What’s in the glass tonight October 23rd

Rockburn Pinot Noir 2013

Rockburn Pinot Noir Central Otago 2013 

Another wedding gift 🙂

Deep pinot ruby. 14% alc.

A first-up hit of wild herbs and savoury notes, manuka leaf, hay, dark cherries, and a bit of stalk. A good hallmark of a cool-climate Pinot Noir.

In the mouth; bright ripe fruit, velvety tannins, warm, smokey, bouquet of old library books. A sweet finish, long and hot with spice. There is a touch of stalk on palate as well.

VG 4

What’s in the glass tonight Oct 15th

Falconhead Chardonnay 2013

Falconhead Chardonnay Hawkes Bay 2013 – $

Raymond Chan gave this new brand 4 out of 5 stars. So I laid my money down.

Gold colour. 13%.

Nose of clean fruit, floral, fresh. Notes of butter and oak, lemon and peach. Very nice.

Fresh on palate, with luscious citrus character and bright ripe fruit. Generous and fresh and simple. An uplifting style of Chardonnay. Shows good quality but not overworked. Great value!

VG 4

What’s in the glass tonight October 7th

Barbera 2011

Off Topic: Prunotto Barbera d’Alba 2011

L and I went to Fratelli for dinner with her godparents and another couple from Australia. Old friends of hers and her parents.  We had a lovely time. The food was great.

I shared this bottle of Barbera with the fellas:

Prunotto Barbera d’Alba, made from 100% Barbera, from vineyards in the townships of Barbaresco, Treiso, Alba and Barolo of predominantly sand and clay-based soils. Barbera is famous for its cherry-like tang and strong acidity, but sees some oak aging and 100% MLF.

This wine was ruby red in color with purple highlights. Bouquet of oak and spice mixing with cherries, cured meat and earth.

Smoky to taste, and with deep richness, there are nice fresh flavours of cherry, choc and plums with very fine dusty tannins giving structure and pleasing grip.

Yum! VG 4

What’s in the glass tonight Sept 19th

Woven Stone PB 2014

Woven Stone Pinot Noir Ohau 2014 – $$

I picked this bottle up at a Levin supermarket for a bargain price of $17. The Ohau vineyard is only a few k’s south of there. Good to buy local.

We were all driving up to the snow for a weekend’s skiing, and to compete in the annual Ruapehu Ski Club Champs. LG medalled in silver, and so did N. J, L and I managed to finish safely and upright, but outside the prizes.


I recall enjoying an earlier vintage of this wine. Those grapes were sourced from a Wairarapa grower. Not sure about the provenance of these grapes, as the wine smelt like a Wairarapa pinot – savoury, with some heft – but it said Ohau on the label, The website is silent on the matter, but did report that the site was chosen due to the soil’s similarity to those of Martinborough lying on the other side of the Tararua ranges that loom up behind the vineyard.

13.5% alc. Medium carmine and brownish. A great colour.

An really attractive savoury nose with red fruits and spice.

Great to drink too. Red cherries on the front and a peppery finish. Good weight of fruit and ripeness. Fine grained tannins. Great value!

This is another wine that points to the quality of the ’14 vintage in the North Island…

VG 4

What’s in the glass tonight Sept 17th

Thornbury PG 2015

Thornbury Pinot Gris Waipara 2015 – $$

Pale green-gold. 13.5%.

Pears and apples on the nose. Spicy, lifted aromatics. Quite a bold style. Nice.

Off-dry. Rich flavours of apricots and pears, fresh and sweet. Slight spicy/bitter finish – typical of PG. Once the glass warmed up I got a lovely hit of mandarin.

VG 4

What’s in the glass tonight September 12th

Rolling Shiraz 2013

Rolling Cool Climate Shiraz Central Ranges NSW 2013 – $

Spring? Jeez, it’s a bit too cold around the parts to be called ‘spring’ just yet. It’s still woodfires and red wine season…

So I bought some salmon steaks to grill with marmalade and serve with hand-cut home chips and steamed broccoli, and bought a bottle of Aussie Shiraz.

A much awarded wine it sez on the tin. 13.5%. Purple-black colour.

Smells of boysenberries and blackberries, vanilla and oak. Savoury and lush.

Soft in the mouth, rich black stonefruit flavours, hint of the Northern Rhone in style. But the Aussie giveaway is the brusque tannins, fresh attack and spicy finish. Pleasant tobacco notes and spicy pepper lengthy finish. Great value!

VG 4

What’s in the glass tonight Aug 22nd

Wiffen Pinot Noir 2009

From the Cellar: Charles Wiffen Pinot Noir Marlborough 2009 – $$

This wine commended itself to me for two reasons:

Firstly, it bears one of the best-looking wine labels in all of NZ, in my opinion. Elegant and sophisticated, bearing an elegant crux mark, and the use of the colour burgundy sets it apart from the competition.

Secondly, this wine came out very well-reviewed at an Under-$30 NZ Pinot Noir tasting tutored by Geoff Kelly that I attended a couple of years ago. On the strength if how it showed then, and being great value for money, I bought this bottle and stowed it away under the house…

From their website, “The Wiffen family have owned their Marlborough property, St. Clair, since 1907. [ ] Situated on the southern side of the Wairau Valley floor, the property has free draining alluvial soils with some pockets of richer soil. [ ] The vineyard now totals 50 hectares, producing Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, Merlot, Pinot Noir and we have new plantings of Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer.”

And here it is…

Carmine colour…14% alc.

Lovely and floral aromas in the glass. Savoury, with black cherries and dark chocolate notes. This savoury nose developed further on the second night, with a pleasant meaty character underpinning the whole. Nice.

In the mouth, black cherries again, good ripeness and body, with a spicy pepper and fine tannin finish. Not particularly long.

Good varietal expression from Marlborough. A lovely wine.

VG 4

What’s in the glass tonight Aug 8th

Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay 2013

Off Topic: Kendall-Jackson Vintners Reserve Chardonnay California 2013 – $$

I always enjoy the opportinity to aste wines from California. As I have written before, we don’t see too many on our shores. Not sure why. Maybe the exchange rate doesn’t make the trade stack up? But the wines I have tried taste great, and certainly give better value than some French varieties.

This wine exhibited a pale gold colour. 12.5% alc.

Soft & oaky. Vanilla & peaches.

Quite sweet on attack. Ripe flavours of golden stonefruit. Biscuit notes. Mouthfilling and big, but not overwrought. A very good example I think.

VG 4

What’s in the glass tonight August 1st

Tiki Chardonnay 2014

Tiki Chardonnay Hawkes Bay 2014 – $$

L took this wine up to the snow. I had a wee taste to write it up…It was great!

13.5%. Oak nose with nice, elegant stone fruit aromas. This carried through on palate with additional melon flavours. A lovely fresh line of citrus cutting through the fruit. Gorgeous. A supermarket surprise.

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