What’s in the glass tonight September 2nd – Merlot


Villa Maria CS Organic Merlot 2014

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Organic Merlot Hawkes Bay 2014 – $$

This wine was awarded a gold medal at the recent 2016 Bragato Wine Awards. Geoff Kelly highly praised the previous vintage, which I never managed to hunt down to taste, so when this appeared in the shops I defo wanted to give it a go.

The fruit was sourced from the certified organic Joseph Soler vineyard in Hawkes Bay.

Inky scarlet colour. 13% alc.

Soft taut savoury dark fruit on the nose. Dense, with cedar and boxwood and cardboard. Smells sweet with vanilla.

Soft fruit in the mouth. Ripe enough. Good fruit weight and depth. Fine tannins. Enough acid to keep things interesting. Other thoughts – warmth, elegance, studied ripeness. I suspect not as ripe as the lauded ’13.

Far too young now, this will look really good from another 3-4 years in bottle, benefitting from the time for the flavours to develop and marry up together. Ideally wait until 2024 and appreciate its class.

90 points

What’s in the glass tonight July 8th


Millton Shotberry Chardonnay 2011

Millton Crazy By Nature Shotberry Gisborne Chardonnay 2011 – $$

Wow, this is a weird wine. After tasting so many older, dry or lighter style wines lately, it is a real wake-up call to try this sweet fruit bomb.

Millton are one of my favourite producers. They are organic and bio-dynamic. They run a beautiful cellar door. I think they make fruity and flavoursome wines with flair and class.

Because of Milltons bio-dymanic cultivation methods, I suspect that their results differ from other more conventional wineries. Or I reckon so if this wine is anything to go by…

It is very big and volatile on the nose, and with the yellow gold colour, makes me think it is a mature sweet riesling. In the mouth I get lashings of white peach and ripe apricot and honey. I swear there is some viognier in there too…oak as well, but no malo.

Although the wine is a blend of fruit from two vineyards –the Millton Riverpoint and Opou vineyards – I still think I am tasting a true expression of terroir, and that has to be applauded!

This is a really interesting and unique Chardonnay. Not a sophisticated drop, but bottled sunlight. 4.5