What’s in the glass tonight June 21st – Sauvignon Blanc


Greystone SB

Greystone Barrel-Fermented Sauvignon Blanc Waipara 2016 – $

13.5% alc. Pale straw colour.

A gorgeous textural wine. Indigenous yeasts and oak handling give this wine complexity and engagement. Perhaps not a classical NZ sav in style, but it still shows tropical fruit notes and open airs of citrus.

Sweet entry on palate, mealy, rich ripe fruit flavours. Golden goodness I say. Unmistakably a savvy, but this is sav+. I think this is fantastic, and a keeper.

A new fav.

Outstanding 95 points.

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What’s in the glass tonight June 12th – Chardonnay


Millton Crazy By Nature Chard 2016

Millton Crazy By Nature Shotberry Vineyard Chardonnay Gisborne 2016 – $

An organic wine from the Gisborne biodynamic vigneron. Their easy-drinking fun mid-week wine brand.

12.5% alc. Mid-gold in colour.

Soft, sweet and ripe golden stonefruit bouquet, with scents of orange and orange peel, citrus sharpness on the nose, a mineral note, and wild herbs. Distinctive aromas, funky.

Soft mouthfeel, sweet and a little flabby with the malo treatment. Lacks a little focus. Shows the ‘sore-throat’ roughness at the back of the throat that some Chardonnays exhibit. Not sure why that is. A tingly feel in the mouth. Viscous and textural, but also so light. Could have been picked earlier I think.

Recommended 85 points.

What’s in the glass tonight May 25th – Shiraz


Sula Narshik Shiraz 2016

Off Topic: Sula Vineyards Shiraz Nashik India 2016 – $

I love tea from Assam and Darjeeling, and exclusively drink it, but Indian wine is a first for me.

Deep dark ruby. 13% alc.

Soft dark fruit aromas and minerals, white pepper, heavy spice, cinnamon, prunes and licorice.

Surprisingly lean and minerally in the mouth, with spicy plum and stewed fruit notes and a raspy tannic finish, but rough and lacking in grace and smoothness for a shiraz.

When opened the night before this wine showed more fruit and softness then, but clearly has hardened up and faded overnight.

Fair 80 points.

What’s in the glass tonight April 10th – Cabernet Merlot


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Bell Bird Bay Cabernet Merlot Hawkes Bay 2011 – $

Raymond Chan writes in his review of this wine, “70% Merlot, 13% Malbec, 11% Cabernet Franc and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Bridge Pa Triangle district”

Deep ruby colour. 13% alc.

Depp fruit aromas, softness, oak, vanilla, somewhat secondary.

The merlot component imbues softness and luscious dark fruits on palate, with structure from the cabernet components. Slight herbiness. Harmonious.

This wine harbours no faults from age or storage which I have found is rare with aged wines at this price point. A great aged example in this case.

Recommended 86 Points

What’s in the glass tonight April 5th – Graciano


Oveja Tinta Graciano 2016

Off Topic: Oveja Tinta Graciano Cuenca Espana 2016 – $

Graciano is one of Spain’s best kept wine secrets – a red grape with thick skins that is a tricky customer to grow, which means there’s precious little of it, even in the vineyards of the Rioja, where it is often called ‘the virtual grape’- and is a traditional ingredient in the wine of the same name.

Deep carmine colour. 14.5% alc.

Fruity and opulent.

High acid, refreshing and juicy. Great fruit depth and ripeness. Potential to age. Grunty.

Highly Recommended 90 Points

 

What’s in the glass tonight April 1st – Chardonnay


Spy Valley Chard 15

Spy Valley Chardonnay Marlborough 2015 – $

In my opinion, this wine is consistently one of NZs best Chardonnays, vintage on vintage. Must be the site. I have ridden out there a few times. A lovely part of the world.

13% alc. Pale gold colour.

Mealy, golden fruit, aromatic and fine. Notes of oak, vanilla, apricot and mandarin orange and peel.

Fresh and crunchy to taste. Crispness, oak complexity, malo note on the back palate, and meal. Great structure and body. A wine for aging.

Highly Recommended 90 Points

What’s in the glass tonight March 31st – Dry Riesling


Villa Maria Dry Riesling 2016

Villa Maria Dry Riesling Marlborough Bay 2016 – $

12% alc. Pale greenish straw colour.

Earlier vintages have been my “WOTY” previously.

This one is not so stellar. Sharp citrus on nose, befitting a drier style of Riesling. Aromas of crisp apple and grapes.

Fresh entry on palate, with soft-ish texture. Quite linear fruit and an acid finish. Moderate intensity. Lacking some focus and intensity. An underwhelming example this time around.

Commended 85 Points

What’s in the glass tonight March 29th – Syrah


Bell Bird Bay Syrah 2014

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

 

What’s in the glass tonight March 26th – Côtes du Rhône


E Guigal CdR 2013

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