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Wine Reviews - 'Sweeties'
by Sue Courtney
1 Jul 2016

Although some of these tasting notes may be found elsewhere on this site, this page brings together most of my 'Sweet Wine' tasting notes, listed alphabetically by Producer. Click here for rating systems and abbreviations.

[2012] [2011] [2010] [2009] [2008] [2007] [2006] [2005] [2004] [2003] [2002] [2001] [2000] [1999] [1998] [older] [index]

2014 Vintage [top] [index]

Loveblock Noble Marlborough Chenin Blanc 2014 (sc) 24 carat gold in hue, the candied citrus aroma with apricot and passionfruit is heavenly and the flavours are simply quite luscious – all candied tropical fruits with passionfruit to the fore and viscous nectar balanced by lemon tea. Decadent and delicious with perfect balance of sweetness and acidity. 12.5% alc. $24.99 / 500-ml. 9Dec2015.

Spy Valley Noble Marlborough Riesling 2014 (sc) Glossy light gold. Very lifted lime and lemon bouquet. It’s sweet but so silky and seamless with honey infusing apple, lemon and lime and a touch of earthiness to the liquid honey finish. Such great focus and purity sets it on a pedestal above the others and there is an exciting zing of ginger-like spice and hints of dried pineapple and mango. It’s so fresh and light after the heavy reds and the nectar-like texture is just sublime. 11.5% alc. $19.99. 30Sep2015.

2013 Vintage [top] [index]

John Forrest Collection Marlborough Noble Riesling 2013 (sc) The amazing bouquet of this lustrous yellow gold hued sweetie is so evocative and inviting - so full of honey, botrytis, dried apricot and all things nice. Then so delectably unctuous and luscious in the delicious nectar-sweet palate, just one sip leaves you with a smile. We simply don’t drink enough sweet wines so Christmas is the time to remedy that - I can imagine this with the pavlova and fresh fruit salad. With the price for a full 750-ml bottle, this is quite simply one of the best buys in sweet wines right now. 10% alc. $40.99. 3Dec2014.
Bright yellow gold with a citrine glow. A stunning bouquet of candied citrus and apricots with runny honey and botrytis. Barley sugar sweet with bright fresh acidity cutting right through it and a marmalade bite to the deliciously long, lightly viscous finish. 10% alc. $39.99 (750-ml bottle). 13May2015.

Giesen Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (sc) Light citrine. Passionfruit fruit salad fills the intense bouquet and the taste is lavish and luscious with passionfruit honey / orange honey to the fore. Like a nectar-infused syrup, it is viscous and honeyed with bright acidity balancing the toffee sweetness and the concentrated finish has an earthy inflection, perhaps from the wild yeast fermentation. Too sweet to drink on its own, it begs for a well-balanced desert to accompany it. 10% alc. $22.99. 29Jun2016.

Saint Clair Godfrey's Creek Reserve Noble Marlborough Riesling 2013 (sc) Yellow gold with a gem-like lustre. Wonderfully concentrated orange honey and apricot scents - in fact it smells like apricot jam that has started to crystallise. There’s botrytis concentration in the palate together with apricot, spiced peel and orange toffee. It’s full of lusciously sweet nectar-like flavours yet there is a scintillating presence of acidity that cuts through the sweetness to add freshness to the finish and makes the wine so impeccably balanced, decadent and delicious. 10% alc. $22.99. 375-ml bottle. 18Mar2015.

2012 Vintage [top] [index]

Riverby Estate Marlborough Noble Riesling 2012 (sc) Very light citrine gold with a captivating and evocative scent that radiates honeysuckle, orange blossom and fresh grapey nuances so reminiscent of Muscat. Concentrated semi-dried and candied tropical fruit in the palate – sensational and intense. Honey nuances from the botrytis loiters in the background harmoniously without overpowering. 128 g/l residual sugar. 9.5% alc. $29.99. 27Nov2013.

Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Noble Riesling Botrytis Selection 2012 (sc)Deep gold. From the tantalising and intense aroma of honeycomb, apricot nectar and orange marmalade to the exquisite flavours of orange honey, candied tropical fruits and apricots infused with a lovely citrus freshness that balances the sweetness just perfectly, this outstanding sweetie coats the palate with its deliciousness and the flavours last for ages. 10.5% alc. $30.99. 2Oct2013.
The colour of a yellow topaz gemstone, this lustrous-hued wine is rich and luscious with opulence and power. It has an exquisite bouquet of apricot nectar, honey and lime curd and the botrytis-rich taste is a sweet sensation of candied orange, honey and liquid toffee with gorgeous mouthfeel and flow while fresh acidity imparting a bright clean finish. Stunning. 10.5% alc. $30.99. 1Oct2014.

2011 Vintage [top] [index]

Akarua Central Otago Noir Ice 2011 (c) Hedonistic and amazing. The colour is like a pink sapphire and the aromas is of fresh pinot grapes with a delicate musk / rose petal nuance coming through. Decadently sweet with a texture like thick nectar, the concentration in is incredible and the taste is scintillating and bright with tangelo-like acidity penetrating the spun sugar sweetness. The pinot noir grape taste exudes through the wine and the finish is like macerated strawberries covered with a fine clear toffee. 204 g/l rs. 10% alc. $40.00. 19Dec2011.

Brancott Estate Letter Series 'B' Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) Bright citrine colour, tantalising flower nectar bouquet of blossoms and honeysuckle, and juicy in the palate, at the same time honeyed and intense with orange toffee and candied tropical fruit. Super sweet but so clean and fresh. Harvested at 42 brix, this delicious 'gold magnet' sweetie is hard to resist. 9.5% alc. $25.99. 375-ml bottle. 15May2013.

Eureka Marlborough Straw Wine Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (sc) Made from Sauvignon Blanc bunches that have been dried on straw, then fermented in 5-year-old oak carrels, it's reminiscent of summer dried hay on the nose then in the mouth it's softness, luscious and harmonious with delectable flavours of sauteed peach, passionfruit and nectar and all the while the hay character coming through. Sweet and concentrated, yet not cloying because the natural acidity of the grapes ensure a fresh, lively citrussy finish. 130 grams per litre residual sugar and total acidity 7.4 grams a litre. 375-ml bottle. 130 g/l rs. 11% alc. $35.00. 27Feb2012.

Riverby Single Vineyard Noble Riesling 2011 (sc) This smells just delicious! It's a clear, burnished gold colour, with a tantalising bouquet of citrus and honeysuckle and so nectar-sweet to the taste - full of honey and candied pineapple with lovely clean sweet citrus flavours that make it seem so fresh. 11% alc. $30.99. 24Oct2012.

Riverby Estate Marlborough Noble Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2011 (sc) Orange tinged gold. Botrytis fills the bouquet of the decadently sweet wine with a mouthcoating viscous texture and flavours of honey, beeswax, orange marmalade and dried apricots, yet there's plenty of fresh acidity to perfectly balance this nectar-like sweetness. 9% alc. $30.99. 7Nov2012.

Seifried Winemakers Collection 'Sweet Agnes' Nelson Riesling 2011 (sc) Golden coloured with a tantalising nectar-like bouquet, this is sweet but not cloying because the refreshing and piercing acidity cuts through the sweetness impressively. Flavours of tropical fruit and nectar are garnished with a flourish of spicy zest. Chilling tones down the sweetness. 10.5% alc. $23.99. 7Sep2011.
Light gold coloured with a honeysuckle perfume, this seems more of a late harvest wine than a fully botrytised Riesling. Freshly squeezed lemon is balanced by juicy tropical fruit and honey , intensely sweet heading almost towards toffee, but with the acidity to balance it, one of the most highly awarded sweeties this year. 10.5% alc. $23.99. 375-ml bottle. 16Nov2011.

