What’s in the glass tonight April 1st – Chardonnay

Spy Valley Chard 15

Spy Valley Chardonnay Marlborough 2015 – $

In my opinion, this wine is consistently one of NZs best Chardonnays, vintage on vintage. Must be the site. I have ridden out there a few times. A lovely part of the world.

13% alc. Pale gold colour.

Mealy, golden fruit, aromatic and fine. Notes of oak, vanilla, apricot and mandarin orange and peel.

Fresh and crunchy to taste. Crispness, oak complexity, malo note on the back palate, and meal. Great structure and body. A wine for aging.

Highly Recommended 90 Points

What’s in the glass tonight March 11th – Chardonnay

Spy Valley Chardonnay 2012

From The Cellar: Spy Valley Chardonnay Waihopai Marlborough 2012 – $$

A consistently top Chardonnay from a great producer. I have been collecting and drinking these wines for a few years now. And riding out to the site on the Sunday morning following the Graperide. This example is from the stellar NZ 2013 vintage.

13.5% alc. Pale Gold colour.

Nutty almond on the nose. Mealy. Citrus notes. Complex secondary notes. Divine.

Pure fruit in the mouth. Freshness. Mealy nuttiness flavours, balanced acid, warmth, finishes long. Powerful and intense, and shows real grace. Roughness on the finish adds character.

Highly Recommended 94 Points

What’s in the glass tonight August 22nd – Chardonnay

Spy Valley Chardonnay 2014

Spy Valley Chardonnay Marlborough 2014 – $$

One of my favourite Chardonnays which I don’t get to drink nearly enough because it isn’t sold in my local supermarket. This latest vintage was rated in the top 5 of a Chardonnay tasting hosted by Dish Magazine earlier this year. I bought a couple for the Pool Room and another for the table…

Pale gold. 13% alc.

Mealy and refined nose. Touch of burnt match, flint. Lemon, pear & apples. Quite lovely.

Fresh and lean and intense in the mouth. Quite linear, just enough fruit to avoid being thin. Zesty citrus grapefruit. Austere and minerally, and mouthcoating. A long finish.

Overall there is a hard edge to this wine, but I say it is terrific, and will be very special in a few years time.

92 points

Straight to the Pool Room – August 2016

Pool Room Aug 2016

More whites – a sister for the Savvy I bought last month, and a brace of Chardonnays that were highly regarded by the tasting panel at Dish Magazine earlier this year…

Te Mata Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc Hawkes Bay 2014 – $$$ – Drink 2019-2024.

Spy Valley Chardonnay Marlborough 2014 – $$ – Drink 2018-2020.


What’s in the glass tonight August 5th – Chardonnay

Spy Valley Chardonnay 2011

From the Cellar: Spy Valley Chardonnay Marlborough 2011 – $$

Over the past few years this wine has been well rewarded in the Under-$25 New World Wine Awards. I have been collecting these wines since 2012. The latest vintage is no exception, and I’ll be acquiring a brace for the Pool Room in due course.

Blond straw colour. 13.5% alc.

The wine smells refined, poised. A fine bouquet. Aromas of oatmeal, golden stonefruit, and nutty almonds.

Great depth of fruit and acidity. Just what I want in a Chardonnay. Not too big or malolactic. Nice lemon sharpness and grit. Some secondary flavours starting to emerge like spicy ginger, butterscotch and bitters. Crunchy, lively and so expressive. Great stuff!

93 points

What’s in the glass tonight Dec 30th


Last night L and I went to a friends house for dinner. They have a lovely home high above Korokoro with dramatic views down on to Wellington harbour.

L brought along a bottle of Spy Valley Chardonnay 2011 – $$. It was fantastic – mealy, nutty, buttery, great mouthfeel. A top chardonnay from Marlborough. 4.75.

Our hosts followed this up with a serious pinot gris. I didn’t note what it was, but I did like the ginger beer character on the palate. Yum.

And the meal of braised beef and pears, followed by a dessert of summer fruits and Kapiti White Choc and Raspberry Ice Cream was fabulous. Thanks very much!

Straight to the Pool Room – Sept 2013

Pool Room Sept 2013

This month’s candidates for the Big Sleep:

Craggy Range SV Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2010 – $$$ – drink 2015-2022. Recommended for cellaring by Geoff Kelly.

Saddleback Central Otago Pinot Noir 2011 – $$ – drink 2015. Gold medal – NW Under $25 Wine Awards. Second label of Peregrine Wines.

Spy Valley Marlborough Chardonnay 2012 – $$ – drink 2016. Champion White Wine – NW Under $25 Wine Awards. House wine for the GCSB.

Straight to the Pool Room – March 2013

Added to the cellar this month:

Spy Valley Marlborough Chardonnay 2011 – $$ – Michael Cooper rated this as his fav white wine last Christmas – drink 2015

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Hawkes Bay Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 – $$ – drink 2015-2017

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Marlborough Dry Riesling 2011 – $$ – drink 2015-2016