What’s in the glass tonight July 20th

Big Bunch Rose 2014

Big Bunch Rosé Hawkes Bay 2014 – $$

L liked the artwork on the label – by Kiwi artist Dick Frizzell – and she bought it from Moore Wilson’s on that basis alone.

This Rosé is made by John Kemble, a Californian native who learnt his trade in Sonoma, who co-founded Kemblefield Wines in Hawkes Bay in 1992.

It has a nose of lollies, strawbs and pink roses. Strawberry flavours carry through on the palate – it’s a big, fresh, forward Rosé.

BTG 3+

Dick Frizzell

I am lucky to have three of Frizzell’s artworks myself…

What’s in the glass tonight May 28th

Ch De Feslers Rose 2014

Off Topic: Ch. De Fesles Rosé d’Anjou “La Chapelle” 2014 – $$

Another rosé for L to try. From the Loire, made from Grolleau grapes.

I tried it as an aperitif – wouldn’t trust it against the Murgh Khorma i was cooking.

12%. Salmon blush.

Lifted fruity aromatics of strawbs, pears, rock melon and golden delicious apples. Very sweet in the mouth. The bouquet carries through on the palate. Luscious. Long slightly bitter finish.

G 3

What’s in the glass tonight April 13th

Gibbston Valley Rose 2013

Gibbston Valley Rosé Central Otago 2013 – $$

Now this was a nice rosé. Deep salmon strawberry blush colour. 12.5% alcohol.

Bouquet of sweet strawberry fruit, jellybeans, raw cut pumpkin, and funnily, newsprint paper.

Fresh acidity in the mouth. Mouthfilling, bracing, graceful. Flavours of sweet apples and green tomatoes. Very refreshing. Short. Mouthwatering. Yum.

VG 4

What’s in the glass tonight March 8th

Two Rivers Rose 2014

Two Rivers L’ile De Beauté Rosé Marlbrough 2014 – $$

This wine is named for Corsica, the ‘Isle of Beauty’  where the Two Rivers winemaker David Clouston spend three years learning to make Rosé.

Deep salmon pink. 12.5%. Made from Pinot Noir grapes.

Light nose of Golden Delicious apples and Bosc pears.

Medium fruit weight, strawberries and raspberries, quite fresh in the mouth. Slight celery character on finish. Tasty wine.

BTG 3+


What’s in the glass tonight March 6th

Dom Houchart 2013

Off Topic: Dom. Houchart Cotes Du Provence 2013 – $$

This Famile Quiot Rosé is light salmon pink. 13%. Nose of light strawberries, sugar and nougat.

Flavours of sweet apples and strawberries, Typical slight vegetal bitter rose characters. Mid-length wine. A gold medal awarded Rosé in Europe. L liked it.

BTG 3+


What’s in the glass tonight January 18th

Ohau River Sav Blanc 2012

Wellington Anniversary Weekend

There few things more enjoyable than a dinner party at home with good friends.

L and I invited several couples over for dinner in the weekend. Great food and conversation was enjoyed, washed down with delicious wine!

We enjoyed as aperitifs wines such as Sileni Cabernet Franc Rose Marlborough 2013, a favourite of L’s; the classic and perfect Palliser Estate Sauvignon Blanc Martinborough 2013 provided by M&G; and a bottle of Ohau River Sauvignon Blanc Horowhenua 2012 – a softer styled, round and well balanced sav from north of Wellington.

Dry River LH Riesling 2008

With our dinner of roast chicken with olives and tarragon, D&D provided a wonderful white Burgundy – J Drouhin Macon-Villages 2012 from Beaune – lean and clean, classic restraint, a wonderful simple food wine. With the dessert of nectarines, ice cream and warm toffee sauce they treated us again with the notable Dry River Late Harvest Riesling 2008 – classic kerosene notes, golden honey and stone fruit, and that gorgeous Riesling ‘tang’. Yum.

What’s in the glass tonight April 28th

Johner Pinot Noir Rose 2013

Johner Wairarapa Pinot Noir Rosé 2013 – $$

I really like the current pinot noir from this producer. I have tried it a couple of times and rate it as a winner in the value category. So I was intrigued to buy this pinot rosé for L, who is a rosé enthusiast.

She didn’t like it much. Her comment was ‘astringent’.

