What’s in the glass tonight January 9th – Sauvignon Blanc


palliser-estate-sauvignon-blanc-2015

Palliser Estate Sauvignon Blanc Martinborough 2015 – $$

Greenish pale straw colour. 13.5% alc.

I can feel the heat of the Martinborough days and the cool of the nights in the fresh mandarin and lemon bouquet of this wine. It smells of summer sun-blanched grassy hills beside the Ruamahunga River. Light and lifted, with clover honey and pear.

Sweet upfront to taste, there is a restrained citrus character supported through the middle with bags of sweet ripe fruit and bags of flavour. Utterly delish this is. It gives Te Mata’s Cape Crest a good run for the money!

Outstanding  – 95 points

 

What’s in the glass tonight July 19th – Pinot Noir


The Luminary PN 2013

The Luminary Pinot Noir Martinborough 2013

Another wine beginning with The…

Pinot Ruby. 14% alc. Ex Palliser Estate, tho it doesn’t show up on the website. Probably third tier.

At first look the wine was aromatic, tending stalky. Red cherries and brown paper. Slight notes of spice and savouryness.

Slightly under-ripe red fruits, lean and tannic. Bright and brash mouthfeel. Unbalanced with too much acid. This will probably look much better tomorrow, or with vigorous decanting….

…and it did. I saw on the second night more attractive, smoky savoury expression and fruit on the nose that masked the green tinge somewhat. This fruit then showed through on the palate. Much better, although I’d say this is a wine priced for immediate quaffage straight from bottle to glass.

Even if this wine does somewhat under-deliver, it goes to prove that it is hard to make a bad wine from Martinborough grapes.

85 points

What’s in the glass tonight May 6th – Catch Pinot


Catch Pinot

Catch Pinot Martinborough Tasting with Joelle Thompson at RW

I rocked up at Regional Wines for a free instore tasting of Martinborough Pinot Noirs hosted by the very engaging and knowledgeable Joelle Thompson, wine writer and journalist.

Catch Pinot is a month-long harvest celebration of red Pinots from Martinborough, Gladstone and Masterton in the Wairarapa. 25 wineries are offering their wines through 47 of Wellington’s best eateries, with menus that match the wines. Several local bottlestores are also in on the deal, and the whole shebang culminates in a big Pinot Celebration dinner at Te Papa on May 28.

There was much anticipate at the tasting. I saw my mate GN standing around the barrel, and what with chatting to him, and talking to Joelle, and having a laugh, I didn’t make too many notes. It’s a hard road to a perfect wine review, but someone’s gotta do it!

Escarpment The Edge Pinot Noir Martinborough 2015 – bright, ripe, one-note

Julicher Estate 99 Rows Pinot Noir Martinborough 2012 – This has the ‘stuffing’ I am looking for, slightly vegetal, floral

Cambridge Road Hillside Project Pinot Noir Martinborough 2015 – luscious, floral & young; an innovative bottle and label!

Palliser Estate Pinot Noir Martinborough 2013 –  serene &  classy in this company

Johner Gladstone Pinot Noir 2014 – Lovely, savoury, peppery

Urlar Pinot Noir Martinborough 2013 – poise, density and grace. Best wine of the flight!

What’s in the glass tonight Feb 26th – Sauvignon Blanc


Palliser SB 15

Palliser Estate Sauvignon Blanc Martinborough 2015 – $$

Time to down tools after a long work week!

Lightest greenish straw. 13% alc.

Delicate bouquet; a waft of green apple, Turkish delight, and capsicum across the nostrils.

Soft in the mouth too, agreeable ripeness, less acidity than I might expect, perhaps a bit too soft and light, it taste like there is some oak handling, but surely not. This is lacking the usual Kiwi Sav flavour horsepower. Typical for North Island examples, but not to this degree. Could be sharper.

G 3

 

What’s in the glass tonight – Waitangi Day 2016 – Pinot Noir


Morrisons Bush small

From the Cellar: Palliser Estate Pencarrow Pinot Noir Martinborough 2010 – $$

Back again camping at Morrison’s Bush for the annual Waitangi Day Art Weekend. Had to open the last of my Pencarrow Pinot Noir 2010’s…

Pencarrow Pinot Noir 2010

This wine did spectacularly well at the Air NZ wine awards on release and with reviews. I have drunk a bit of it since, and this time the wine really lived up to its potential: ripe, soft, full; smokily floral; with depth and heft. Beautifully integrated. Long. Damn tasty.

