From The Cellar: Spy Valley Chardonnay Waihopai Marlborough 2012 – $$
A consistently top Chardonnay from a great producer. I have been collecting and drinking these wines for a few years now. And riding out to the site on the Sunday morning following the Graperide. This example is from the stellar NZ 2013 vintage.
13.5% alc. Pale Gold colour.
Nutty almond on the nose. Mealy. Citrus notes. Complex secondary notes. Divine.
Pure fruit in the mouth. Freshness. Mealy nuttiness flavours, balanced acid, warmth, finishes long. Powerful and intense, and shows real grace. Roughness on the finish adds character.
Highly Recommended 94 Points
te Pā Pā Road Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016 – $
Produced by a family-owned winery with an 800-year tangata whenua connection to the land, this mid-tier wine is made from grapes grown on the McDonald home block vineyard near the Wairau River bar in Marlborough.
13% alc. Drought-pale straw colour.
Clean clear citrus aromas of golden delicious apples, light green capsicum. Very attractive.
On tasting, a simple restrained quality sav is revealed. Not an aggressive style. Balanced fruit and acid. Quite sweet throughout the mid-palate with a sharp finish.
Delicious drinking, and v good value for the price point.
Highly Recommended 92 points
Allan Scott Generations Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015 – $$
Pale gold colour – warmer looking than your typical Marlborough Sav. 12.5% alc.
Prescence of oak on the nose. Open and fresh, complex and aromatic. Soft golden fruit aromas, with a hint of flint.
Sweet front on the palate. Full of flavour. Crisp complex acid mouthfeel and a fine fruit finish of apples and lemons and orange peel. A delicious example.
Highly Recommended 90 points
Pyramid Valley Vineyards Growers Collection Calrossie Vineyard Pinot Noir Marlborough 2015 – $$$+
I imagine this as an ‘entry level’ offering from a super-premium NZ producer, created from wines from selected single grower vineyards, I suppose to provide more SKUs to sell than what can be made available from the various ‘home blocks’ of Pyramid Valley. And at a much lesser cost too, (for example their two ‘home block’ pinots sell on their website for $130 per bottle), and also considering Pyramid Valley was sold to an American investor last year.
The wine: bright carmine colour, unfiltered, somewhat cloudy. 13% alcohol.
Savoury, perfumed, earthy. Deep red cherries. Great depth and intensity of aroma. Painterly. A serious example of fine Marlborough Pinot Noir.
Sweet fruit on attack. Precise and well extracted. There is good length and density, power, and crunchy finish with spice and heat at the death. I was very impressed by the character and crunch showing on the mid-palate.
Outstanding 96 points
Astrolabe Kekerengu Coast Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015 – $$
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