When Kingsley's Away …
Notes by Sue Courtney
Wines were tasted blind
Starborough Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Straw in the glass where the bouquet radiates out soft tropical fruit, apple and white peach with a waft of basil. Distinctively varietal but soft rather than aggressive with flavours of pineapple, green passionfruit, citrus, apple and herbs with basil, tarragon and fennel coming to mind and increasing pungency to the long, juicy finish. 13% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $17.99.
Tasca Cavalo Delle Fate Grillo 2016 – Sicily
Straw gold in hue with a shy restrained nose and a steely, flinty, slightly chalky feel at first with moderate palate weight. It tastes bright and fresh with scintillating acidity, touches of tropical guava, apple, lemon and hot/ peppery/zesty vibes and lingering hints of tarragon on the long quenching finish. Grillo is an Italian grape variety and this wine is a refreshing change. 13.5% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $21.99.
La Crema Monterey Chardonnay 2016 – California, USA
Deep golden yellow in the glass with a light lanolin overlay to the buttery nuances infusing the soft cedary oak bouquet. Juicy peach fills the creamy palate that’s smooth and seamless in its flow with layers of butterscotch and butter caramel, well-balanced underlying acidity and a powerful finish. New vintage, new label, New Zealand winemaker. 13.5% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $29.99.
Leveret Estate Hawke’s Bay Viognier 2015
Bright yellow gold with an abundance of tropical fruit, sweet citrus and honeysuckle filling the bouquet and juicy in the off dry palate where touches of apricot and honey are underpinned by a crisp acid spine while a hint of savoury salinity on the warm rounded finish adds to this youthful looking wine’s allure. Gold Medal AirNZ Wine Awards 2016. 14% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $18.99.
Willy Gisselbrecht Pinot Gris 2016 – Alsace, France
Looking viscous in the glass with a light gold hue. The scent is fragrant and floral and the taste is mouthfilling and unctuous with delightful flavours of apricot, poached pear, violets and honey. The touch of sweetness sits well and it’s smooth and satisfying with a lingering finish. 13% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $19.99.
Hunters Marlborough Pinot Noir Rosé 2017
Watermelon pink with a scent of candy floss and strawberry and red cherry juices following through to the lightly spicy zesty palate that has a refreshing flinty undercurrent and touches of rose hip jelly. Technically bone dry but the fruitiness belies this. Gold Medal NZIWS. 13% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $17.99.
Martinborough Vineyards Te Tera Martinborough Pinot Noir 2016
Youthful bright, burgundy hue with shimmering translucency. The haunting bouquet emanates subtle wood smoke with spice and florals, perhaps violets, and the mouthfilling taste is deeply savoury with spiced cherries and purple fruit notes. The tannins are silky and fine and the wine seems almost creamy on the captivating finish. Gold Medal NZIWS. 14% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $24.99.
Trulli Primitivo Di Manduria 2015 – Puglia, Italy
Moderately bright black red and while dark in the core of the glass it’s pinky red on the edges. The wine smells ripe, like plum jam cooking on the stove, but there’s ‘old world’ connotations brimming through too. The ripeness continues with the taste full of currants with a slight red jelly confectionary feel that’s nicely offset by the robust tannins and the meaty undercurrent. Well-structured and chewy with a warm finish and a touch of char and spice. 14.5% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $22.99.
Turkey Flat Barossa Valley Grenache 2016 – South Australia
There's a violet glow to the bright purple garnet hue. The perfumed bouquet hints of red and purple fruits with perhaps a sprinkle of five spice, and the fragrance continues in the spicy, peppery palate that has firm yet supple tannins and lift to the finish where Chinese spices come again to the fore and a touch of cherry chocolate emerges. There's an incredible lightness and elegance to this old vine wine. Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy Winner 2017. 15% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $32.99.
Xavier Arcane XV Le Diable Mourvedre 2015 – Rhone, France
Dark red almost translucent with pink edges. The bouquet of fresh game meat and iron is subtle and it’s meaty and savoury to the taste with rich dark plummy fruit and bright cherry. The tannins at first seem fine and accessible but pack a punch on finish. A blend of old vine Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Cote de Rhone fruit where it’s rare to see a wine solely made from Mourvedre.15% alc. Cork. First Glass Price: $35.99.
The Willows Barossa Valley Shiraz 2014 – South Australia.
Inky black red with youthful brightness. The bouquet tantalises with its winey fragrance of berries and chocolate and it’s concentrated and spicy in the palate with chocolate and cocoa to the fore and while not as minty as we night expect from this label it has the lift, brightness and cleanness that the Willows wines always have and followers of this label won’t be disappointed.. It’s a powerful wine with harmonious oak and pillowy tannins that make it seem almost approachable but really would benefit from further cellaring. 14.9% alc. Screwcap. First Glass Price: $27.99.