What’s in the glass tonight October 19th – Sauvignon Blanc


Grove Mill SB 2016

Grove Mill Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016 – $

The weather is turning warmer, and sunnier, and my palate cravings are in turn turning towards cool, crisp, craven Kiwi savs. To every season, turn, turn, etc.

This one should be a good’un – rated 96 points in a recent review in Decanter.

Pale straw colour. 12% alc.

Crisp apple and lemons on the nose. Green grass and crushed tomato leaf aromas, but not overbearing. Smells cool and clean.

Crisp and acidic on palate. Lively, intense zesty limes and gooseberries Lengthy, big, mouthwatering. This is a new benchmark for a value Sav. I have to agree with Decanter.

Outstanding 95 points

Advertisements

What’s in the glass tonight September 5th – Chardonnay


Te Mata Elston 2013

From the Cellar: Te Mata Estate Elston Chardonnay 2013 – $$$

From the great Hawkes Bay vintage. 14% alc. Bright gold colour.

Perfumed. Scents of butterscotch, apricots, citrus fruit, spice, hints of menthol and peppermint, honey and white roses.

Warm and rich attack, with a smooth mouthfeel through the middle. Great balance between acid and secondary fruit. Flavours of orange and orange peel oil. Long finish, crunchy with it; lively and mouthwatering.

A fine and complex wine, sophisticated, Burgundian. I really wish i had another bottle somewhere.

Outstanding 95 Points

What’s in the glass tonight July 19th – Gewurtztraminer


Peregrine Gewurtztraminer 2009

From the Cellar: Peregrine Gewurtztraminer Central Otago 2009 – $$

14% alc. Brilliant gold colour.

Geoff Kelly wrote of this wine in late 2013, “When Greg Hay was here from Peregrine, he dumbfounded us by showing what is one of the greatest gewurztraminers ever made in New Zealand, and then in the latter part of the discussion casually mentioned this 2009 was the last of the line. The vines had all been pulled out, he said, due to the low and alternate-year cropping. The wine is just beautiful, fragrant and fruit-rich, wonderful acid balance, great freshness and cellar potential, the gewurz spice building in mouth, a dryish wine. It should cellar for another eight years or so. It is essential in any cellar hoping to showcase the diversity New Zealand wines can achieve.”

So when I read this I went and bought the last two bottles on the shelves at Regional Wines…

An envelopingly aromatic and sweet bouquet:  developed, warm and ripe, with sweet notes of honey and toffee, and touches of mandarin and apple.

Sweet, smooth and ripe to taste. Toffee and caramel flavours. Saline. Fine flinty texture. A long, hot and spicy finish.

So poised and balanced and memorable. A few years ahead for this wine I think – I’ll probably open the second bottle in 2019.

Outstanding 95 points

What’s in the glass tonight January 9th – Sauvignon Blanc


palliser-estate-sauvignon-blanc-2015

Palliser Estate Sauvignon Blanc Martinborough 2015 – $$

Greenish pale straw colour. 13.5% alc.

I can feel the heat of the Martinborough days and the cool of the nights in the fresh mandarin and lemon bouquet of this wine. It smells of summer sun-blanched grassy hills beside the Ruamahunga River. Light and lifted, with clover honey and pear.

Sweet upfront to taste, there is a restrained citrus character supported through the middle with bags of sweet ripe fruit and bags of flavour. Utterly delish this is. It gives Te Mata’s Cape Crest a good run for the money!

Outstanding  – 95 points

 

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


abbey-syrah-2013

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 November 13th – Sauvignon Blanc


te-mata-cape-crest-2011

From the Cellar: Te Mata Estate Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc Hawkes Bay 2011 – $$$

Pale greenish gold. 13.5% alc.

This is consistently one of NZ’s finest wines, for the past half-dozen vintages at least. It is hard to approach tasting this wine dispassionately…

Sweet on the nose, aromatic and complex, with tropical notes of apples, gooseberries and ginger.

Flavours of ginger on the palate, apples and citrus. An excellent lightness of touch, a Hawkes Bay savvy that is softening agreeably, with oak complexity. Lots of fruit. Really splendid.

95 points

What’s in the glass tonight October 12th – Pinot Noir


felton-rd-block-3-pinot-noir-2011

From the Cellar: Felton Road Block 3 Pinot Noir Central Otago 2011 – $$$+

Another wine from one of New Zealand’s vinous rock stars.