It shows a pinot character on the nose. 14.5% gives it a kick, and contributes to a level of heat in the mouth. I taste interesting cucumber, and cranberry, in the glass, but it is a deeper pink colour, and stronger flavoured than the style I am used to. There is also a bitter finish that I feel stops it being an easy-drinking rosé. Which of course is the point of rosé, really. 2

What’s in the glass tonight Feb 16th

Rockburn Stolen Kiss Rose 2013

Rockburn Stolen Kiss Central Otago Rose 2013 – $$

Winding down after LGs 9th birthday party at the Zoo…

…Another test for the Riedels…but I am no real judge of rose, cos I don’t really get this wine variety. I mean, if I wanna drink sweet, then there is always beer, right…?

Attractive packaging. A good producer. Made from free run pinot noir juice. Strawberry blush colour. Strawberry and cherry flavours, bright and light and fresh, a confection in the glass. A good example is all I can reliably say. 3.75

What’s been in the glass lately

It’s been a while since I last wrote.

I have moved house, and cleaned the two houses left behind. I have unpacked boxes. Assembled beds. Folded clothes. Stowed mountains of stuff under the house. Mowed lawns. Wrangled cats and plumbers and TV repairmen. Prioritised task lists. And relocated my tropical fish and a wine cellar. It has been exhausting. And my lovely L has shared the load with me.

Finally we re-established our domestic IT infrastructure, and I can now blog about what I have been drinking at the end of these full, busy days…

Murdoch James Rose

From the Cellar: Murdoch James The Regions Martinborough Rose 2012 – $$$

L bought this after our vineyard visit to Murdoch James last winter. T’was nice to drink this in the sun the day after we moved. Orange blush colour. 14%. A mature nose of strawberries and cream. Lovely strawberry taste too. Quite a cultured blush.  4

Riparian Chardonnay 2012

Riparian Gisborne Chardonnay 2012

Produced by CoopersCreek. 13%. Yellow snow colour. Fruit n’ phenolic nose. Peaches and citrus in the mouth, a bit cooked.  Odd, it was not that old. This bottle not rated.

Lake Chalice The Nest PG 2013

Lake Chalice The Nest Marlborough Pinot Gris 2013

Greenish pale yellow. Aroma of light fresh pears. Off-dry. 12.5%. Citrus zest, honey in the mouth. I’m not one to like pinot gris that much, but this was a good one. 3.75


What’s in the glass tonight Oct 28th

Ata Rangi Summer Rose 2013

Ata Rangi Wairarapa Summer Rosé 2013 – $$

I think of this wine as one of our local rock stars. While I am not a huge fan of rosé, I have been drinking this version on and off for over a decade.

Years ago I remember heading over the hill to Toast Martinborough (the wine festival held each November), after telling my ex “it is never cold over there so dressing light is fine”, then standing inside a chilly marquee at Ata Rangi, wearing a T-shirt and sandals and drinking this wine while freezing southerly gales raged outside!

Moving to the present-day, I have survived three intense sessions of cycling training this weekend and was feeling pretty knackered this afternoon. L is heading over to the US for a conference next week, and I’ve been saving this bottle to drink with her before she went, as I know she likes a nice rosé.

First off, it sez Wairarapa on the label. Usually it sez Martinborough. Now, I’m a bit picky and to me Wairarapa does not mean the same as Martinborough when it comes to wine provenance. At least to me, anyway. So I had a look at their website and read that the grapes for this wine come from a variety of sites: mostly Merlot from Ata Rangi’s Di Mattina block, with a bit of Mebus Syrah from Kahu Vineyard, both in Martinborough, and a little Pinot Noir from the leased Waiora Block which is about 7kms south. I guess the spread of properties meant the producers had to put the Wairarapa appellation on the bottle.

The wine looks really appealing to the eye in the afternoon sun. L sez it is like drinking jewels and rubies. It is the most brilliant pink ruby colour. 13.5%. Lovely light nose of florals and melons. Watermelon and cranberries in the mouth, and hint of red capsicum too. Medium-dry. Doesn’t disappoint. 3.5.

Sileni Cab Franc Rose 2013

Then I was offered a glass of Sileni Hawkes Bay Cabernet Franc Rosé 2013

This was paler in colour – a light dusky pink. It was sweeter too, raspberry on nose and in mouth. Softer. 2.75