What’s in the glass tonight Jan 29th

Saints Pinot Gris 2012

Saints Gisborne Pinot Gris 2012 – $

A budget glassful. Bought more for L’s taste than for mine. Easy on the pocket, easy on the palate. Easy to do if the wine is P-G…

From a corporate maker that I admit to having a sub-tenner soft spot for. Good value glugging. If they’d only sort their labels out. My opinion sez too old-fashioned-looking for the fresh n’ fruity style of wines they specialise in producing.

The wine is light, undemanding, but quite elegant. I am probably being harsh, but it doesn’t smell much of anything, nor taste much of anything, bar pears. But that is not a bad thing here.

I much prefer this wine to the Tohu Chardonnay from the same region. 3.25

Sorting out the new Pool Room

man cave

Last night I was down in my new man cave, organising the wine cellar. When we first moved into the new place, I kinda plunked the boxes down wherever they fitted, and then I couldn’t find a thing…

…now sorted. Pinots on the left, next to the syrahs, then the bordeaux blends, through to chardys, aromatics and savs. The place looks well ropy, but it is dry and roomy. Happy man, me…

What’s in the glass tonight Jan 25th

Tohu Gisborne Chardonnay 2012

Tohu Gisborne Chardonnay 2012 – $

I took notice of a really good pinot noir from this producer early last year. This year’s version is out in the shops, and I’ll review it eventually, but in the meantime here is their well-priced Gisborne Chardonnay to try…

And it’s not too much chop, to be fair. White gold. 13.5% and leggy. In the glass there is a pleasant open floral aroma of peaches and apples, but in the mouth the wine is too soft, with ripe fruit, and buttery-ness. More citrus bite is needed I reckon.

The wine tastes too ‘even’. I’d like it more if there were a few bumps along the way, to keep it interesting, if you get my analogy. There is a slightly bitter aftertaste, but that kind of interest I don’t want. The nose lifts this wine to a 2.75.

Good label, FTIW…

Straight to the Pool Room – January 2014

Pool Room Jan 2014

I’m keeping it cheap this month. Got a few other things to budget for (i.e. house refurbishment…!):

Kumeu River Village Chardonnay 2010 – $ – drink 2015 – this wine has been fantastic value drinking these past few months. Great citrus backbone to this chard. Got another year in them I think.

Thornbury Waipara Riesling 2011 – $ – drink 2016 – Off-dry.  Gold Medal winner. Wines from the Waipara are getting great press. High hopes for this.

What’s in the glass tonight Jan 20th

Palliser Estate PN 2003

Hammer Time: Palliser Estate Martinborough Pinot Noir 2003 – $$$

Hah. I had been looking forward to this one, ever since I bought it at the Dunbar Sloan wine auction late last year. Wanted to compare it with the excellent 2005 L and I had a while back.

I love it. 13%. Pinot ruby colour, browning at the edge a little. Gorgeous nose, all shroomy with floral violets. To drink, it is smooooth, with buckets of red cherries and spice. An excellent balance of age and fruit. 4.5

What’s been in the glass lately

It’s been a while since I last wrote.

I have moved house, and cleaned the two houses left behind. I have unpacked boxes. Assembled beds. Folded clothes. Stowed mountains of stuff under the house. Mowed lawns. Wrangled cats and plumbers and TV repairmen. Prioritised task lists. And relocated my tropical fish and a wine cellar. It has been exhausting. And my lovely L has shared the load with me.

Finally we re-established our domestic IT infrastructure, and I can now blog about what I have been drinking at the end of these full, busy days…

Murdoch James Rose

From the Cellar: Murdoch James The Regions Martinborough Rose 2012 – $$$

L bought this after our vineyard visit to Murdoch James last winter. T’was nice to drink this in the sun the day after we moved. Orange blush colour. 14%. A mature nose of strawberries and cream. Lovely strawberry taste too. Quite a cultured blush.  4

Riparian Chardonnay 2012

Riparian Gisborne Chardonnay 2012

Produced by CoopersCreek. 13%. Yellow snow colour. Fruit n’ phenolic nose. Peaches and citrus in the mouth, a bit cooked.  Odd, it was not that old. This bottle not rated.

