Off Topic: Dom. du Vieux Prêche Sancerre Blanc ASC 2016 – $$
Greenish pale straw colour. 13.5% alc.
My first ever Sancerre Blanc. A wine from one of the two spiritual homes of New Zealand’s most famous wine export, the other being Pouilly-Fumé on the other side of the Loire.
Flat aromatically, open steely and minerally. Curry spice and celery. Lightly fruited – apples, apple pip, exotic pip fruit, balanced acidity expressed on the nose.
Lean and flat in the mouth. Minerals. Funk. None of the ‘dash and splash’ I am used to with an NZ Sauvignon Blanc. No energy or verve in this wine, seems old before it’s time, too cautious. I don’t know enough about this wine to know whether this taste impression is authentic. It can be only confirmed by other bottles. And while I am interested to learn, life is short, and I may stick with what I know and love.
Looking at this wine in isolation, it is pleasant and moreish and drinkable. Like typical old world wines it improves on standing in the glass and with food, and opens up somewhat to show more fruit flavour, but it’s still thin. Emperors clothes, I feel, for this one.
Recommended 84 points
Off Topic: Bleeding Heart Shiraz Lower Murray McLaren Vale 2015 – $
13.5% alc. Deep ruby colour.
Bright fruit on aroma, red cherries. Dusty. Some spice.
Sweet attack, and a medium heavy bodied wine to srink. Meaty. Dusty and powdery tannins. A lean finish. Short, closed.
Commended 84 points
Sileni Cellar Selection Syrah Hawkes Bay 2016 – $
Deep magenta colour. 12.5% alc. A value quaffer. L quite likes their Cabernet Franc Rosé.
This wine shows simple, soft fruit on the nose, with an itch of white pepper.
Soft ripe red plum flavours, medium tannins. Uncomplicated, and finishes long. Well-made for the price.
Commended – 84 points
Craggy Range Te Muna Road Riesling Martinborough 2014 – $$
Pale gold colour. 11.5% alc.
Steely cut-thru on the nose, crisp and ticklish, with scents of lemon and apple and a bit of clover honey.
Off dry. Austere and linear, with crisp citrus fruit flavours, short and sharp. Young and somewhat one-dimensional, but good for the heat of a summer’s afternoon, something that this season has been in short supply of.
Commended – 84 points
Cotterell’s 1843 Pinot Noir Marlborough 2013 – $$
Pinot ruby. 13% alc.
Light savoury aromas, dark cherries, brown paper, herbs.
Smooth in the mouth. Fine texture. Light ripe fruit. Medium weight. Bright acid and spice on a medium-long finish. Reasonable
Escarpment Chardonnay Martinborough 2011 – $$
L and I stayed the night at the Martinborough Hotel to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. We didn’t get there until mid-afternoon, but managed to fit in a cheeky 50km ride out towards Lake Ferry and back via Kahutara Rd before dinner at Pinnochio Restaurant just off the main square. Very nice it was as well. They ran out of the dessert that L was keen on, so we shared a dessert and sticky back at the hotel.
This wine I chose as an aperitif before dinner…
Pale straw. 13.5%
Refined bouquet. Elegant. Some mealy aromas. Citrus dominant.
Lean & austere, somewhat sharp with citrus & minerals. Crisp, fresh and short. No where near as warm and full as the 2012 we drank a month ago…
Not destined to be a favourite, and somewhat fragile, as the flavours did not survive the trip back into town the next day.
Ka Tahi Merlot Malbec Hawkes Bay 2013 – $
Under the watchful eye of Napier Hill, in Pandora lies the home of Ka Tahi Wines. Here is another wine from this producer…A blend of 85% Te Awanga Merlot with 15% Gimblett Gravels Malbec.
Inky carmine. 13.8%.
It started light and a little thin in the glass, but softened and deepened over time.
Lifted dark fruit aromas of blackcurrants and ripe Black Doris. Quite savoury also, with pleasant vanilla and spice notes.
Upfront, in the mouth, the wine was soft, with drying tannins on the mid-palate, and some acid showing at the death. Quite long, the acid made it mouthwatering, but that could also be indicative of some shortness of body. Quite attractive, and a good BBQ wine. It went well with our mild lamb curry.
Ka Tahi Chardonnay Hawkes Bay 2015 – $
Ka Tahi means the one in Te Reo. It looks to be a negociant wine. Pale gold colour. 13%.
Fragrant peach, nectarines, manuka honey. It smells very developed for a 2015! Almost Burgundian in character.
Flavours in the mouth of apples, citrus, mandarin, nectarine, butterscotch. There is a zesty sharp attack with this wine, crunchy mouthfeel, medium length. Nice weight and ripeness to this value quaffer.
Escarpment The Edge Pinot Noir Martinborough 2015 – $$
A red wine for the end of my working week, as rain and wind sweeps the streets outside and sends pedestrians scurrying…
Deep blushing pink carmine colour. 13.5% alc.
Ripe red berry aromas, tending jammy.
Sweet in the mouth, very ripe, not much nuance. Plenty of fruit flavour and intensity – a luscious style of pinot. A bit too simple & direct for my taste. accessible it may be, but not interesting at all. Little tannin on palate, and with new oak apparent, this is not the cool-climate damsel that I prefer… 84 points.