What’s in the glass tonight June 7th – Chardonnay


Montana Reserve Chardonnay 2016

Montana Reserve Chardonnay Gisborne 2016 – $

I’m really confused by this volume value brand of wine. First it was named Montana. For years and years and years. Then the owners wanted to sell more wine into the States. But suffered buyer confusion about its name. Wine from Montana? They don’t make wine in Montana! So the powers-that-be switched names to Brancott, after one of the original vineyards in Marlborough. Which makes sense. And we move on. Then I see this wine in the supermarket, and they are back to selling wine under the name Montana. WTF?

Anyway, this is a simple wine. Soft ripe golden fruit, lightly aromatic, a core of ripe fruit to taste, nothing memorable, but serves as an acceptable aperitif and smoothes the days rough edges…

Commended 85 points

What’s in the glass tonight May 10th– Sauvignon Blanc


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The Luminary Sauvignon Blanc Martinborough 2016 – $$

Simple and uncomplicated, with a calm nose. Very typical of the restrained form of Kiwi savvy hailing from Martinborough. There is freshness and acidity as you would expect, and quality fruit weight . It has presence. But a little boring.

Recommended 88 points

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 February 13th – Chenin Blanc


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DeMorgenzon DMZ Chenin Blanc Stellenbosch 2016 – $$

Brilliant pale gold. 14% alc.

A DeMorgenzon Reserve Chenin scored very well in a recent Decanter tasting. This isn’t that one. That one is available for quite few dollars more at my favourite independent wineseller…

This one has a warm and distinctive bouquet with toffee, oaky honey, and citrus notes.

Minerally golden fruit flavours to taste. Slightly crunchy mouthfeel. An off-bitter and dry finish. Simple and lean and quite long.

Recommended  – 86 points

What’s in the glass tonight February 9th – Syrah


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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

 

What’s in the glass tonight December 3rd – Albariño


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Middle-Earth Albariño  Nelson 2016

Another wine style I haven’t tasted in a long while. I recall loving this variety.

A bunch of us were in Nelson riding the inaugural Abel Tasman Cycle Challenge – a 158km loop from Nelson up to Marahau in Golden bay and back. A flat gorgeous course.

In the afternoon L and I relaxed in the garden of the Free House, a craft beer and wine bar housed in an old ex-Dutch Reformed Church.

This wine was really lovely. Zesty citrus and passionfruit.

Highly Recommended – 91 points

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 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