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Notes by Sue Courtney
Wines were tasted blind
Sebastiani North Coast Chardonnay 2015 – California, USA
A medley of tropical fruit, roasted persimmon and pannacotta fills the bouquet and it’s creamy and buttery in the palate with bright, fresh, almost pineapple-like acidity and a smooth, lingering aftertaste reminiscent of Macintosh Harrogate toffees. 13.9% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $19.99.
Simonsig Chardonnay 2016 – Stellenbosch, South Africa
The bouquet is fresh, acid driven and there are hints of apricot to the citrussy taste that's very dry with a dusty, mellow note and a mealy savoury undercurrent to the fruity finish. 13.5% alc. Cork/Screwcap. First Glass Price: $20.99.
Bogle Reserve Chardonnay 2016 - Clarksburg, California, USA
There’s a suggestion of crushed brazil nut and hazelnut on the opulent, rich, toasty bouquet and the creamy taste is seamless with an ornate frame of spicy oak encapsulating juicy stonefruit and a flamboyant caramel-coated finish that lingers for ages. A meal in a glass. 14% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $29.99.
Greystone Sand Dollar Waipara Pinot Gris 2016
Scents of poached pear and peach crumble radiate from the glass and it’s cool and fresh in the steely palate that slowly reveals its textural complexity with touches of tarragon and spice lingering. Technically dry (just 3 g/l residual sugar) with a wild yeast, barrel component, it recently came 3rd in Decanter’s World’s best Pinot Gris buys. 13.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $22.99.
Rapaura Springs Reserve Marlborough Pinot Gris 2017
Bright and tropical fruity with a light tingle of spritz, hints of musk and Turkish delight. An off-dry to medium style that hits the sweet spot with fleshy stonefruit and a brightness to the attractive finish. Ripe, lush and immediately likeable. 13% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $14.99.
Lawson's Dry Hills Marlborough Riesling 2015
The bouquet is like classic dry Riesling with lime, talc and a vague suggestion of kero. Searingly dry in the slightly spritzy palate with racy apple and citrus acidity nicely rounded out by a touch of toastiness that’s accrued with bottle age. Drinking beautifully now. Multi awarded. 12.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $17.99.
Pegasus Bay Waipara Riesling 2015
There’s a suggestion of grapefruit and mandarin zest on the nose and loads more in the palate that has a lightly viscous texture. It’s ripe and zesty with well balanced sweetness and suggestions of hokey-pokey on the lingering finish. Fulfilling and expressive. 12.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $29.99.
Te Kairanga Martinborough Pinot Noir 2016
Bright ruby with pinky edges. The bouquet is sweet-fruited, inviting, with spiced cherries and a hint of cedar and the firm, dry taste is foremost savoury and gamey than fruity – but the fruit is of course there – bittersweet fruit – wild strawberries, morello cherries - and its silky in its flow with mouthfilling richness to the finish. Gold NZIWS & NWWA. 13.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $22.99.
Pegasus Bay Waipara Pinot Noir 2014
Garnet red, a little browning on the edges. The bouquet is savoury with woody herb notes and a touch of chocolate-coated cherry and the wine as a whole has a mellow aura and complexity that comes with a little age. Fruit is reminiscent of stewed tamarillo with underlying prickly acidity and savoury bretty / leathery notes giving a European impression. Tannins still noticeable on the magnanimous finish with hints of chocolate and rounded mouth-coating pinosity as it lingers. 13.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $47.99.
Cape Barren Native Goose McLaren Vale Shiraz 2016 – South Australia
Shiny black red in the glass. Juicy red berry scents laced with vanillin oak fill the bouquet and its lifted and spicy in the palate that seems so velvety smooth and flowing. Full of dark plums and chocolate, it is immediately approachable with a mouth-coating finish. 14% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $19.99.
E & E Limited Release Black Pepper Barossa Shiraz 2014 – South Australia
Rich red black with translucent edges hinting of a little age. The bouquet is overflowing with opulent dark berries, spice and savoury notes and the taste is rich, creamy and velvety. It's voluptuous yet structured with a tantalising vanilla and nut chocolate oak frame, underlying savouriness, touches of chicory and anise, lots of pepper and a long firm finish that leaves a memorable impression. 15.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $99.