pawpaw and honeydew melon. It's unoaked yet pleasingly textural with a chalky dryness and a long lasting finish. 12.5% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $25.99.
 
Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2017
Light yellow gold in the glass. Inviting aromas of ripe peach, toasty oak, and vanilla. Tasty, mouthfilling, malty, mealy flavours with gunsmoke, spicy oak, underlying flint and gobs of juicy tropical fruit that lingers tantalisingly. Exudes class all the way through. 13% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $31.99.
 
Sebastiani North Coast Chardonnay 2015 – California, USA
Citrine gold. Restrained at first on the nose but later tropical fruit rises to the fore. Full, fat and juicy in the palate with sizzled butter, vanillin oak, caramel and cream brûlée. Mouthfilling, easy to open with the screwcap and easy to drink. 13.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $19.99.
 
Framingham Classic Marlborough Riesling 2016
Light gold hued with an initial whiff of rubber band that succumbs to more intensely aromatic yellow citrus, heritage apple and delicate floral scents. Bright and zesty in the palate with refreshing tart apple acidity that's tempered by a touch of sweetness on the juicy quenching finish. 12.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $19.99.
 
Kerpen Alte Reben Wehlener Sonnenhur Spatlese Feinherb Riesling 2015 – Mosel, Germany 
Light gold in the glass. The fragrant bouquet of honey and botrytis has a fascinating earthy aura like wet potters clay and flavours full of tropical and citrus fruits with a tickle of spritz to the texture and only moderate sweetness. A classic example of the great wines of this region. 10.5% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $33.99.
 
Guigal Côte du Rhône 2014 – Rhone, France
Dark tamarillo skin red. The bouquet is earthy, a little rustic and slightly metallic with  a hint of cranberry, liquorice and tobacco. Fine flowing and vinous in the mouth with silky tannins, a suggestion of leather and a long savoury finish underpinned by well balanced acidity with fruit sweetness lingering. Made from predominantly Syrah with Garnacha and Mourvedre, this is excellent value. 14% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $20.99.
 
Craggy Range Gimblett Gravels Hawks Bay Syrah 2016
Deep crimson black. Warm comforting chocolate cake and cherry bouquet. Full-bodied, mouthfilling, spicy and peppery with juicy blackberry, mulberry and cherry fruit framed by savoury oak. The firmly structured tannins are still tight and youthful but the potential is clearly there. Patience will reward. 13% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $30.99.
 
Pepperjack Barossa Shiraz 2016 – South Australia
Inky black red with crimson edges. A rich berry chocolate nose and more chocolate in the sweet-fruited, creamy, silky-tannined, succulent palate together with cherry, vanilla, mocha, liquorice and hazelnut that meld into a mouthfilling delight. The firm finish is accented with spice and pepper and dry savoury notes linger. 14.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $19.99.
 
Rockbare Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 – South Australia  
Dark pinky red with moderate density. Eucalypt and chocolate dust fill the bouquet and there's a warm fine chocolatey coating to the texture with fine tannins, mint, leather, cedar, vanilla and ripe blackberry and blackcurrant fruit underpinned by nicely balanced acidity. Smooth and velvety all the way through. 14.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $19.99.
 
Crossroads Talisman 2014 – Hawkes Bay
Glossy rich dark red with an intense and attractive bouquet of cedar and brambles laced with chocolate and cherry. Beautifully poised as it floats across the palate. Finely structured tannins, concentrated red and black berries, savoury oak and cake spice are some of the descriptors that come to mind. A classy wine made from a secret blend of classic and rare red varieties that grow in Hawkes Bay. 14% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $44.99.
 
Beach House Noble Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2016 
Deep yellow gold. Citrus blossom and honeysuckle nectar fill the bouquet and sweet honeyed citrus of the mandarin / orange spectrum in the palate with grapey muscat-like notes and a zingy brightness. A sweet yet refreshing desert wine that’s lightly viscous with a silky smooth flow. 12% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $16.99.

All Whites

First Glass 30 May 2018
All Whites
Notes by Sue Courtney
Wines were tasted blind

 
Sensi 18K Prosecco Brut NV - Italy 
Pale straw with a salted apple nuance to the lightly floral scent. Vibrantly fizzy with a soft stewed apple, tart zingy apple and muscat grape-like taste. Light and easy going with a creamy finish. Looks fantastic and tastes nice too. 13.5% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $25.99.
 
