Bell Bird Bay Reserve Syrah Hawkes Bay 2014 – $
13.5% alc. Deep ruby.
Soft and savoury dark red fruit aromas. Prominent vanilla note to start then this largely blew off. Hint of oxidation. Hint of spice.
Soft and full entry, dry sweetness, sharp and spicy finish. Medium tannins, grippy. Vanilla on the palate with strong oak character. Showing reserve fruit depth and body. Long on the tongue.
I see this wine as quite out of balance re oak/tannin/acid, but it has good bones and delivers a characterful and rewarding drop for the (very little) money. A party wine, this
Recommended 87 Points
Bishops Head Reserve Riesling Waipara 2007- $$$
An aged Riesling from Wineseeker. Tasted instore; bottle bought to take up to the ski club for our last ski weekend and the Club Championships.
12% alc. Gold green straw colour.
Developed volitiles, lifted ripe apples, some grapey-ness and kero notes.
Sharp and acidic entry. Lean and brisk fruit, tart, with green apple flavours. A layer of secondary development. Bitter finish.
Recommended 88 points
Not my trophies, alas. I trailed the field in both the Slalom and GS races.
Montana Reserve Chardonnay Gisborne 2016 – $
I’m really confused by this volume value brand of wine. First it was named Montana. For years and years and years. Then the owners wanted to sell more wine into the States. But suffered buyer confusion about its name. Wine from Montana? They don’t make wine in Montana! So the powers-that-be switched names to Brancott, after one of the original vineyards in Marlborough. Which makes sense. And we move on. Then I see this wine in the supermarket, and they are back to selling wine under the name Montana. WTF?
Anyway, this is a simple wine. Soft ripe golden fruit, lightly aromatic, a core of ripe fruit to taste, nothing memorable, but serves as an acceptable aperitif and smoothes the days rough edges…
Commended 85 points
Tietjen Witters TW Reserve Chardonnay Gisborne 2013 – $$
Off the Ormond Road. Pale gold colour. 13.5% alc.
Dense and layered and very aromatic, with big, buttery and oaky characters in the bouquet. Mango and apricot fruit.
It showed some development in the mouth. Rich mouthfeel with oak and full malo. Flavours of butterscotch, lemon citrus, ginger and honey. A strong spicy oak finish. An appealing and interesting Chardonnay.
Recommended – 87 points
Mills Reef Merlot Malbec Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay 2014 – $$
Inky magenta, a gorgeous deep colour. 13.5% alc.
Lovely rich bouquet – boxwood, blackcurrants, leather, savoury. I could smell this all night.
Smooth richness of the Merlot gives a silky feel in the mouth, the grippy tannins from the Malbec provides balance. Black stonefruits predominate, a hint of raspberry, drying on the finish. Delicious.
A terrific, approachable wine for drinking now.
Black Cottage Reserve Pinot Noir Central Otago 2013
A much-appreciated wedding gift wine. I drank it out of one of the new Eisch pinot wine glasses we were also given.
13.5%. Dark carmine, slightly cloudy.
Closed, dumb nose. Some red cherries. Over time it became more piquant.
Good fruit weight, lots of mouth-filling flavours of soft ripe red fruits. Tannic mid-palate, spicy finish. Long and expansive. Great with dinner.
From the Cellar: Kirkpatrick Estate Wines Kirky (Ian Kirkpatrick) Signature Series Reserve Chardonnay 2011 – $$$
I bought this wine at the Gisborne Wine Centre in 2012, following a tasting of this and other Gizzy Chardys. Probably the last of the bottles collected on that visit.
The backstory of this wine: Owner Simon Kirkpatrick said it was an opportune time to pay tribute to his famous uncle and All Black – Ian Kirkpatrick – and showcase some of the best wine Gisborne and the Patutahi Plateau has to offer.
“The Rugby World Cup 2011 was an historic occasion for us all and we thought it was a great time to commemorate Ian’s contribution to the sport. He amassed 113 matches for the All Blacks, 43 as captain. and is considered one of New Zealand rugby’s all-time greats having played for the All Blacks from 1967 to 1977. He is still held in high regard for his exploits against the Springboks, Australia, France and the British and Irish Lions. For a forward, and playing in an era where only the backs were meant to score tries, his ability to beat players with strength, speed and athleticism saw him score an incredible 50 tries for the All Blacks over his 10-year career.”
I am not 100% sure what vintage this is. Probably a 2011, but it also says 2010 on the back label.
High-carat gold colour. 13.4% alc. Developed, tertiary aromas of butter and almonds. Strong wiff of phenols.
Quite a big wine in the mouth too. Round and soft. Receding fruit – golden peaches and dried apricots. My cellaring has been poor and has done the wine a disservice. It oxidised and lost freshness and charm, and really fell apart in the glass the next day. A real shame as it had tasted great in ’12.
A quality drop mis-handled by me. 3+
From the Cellar: Vidal Reserve Syrah Hawkes Bay 2010 – $$
Champion wine at the 2012 Speiglau Wine Competition. I bought this bottle for less than $20!
Tertiary nose. Dense with vanilla and dried dark fruit. Powerful and impactful. Smells wonderful, despite being served a bit too cold from the cellar.
Dense fruit flavours. Grippy. Hint of brown paper. Sweet on the mid-palate. Showing really ripe fruit. Rhone-like. Delicious. I love it when a plan comes together!
L and I were invited to share a delicious rustic French meal at M & G’s house in the weekend. Cured meats, fine cheeses to start, then a hearty cassoulet. Yum!
I raided the Pool Room and came away with a Dom. des Espiers Gigondas 2011 I rated highly from a tasting last year, and a Bridge Pa Reserve Hawkes Bay Syrah 2009. I loved both – the older Bridge Pa just shaded the Gigondas, even though the latter had the advantage of Gallic charm. BTVG 4+
M shared a fantastic Châteauneuf-du-Pape, one of the other guests brought a nice Pinot Noir, and after starting the evening with a nice glass or two of M’s home-brew beer brewed at the Occasional Brewer, I was feeling no pain by the end of the evening.
Good times with friends 🙂
From the Cellar: Matua Valley Reserve Syrah Hawkes Bay 2010 – $$
This wine is closely related to the Matua Matheson 2013 that swept all before it at the recent 2013 Hawkes Bay Syrah tasting I took part in.
I bought a couple of bottles way-back-when, on the recommendations of the Great and Good, including Geoff Kelly. I drank one in 2013 and loved it, and thought to crack this to share with a good friend of L’s who came around for dinner. A good call.
Inky black carmine. 14%. Soft dominant vanilla bouquet, all home baking and black fruits. Smelled amazing.
Delicious flavours of black cherries, plums. Lovely spice note and fine white pepper. Quite sweet on the fore palate. Rich, dense. very very good. and cheap! I paid $18 for this.
And was good fuel for pondering some alterations to the house…