What’s in the glass tonight Aug 8th


Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay 2013

Off Topic: Kendall-Jackson Vintners Reserve Chardonnay California 2013 – $$

I always enjoy the opportinity to aste wines from California. As I have written before, we don’t see too many on our shores. Not sure why. Maybe the exchange rate doesn’t make the trade stack up? But the wines I have tried taste great, and certainly give better value than some French varieties.

This wine exhibited a pale gold colour. 12.5% alc.

Soft & oaky. Vanilla & peaches.

Quite sweet on attack. Ripe flavours of golden stonefruit. Biscuit notes. Mouthfilling and big, but not overwrought. A very good example I think.

VG 4

What’s in the glass tonight Aug 7th


Ch. Bellevue

Off Topic: Ch. Bellevue Bordeaux Supérieur Sauveterre de Guyenne 2012 – $$

Stephen Brook writing recently in Decanter said of the 2012 Bordeaux vintage, “ Extreme weather made 2012 a tricky vintage to handle in Bordeaux, but a selective buyer can find quality”.

We don’t get much selection down in this part of the world, if we choose to select from the levels below grand cru, but my local wine store rated this wine quite highly.

Dark crimson. 12.5%. Savoury, muscular, almost meaty nose. I smell warm bread, dark fruit, figs.

It is lively in the glass, with structure and supple tannins, and a good level of fruit flavour and intensity. A good drop for less that a twenty. Would look even better in a couple of years.

BTG 3+

What’s in the glass tonight Aug 4th


KR Coddington Chardonnay 2010

From the Cellar: Kumeu River Coddington SV Chardonnay Auckland 2010 – $$$+

At a long-ago KR tasting, this was my favourite Chardonnay, from the Coddington single vineyard, so I saved up and bought a bottle. I opened it tonight to celebrate putting my old house on the market…

Pale gold. 13.5% alc.

Fine and perfumed. Oily, even.

Tertiary flavours – unctuous. Fine line of citrus throughout. Biscuity. A sharp finish with apples at the death. Superb wine at a good age. Suited the Mac Cheese dinner. too.

BTVG 4+

P1040764

This was where I picked up the pieces after my separation. Thanks for the good memories, House…

What’s in the glass tonight Aug 3rd


Hop Zombie IPA

Just the two of us.

No kids. So we went out to Bebemos in Newtown for dinner. L had steak. I had a delicious Feijoada. Yum.

I paired it with Epic Hop Zombie double IPA. 8.5%. Hefty hop flavour with melon, quite creamy, not bitter. Very drinkable.

What’s in the glass tonight August 1st


Tiki Chardonnay 2014

Tiki Chardonnay Hawkes Bay 2014 – $$

L took this wine up to the snow. I had a wee taste to write it up…It was great!

13.5%. Oak nose with nice, elegant stone fruit aromas. This carried through on palate with additional melon flavours. A lovely fresh line of citrus cutting through the fruit. Gorgeous. A supermarket surprise.

VG 4

What’s in the glass tonight Aug 1st


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From the Cellar: Ascension Vineyard The Benediction Merlot Hawkes Bay 2010 – $$$

A long while back I took L along as my date for the first time to my firms Christmas function. We flew up to Auckland and took a chartered bus ride up to Matakana. It was a great day, hot and sunny. We had a look around the local market before heading out to Ascension Vineyard for a winery tour and lunch. On the way there we took part in a wine quiz. My team won (of course 🙂 ). My prize was the selection of this bottle from the vineyard’s cellar door…

…which I opened up at the RSC Lodge on Swiss National Day (the club has had resident Swiss instructors every season since the mid-50’s).

13.5% alc. Deep crimson. This wine started life inside 70 yr-old two-inch thick Totara fermentation vats.

Tertiary on the nose. Soft black plum, Cedar. Vanilla. Wood. Great structure and grainy tannins. Dark chocolate and a spicy finish. Very long. Just fabulous.

A real shame but this producer went out of business last year or the year before. The wine business is a tough one…

BTVG 4+

What’s in the glass tonight July 30th


Vidal Reserve Syrah 2010

From the Cellar: Vidal Reserve Syrah Hawkes Bay 2010 – $$

Champion wine at the 2012 Speiglau Wine Competition. I bought this bottle for less than $20!

Tertiary nose. Dense with vanilla and dried dark fruit. Powerful and impactful. Smells wonderful, despite being served a bit too cold from the cellar.

Dense fruit flavours. Grippy. Hint of brown paper. Sweet on the mid-palate. Showing really ripe fruit. Rhone-like. Delicious. I love it when a plan comes together!

BTVG 4+