What’s in the glass tonight March 25th

Saints Chardonnay 2013

Saints Vineyard Selection Chardonnay Gisborne 2013 – $

This is a value wine. 10 bucks gets you a bottle. I haven’t had one of these since I blogged about a 2011 back in the early days of this blog. I thought it was ok then, but I suspect my tastes have moved on and upwards since, and this beauty would likely not have done the same. I thought to review the latest vintage. We’ll see…

First off it looks too yellow for a ’13. Something wrong here. Looks advanced. Smells advanced too. Creamy and apricot-y for sure, but also oxidative characters. What a shame. There should be clean approachable fruit here on the nose.

In the mouth it is a basic wine. No nuance. I can expect that. Nothing too interesting. The usual citrus and stonefruit thing. Shows some bitterness at the death. But it is going downhill and that’s either a fault with this bottle or the range. Again what a shame. I used to drink this back in the day.

Thanks for the memories.  2+

What’s in the glass tonight March 24th

Grant elliot 1 (2)

From the Cellar: Te Mata Estate Awatea Cab Merlot Hawkes Bay 2005 – bought at auction $$$

I tapped up the cellar for one of my old reds to drink with our Spaghetti Bol dinner, and to soothe the nerves afterwards as I watched the NZ cricket team on TV contest the semi-final of the Cricket World Cup against the mighty South Africans.

It did the trick.

A 10-year old wine. Nudging it’s best-before date. Although Te Mata’s website did say still evolving, drink or hold. The vintage was a high quality one by reports. Best since ’98 or 2000.

Deep dark magenta. 13.5%. Soft bouquet. Leather. Black plums. Smelt well evolved and inviting.

In the mouth I first saw that the tannins were still grippy. A base of dense fruit flavours. A little dry.  A real delight to drink. It got better in the glass as the evening wore on. So expressive and upstanding for a mature NZ red. No faults I could ascertain. Long.  Fantastic.


Te Mata Awatea 2005 - 3

And we beat South Africa with 1 ball remaining when Grant Elliot smashed a six over long on off the bowling of Dale Steyn. We are off to Sunday’s final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground!

Grant elliot 1


What’s in the glass tonight March 23rd

Mission Estate Reserve Chardonnay 2013

Mission Estate Reserve Chardonnay Hawkes Bay 2013 – $$

I had hopes that this might be a good one. I like the producer’s ‘white label’ Chardonnay, this was a Reserve, and it was a great vintage in the Bay…

Pale Gold. 13.5%.

Creamy, nutty, mealy nose. Oak and vanilla. Big. Apricot and white blossom.

On attack, bold & complex, but then bitter on the mid-palate and finish. Not much ripe fruit weight in evidence. No linear minerality to compensate. Odd. Disappointing. Maybe a fault with this bottle? Under Stelvin tho?

Smelled much better than it tasted. Which helped bring the score up…

G 3

What’s in the glass tonight March 21st

Macon-Villages Chardonnay Cave de lugny 2013

Off Topic: Macôn-Villages Chardonnay Cave de Lugny Bourgogne 2013 – $$

A hurriedly-chosen alternative to an NZ Chardonnay for tonight’s quaffing while watching NZ play the West Indies in the fourth Quarter Final of the Cricket World Cup on television.

This wine is produced by the co-op Cave de Lugny from the department of Saône-et-Loire, Bourgogne.

Pale gold. 12.5%. A particularly nutty nose, specifically roasted pine-nuts, which obscures and somewhat defeats the delicate underlying golden fruit aromas.

This delicacy of nose translates to a light-bodied and straight style of Chardonnay, with restrained fruit, quite creamy to taste. Minerally too, especially on the finish. A reasonable citrus edge at the close as well.

G 3

And NZ won by 143 runs…

What’s in the glass tonight March 20th

Framingham Classic Riesling 2009

From the Cellar: Framingham Classic Riesling Marlborough 2009 – $$$

A single-vineyard wine from 28-year old vines. Bright green gold. 12%.

Lifted aromatic bouquet. I see age volatiles, TCN, and also pure and fruity qualities. Honeysuckle and my home-made lemon cordial.

A light-bodied off-dry wine, with ripe golden fruit in the mouth. I can taste honey, lemon-curd, Golden Delicious apples, ginger and mandarins. Good acidity on the finish with a zing on the tongue. Very long.

Went very well with tonight’s chicken curry – the sweetness lifted above the curry heat.

VG 4

What’s in the glass tonight March 20th

George Road Syrah 2012

George Road Syrah Waipara 2012

Bought by the glass at Mojo Poneke.

Pink magenta. Cool climate Syrah nose – herby, red cherries

In the mouth I tasted baking spice and aniseed, and soft ripe red stonefruit. A full bodied syrah. Lots of vanilla also – must have a seed pod hiding in the bottle. Nice drop.