Selaks Heritage Reserve Gisborne/Waipara Gewurztraminer Riesling 2011 (sc) Concentrated apricot, orange, honey and spice on the nose and soft and luscious with honey, sweet citrus, apricot and dried papaya in the palate. Viscous and textural with the spicy nature of Gewurztraminer and the tingly finish of Riesling combining in harmony. 11% alc. $16.99. 22Feb2012.
Radiant lemon gold. Honey and apricot on the nose, concentrated and sweet in the palate with tangy citrus, apple, dried tropical fruit and a touch of honey. A blend of Gisborne and Waipara fruit, this is a lighter, late harvest style. No. 2 in Cuisine's sweet wine tasting. 11.5% alc. $14.99. 375ml bottle. 9May2012.

2010 Vintage [top] [index]

Wooing Tree Central Otago Tickled Pink 2010 (sc) Crushed strawberry hue. Cranberry and strawberry aromas and a lovely light yet sweet impression on the palate with flavours of peaches, strawberries and cream, with a delicate mouthcoating viscosity. Beautifully balanced by the perfectly poised tangelo-like acidity that cuts through the liquid honey sweetness and leaves the mouth feeling bright and clean. 100 g/l rs. 9.5% alc. $38.00. 19Dec2011.

2009 Vintage [top] [index]

Beach House Noble Hawkes Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (sc) Light lemony gold in colour with an aromatic punchy bouquet that hints of Sauvignon Blanc but doesn't hint at all of the delicious, juicy, honey sweet flavours that simply seduce the palate. Light and fresh with botrytis adding complexity and viscosity to the grass and sweet pea flavours with a lingering taste of toffee apple. 13.5% alc. $27.99. 20Oct2010.
Radiant yellow gold, emanating nectar-like scents and delectable sweet flavours balanced by a zingy undercurrent. There's lots of honey, apricot, candied fennel and candied oranges – quite delicious for sweet wine lovers and still remarkably fresh. 13.5% alc. $27.99 / 375ml. 25Jan2012.

Coopers Creek Late Harvest Marlborough Riesling 2009 (sc) A toffee-laden, botrytis affected wine with fine citrus acidity to balance the luscious sweetness and lashings of orange honey. 8.5% alc. $23.99. 10Mar2010.

Forrest Marlborough Botrytised Riesling 2009 (sc) Tantalising honey, candied peel and botrytis aromas and flavours of honey, orange zest, dried papaya and dried pineapple infusing into the fine nectar-like texture. While it's extremely sweet according to the label (240 grams of residual sugar), the high acidity cuts through the sweetness in an absolutely seamless way leaving a finish that is lasting and clean. Simply delicious. 9% alc. $39.99. 2Jun2010.

Saints Vineyards Selection Gisborne Noble Semillon 2009 (sc) Golden yellow in colour, the high-toned aroma is of toasted oak and candied grapefruit peel. Sweet and honeyish with loads of viscosity and a marmalade finish, there's some funky acid action going on too but this is characteristic of young sweet wines and will settle with time. 12% alc. Screwcap. $17.99. 18Aug2010.
Dark gold in colour with a honey, apricot and tropical fruit scent with a hint of oak in the background, this is rich and unctuous in the palate with exciting marmalade-like acidity to cut through the tropical fruit / honey sweetness. Concentrated and intense. 375ml bottle. 12% alc. $18.99. 16May2012.
Burnished gold. Concentrated aromas of honey, apricot and marmalade - you can smell the tantalising citrus zest. The concentration carries through to the comb honey palate that's viscous and luscious with clean fresh acidity that cuts though the sweetness. Continues to improve magnificently in the bottle. 12% alc. $18.99. 29Aug2012.

Spy Valley Noble Marlborough Chardonnay 2009 (sc) Radiant sunshine gold with a sublime, tantalising nectar-like scent and delicious tropical fruit salad flavours, like pineapple and mangos in syrup, then peaches and toffee. A luscious sweet treat, yet with perfect acid balance so it's not cloying at all. 375 ml. 10.5% alc. $22.99. 23May2012.

Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Noble Viognier 2009 (sc) This luscious sweetie is light gold in colour with concentrated aromas of apricot, flower musk and orange blossom. It has a nectar-like texture with concentrated baked apricot fruit, a subtle smoky nuance from partial aging in French oak and a spicy kick to the finish. 12.5% alc. $34.99. 22Sep2010.

