What’s in the glass tonight May 9th


Sacred Hill Reserve Chardonnay 2014

Sacred Hill Reserve Chardonnay Hawkes Bay 2014 – $$

From the producer of the notable Riflemans Chardonnay, the barrel fermentation creates here a soft style of Chardonnay. 13.5% alc.

A bit fat, a bit of citrus, a bit of apple, a bit of dried apricot, a bit creamy. A bit of everything, really.

A bit more individual personality would have lifted the rating…

BTG 3+

What’s in the glass tonight March 23rd


Mission Estate Reserve Chardonnay 2013

Mission Estate Reserve Chardonnay Hawkes Bay 2013 – $$

I had hopes that this might be a good one. I like the producer’s ‘white label’ Chardonnay, this was a Reserve, and it was a great vintage in the Bay…

Pale Gold. 13.5%.

Creamy, nutty, mealy nose. Oak and vanilla. Big. Apricot and white blossom.

On attack, bold & complex, but then bitter on the mid-palate and finish. Not much ripe fruit weight in evidence. No linear minerality to compensate. Odd. Disappointing. Maybe a fault with this bottle? Under Stelvin tho?

Smelled much better than it tasted. Which helped bring the score up…

G 3

What’s in the glass tonight June 25th


Selaks Reserve Chardonnay 2013 2

2013 Cheap Chardys: Selaks Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2013 – $

Light gold. 13.5%. Warm, rich, round and spicy nose.

Quite dense and ripe on palate. Lots of golden stone fruit and sunshine in the glass. Tasty. Not a great deal of complexity, but this wine still tends towards the educated end of the I’m-affordable-drink-me-now wine spectrum. A great effort and really good for the price. 4.

Worth the Cuisine recommendation and some cellar time.

Straight to the Pool Room – June 2014


Pool Room June 2014

Continuing the collecting of sub-$20 Chardonnays from the great 2013 Hawkes Bay vintage with cellaring potential…

Selaks Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2013 – $ – drink 2016-2018 – this wine was given the Best Buy recommendation by a popular foodie NZ gourmet magazine a couple of months ago, so it is probably worth a punt on a long sleep-in. I have a bottle to test for poison later, so I hope I am not embarrassed.

Straight to the Pool Room – December 2013


Pool Room Dec 2013

Two stellar bottles from the Villa Maria tasting of last month:

Villa Maria Gimblett Gravels Reserve Merlot 2009 – $$$ – drink 2014-2019, but not sure I can wait that long…

Villa Maria Keltern Vineyard HB Chardonnay 2011 – $$$ – drink 2014-2016. Latest in the lineage of a chardonnay I consider one of the most distinctive expressions of terroir in this country.

I’m auditioning for the remaining places in the case…