What’s in the glass tonight Feb 25th

Tiritiri Gisborne Chardonnay 2008

From the Cellar: Tiritiri Estate Gisborne Chardonnay 2008 – $$$

I could kick myself. This one slept a couple of years too long I regret to say. Yellow gold. 13%. Mature nose, taint of oxidation. The oxidation carries through to the wine, and clouds the appealing nutty and sunny character of the wine. I bought it after a tasting at the Gisborne Wine Centre a few years back, and should really have opened it earlier. The wine is better than how it shows here, and to be fair, would be close to a 4 if I’d kept it in better nick. L liked it, so the quality was in there.

An organic producer too, and they claim to be NZ’s smallest vineyard.  500 rows, producing 50-100 cases. Damn, that makes me feel stink.

What’s in the glass tonight Feb 22nd


Mount Hector Wairarapa Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Well, here I am, looking at this bottle across the table from me. I’ve only had a bit of it, it’s refreshing and bright enough, but I kinda don’t want any more. And it’s not the wine’s fault.

Yesterday, after a day’s work, I drove 6 hours to join my team for the Great Lake Relay, a 160km run around Lake Taupo. The same course as the Cycle Challenge I have written about earlier.

I got to the accommodation at 10.30pm. Had a couple of glasses of some robust Spanish red I was persuaded to buy (nice) and a few laughs with my fellow team mates, then got to bed about 11.30pm. Woke at 12.30am, after I reckon 15mins of sleep.

We were all up and out on the course by 1.30am. The race started 2am. I did my share of driving the support vehicle from transition point to transition point, while trying to stay awake. My turn to run my relay leg came up at around 8.10am. I ran 6kms (the shortest leg, I’m a cyclist not a damn runner!). Hot, uphill, hard.

Got back to my bed 11am, after our van with the rest of the team relieved us halfway around the course.

Slept for maybe 2 ½ hrs, before we had to get back out on the course to join the others to run over the finish line as a group at about 4.30pm. Yay. 14 ½ hrs it took us!

Back at the digs I had some Roaring Meg pinot noir. Went at it a bit hard. Then we all went to this restaurant for dinner. Nice enough place, but I think they are struggling with the number of diners they have in. Quite, quite, quite slow…

…and now, I think I have had a bit too much to drink, and not enough sleep, and I’m feeling a bit tired and emotional and I’d like to go home to bed now, please.

What’s in the glass tonight Feb 16th

Rockburn Stolen Kiss Rose 2013

Rockburn Stolen Kiss Central Otago Rose 2013 – $$

Winding down after LGs 9th birthday party at the Zoo…

…Another test for the Riedels…but I am no real judge of rose, cos I don’t really get this wine variety. I mean, if I wanna drink sweet, then there is always beer, right…?

Attractive packaging. A good producer. Made from free run pinot noir juice. Strawberry blush colour. Strawberry and cherry flavours, bright and light and fresh, a confection in the glass. A good example is all I can reliably say. 3.75

What’s in the [Reidel] glass tonight Feb 15th

Haythornthwaite Susan Gewurtz 2008

From the Cellar: Haythornthwaite “Susan” Martinborough Gewurtztraminer 2008 – $$$

L gave me a couple of Reidel glasses for Valentines Day!

The glasses are from the Vinum varietal-specific range. Reidel sez the shape of each glass is designed for an individual wine variety, and enhance the flavour and aroma of that wine when drunk from the appropriate vessel. I am not experienced at drinking from such expensive glassware, and couldn’t attest to the truth of Riedel’s claims, but I know that wines do smell and taste different depending on the glass.

These are Sauvignon Blanc glasses, shaped to suit white wine with two flavour contributors – fermented grape juice and yeast. The person in the shop said the shape would enhance Rose’ also. L and I thought that maybe we would enlarge the tent a little, and try this gewurtz out of them…

The experiment worked. The wine looked, smelt and tasted great. Not sure if it was the quality of the wine, or a placebo effect from the marketing and mystique around the glassware brand.

We knew the wine would be good going in. L and I tasted it at the vineyard on a visit of Martinborough last year, and she bought a bottle to take home with her. It is named after the winemaker’s wife. We were having leftover Indian takeaway for dinner, and thought the gewurz spice would go down well.

The wine is deep gold in colour. 13%. Honeyed and warm with spicy notes. Off dry. Very aromatic. The Reidel’s did what they promised on the tin, and presented a good wine very well. 4.

What’s in the glass tonight Feb 14th


Roaring Meg Central Otago Pinot Noir 2012- $$

I’m sitting in the bar at Christchurch Airport waiting for my flight home after finishing a satisfying day’s work. Reading about my beloved Liverpool FC on the internet. Watching NZ play India at the Basin Reserve on TV. A glass of good pinot to hand. Bliss.

Roaring Meg is the second label of Mt Difficulty, one of NZs best pinot noir producers.

The wine is a deep carmine colour. A rich and involving savoury forest floor aroma lifts from the glass, with a touch of wet wool and lanolin. Wonderful intensity of flavour; rich and fruit-filled. Big and tannic and bracing (for a PN). Fantastic. 4.5

What’s in the glass tonight Feb 10th

Passage Rock Syrah 2009

From the Cellar: Passage Rock Waiheke Syrah 2009 – $$

Gold medal winner. 12.5%. Deep carmine colour. Rich floral nose, showing some age. Concentrated ripe fruit, luscious, balanced tannins, with the typical white pepper of this varietal.

Lovely wine. Great value. 4

Happy birthday Mum!

What’s in the glass tonight over Waitangi Weekend at the Bush


Palliser Estate Pencarrow Pinot Noir 2012 – $$

I spent the weekend with L and the kids over the hill in the Wairarapa, camping beside the Ruamahanga river at Morisons Bush. ‘Twas the Annual Artists Weekend: a camping tradition deep into its second decade, a reunion of friends new and old. We get together to talk, laugh, eat, drink, swim, make art and the occasional loud bangs.


This weekend, much against type, it rained for a lot of it, so not much art was created. P curated a datashow of hynotic visuals, which was the highlight of the visual arts. N made cocktails, and M and B made an delicious paella for 40…


Afterwards we all sat around the campfire and cooked marshmallows.


I enjoyed a few glasses of my favourite second label pinot – Pencarrow Pinot Noir 2012 – bought from the winery cellar door that afternoon. It was hard to get much sense of the smell of this wine, due to the plastic glass I was drinking it out of, and me sitting mostly downwind from a smoky manuka fire. But it had good concentration, generous ripe fruit and savoury flavour. 4

What’s in the glass tonight Feb 1st

Te Mata Cape Crest 2011

From the Cellar: Te Mata Estate Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2011 – $$

This is a stellar wine. I bought a couple of bottles after the Te Mata tasting in 2012, loved it so much.

Pale straw in glass. 13%. Powerful herby nose of lemongrass, flat leaf parsley and coriander. Crisp citrus in the mouth, with a loooong finish of parsley and bags of fresh mint. Supa yum! 4.5

The sun as fallen behind the hill, and now L and I are off to The Laundry for dinner…