Urlar Noble Wairarapa Riesling 2009 (sc) Tropical fruits abound in this light, sweet wine with a mild fruit tea and honey character, the sweetness beautifully balanced to the clean citrus-like acidity. A pretty little wine with a bright zesty zing. 13.8% alc. $29.99. 14Jul2010.

2008 Vintage [top] [index]

Allan Scott Late Harvest Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (sc) Apricot abounds in this delectable, sweet, brassy gold-coloured wine. It's very, very sweet with passionfruit, honey and just a touch of VA. Rich and luscious with unbelievable viscosity and a long lasting finish. 9% alc. $27.99. 18Jan2012.

Forrest The Doctors' Noble Marlborough Chenin Blanc 2008 (sc) A deep golden colour, this has heady citrus and apple skin scents and decadently sweet flavours with a thick, viscous, honeyed, waxy texture. Full of toffee apple and orange peel with apricot and honeycomb flavours, the underlying piercing acidity moderates the luscious sweetness. It's such a powerful wine you only need to sip it. 215 g/l rs. 10% alc. $25.00 26Nov2008.

Pegasus Bay Aria Waipara Late Pick Riesling 2008 (sc) Intensely green-gold in hue with an inviting lemon curd and honeycomb scent, this is deliciously sweet yet not cloying at all. Crammed with honey and botrytis, the cleansing acidity imparts a light fresh touch to the orange marmalade finish. Simply divine. 11% alc. $39.99. 30Nov2011.

Riverby Estate Marlborough Noble Riesling 2008 (sc) This distinctive and beautiful botrytised Riesling is a bright, light yellow gold in colour. The aroma is of beeswax, honey, apricot and orange zest and in the luscious palate there's bright acidity that makes the wine seem so fresh. The citrussy flavours - marmalade and lime in particular - pierce through the honeyed richness. Then the lingering aftertaste is all orange toffee praline. Quite simply stunningly delicious 166 g/l rs. 10% alc. $25.00 15Feb2009.

Spy Valley Marlborough Noble Riesling 2008 (sc) Bright, lustrous, citrine gold. Intense apricot, honeysuckle, orange blossom and lime on the nose carry through to the deliciously juicy palate. Served chilled this is so refreshing despite its unctuous sweetness. Honey, apricot, passionfruit and pineapple brim through the nectar-like palate with perfect balancing acidity. Blindingly delicious and absolutely yum! 10% alc. $23.99 / 750ml bottle. 25Mar2009.

2007 Vintage [top] [index]

Charles Wiffen Late Harvest Marlborough Riesling 2007 (c) This burnished gold coloured wine is luscious smelling with a suggestion of candied citrus and is developing a lime ginger marmalade character. There's lovely viscosity to the texture with honeysuckle and dried apricot flavours with a hint of ginger-like spice on the decadent finish. 10% alc. $34.99. 500ml bottle. 4Aug2010.

Johanneshof Late Harvest Marlborough Riesling 2007 (sc) Golden amber. Concentrated aromas of apricot and toffee with a tantalisingly sweet orange infusion, in the mouth this is full-bodied and syrupy, such an incredibly sweet nectar, like drinking golden syrup, and a lingering taste of orange toffee. Yet the acidity is there to provide impeccable balance and abate any cloying. 9% alc. Diam. $41.99 (375 ml bottle). 22Aug2012.

Lone Goat Botrytis Selection 2007 - Canterbury (sc) With intense botrytis, apricot, spiced orange, honeysuckle and lime marmalade, this gorgeous, decadent 24-carat gold-coloured sweetie has a mouth-coating nectar-like texture and bright piercing orange and juicy lime to balance the luscious flavours. It finishes with candied tropical fruits, a hint of toffee and a lingering, apricot-rich honeyed finish. 254g/l residual sugar. 8% alc. $28.99. 1Oct2008.

