Sacred Hill Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2017 – $
I have never been in love with this value tier of Sacred Hill wines (orange label). For several years I have found the Chardonnay wines all a bit underdone and bitter and it put me off.
However, this vintage of Savvy earned itself a Decanter Gold Medal at the 2017 Asia Wine Awards, and Winestate gave this 5 Stars, so something sincere must be going on in this bottle…
12.5% alc. Clearest pale straw colour.
Nice grassy and tomato-y and capsicum-y aromas lifting from the glass. Crispness and a sense of open space. Sharp apple.
Sharp and fresh fruit flavours to taste up front. A pleasant citrus tang. Short, bold. Agreeable fruit density.
Recommended 88 Points
Allan Scott Generations Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015 – $$
Pale gold colour – warmer looking than your typical Marlborough Sav. 12.5% alc.
Prescence of oak on the nose. Open and fresh, complex and aromatic. Soft golden fruit aromas, with a hint of flint.
Sweet front on the palate. Full of flavour. Crisp complex acid mouthfeel and a fine fruit finish of apples and lemons and orange peel. A delicious example.
Highly Recommended 90 points
Palliser Estate Sauvignon Blanc Martinborough 2017 – $$
As it appears on the tin, a ‘serious sav’. 12.5% alcohol. Palest clear straw colour.
Intensely aromatic with scents of apples, honey, gooseberries, pavlova (!) and passionfruit. Hints of grass and yellow capsicum.
Sweet and fresh entry, citrus flavours, bone-dry finish, short and stopping/must reload! Intensity again, green apples to the fore, apple pip, lemon pith, gorgeous and layered. Anyone who says that New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc can be a one-chord-wonder should try this wine. And it’s barely pupped from the tank!!
Highly Recommended 93 points
Off Topic: Delas Vin de Pays OC Viognier 2015 – $
12.5% alc. Brilliant gold colour.
Lightly aromatic, with apples and oranges, lightly spiced.
Delicious in the mouth. A rich and textured mouthfeel and a long spicy finish. I noted generous citrus orange flavours.
Terrific value at $15/bottle from Moore Wilsons!
Recommended 88 points
Stonecroft Gimblett Gravels Viognier Hawkes Bay 2016 – $$
The bottle’s label states that this is the third vintage of this wine, and the production volume comprised three barrels worth from the producer’s Roy’s Hill vineyard on the Gravels. A boutique release, then.
12.5% alc. Clear pale lemon / straw colour.
Aromatic, with pip fruit aromas up front, then showing melon, peach and honey, and soft and very sweet strawberries.
With such a nose, there were no surprises on palate. A sweet entry, with a creamy texture and ripe fruit through the middle, and a soft acid finish. Long.
Simple and nice.
Commended 85 points
From the Cellar: Mudhouse Pinot Noir Central Otago 2012 – $$$
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…