What’s in the glass tonight May 21st – Nebbiolo Barbera


Hihi Nebbiolo 2010 2011

From the Cellar: Hihi Nebbiolo Barbera Gisborne 2010/2011 – $$

There is an MS Barolo tasting approaching, so I thought to open a NZ Nebbiolo from my cellar, and get an early run at the variety. Not that I was expecting a wine of the quality that will be tasted with the Society, nevertheless I was still looking forward to seeing how a year in the cellar has affected it since I lasted tasted a bottle.

14% alc. Deep dusty carmine. The colour is right.

Light dusty florals on the nose,a  savoury note, dark fruits, smells hot, no trace of tar.

Cheery sweet entry on the palate, juicy fruit, medium body, a tannic edge, and not a long finish. An intriguing blend, this. Tending towards green, and with less body, intensity  and fullness that I was hoping for. I recall that this vintage in Gisborne was wet and cold, and the finished wine shows this.

Nevertheless, it is a wine to keep an eye out for, and I remain hopeful to try one from a warmer vintage if a bottle ever becomes available. I am watching the producer’s website, and waiting…

In the meantime, I have one more bottle left, which I will keep the full ten years. And we’ll see how that looks then.

Commended 85 points

What’s in the glass tonight May 11th– Merlot Cabernets blend


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Craggy Range Te Kahu Hawkes Bay 2015 – $$

It’s late at night. L is away at a Chiro conference in Melbourne, LG is in bed asleep, the boys are with their father, and I am sifting at the the computer, on the internet, which turns into blogging. I’m blogging about wine, while drinking this wine. Very meta.

Dark plum red. 14% alc.

The wine is showing somewhat thin and oddly structured on the nose on opening. Perhaps it’s a keeper and needs time?

Sure enough, it softened on standing in the glass, filling out and opening up, but still showed thin. There is fruit there as a backbone, with spice and heat, grunty tannin and dark cocoa, but it isn’t as rich or dense as the ’13 or ’14. A disappointment, this bottle.

It does show distinctive terroir, so I have marked it up

Commended 85 points

What’s in the glass tonight April 28th – Merlot


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Abbey Cellars Rapture Merlot Hawkes Bay 2013 – $$

Dark plum red colour. 14% alc.

A layered and chunky nose, soft ripe sweet black fruit, big on vanilla, and a bit funky. The funkiness got stronger as the wine got air.

Full and soft to drink. Medium tannins. A structural feel in the mouth, a soapy and spicy finish. I could feel the alcohol heat.

The wine then alarmingly wilted in the glass after time, and unpleasantly. I have rarely seen this. It either lacks the extract or fruit weight to sustain itself in contact with air, or it had been poorly stored. A very odd wine to work out – it opened so promising, and then fell over almost completely. A real shame.

Not rated.

What’s in the glass tonight April 18th – Shiraz


Serenity

Off Topic: Take It To The Grave Shiraz Barossa 2016 – $$

How’s the serenity?

Today marks the 20th anniversary of one of my favourite movies – The Castle.  In it, a working-class family from Melbourne, Australia, fights the city council after being told they must vacate their beloved family home to allow for infrastructural expansion. This comedy film became a cult hit, and spawned endless quotes – “it’s the vibe”, “suffer in your jocks”, and my personal favourite, “ this is going straight to the pool room”… Sound familiar?

I love it. And my darling L has never seen it, and she’s Australian!

So, in honour of the occasion, we opened a Shiraz. L bought it. I asked her to get me a Brown Brothers Heathcote Shiraz down the supermarket but they didn’t have any, so she bought this one on the strength of the striking label.

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Inky black plum colour. 14 % alc.

Smells soft and fruity, simple. Quite Rhone-like for an Aussie.

Soft rich fruit flavours. Simple and uncomplicated. White pepper, dark chocolate, fine tannins to finish. A classic BBQ quaffer..