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2017
Glossy lemon gold with an attractive toast and grilled peach scent. Quite savoury at first then juicy tropical fruit and stonefruit flavours burst through and the soft oak finish lingers with a spicy zing. Not too heavy, terrific socialising wine and top value for the money. 13.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $15.99.
 
Te Mata Elston Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2016
A rich savoury wine with a light citrine hue; vanilla biscuit, gunflint and mealy aromas and more of the same in the palate. Quite tingly in its youth with the acidity subsiding to reveal ripe stonefruit and nectarine, savoury earthy notes (as in potters clay) with a creamy oak sweetness to the persistent full-bodied finish. 13.5% alc. Diam cork. First Glass Price: $33.99.
 
Kendall Jackson Vintners Reserve Chardonnay 2016 - California, USA
Bright yellow gold, touches of tropical fruit with suggestions of caramelised banana on the nose and rich and oily in the palate with a ton of butter and vanilla underpinned by sweet citrus acidity and all of that rich ripe fruit making for a delicious wine. Fans of Californian Chardonnay will love this wine. 13.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $25.99.
 
Mr Riggs Watervale Riesling 2012 – Clare Valley, South Australia
There’s a waft of kero to the scent together with apple and lime in this archetypal dry Riesling that’s quiveringly fresh and steely but with enough juicy apple and citrus / barley sugar sweetness to round out the edges while a touch of tarragon emerges as the long finish lingers. Still youthful with many years ahead of it.  11.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $11.99.
 
Kahurangi Estate Mt Arthur Reserve Nelson Riesling 2016 
White gold in the glass with aromas of lemon, quince and roasted apple and a spritzy tingle to the texture. A richer style that is just off dry with a toasty character starting to develop and a lingering taste of quince and apple and a very agreeable touch of sweetness. 12% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $14.99.
 
Albert Mann Pinot Gris 2016 - Alsace, France
Pale straw with a moderately shy aroma that hints of spiced apple that is a little more obvious in the very dry, steely, flinty and slightly nutty palate. A contrast to the lusher sweeter styles we often see from Alsace, this fleshes out for a much fuller finish with ripe orchard fruit and a very alluring suggestion of anise. Youthful with potential. Intriguing wine. 13.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $34.99.
 
Spy Valley Single Vineyard Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2016
Light yellow gold with a heady bouquet of lychee, Nashi pear, crystallised violet and Turkish Delight, and ripe, concentrated tasty flavours with a touch of rose musk adding to the charm. Powerful yet with a lightness to its step, it’s just off dry with a seamless lightly oily texture and a sprinkle of ginger and white pepper. Trophy Easter Show. 14% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $19.99.
 
Schoffit Cuvee Caroline Alsace Gewurztraminer 2014 - France
Golden hued with intense aromas of candied tropical fruit, beeswax and nectar and a medium sweet taste that’s spicy and rich with an oily smooth texture and flavours of apricot honey with pepper and ginger-like tingles and fresh acidity imparting a clean balanced finish. 13% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $33.99.
 
Villa Maria Reserve Noble Marlborough Riesling 2016 
This delicious sweetie has a deep yellow gold colour, a scent of toffee apple and unbelievable concentration in the palate. There’s ginger marmalade, tropical fruit, apricot and candied orange with the sweetness honed in by crisp fresh vibrant acidity. Gold NZIWS. 10% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $28.99.
 
Osborne Pedro Ximinez Very Sweet Sherry - Jerez, Spain
It’s the colour of dark mahogany with a transparent green tinge to the edges. The bouquet is like muscatel raisins and treacle and it is warm and spiritous in the decadent palate with a thick almost syrupy texture and a luscious toffee grapey sweetness. 17% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $29.99.

Ceres Wines with James Dicey

First Glass 2 May 2018
Ceres Wines with James Dicey
Notes by Sue Courtney
Wines were not tasted blind

 
 
Fifth Bridge Central Otago Pinot Gris 2017
Beautifully aromatic with a bright apple and citrus blossom scent and a very appealing off dry to medium taste that’s textural and lightly viscous. A delicate spiciness mingles into the apricot, custard apple and honey poached pear flavours and there’s a sense of spritz to the finish. A touch of late harvest Riesling adds an x-factor to the enticing taste. Impressive. 13.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $19.99.
 
