From the Cellar: Mudhouse Pinot Noir Central Otago 2012 – $$$
Dark carmine. 12.5% alc.
This was recommended to me a while back by some writer, so I bought a brace for the Pool Room. Opening time…!
I saw a savoury and spicy note under a carpet of herb. Dark fruit, showing depth and intensity of bouquet, with cardboard and boiled lolly.
In the mouth the wine was full and rich. Ripe black cherries carried through to the end with no bitterness or loss of extract. Heat on the back palate. Just lovely.
Highly Recommended – 90 points
Dauvergne Ranvier St Joseph 2012 – $$$
Dark carmine colour. 12.5% alc.
Fairly average I have to say. Shows some varietal and terroir character, but is less round and plump than I had hoped. An entry-level St Joseph perhaps?
Recommended – 86 points
Sileni Cellar Selection Syrah Hawkes Bay 2016 – $
Deep magenta colour. 12.5% alc. A value quaffer. L quite likes their Cabernet Franc Rosé.
This wine shows simple, soft fruit on the nose, with an itch of white pepper.
Soft ripe red plum flavours, medium tannins. Uncomplicated, and finishes long. Well-made for the price.
Commended – 84 points
From the Cellar: Sacred Hill Chardonnay Hawkes Bay 2012 – $$
Gold colour. 12.5%
Mealy secondary aromas. Cashews, butterscotch, apricots. Interesting.
I taste dulled fruit, a bit thin at first look, and citrus. This wine died in the glass in a relatively short time, and became unrewarding. Some wines improve with a bit of age, but this was not one of them. Oh well.
Gibbston Valley Gold River Chardonnay Hawkes Bay 2012 – $
I am always a sucker when I see an older wine for sale on the shelves of my local supermarket. This one bore a 60% reduction in price, which indicated there may be a problem here, but I took a punt on it nonetheless. The producer has a good reputation.
Golden yellow colour, looking developed. 12.5% alc.
It smelled like it was almost on the turn, with oxidation on the nose, and showing in the colour.
Some acid to taste, butterscotch and almonds, apricots and peaches and lemons. Perhaps a bit soft on attack, but it got leaner and crisper through the mid-palate and finish. Below average. I must avoid heavily discounted older wines…
Off Topic: Louis Bernard Cotes du Rhone 2013 – $$
Dark purple plum. 12.5% alc.
My nose is full of cold and I can hardly smell a thing, but this wine tastes pretty good – soft, ripe and fruity. Good density and balance. A nip of tannin. There are savoury aromas there as well, but I shouldn’t trust the olfactory equipment too much tonight…
We are off to Fiji in the morning for a few days in the sun, and life is swell! 88 points
Main Divide Riesling Waipara 2013 – $$
Pale golden yellow colour. 12.5% alc.
The nose is full and expressive with aromas of mandarin orange and honey and lemon citrus. Some secondary phenolic bouquet starting to show. Some mineral character as well.
Medium sweetness on palate. Fine, soft and sweet to taste. Primary tropical fruit flavours, honey and mandarin. A finely textured wine.
Melness Riesling Waipara 2013
This wine is part of the Kahurangi Estate portfolio. Melness Wines was established in Cust, North Canterbury by the Marshall family, and named after a coastal village in the Scottish Highlands where the ancestors of the founders hale from. It was sold in 2005.
Green gold colour. 12.5%.
First thing I noticed was that lovely hit of typical Riesling phenolics on the nose, followed on by aromas of caramel, apricots, butterscotch, honeycomb and hokey-pokey. All redolent of a medium style Riesling.
Sweet, and very ‘grapey’ to taste. Flavours of mandarins and Gran Marnier came through strongly.
A wine for Riesling enthusiasts, due to it’s sweetness. This will cellar well for 10 years +.
Grava Sauvignon Blanc Martinborough 2015 – $$
Grava is a brand-new winegrower and producer in Martinborough. They make a Savvy, a Riesling, and a Pinot Noir (natch). They have taken over an established vineyard, but I know not which one. The Grava Wines website is a single-page affair at present – no doubt this will evolve as their wines do.
I tried the first two varieties at an instore tasting a week back. The Sauvignon Blanc won me over immediately and I bought a bottle for the Pool Room, and one for the table.
12.5% alc. Nice to have a wine slightly lighter on the alcohol scale. Whole bunch pressed.
This wine is refined and restrained for its variety. The bouquet is clear elevated citrus, pear and gooseberry. What’s missing, but not lacking, is the assertive green capsicum notes of its southern counterparts. Very attractive.
Impressive in the mouth also – elegance and freshness, with sweet ripe fruit on attack, a citrus acid burst and passionfruit on the mid-palate, and a long acid/bitter finish. Terrific.
A distinctive and innovative label also – featuring a bunch of grapes on a white background but the grapes are replaced by grey stones. Clever.
From the Cellar: Framingham F-Series Old Vine Riesling Marlborough 2010 – $$$
Great Germanic-style label. Bought from the Winery. 12.5% alc
Green gold colour. Just gorgeous.
Luscious fruit ‘n phenolics, tropical fruit aromas, lychees, fresh crusty bread, and that fantastic Riesling ‘tang’. This has it all going on. On a hot arvo it can’t be beat!
In the mouth: an off-dry style of Riesling. Delicious fruit flavours: Braeburrn apples meet pineapple lemon ice blocks. A hit of citrus, refreshing and mouthwatering.
This is a simple Riesling, but still expressive. It shows off what we look for in wine – balance and structure – which in this case is the right sweetness balanced by the right acidity.