Johanneshof Noble Late Harvest Marlborough Riesling 2007 (D) Beautiful in appearance with a rich, bright golden hue - the bouquet is hedonistic offering scents of apricot, orange honey and some characteristic VA. The texture is viscous - thick and nectar-like - yes, flavours of peach nectar with apricot and orange honey - thick in texture but fine in its attack - long and pure with wonderfully cleansing acidity that balances the unctuous sweetness and a lingering taste of toffee and crème brulee. 9% alc. $38. 29Jun2009.
This powerfully concentrated nectar is burnished gold in colour with heady aromas of toffee-coated apricots. Thick and viscous in texture, it is honeyed, waxy and toffee-like with ripe stonefruit flavours, a lovely seam of fresh acidity cutting through the sweetness and lingering notes of butter caramel. NZ makes as good sweet wines as anywhere in the world and this is one of the best. 9% alc. $39.99. 10Feb2010.

Rose Tree Cottage Late Harvest Semillon 2007 - Marlborough (sc) Deep bright yellow. Botrytis affected nose with a hint of toffee and green tea. Sweet, honey-rich flavours - quite high-toned with apricot and orange toffee - not too thick - but with lovely acidity that pierces through the sweetness and leaves the mouth feeling clean. 11% alc. $18.99 special. 15Jul2009.

Selaks East Coast Ice Wine 2007 (sc) Deep burnished gold in colour this little sweetie has a waxy, honeyed aroma and apricot, toffee and candied citrus peel flavours. It’s concentrated and rich, with loads of viscosity, a fine seamless texture and a raisiny finish. Made from a blend of Gewurztraminer and Riesling, a little goes a long way. 11% alc. $NA. 21Jul2010.

Spy Valley Marlborough Noble Chardonnay 2007 (sc) This has a rich gold colour with bright yellow glints. Intensely concentrated butterscotch and honeycomb emanate from the nose and the palate has a thick waxy texture. Bright acidity underpins the apricot and golden queen peach flavours and there's a raisiny richness to the creamy finish. There's also a touch of oak spice. Unusually for a botrytised wine, I could detect the alcohol was quite heady. 140 g/l rs. 13.3% alc. $19.90 15Feb2009.

2006 Vintage [top] [index]

Fromm Late Harvest Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2006 (D) This is light gold in colour with a perfume of rose petal, violet, honey and spice and lightly viscous in texture with rose petal and honeyed orange water and gingery spices that add a little kick of tingly brightness to the finish. Soft in its attack, the flavours seem quite savoury in some respects and broaden as they linger. A lovely wine, a beautifully varietal wine, but not a powerful wine. 12% alc. $20.00 15Feb2009.

Forrest Estate Botrytised Marlborough Riesling 2006 (sc) Clear, bright, 24 carat gold with deliciously inviting aromas of golden spun sugar and pure, focussed, nectar-like flavours. Juicy and clean with a zesty fruit brightness, dried apricot, candied citrus, peach and honey and an orange toffee richness to the racy, long finish. Irresistible. 9% alc. $31.99. 3Oct2007.
A rich gold colour. Toffee and slightly woody notes on the nose, perhaps a hint of VA. Fabulous, mouth-coating, nectar-like fleshy fruit flavours with rich orange honey and dried apricots and decidedly crisp acid and verve. The key to the success of this wine, as well as it being so lusciously sweet, is the acidity that ensures the lingering aftertaste is fresh. 9% alc. 220g/L residual sugar. $31-$35. 1Sep2008.
Deep burnished gold, this nectar-like sweet wine is heady with it luscious toffee and plumped-up dried apricot scent with orange peel adding the cut of acidity to the sweet, viscous nectar. One of NZ's most awarded sweet wines ever; a little goes a very long way. 9% alc. $34.99. 28Oct2009.

Grove Mill Late Harvest Gewurztraminer 2006 (sc) Water pale. Very fragrant, typically gewurz with rose petal scents and exotic spices. Quite sweet to the taste, ripe and luscious without being overpowering, the sweetness kept in check by orange and lemon acidity, a honeyed backbone with hints of ginger on the finish. Late harvest style with no botrytis. 110 grams rs. 11% alc. 375ml bottle. 2Jun2007.

