What’s in the glass tonight September 25th – Pinot Noir

Ohau Woven Stone 2014

Ohau Woven Stone Pinot Noir Martinborough 2014- $$

A gorgeous colour – bright clear ruby. 13.5% alc.

Showing nice development, with savoury and leafy characters, red cherries, dustiness and fustiness, and spice. Enveloping and engaging.

Sweet at first taste, quickly opens to fine, drying tannins and lean red fruits. Piquant acid, crunchy. Licorice and white pepper flavours. Long, grassy.

Recommended 88 points

What’s in the glass tonight August 3rd – Pinot Gris

Woven Stone Pinot Gris 2014

Woven Stone Pinot Gris Ohau 2014 – $$

From one of my fav local producers. Brilliant gold colour. 14% alc.

Aromatic with sweet pears, manuka honey, and golden delicious apples. Lovely.

There were apples in the mouth also, and mandarin peel. A lively and well-formed wine. Balanced acid and lightly itchy spice. Salty through the mid-palate, some pepper, with an intriguing oyster shell iodine finish. A good Gris, this.

88 points

Wellington Wine and Food Festival 2016

WWFF 2016

L’s company shouted us a table at this year’s WWFF. We invited M and G and D and F along to join us. The setting was outside, in a large fenced-off corral built on the grounds of Waitangi Park. There was a stage at one end, and a ring of wine, beer and delicious food stalls encircling a throng of wine and enthusiasts, and a private marquee in the centre where our table was. We ate and supped, and finished the afternoon dancing in the sun! Magic.

The food was delicious. A highlight was the Indian offerings from chef Sushil, a popular contestant from an early series of New Zealand Masterchef.

The wine, overall, was rather average I thought. There were a few good options, but I was disappointed with the quality, varietal selections, and choice. There seemed to be a lot of what I would call ‘supermarket level’ wines on offer. Not the boutique wines I would expect at a gig like this. Not many local wineries…and no Riesling whatsoever that I could see!!! None! And it was sunny!

Here is what I did get to try:

Ohau Sauvignon Blanc Ohau 2015 – Fresh, lovely line of acidity and limes. Very appetising. One of my two favourite wines today.

Gladstone Vineyard Sophie’s Choice Sauvignon Blanc Wairarapa 2012 – Barrel-fermented savvy. Funky on the nose, mellow and soft to drink. Smoky. Interesting.

Tiki Estate Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014 – A typical Marl Savvy. Not memorable.

Ohau Pinot Noir Ohau 2014 – Spicy, red cherries, nice length.

Gladstone Vineyard 12000 Miles Pinot Noir Wairarapa 2013 – Lovely floral aromatics, smooth red fruit.

Margrain Rivers Edge Pinot Noir Martinborough 2014 – Deeper florals. Delicious and smoky, long and spicy. Dark cherries. Very expressive. A Martinborough Pinot for sure. My second fav.

Beach House Reserve Cabernet Merlot Hawkes Bay 2013 – Very aromatic. Expressive and rich. Drying tannins. A nice example.

After I had done a round of 40ml tasters, I had a glass of the Ohau SB, and a couple of the Margrain’s, then I drank craft beer ‘til home time.

Dirty Secret

On the way home we stopped off for a ‘roadie’ at Dirty Little Secret, a new rooftop bar overlooking Courtenay Place. I had that Riesling I had been craving for on such a long, hot day. L had a Rosé, natch.


What’s in the glass tonight Sept 19th

Woven Stone PB 2014

Woven Stone Pinot Noir Ohau 2014 – $$

I picked this bottle up at a Levin supermarket for a bargain price of $17. The Ohau vineyard is only a few k’s south of there. Good to buy local.

We were all driving up to the snow for a weekend’s skiing, and to compete in the annual Ruapehu Ski Club Champs. LG medalled in silver, and so did N. J, L and I managed to finish safely and upright, but outside the prizes.


I recall enjoying an earlier vintage of this wine. Those grapes were sourced from a Wairarapa grower. Not sure about the provenance of these grapes, as the wine smelt like a Wairarapa pinot – savoury, with some heft – but it said Ohau on the label, The website is silent on the matter, but did report that the site was chosen due to the soil’s similarity to those of Martinborough lying on the other side of the Tararua ranges that loom up behind the vineyard.

13.5% alc. Medium carmine and brownish. A great colour.

An really attractive savoury nose with red fruits and spice.

Great to drink too. Red cherries on the front and a peppery finish. Good weight of fruit and ripeness. Fine grained tannins. Great value!

This is another wine that points to the quality of the ’14 vintage in the North Island…

VG 4

What’s in the glass tonight Sept 1st – First day of spring

Ohau Gravels Sauvignon Blanc 2011

From the vineyard: Ohau Gravels Ohau Sauvignon Blanc 2011 – $$

I get really excited about wine from this vineyard. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t expected something so good the first time I tried their product: the operation looked so modest. The vineyard is outside of Levin. Levin! It’s on the edge of State Highway 1. Cars, trucks, rush past at 100kms/hr. The cellar door is under the house, in what might have once been the garage…

But the first giveaway is the attention to detail on the elegant labels; then it’s the neat rows in the vineyard; then there’s the reference to an Ohau Gravels appellation…

Anyway, their pinot noir got me at hello.

And now it’s September 1st, the first day of spring around here, and what a good day to open a nice bottle of sauvignon blanc to toast the new season. I bought it on my way back from the ski weekend.

It’s straw colour in the glass, brilliant. 12.5%. The wine shows a light and expressive bouquet of lime and green apple, with a hint of spice. In the mouth it is medium weight. Smooth. Round. None of the typical Marlborough grassy ‘wince’ factor. It has been matured in some oak to make it more food friendly, not that savs need much help there. It is mature, with pronounced tannins, and I taste the green apples. Fairly short. It evolves in the glass and gets fruitier and more complex. Buy. 4.

What’s in the glass tonight June 12th

Woven Stone Sauv Blanc 2011

Woven Stone Ohau Sauvignon Blanc 2011 – $$

I was driving back to Wellington from my parents 50th Wedding celebration, and just HAD to stop again at the Ohau Vineyard to pick up a bottle.

I bought the Woven Stone Pinot Noir last time I was there (excellent), so re-tried their two Sauvignon Blancs I tasted on my first visit and chose from them. The ‘first’ label Ohau Gravels Sav has 5% wild fermented in oak, so it was a little more restrained and ‘together’ than this one, and a few dollars more, but they were both good value at the cellar door.

I preferred this one of the two…the wine is the colour of warm straw… very fresh and elegant. I like. There are gooseberries and limes on the nose, with the same concentrated fruit flavours on the palate, smooth not grippy in the way of Marlborough savs; and a long finish to finish.

I’d buy this again, and serve to others. A sauvignon blanc for those who (gasp) don’t like sauvignon blanc! A producer to watch. 4

The next day: even better – richer, deeper; warm chardy characters, I swear there is some honey in there!