Astrolabe Kekerengu Coast Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015 – $$
From a reference producer of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, this wine is one of their series of wines exploring sub-regional expressions of the varietal, this example from near the southern coast of Marlborough.
Pale green straw colour. 13% alc.
Grassy and green on the nose. Green capsicum and gooseberries. Apples. A lichen salinity. Ascetic and austere.
Intense and long flavours. Limes and citrus, green tomatoes. Astringent. A grassy long note. Yet still full-flavoured within the confines of the style. Liking the expression of austerity very much!
Highly Recommended 91 points
Dashwood Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016 – $
Another fantastic Savvy, and cheap too!
Pale straw colour. 13% alc.
A cheery and lively nose, this wine boasted the strongest expression of passionfruit I have ever smelt in a Sauvignon Blanc. There was more to smell every time I went back to the glass: lemons, limes, green apples, hops. Remarkable.
It was crisp and full-flavoured to drink, with a dry apple pip finish.
Highly Recommended 94 points
Grove Mill Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016 – $
The weather is turning warmer, and sunnier, and my palate cravings are in turn turning towards cool, crisp, craven Kiwi savs. To every season, turn, turn, etc.
This one should be a good’un – rated 96 points in a recent review in Decanter.
Pale straw colour. 12% alc.
Crisp apple and lemons on the nose. Green grass and crushed tomato leaf aromas, but not overbearing. Smells cool and clean.
Crisp and acidic on palate. Lively, intense zesty limes and gooseberries Lengthy, big, mouthwatering. This is a new benchmark for a value Sav. I have to agree with Decanter.
Outstanding 95 points
A brace of 98 point wines this month:
Tinpot Hut Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016 – $$ – drink 2020-2024. Decanter rated this Exceptional / 98 points in their review of NZ Sauvignon Blanc in the August 2017 issue! My new fav wine shop sold out of this wine almost immediately, but I managed to get a couple from their repeat order.
I also read of a couple of others I’ll buy separately – Grove Mill Sauvignon Blanc 2016 at 95 points and Wairau Valley Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2016 at 95 points also.
I also managed to collect a couple of Rhones – a bottle of 2003 Yann Chave Hermitage, and a 2003 Delas Hermitage Les Bessards, which I am looking forward to opening in due course.
Giesen Riesling Marlborough 2015 – $$
The queen of wines. 10% alc. Pale greenish straw. Off-medium sweet.
Sweetly aromatic – apples, melons, ripe green grapes, and licorice.
Sweet and very juicy foretaste. Mouthwatering. Fruity, apples again, and confectionery. Goes on and on.
Very moreish – a delicious wine.
Recommended 88 Points
Grove Mill Chardonnay Marlborough 2014 – $
This was a label from the past. I used to drink this wine way back when, when I thought wine like this was alright. So when I saw this bottle I thought to revisit the past, and see if it was as good a wine as I remembered.
Sinewy citrus and stonefruit aromas, acidity, ever so slightly oxidised, with some secondary characters starting to emerge.
Lively fruit and acid on palate. Flavours of butterscotch. Mouthfilling creamy malo smoothness.
Fair 82 points
Over the past couple of weeks my bloggage production has approached zero. Too much going on. No time to write. Now is the first time I can catch up on a few value wines that perhaps do not warrant a post on their only lonesome…
March 29th – Stoneleigh Latitude Chardonnay Marlborough 2015 – $$
13.5% ABV, and a light yellow gold colour. I usually like these wines. This one shows a pleasant mealy nose, with apricots and spice and caramel, ripe and golden. To taste it opens with sweet lemon, then shows rich and full, with honey and butterscotch, slightly spicy and a mild acid finish. A touch too full and flabby. Would improve with being more crystalline and austere, but that goes against the house style somewhat.
Recommended 89 Points
April 2nd – From the Cellar: Dashwood Chardonnay Marlborough 2012 – $
13.5% ABV, and a bright pale gold colour. This is a cheery quaffer! Fresh and pungent lifted aromas of peaches and apricots. Citrus notes add a fresh zing. Sweet attack on palate and finishes with a strong acid line. A touch of tertiary development. Worthwhile keeping, this!
Recommended 87 Points
April 4th – Shingle Peak Chardonnay Marlborough 2015 – $
13.5% ABV, and a pale gold colour. Simple and fresh aroma of lemon. No discernible oak or malo. Fresh and lively in the mouth. Simple with bright acid freshness. Not austere, not fleshy, this strides the middle ground. Uncomplicated and predictable.
Commended 85 Points
From the Cellar: Villa Maria Cellar Selection Riesling Marlborough 2007 – $
One of my favourite wines from one of my favourite producers. Enough said.
Pale green straw colour. 11.5% alc.
Clear and crisp and expansive aromas of citrus and apple. So open, so appealing!
So much life in the mouth! Crisp citrus and crunchy green apples. Austere and of-minerals on attack. Sweet through the mid-palate. A long finish. Still so zingy and fresh. Aging slowly under scfrewcap. There is another 10 years in this wine. Pity I don’t have another.
Highly Recommended 94 Points
From the Cellar: Stoneleigh Chardonnay Marlborough 2013 – $
This wine was part of an experiment I started in 2014. I bought a bunch of bottom-tier ‘value brand’ wines from the lauded 2013 vintage, and put them down to see how they would develop over time, and see whether the cheaper products showed cellar improvement and made for better value for money than the more prestigious hand-made ’13 offerings.
This wine was the first out of the blocks for the tranche. Brilliant gold colour. 13.5% alc.
I like the malolactic character and the oak handling of Stoneleigh Chardonnays, especially the Latitude series on the next tier up, so this would be interesting.
Gorgeous warm and rich, buttery and biscuitty golden stonefruit aromas. This wine is showing lovely development. Butterscotch and spice; elegance and intensity.
To taste there were rich flavours bursting from the glass. Caramel, oak, so textural, and with a great acid line underpinning the ripe fruit. Not at all flabby or over-exposed. Spicy finish. Just great.
The wine is nearing a peak, and is superb value for drinking over the next 2 years.
Highly Recommended 92 Points
From the Cellar: Churton Pinot Noir Marlborough 2011 – $
The last bottle from the cellar, alas. This has been a fabulous bargain buy.
A gorgeously soft and silky floral bouquet. Light, elegant and supple deliciousness to drink.
Highly Recommended – 91 points