Margrain Martinborough Chenin Blanc Botrytis Selection 2006 (sc) Spritzy and spicy with deliciously tart, vibrant acidity - think limes and apples with lots of lemon and citrus peel - beautifully balanced by a finely viscous, luscious honeyed sweetness. Clean, bright and delicious. 182 grams residual sugar. 10.5% alc. $36. 375ml bottle. 2Jun2007.

Ngatarawa 'Alwyn' Winemaker's Reserve Noble Late Harvest 2006 (sc) Deep golden yellow in colour with gorgeous inviting and seductive aromas of apricot and botrytis, it's simply nectar in the palate - nectar, honey, and honeysuckle florals with zesty spices and even a tiny hint of VA, which is OK in this wine. Plus orange honey marmalade, candied fruit and hokey pokey. Just delicious. 12.5% alc, 220g/l rs. $63 / 375ml. 9Oct2007.

Pegasus Bay Waipara Aria Late Picked Waipara Riesling 2006 (sc) Straw gold coloured, it smells so enticing with its flower nectar and exotic tropical fruit fragrance and tastes delicious with it tangy-edged, sweet flavours of passionfruit, juicy citrus, lime sherbet, orange honey, flower nectar and rose musk. The texture is ever so slightly spritzy while botrytis adds a honeyed richness and succulence. Stunning. 7.5% alc. $35.95. 14Feb2007.

Spy Valley Marlborough Noble Riesling 2006 (sc) Fresh and seemingly light with apple dominant flavours underpinned by marmalade-like acidity, the richness of the wine takes over yet with its spritzy texture it retains a bright freshness which makes it suitable for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner. 9.5% alc. 7.6g/l TA. 70g/l of residual sugar. 375 ml bottle. 4Feb2007.

Spy Valley Envoy Marlborough Pinot Gris VT 2006 (sc) The lime sherbet-like aromatics give an impression of Riesling, then the hallmark pear aromas of Pinot Gris emerge. There's honey in the palate, piercing acidity comes through the sweetness to balance the rich, rounded, nectar with a sweet tangy acidity and fruit salad flavours linger. There's hint of herb, like pineapple sage, and a mealy richness from seven months aging in barrel on yeast lees. 12.5% alc. 103 g/L rs. 6.6 g/L TA. $29 / 350ml. 7May2007.

Waimea Estate Late Harvest Nelson Riesling 2006 (sc) Made from full botrytised (raisined) grapes this is bright heliotrope gold with a gem-like appearance. The aromas are powerful with honey, beeswax, a hint of kerosene and perhaps some VA, and the sweet, luscious flavours are reminiscent of orange peel, dried apricots, honey and beeswax with a zing of marmalade-like acidity lifting the finish. A delicious finish to any dinner party or wine tasting. 84 g/l rs. 10.5% alc. $14.90. 6Apr2011.

Valli Otago Vin Santo Central Otago Pinot Gris 2006 (sc) It's a lighter straw gold colour with honeyed pear on the nose and a hint of oak - like honey on toast with a scraping of pear jam. There a touch of 'volatile acidity' too, which is acceptable in this style of wine. It's sweet but it's savoury with a viscous texture and a touch of toffee and pears and spice. The alcohol is balanced and doesn't stick out. A beautiful accompaniment to fresh pear and fresh peaches straight off the tree. 14.5% alc. $39.00 15Feb2009.

2005 Vintage [top] [index]

Alpha Domus 'The Pilot' Leonarda Late Harvest Semillon 2005 Clear, light gold. Sweet, clean aromas, like the scent of trumpet-like flower blossoms that are steeped with sugar-sweet nectar, while citrus comes to the fore in the palate where the flavours are reminiscent of mandarins and other less tart citrus fruit - like the flavours of Cointreau (without the alcohol). Add plumped up dried apricots that have been reconstituted in a citrus sugar syrup and a hint of citrus zest and a touch of smoke from the barrel-aging on the rounded finish that is intensely clean and incredibly long. 115g/L rs. 12% alc. $17.95. 4Jun2006.