From the producer’s website: The fruit for this wine was hand harvested in two separate passes from our Georges Road vineyard in Waipara. Vineyard soils are predominantly loam and gravel based. The vines are trained to a 2 cane VSP trellis with row spacing at 2.0m and vine spacing at 1.5m. A portion of the vines are at 1.0m. All the vines are of the Mass selected ‘Limmer’ clone on a mix of Riparia Gloire, 3309, 101-14 and Schwarzmann rootstocks. Each parcel of fruit was transported on the day of harvest to the winery for processing. Shoot and extensive crop thinning are employed to ensure optimum fruit quality at relatively low cropping levels of approximately 1kg per vine.

Each parcel of fruit was passed over a sorting table before being destemmed (without crushing) into small 1.5tonne open fermenters. Fermentation began naturally after an ambient soak of 3 days. The skins were regularly punched down and pumped over during ferment and the wine spent a total of 33 days cuvaison before being pressed, settled and racked to a mix of 1, 2 and 3 year old French oak. In oak the wine underwent a natural Malolactic fermentation and spent a total of 10 months in French oak barriques before being racked, blended and bottled in April the following year.

BTG 3+

What’s in the glass tonight March 18th

Felines Jourdan PDP 2013

Off Topic: Dom. Félines Jourdan Picpoul de Pinet Languedoc 2014 – $$

I tried this wine for the first time at an instore tasting at Regional Wines, and it played on my mind over the week, and finally I had to go back and get a bottle. I was really impressed with the freshness and linearity of the wine, and the maritime influences it exhibited in the glass.

It comes from a seaside producer near Meze in the Languedoc, southern France. Made from Picpoul Blanc grapes, Picpoul de Pinet is one of the named Crus of Côteaux du Languedoc. It produces crisp, citrussy wines with subtle mineral and nutty overtones. Domaine Felines Jourdan is one of the best producers in Pinet.

Light gold. 13%. On the nose, floral, aromatic, pears and pear tree blossom, salt sea air and fennel seed.

In the mouth, sweet ripe fruit, medium weight, luscious and fresh. Some aniseed at the back. It is a wonderful aperitif. Clean flavours + linear. Pleasant acidity on attack, good fruit in the middle, and saline notes to finish.

This wine is a bit like how a cross between Riesling and Pinot Gris might taste.

VG 4

Straight to the Pool Room – March 2015

Pool Room March 2015

L and I attended a fantastic tasting earlier in the week, and I bought a wee bit of this, and my first magnum!:

Te Mata Estate Coleraine Hawkes Bay 2013 – $$$+ Drink 2023-2043!

From the producer, “From the depths of its saturated inky appearance, Coleraine ’13 is a commanding statement of the vintage. Its powerful attack of beautifully ripened blackberries and black plums integrates with an accompanying surge of immediate tannin which quickly becomes the focus as the wine flows across the palate. Coleraine ’13 is a wine to contemplate, from a large glass, over several hours. It is a 30 year wine of impeccable style and character. Coleraine ’13. There is no comparison.”

The stuff of legends.” – Decanter Magazine, UK.

‘Twas nice to try a glass of it before I put these down to sleep.

What’s in the glass tonight March 16th

Astrolabe Awatere Valleys SB 2014

Astrolabe Awatere Valleys Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014 – $$

A straight example of SB compared to the first Astrolabe wine I tried earlier. I guess this is more the ‘reference’ wine that I was writing about.

Made from machine harvested fruit off the van Asch and Lissaman family vineyards in the lower Dashwood and central southern Awatere Valleys. Neutral yeast fermentation.

Pale straw. 13%. Typical true-to-type gooseberry/lime/tom stalk aroma characters. Not as intense as others made elsewhere in the ville. Smells refined in the glass.

Classic citrus splash in the mouth. Easy to drink, this. Mouthwatering finish. In a mineral style, less fruity. I taste lemon, wet gravel and herbs.

BTG 3+


What’s in the glass tonight March 11th

Craggy Range Kidnappers Chard 2013

Craggy Range Kidnappers Vineyard Chardonnay Hawkes Bay 2013 – $$

Craggy Range is a family-owned producer specialising in making single-vineyard wines.

This wine is grown at Te Awanga near Cape Kidnappers in Hawkes Bay. The headland was named after an attempt by local Māori to abduct the servant of a member of Captain Cook’s crew aboard HMS Endeavour, during a landfall there on 15 October 1769. The crew member was Tiata, a Tahitian accompanying Cook’s interpreter Tupaia. Cook’s journal states that Tiata was in the water near Endeavour when a Māori fishing boat pulled alongside and dragged him aboard. Sailors from Endeavour′s deck immediately opened fire on the fishing boat, killing two Māori and wounding a third. Tiata promptly jumped overboard and swam back to Endeavour, while the remaining Māori paddled their craft back to shore. A 4-pounder cannon was fired after them from Endeavour′s quarterdeck, but the Māori boat was soon out of range. Cook described the cape as having steep white cliffs on either side, with two large rocks resembling hay stacks near the headland. (From Wikipedia)

The wine is a pale straw colour. 13%. Clean, dense stonefruit on the nose. Pinenuts and vanilla.

Pure chardonnay to taste. Great balance between ripe fruit flavours and oak. Lovely citrus zest with a rich and smooth mouthfeel. Real concentration and depth and finish.

A very correct Chardonnay. Delicious.