Bell Bird Bay Reserve Syrah Hawkes Bay 2014 – $
13.5% alc. Deep ruby.
Soft and savoury dark red fruit aromas. Prominent vanilla note to start then this largely blew off. Hint of oxidation. Hint of spice.
Soft and full entry, dry sweetness, sharp and spicy finish. Medium tannins, grippy. Vanilla on the palate with strong oak character. Showing reserve fruit depth and body. Long on the tongue.
I see this wine as quite out of balance re oak/tannin/acid, but it has good bones and delivers a characterful and rewarding drop for the (very little) money. A party wine, this
Recommended 87 Points
Off Topic: E Guigal Côtes du Rhône Rouge 2013 – $
14% alc. Dark ruby.
This is the world’s foremost high-volume quality red wine. Here is this year’s vintage release, eagerly anticipated:
Earthy, spicy note. Dark red plums. Fresh.
Supple ripe dark red fruit flavours, medium tannins, grippy spicy finish. Zippy and spirited. Luscious mouthfeel. Strong, long. Quite striking.
This wine will last another 10+ years easy. Drinking so well now.
Highly Recommended 90 Points
Escarpment The Edge Pinot Noir Martinborough 2016 – $$
This is the value tier PN product for this producer.
Peter Richards MW in Decanter magazine included this wine in his February 2018 article “30 great New World buys under GDP30, and rated it 91 points. He wrote, “brilliant, great value example. Elegantly bittersweet, poised, spicy and engaging.”
14.2% alc. Dark carmine colour.
Aromatic, soft and fruity. Black cherries, savouriness and spice and soap.
Soft in the mouth, with dark fruits and spice evident. A soapy finish and hot. Real generous fruit weight with no bitterness or thinness on the rear palate that I see in other NZ pinots at this price point.
My only fault with this wine is that it is too alcoholic. Loses grace.
Recommended 88 Points