Lake Chalice The Nest PG 2013

Lake Chalice The Nest Marlborough Pinot Gris 2013

Greenish pale yellow. Aroma of light fresh pears. Off-dry. 12.5%. Citrus zest, honey in the mouth. I’m not one to like pinot gris that much, but this was a good one. 3.75


The first wine in our new house


From the Cellar: Kumeu River Coddington Chardonnay 2008 – $$$

After a long tough day of last-minute packing,  organising, lifting and carrying we are finally in our house. We are sitting in the conservatory, the sun is out, and this wine is in our glasses.

Both the house and the wine is fantastic. 5


What’s in the glass tonight Jan 7th

Vidal HB Merlot Cab 2008

From the Cellar: Vidal Hawkes Bay Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 – $

Bad News first: I’d enjoy this wine a tad more if I hadn’t bitten the inside of my cheek the night before during J’s birthday dinner at L’s. The swelling gets in the way of the Swirl ‘n Swallow. I am such a numb nut at times…

The Good News: this is one of the beautiful reasons to maintain a wine cellar…

I saw this wine given a five star review by a leading NZ food and wine magazine back in 2010. I then saw it practically given away by a large supermarket chain at $11 a bottle. So I bought a brace and put them away in the Pool Room to ripen for a few years.

And it’s turned into a Stunnah. Inky blood-black colour. 13.5%. A blend of merlot,  cabernet, malbec and franc.

It has a warm and enveloping bouquet. Notes of vanilla and cassis and cedar wood. Balanced mature flavours of ripe plums and blackberry wine gums, molasses and fruitcake spice to taste. Long and unctuous, with good lip-smacking tannins at the finish. 4.5

Superb buying! I’d best look out for the upcoming 2013’s if I don’t perish first from Stupidity.

(AND it looks like vermin have been at my cellar bottle labels! One of my Pride ‘n Joi pinots has had its label almost completely devoured while I’ve been living upstairs. Are they using grape jam as a label adhesive? Just as well I am moving!  Grrr…)

What’s in the glass tonight Jan 5th

The Dunes Merlot 2011

The Dunes ‘The  Journey’ Mangawhai Merlot 2011

I have to relocate my cellar on Friday…along with everything else.

The reason is, I have bought a new house with my lovely L. Settlement day is this Thursday, and we move in together and combine our two households the day after. The arrival of house movers will mark the next stage of the wonderful journey I am on with her!

Wow. I will get to share some of my wonderful wines with her on a regular basis, and not only when we are in each others company.

Therefore, I have been busy packing, ‘de-cluttering’, and prepping my old house for letting out to tenants. I’ll be a landlord for the first time.

The most recent storm outside has abated (you gotta love Wellington’s ‘summer’) and I have this new wine to appreciate while I take a break in the sun.

It is fitting that this merlot is entitled “The Journey’.  A new producer – the Moss Trust. The only reference I can find on the Net is to an outfit called Te Whai Wines in Northland, but they seem to be only the agent.

The wine has a really beguiling nose. I can’t precisely place what I can smell other than ripe stone fruit. Star anise? Aniseed? Lanolin? Gunpowder? Soap? It is like nothing I have smelt before in an NZ wine. Is it because it is from the far north, with heat, rainfall and humidity you wouldn’t find elsewhere in NZ? Is it a fault in this wine, or an expression of terroir? I’d love to talk to the winemaker about that.

The aromas carry through into the mouth. 13%. Rich red plums. Soft tannins. Smooth mouthfeel. Rich ruby colour in the glass. There is a good deal going on. The couple of years bottle development helps out. 3

This vintage is dedicated to the winemakers mother, who passed away two weeks after harvest.

What’s in the glass tonight Jan 3rd

Johner Pinot Noir 2011

Johner Wairapa Pinot Noir 2011 – $

I knew nothing about this producer from Gladstone in the Wairarapa. A low price at Moore Wilsons and a good review on the price sticker was the attractor. But what a find!

Bright carmine colour. 14%. Open cherry floral aroma, hint of minerality. Ripe red cherries in the mouth, spicy, fine tannins, a bit of soap on opening but this gassed off as the wine opened up round and juicy. Long finish. I’ll buy more of this tasty bargain. 4.