What’s in the glass tonight January 23rd – Riesling

Framingham F-Series riesling 2010

From the Cellar: Framingham F-Series Old Vine Riesling Marlborough 2010 – $$$

Great Germanic-style label. Bought from the Winery. 12.5% alc

Green gold colour. Just gorgeous.

Luscious fruit ‘n phenolics, tropical fruit aromas, lychees, fresh crusty bread, and that fantastic Riesling ‘tang’. This has it all going on. On a hot arvo it can’t be beat!

In the mouth: an off-dry style of Riesling. Delicious fruit flavours: Braeburrn apples meet pineapple lemon ice blocks. A hit of citrus, refreshing and mouthwatering.

This is a simple Riesling, but still expressive. It shows off what we look for in wine – balance and structure – which in this case is the right sweetness balanced by the right acidity.

Abso lovely.


What’s in the glass tonight March 20th

Framingham Classic Riesling 2009

From the Cellar: Framingham Classic Riesling Marlborough 2009 – $$$

A single-vineyard wine from 28-year old vines. Bright green gold. 12%.

Lifted aromatic bouquet. I see age volatiles, TCN, and also pure and fruity qualities. Honeysuckle and my home-made lemon cordial.

A light-bodied off-dry wine, with ripe golden fruit in the mouth. I can taste honey, lemon-curd, Golden Delicious apples, ginger and mandarins. Good acidity on the finish with a zing on the tongue. Very long.

Went very well with tonight’s chicken curry – the sweetness lifted above the curry heat.

VG 4

Straight to the Pool Room – November 2014

Pool Room Nov 2014

A small selection of leftovers from the big party, and a couple of gifts:

Moët & Chandon NV – drink 2015-2017. Gift. Not sure of the disgorgement date. Going to hold on to it until Christmas Day I expect and share it with L and our parents. I don’t drink enough good bubbles!

Chateau Teyssier St Emilion Grand Cru 2010 – drink 2015-2020. A gift from a good friend. High 80s points I think.

Thistle Ridge Pinot Noir Waipara 2013 – drink 2016-2017. Not built for that long a hibernation I think but worth a punt.

Framingham Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014 – drink 2015-2017.

I have a short list of value NZ 2013s I still want to collect before the year is out, so may add to the Pool Room shortly.


What’s in the glass tonight November 1st

Framingham Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Framingham Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014 – $$

Test driving one of the wines I am serving at my 50th…

Pale straw colour. 13%. Typical Marlborough varietal nose of lime and tomato stalk. Light in the mouth. Passion fruit, bright citrus acidity and freshness. Notes of orange at the back. Tasty. 4

What’s in the glass tonight April 13th



Framingham Marlborough Montepulciano 2009 – $$$

The wheels came off this one I fear. I have no experience with this variety so it’s difficult to know what to expect. I had high hopes though…

The colour looked promising. Black plum colour. 13%. But there was no enticing aroma from the glass.

The wine was thin and watery in the mouth. Even after sitting it a while to open up it remained lifeless and metallic. No richness. No ripeness.

I kept the bottle for a few days and it wasn’t until the third day that it started showing some of the cherries, tar and spice it claimed on the tin. Too little too late. 2

Straight to the Pool Room – Graperide Special


All Graperide entrants who competed the year before are given a free bottle of Forrest Marlborough Pinot Noir at Registration. This year it was the 10th anniversary of the fun ride, so the Good Doctors decided to Supersize the offer and give us all a Magnum of said vino.

I brought a bottle of 1993 Matua Cab Sav to drink at the Friday night pre-ride potluck dinner/carbo-load. It was absolute muck. To call it vinegar does disservice to real vinegars. So I was forced to open my magnum…

Fortunately L kept her magnum tightly sealed so into the Pool Room it goes…along with a standard 750ml bottle of same that L won for taking out top spot in her event!

Forrest Pinot Noir 2013 – drink 2016

Framingham Marlborough Old Vine Riesling 2013  – drink 2016-2018. Bought at the winery

What’s in the glass tonight April 8th


Framingham Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 – $$
A great weekend in Marlborough for Graperide 2014.