Commended 85 Points

What’s in the glass tonight March 15th – Cotés du Rhone


Famille Quiot Jerome Quiot CdR 2014

Off Topic: Famille Quiot Jerome Quiot Cotés du Rhone Rouge 2014 – $$

I am off on a Rhone Rouge bender…Deep carmine. 14% alc.

A rustic fruit nose, with a little savoury note.

This was a cheapie. It showed simple and thin at first opening. It softened on standing to show some fruity lusciousness, but not enough. Continued to improve with air. Best for French barbecues, or beef with wine.

Commended 83 Points

What’s in the glass tonight December 11th – Syrah


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Abbey Cellars Eden Syrah Hawkes Bay 2013 – $$

L and I and kids headed out to a friends beach house to stay the night in the weekend. I bought this wine at an outlet on the way.

Deep carmine. 14%.

Reduction on the nose. Savoury. Oak. Black fruits. Cherries. Perfumed. Roses. A gorgeous nose, with very intriguing and complex notes.

Smoky to taste. Great fruit weight. Plums, figs, ginger & chocolate. Black and white pepper. Spicy. Complex tannins and long.

Outstanding – 95 points

single-malts

Things got a little confused after this, and few more reds. At one point we were comparing an single malt out of Auckland with a Dalwhinnie. I don’t recall much more after this photo was taken. A very generous host lead me willingly astray, and the next day was pretty much a write-off…

What’s in the glass tonight December 1st – Verdelho


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Esk Valley Verdelho Hawkes Bay 2016 – $$

I haven’t tried a Verdelho since ages ago! When I saw this on sale I just had to buy.

Pale gold. 14% alc.

Aromatic with sweet tropical fruity scents. Open and lifted, with notes of spice and honey and butter candy, and Golden Delicious apples.

To taste – sweet and ripe on entry, a citrus edge throughout the mid-palate, spicy and with a long finish. Unctuous and mouth-filling, textural and bold, with bountiful flavours of apples, mangoes and mandarines.

Recommended – 88 points

What’s in the glass tonight November 29th – Pinot Noir


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Locharburn Pinot Noir Central Otago 2013 – gift

The grapes for this wine were grown beside Lake Dunstan in the Cromwell basin from a single vineyard overlooking the Locharburn stream. It is not a label I am at all familiar with.

Dark carmine – a particularly dense-coloured Pinot. 14% alc.

It showed quite dumb the first night, but opened up beautifully graceful the second night

Soft savoury notes on the nose, I smelled dried herbs, very perfumed. There were strong fruit scents of dark cherries, touches of oak and vanilla, red roses, soap and crayon wax. Verging on being a Rhone…

A classic Cromwell Pinot Noir in the mouth. Reminds me of Wooing Tree, Beetlejuice and Mt Difficulty wines from that part of the country.  Sweet, rich and ripe. Flavours of dark cherries and plums. Fine-grained tannins. Raspy and textural. Long and hot, with a spicy finish.

Not at all a shrinking violet! I loved it.

Highly Recommended – 93 points

What’s in the glass tonight November 24th – Shiraz


barossa-valley-estate-cab-sav-2014

Barossa Valley Estate Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia 2014

A gift from the outlaws on my birthday. Thanks!

Inky carmine. 14% alc.

A rich nose, with scents of dark chocolate, vanilla and oak, ripe black plums, and a brace of boxes – cigar and cardboard.

Big in the mouth, and very attractive. Rich flavours, fresh, with a deep fruit intensity, and a sweet finish.

Very nice.

Highly Recommended – 90 points

What’s in the glass tonight November 10th – Pinot Gris


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Triplebank Pinot Gris Marlborough 2016 – $

Fresh off the fields, this. Another Awatere Valley wine.

Brilliant pale gold. 14% alc.

Nice fragrance, smells sweet and lifted, with notes of sweet apples and rock melon.

Fresh on attack, with sweet ripe golden fruit flavours up front. Lots of flavour, a creamy mouthfeel. Citrus line through the mid palate, and a slightly bitter finish. A nice spice catch on the back of the throat.

87 points