Ascension 'The Lost Vines' Late Harvest Gewurztraminer 2005 (sc) Golden coloured with captivating toffee-like aromas and concentrated nectar-like flavours infused with citrus, toffee and spice, this rich, seductive sweetie is in perfect balance. 120g/l rs. 10% alc. $19.95. 4Jun2006.

Ata Rangi Kahu Botrytis Riesling 2005 - Martinborough (sc) Deep bronzy gold. Smoky botrytis honey on the nose. Intensely concentrated and waxy to the taste with apricots, honey, a toffee lusciousness and a clean acid brightness thats give the wine exquisite balance.. Hints of orange zest linger with apricots on the decadent finish. Powerful and delicious. 130 grams rs. 12.5% alc. $28. 375ml bottle. 2Jun2007.

Clayridge Excalibur Noble Sauvignon 2005 (sc) An interesting wine with quite unusual flavours for a sweetie but once you realise it is made from Sauvignon Blanc you understand why the wine has pea-like flavours infused with honey nectar. 12.5% alc. $21. 4Jun2006.

Forrest Estate Late Harvest Marlborough Riesling 2005 (sc) Light yellow gold. Beautiful apricot, honey and "Rose's Lime Marmalade" scent. There is not botrytis as it is made to express the super ripe grapes but again it has that exciting underlying acidity and verve. 8.5% alc. 97g/L rs. 1Sep2008.

Framingham Noble Selection Marlborough Riesling 2005 (sc) Light yellow gold with a hint of kero to the nectar-like scents, it's sweet and luscious to the taste with citrus, honeysuckle, lime candy and passionfruit, there's more of that kero and an orange peel zestiness that brings the opulence sweetness into check. Beautifully balanced with a lasting finish. 155g/l rs. 8.5% alc. $29.99 / 375 ml bottle. 14Feb2007.

Hinchco Matakana Dessert Merlot 2005 (c) Deep garnet red with a ruby glow. Fragrant scents of brandy macerated raisins and liquorice and warm, mellow, spicy flavours with liquorice, allspice, macerated cherries, spiced plum jam, brandy liqueur, fruitcake, chocolate and marzipan. Velvety textured, sweet but not sickly sweet with a balanced dryness to the subtle cedary finish and a deliciously warm after-glow. 18% alc. $25. 500ml bottle. 13Jul2007.

John Forrest Collection Marlborough Noble Riesling 2005 - Brancott Valley, Marlborough (sc) Light gold with a citrine glow. Beautifully fragrant and complex aromas of citrus zest, passionfruit, honeysuckle and honey. The texture is thick, nectar-like but the flavour is fresh, clean and sublime. Orange marmalade, mango and passionfruit come together with the acidity bringing the climax to a refreshing end. It will become toffee-ish in time but right now, fruit is the winner. $49.95. 12Jul2006.
Lovely pure limey Riesling on the nose, which is unusual for a wine made from noble rotted grapes because often botrytis dominates the nose and overpowers everything else with a honeyed apricot scent. This wine evoked an 'OMG' exclamation when I tasted it. It's Riesling through and through with apricot and honey from the botrytis clearly apparent in the taste with orange toffee, marmalade and an underpinning of Roses lime juice all carried across the palate in a thick viscous texture of harmony. A stunning sweet wine with 8.4 g/l of acidity and 220 g/l rs. 9% alc. $50 / 375ml. 26Jul2007.

Lawson's Dry Hills Late Harvest Marlborough Riesling 2005 (sc) Orange gold with toffee aromatics, this is quite creamy and buttery to the taste - like butter toffee. From an amazing botrytis year, this has 125 g/l residual sugar balanced by gorgeous Riesling acidity. Five years old and really starting to hit its straps. Heady and delicious. 10.5% alc. $24.95. 375ml bottle. 9Feb2010.