My highlights were flying low over the golden crags of the inland Kaikoura Ranges into Blenheim airport on the Friday night, knocking off over eight minutes off my PB during the race the next day, then enjoying a lovely meal with L and our cycling mates at the 12 Trees Restaurant at Allan Scott Vineyard that night. I also loved giving my wee LG a big hug on arrival back in Wellington. Lucky man am I!

L and I bought this wine during a visit to a couple of wineries on Sunday.

We rocked up at Framingham at the same time as a coachload of tourists. Things were looking crowded in the cellar door. We didn’t have much time and so were thinking of bailing out for the Ferry. Luckily one of the friendly staff saw us heading for the door, and encouraged us to try a number of their rieslings. A good move. We tried the Classic, Old Vine and Dry Rieslings. I took no notes, but we liked…

I bought a bottle of the Old Vine Riesling 2013 for the Pool Room, and a Montepulciano 2009 to drink now, along with this Sauvignon Blanc…

Pale straw, 13%. Light nose of gooseberries, grapefruit and green tomatoes. Ripe citrus flavours in the mouth: a good balance between being both round and piquant. Very tasty. Food-friendly. A bottle that emptied fast. 4

Earlier in the day we visited Cloudy Bay to have a try of the latest Te Koko. We didn’t like it nearly as much as last year’s model, so we didn’t get any. I did like the 2011 Chardonnay, the 2006 Pelorus Vintage fizzy. The Mustang Vineyard SV Pinot Noir was wonderful, which I rated as a 4+, but at $74 a bottle I had to leave it on the shelf…

Straight to the Pool Room – February 2014

Pool Room Feb 2014

On the radio last Friday, Belinda Jackson recommended the Terrace Edge riesling for cellaring. She may have even recommended the sav on an earlier show too, but I forget exactly. Somebody must have, anyway…

Terrace Edge Liquid Geography Waipara Riesling 2012 – $$ – drink 2017+

Framingham Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 – $$ – drink 2015

What was in the glass this Christmas


This year I travelled up-country with LG to visit my folks for Christmas. My sister came down from south Auckland to join us. It was the first time all of us adults had been together at Christmastime for maybe 20 years. Wow.

As usual, I lined up a few bottles to enjoy over the period. Over the preceding year I deposited money each grocery shop into my supermarket’s Christmas Club to buy the feast food and some good wines and not break the bank doing it. I bought nothing at all ‘prestige’ this time, but grabbed a few new and interesting wines worth a look by both my reckoning and that of others.

We started the afternoon with a few glasses of bubbles. First up was my parents choice; Hihi Gizzy Fizzy NV from Gisborne. I knew nothing about this wine beforehand and even less after drinking it, cos it was cut with orange juice. A sparkling “blanc de blanc” made from chardonnay grapes. Nice to drink, but impossible to score.

Then I splashed out on Lindauer Special Brut NV – $. Heh. This wine is a cliché. Pound for pound, it should be claimed as NZ’s best wine if you allow for the volume in which it is produced, its uniformity of style, and price. The Reserve is better, but this always scores a solid 3. Dependable bargain bracing bubbliness, if a bit metallic.

Sister then brought out the Deutz NV – $$$. Methode Traditionale from Marlborough. Brioche and bubbles and elegant dryness. 3.75.

Then we got down to the serious business of the turkey and ham. For that I opened a Villa Maria Cellar Selection Hawkes Bay Viognier 2013 – $$. Pale gold. 14%. Gorgeous aroma of apricots and bush honey. Dry and spicy in the mouth, with more apricots. Full on palate with ripe fruit, but restrained. Not as oily as other examples I have tasted, and better for it I think. If a wine can express a sense of a place like Hawkes Bay this one does. I can see the heat and rolling golden summertime hills in its flavours and texture. 3.75


The next day over leftover Christmas ham and salad we shared a bottle of Framingham Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 – $$. My parents like savs. Fruit from the Wairau Valley. 13%. Pale straw colour.  Pungent aroma of pears. Mouthfuls of grapefruit and passionfruit. Fresh, herby, slightly sweet. Wet stone minerals. 4

Along the way I also had a few bottles of Mac’s Sassy Red beer with Dad. Hoppy and bitter; proper ale, and not sweet like the childs beer this country is awash with.