Ceres Swansong Central Otago Pinot Gris 2016
Served lightly chilled which gives a sense of coolness, this has a classic poached pear and apple strudel scent and it tastes fairly dry and crisp with a savoury, slightly mushroomy note, a zingy apple brightness and an attractive rose petal nuance on the lingering finish. A gris with palate weight and texture, it’s made from a vineyard ‘field blend’ where every 10th vine is Gewurztraminer. 14% alc.Screwcap. First Glass Price: $22.99.
 
Fifth Bridge Central Otago Riesling 2017
This is a slatey smelling riesling with a soapy floral nuance, maybe, and cut lime most definitely. It smells dry but tastes medium with soft apple acidity and an initial light delicate impression that increases in power with more emphatic green apple and lime flavours balanced by honey and apricot, and a pleasing persistent finish. 10.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $19.99.
 
Ceres Black Rabbit Central Otago Riesling 2017
The attractive bouquet radiates honeysuckle, sweet citrus and tropical fruit and the taste is a masterful balance of scintillating acidity and medium sweetness. It’s juicy, tingly and delicately spritzy with tropical fruit sherbet, lime, tangelo, honeysuckle and apple skin. An expressive wine oozing deliciousness and finesse with the structure to cellar for decades. Multiple gold medals and Easter Show Trophy. 10.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $22.99.
 
Fifth Bridge Central Otago Pinot Noir 2017
Deeply translucent bright purple violet. There’s a sense of chocolate, roasted spice and concentrated purple-coloured berries to the scent and it’s initially savoury to the taste with velvet-edged silky tannins, chocolate-coated bitter-sweet cherry then a more concentrated berry fruit sweetness and anise-like spices lingering. Soft, supple and easy drinking. 14% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $24.99.
 
Ceres Composition Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015
A moderately translucent purple violet. Fragrantly scented with cherry, plum and sweet herb notations. Bright and intense in the silky-textured palate where bittersweet red fruit, oak, spice and savoury notes combine in harmony. Dense and concentrated with a vinous sweetness and touches of anise infusing the persistent finish where the tannins become more noticeable. 14% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $34.99.
 
Ceres Artists Collection Inlet Vineyard Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015
There’s a little hint of pink to the purple hue. A touch of rosehip radiates out of the glass with an amalgam of cherry, a hint of spice and expressive pinosity. Concentrated in the silky, velvety, firm, structured palate that’s spicy, meaty and savoury with chewy red fruit jellies and glace cherries and captivating briar rose notes to the fabulously long mouth-enveloping finish.  14% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $75.99.
 
Mr Riggs Three Corner Jack McLaren Vale Shiraz Cabernet Merlot 2015 – South Australia
Rich red black with ripe plum and black cherry scents and savoury, meaty, tarry notes underpinning juicy plum and black currant fruit flavours with just the merest hint of liquorice. The texture is firm and velvety in this seemingly more medium bodied Aussie red with lingering cake spices and cherries. 14.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $18.99.
 
Mr Riggs The Truant McLaren Vale Shiraz 2015 – South Australia
This shiny red black-hued wine has a fascinating bouquet that’s like the scent in the kitchen when cooking spicy plum sauce – plus hints of crushed chocolate biscuits, cigar leaf and leather that follow through to the initially quite dark tarry palate that quickly bursts with succulent plum and blackberry fruit while red pepper spices lift the powerful, plush-tannined finish. Gold NZIWS. 14.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $18.99.
 
Mr Riggs Outpost Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 – South Australia
Black red in the glass. The bouquet is smoky and sensual with hints of crushed iron, chocolate, mint and cedar and it’s deliciously bright and minty in the palate (mint sauce rather than peppermint) with concentrated blackcurrant, plum and boysenberry fruit, a spicy brightness, and a long silky, mouthfilling finish. It’s an incredibly smooth, delicious and memorable wine that’s concentrated and meaty with lingering mint chocolate, cassis and cedar. Gold NZIWS. 14.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $28.99.

Summer Variety

First Glass 14 February 2018
Summer Variety
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.