BTVG 4+

Wedding Week Wines


This has been the most wonderful weekend where I was privileged to marry the loving, gorgeous, kind and clever L in front of our loving families and the best and most warm and generous friends anyone could ever have. I am feeling blessed in every way!

We drank some great wines before and after the great event. Here are some that I recall. There were many:

Martinborough PN 2009

From the Cellar: Martinborough Pinot Noir 2009 – $$$+

Brown carmine colour. Savoury nose, typical of Martinbo/Wairarapa. Dense and ticklish with spice and dust. Intensely aromatic. Gorgeous. Burgundian characters, with heft and presence.

In the mouth, black cherries, drying. Spicy and fine grained tannins. A defined line of red fruit acid. A savoury finish with heat on the back palate. Beautiful balance.  BTVG 4+.

Palliser PN 2009

From the Cellar: Palliser Estate Pinot Noir 2009 – $$$

I drank this with my old mate DT. I did’nt make any notes while we caught up but it tasted like this:  Dark carmine colour. Dense fruit, deep and savoury, & spicy, on the nose. Savoury flavours and red cherry fruit flavours, white pepper and star anise bitterness delivering on the finish. A delicious wine. BTVG 4+

Bollinger NV

Wedding Gift: Bollinger NV

My First Bolly. I am no Champagne expert, but here is what I noticed: Brioche, bready notes, bright acid attack and lively, fine bubbles, and a bitter finish. Party time. 3+

Babich Organic Chardonnay 2014

Babich Headwaters Vineyard Organic Chardonnay Marlborough 2014 

13%. Pale gold. Complex & honeyed; vanilla, oak, with white flower florality;  rich in a European style. Yum.

Ripe white stonefruit flavours with a nice acid line of lemon and grapefruit pith. Generous mouth feel and weight; creamy; but not too big on it. Nice oak buzz on thre back. VG 4

What’s in the glass tonight July 11th


Pencarrow PN 2010

From the Cellar: Palliser Estate Pencarrow Pinot Noir Martinborough 2010 – $$

At the ski lodge. Prepping for dinner. Feeling tired from the first day on the piste for the season.

Slightly browning carmine. 14%.

Light aromatics. Maybe the altitude is getting in the way…

In the mouth, fruit forward and delicious. Dense. Fresh acidity still. Spice. Fine tannins.

VG 4

What’s in the glass tonight on Anzac Day April 25th


medals

An important day today, for several reasons. It had a early, solemn start at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park where L and I attended the Dawn Service to mark the 100th anniversary of the Anzac invasion at Gallipoli in 1915, along with 20,000 other Wellingtonians and visitors. I wore my Grandfather’s WW1 medals. Lest we forget.

Then, later that day, after a bike ride with the Chosens and a nana-nap, L and I made some important plans, and then went off to the Museum Hotel for a nice glass of wine, before getting ready to head for D’s place for dinner with him and his partner D, and guests J and R.

Te Mata Cape Crest 2014

Te Mata Estate Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc

What a great wine this is. A complex and distinctive fresh bouquet. Delicious to drink. Great oak handling. A treat. Perfect choice for the day after International Sauvignon Blanc Day!

then off to D’s for Roast Duck. Yum!

Anzac Day dinner party April 2015

Palliser Estate Methode Traditionelle 2009 – $$$

We brought a bottle of this to share first up with the other guests. Funky aromas. Fine fresh fruity bubbles. Classic brioche flavours. Dry finish.

From the Cellar: Martinborough Vineyard Pinot Noir Martinborough 2008 – $$$

This was such a treat. Gorgeous red cherries and complex savoury notes on the nose. Spicy and dense and ripe fruit flavours. Rewarded decanting. Just wonderful. BTVG 4+

What’s in the glass tonight February 6th, Waitangi Day


Pencarrow PN 2013

Palliser Estate Pencarrow Pinot Noir Martinborough 2013 – $$

After a beautiful day, the sun goes down on our campsite during the annual Waitangi weekend camping trip beside the Ruamahanga River.

We went away with 6 kids. Why O why…?

I need a drink. This will do nicely.

I had the previous version the previous year I think. I drove to the close-by Martinborough Wine Centre to buy it. ‘Twas a toss up between this and the Nga Waka Three Canoes PN

BTG 3+

Morrisons Bush 2015

Who could not love these surroundings?