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All Fun, All The Time


wine tasting

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What’s in the glass tonight Jan 9th


Dashwood SB 2012

Finished off the last of the Tohu pinot. Leaving the half bottle to sit two days has soured the florals a little, and brought the tannins further forward. Still moreish tho.

Generally a bottle lasts me two days, unless I get a taste for it. Which is always a risk. So went for a palate cleanser…

Dashwood Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 – $

I think it was either Belinda Jackson or Yvonne Lorkin talking to Jim Mora on RNZ National one Friday in late 2011 who turned me on to this Awatere Valley product. It was suggested that it was a fresh and citrusy savvy, and great value. I tried it and agreed – the 2011s were not so grassy like other Marlborough SB’s can be (to my taste anyway, even if this is the style that garnered all the acclaim from the UK wine press). So I liked, and came back to the style.

Here I try the 2012 vintage with a flash new label on the bottle. The website gives no clues as to how this vintage stacked up against the previous. It’s green and grassy on the nose (reverting to type?), almost ‘squeaky’ like the sound grass makes when you pull it. Very crisp, with lingering grapefruit citrus flavours, and brighter than the 2011. I’d prefer hot days to drink this one, but instead chose a cold night with gales outside…If I cellared this to 2015 it would quiet down and behave.

Cuisine gives it 5 stars/best buy accolade BTW.

What’s in the glass tonight Jan 8th


Montana EC Rose 2012

My first day back at work, and it was a sunny one. Off to L’s for dinner, so picked up something cheap on the way to enjoy in the early evening sun:

Montana East Coast Rose 2012 – $.

I lucked in with this: a taste of summer. Colour of deep pink diamond, bouquet of light strawberry jam, the fresh red  fruits carried through in the mouth. A light delight.

Don’t know why Montana is on the label – thought they had moved over to Brancott? Maybe lost market share here, and have decided to revert back in-country?

Apologies for the blurred photo..then everything gets a little blurred after two glasses of wine..

What’s in the glass tonight Jan 7th


Tohu SV Pinot Noir Marl 2011

This is a treat: Tohu Pinot Noir Marlborough Single Vineyard 2011. $$

I attended a pinot noir tasting at Regional Wines late last year, hosted by Geoff Kelly, where this wine showed very well, in the top half at least, and was arguably the surprise of the flight.

Pinot noir ruby, garnet in colour. I love the florality of this wine; it smells like how I want pinot noir to smell – lifted, floral. GK sez boronia/buddleia, so I’d better get to a garden centre to compare. I taste red cherries and plums in the mouth, but the fruit sweetness is not too forward, like cheaper PN’s, and is nicely balanced with tannins and oak. Good value. It compares well against another good performer from the previous tasting, Peregrine 2010, the latter showing a deeper fragrance, spice and dark cherries, but at a price nearer $40…

What’s in the glass tonight Jan 5th


Millton CSA Chardonnay 2007

This is why I buy and drink wine: From my cellar:

Millton Clos Ste. Anne Naboth’s Vineyard Chardonnay 2007 (bought 2010), $$$.

Millton is a bio dynamic organic producer, with a beautiful property outside of Gisborne, well worth the visit to their cellar door. This wine is matured to luminous golden yellow, with wonderful fragrance – butterscotch and toffee;. Peach and vanilla on palate showing good oak, seamless. No malo, so some minerality. With that rare thing, a cork closure.

Superb. Wine of the summer so far.

What was in the glass Jan 3rd


Saints Chardonnay 2011

One of my favourite go-to chards:

Saints Gisborne Chardonnay, in this case 2011,- $

$10 on special, but then, it is often offered at this ‘special’ price. My bottle has a munted label. The winemaker sez, “rich, full-bodied chardonnay…lifted stonefruit and citrus flavours…elegantly styled…creamy texture…spicy oak…complexity…”. I don’t know what batch they were referring to when he/her wrote this (this wine is probably made by the cubic metre), but my bottle tells me something different…

But I quibble…I like the crisp acidity, and light fruit aroma. Buy 2011 if you can choose from 2012 bottles…There seems no MLF to scare the easily-scared horses, and ALSO it is from Gizzy, a GREAT chardonnay producing region – think Millton, Thornbury, Kirkpatrick et al. An easy drinking style, for sitting in the sun drinking a budget wine when you have to be on a budget; NONE BEATS IT (unless Church Rd or Mission is running their own special). Fill your boots at $10-12 each.

Notes from the cellar: I had some Saints 2007s in storage; I knocked the top off them all over the past few months; sad to say – drink 3-4 years max after bottling. Pleasant, rewarding, but drink young(er)…

What was in the glass Jan 2nd


VM HB Syrah 2009

Villa Maria Hawkes Bay Syrah 2009 – $$

Nice florality and white pepper on the nose,  soft and elegant in the mouth. Good to have the extra year or two in bottle before opening. This is a really good value label, and can be counted on to deliver beyond the price point.

This accompanies my own 4hr slow-cooked Island Bay Butchery mince meat sauce over Garofalo spaghetti, with hand-made ravioli from La Bella Italia thanks to the Back To Living Christmas party. Too good!