Deep pinot ruby. 14% alc. Leggy.

Gorgeous perfumed nose. Savoury and hot, with brambly black cherries, herbs and thyme. Showing a deep intensity of bold fruit.

To drink the wine started sweet on attack, and was savoury through the mid-palate, and a herbal note towards the end. Ripe, finely textured, well balanced. Hot finish.

This is a very fine, yet grunty, pinot. Wants another five years to really exhibit its class. Shame I haven’t got another bottle..

Outstanding.

95 points

Felton Road Block 3

feltonroadsblock3pinotonleftwithwinemakerblairwalter2

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


cloudy-bay-te-koko-2011

From the Cellar: Cloudy Bay Te Koko Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2011 – $$$+

Oak fermented, with wild yeasts, this is one of NZ’s vinous rock stars – an icon, a unique wine, a sensory delight. I love it.

Pale gold. 13.5% alc.

Great refinement and complexity on nose. An aromatic delight with notes of citrus and golden fruit.

There was a lovely texture, depth to the wine in the mouth. It was expressive and distinctive – it spoke of place and winemaking craft. There was the sweetness of perfect ripe fruit. It lacked the assertive grassy-capsicum-ness of its stablemate, a relief. Exceptionally long for a savvy.

Outstanding.

95 points

What’s in the glass tonight – Pinot Noir


worth cellaring PN 2016 3jpg

Kusuda Pinot Noir Martinborough 2010 Bottle no. 4862 – $$$+

I have never drunk a Kusuda Pinot Noir. I have heard of the producer, read the odd review, seen a few pricey bottles in the shops, but never had the spare readies and access to buy at the same time. Known for high quality and made in Lilliputian quantities, and somewhat of a “cult wine” in these parts.

Proprietor and Winemaker Hiro Kusuda was profiled by Tim Atkin MW in the March edition of Decanter alongside other small producers who were all “Tearing up the Rule Book”. Hiro left the Japanese Foreign Office to stuffy Oenology in Germany, despite not knowing the language.

Atkin writes, “Perfectionism characterises everything that Kusuda does. Working at the sorting table, he and his team wear gloves to handle the grapes, inspecting every berry for the slightest imperfection, discarding anything that isn’t porcelain perfect”. The 2014 Pinot Noir is “drinkable, focused and beautifully refined, reflecting the values of the man who made it”.

And then, Stephen Spurrier in the June edition of Decanter tasted Kusuda’s 2015 Riesling (“beautiful expression of flowers, fruit and minerals”), 2014 Pinot Noir (“incredible purity”), 2013 Syrah (“a superb modern classic”). Great stuff. Makes me want…

Imagined how pleased I was when AS generously brought out a bottle of the 2010 Kusuda Pinot Noir to share with those of us taking part in the recent Worth Cellaring Pinot Noir tasting I wrote about in early September, to bookend and to illuminate the preceding flight.

This was a real treat. The wine had wonderful weight and persistence, preceded by a gorgeous bouquet. I saw a sweet attack, paired with superb weight and extract.

The bottle age and fine cellaring set it apart from the other wines, and showed them all up. Thrilling!

95 points

What’s in the glass tonight June 18th – Merlot Syrah Cab Sav


Ata Rangi Célèbre 2013

Ata Rangi Célèbre Martinborough 2013

Dark claret garnet. 13%

In reference to my previous post, this was one Célèbre that was NOT going to get away from me!

I chose it from the Akl Airport Duty Free Store cos it was one of the few fine wines for sale with a screw cap, as I was not sure that where we were flying to they would have a corkscrew in the hotel room…

Blend of Merlot 55% Syrah 35% balance of Cabernet Sauvignon.  From the fantastic ’13 vintage.

The Merlot provided softness and richness of black fruit. Syrah offered florality and bouquet. Cab Sav the tension and structure and weight of finish.

There was Vibrancy and expression through the roof. Sizzling acid. Spicy and plummy. Violets and wallflowers. Boysenberries and dark chocolate. The Syrah notes sang. Primary and mouthwatering.

Still too young now. This wine will live forever. It needs another 5 years alone to knit together into a legendary NZ wine.

A cracker! 95 points

Tasted from our balcony at the Fiji Sofitel Denarau. Life is good…:-)