Mission Estate Noble Hawkes Bay Semillon 2005 (D) Light gold in colour, clear and gem-stone bright, this is beautifully sweet but not over the top with lemon honey and spiced raisin bread while orange zest adds a fine seam of citrus and candied fruits linger on the everlasting finish. 13% alc. $25.99. 375ml bottle. 4Oct2006.
Light golden coloured, clear and bright. Almonds / marzipan and orange blossom on the nose and honeyed, thick-textured flavours with hints of spicy oak emerging, the nectar is full of honey and fruit salad lingers on the aftertaste. Not as complex as the de Bortoli tasted alongside it, but a satisfying end to an evening, nevertheless. 375ml bottle. 13% alc. $25.99. 18Jul2007.

TW Botrytis Gisborne Viognier 2005 (sc) Deep gold in colour with a lightly orange or bronze tinge (depending on the light you are in). There's a distinct aromatic note to the honeyed aroma and intensely rich, waxy, apricot, honey and citrus flower flavours. Delicate and soft in its attack, it slides across the mouth and finishes with a sweet sensation. The tropical fruit-filled aftertaste is concentrated, but delicate and never cloying. I have to say that when I tasted this wine in July before its release, there was a slight graininess to the texture, but five months later it is all nectar, nectar, nectar. 243 g/l rs. 9% alc. $28.00 2Dec2006.

2004 Vintage [top] [index]

Canterbury House Noble Riesling 2004 Bright citrine gold in colour with honeyed apricot aromas and richly viscous apricot, citrus and spice flavours and lime and tangelo marmalade. A beautifully rich and concentrated sweet wine, much headier than the alcohol would suggest. 9% alc. $28. 9Nov2005.

Church Road Reserve Hawkes Bay Noble Semillon 2004 (c) There's a lustrous brightness to the deep gold hue. On the nose there's honey, apricot, smoky oak and orange cake with typical VA (volatile acidity) that is part and parcel of these wines and the nectar-like texture is viscous, creating long silky legs that, after swirling, run slowly down the glass. The wine is decadently sweet with flavours of apricot, dried mango, orange honey and lime marmalade balanced by savouriness from barrel ferment and oak aging while cleansing acidity refreshes the finish. The outstanding food matches, we are told, are Roquefort cheese (now available in NZ) and Foie Gras. 13% alc. $32.99. 12Aug2009.

Dry River Craighall Late Harvest Riesling 2004 (c) Honeysuckle and ginger flowers with a lacing of freshly squeezed tangelo juice tantalise the nose. Then the nectar-like flavours of the spicy citrus and apricot fruit seduce the palate. Gingery spices and lime-ginger marmalade add zest and brightness. This is wine with purity and focus and a beautiful aura of balance surrounding it. Great potential for aging but already spectacular. 10% alc. $45.00 29Apr2005.

Forrest Estate Botrytis Riesling 2004 - Marlborough (sc) Fragrantly floral with passion-orange fruit tea-like aromatics, clean and fresh in the palate with tangelo, apricot, citrus blossom, ginger and runny honey. Lovely purity, lovely viscosity, not too overpowering in its botrytis intensity, just perfect in its balance with a lusciously sweet, but not oversweet, aftertaste. 10% alc. $34.95. 24Nov2004.
Bright lemon yellow. Sweet, clean and refreshing with jasmine tea, candied orange peel and pohutukawa honey on the nose, lovely clean citrus flavours, scintillating acidity that perfectly balances the sweetness and a smooth, honeyed texture. A great palate cleanser and red wine tannin remover. Suitable for a mid course sorbet, a sweet starter with a creamy pate, or to finish off a meal with fresh fruit or cheese. 10% alc. $34.95. 26Jan2005.

Framingham Noble Selection Marlborough Riesling 2004 (sc) Pale gold, a contrast to some of Framingham's previous rich waxy, golden coloured stickies. Served chilled it is just so delicious with its nectar-like viscosity and delightful fresh fruit salad flavours full of pears, apricots, peaches and freshly squeezed citrus. It is clean and fine in texture with orange honey and freshly zested orange peel aromas while apricots linger nicely on the finish. Delicate, not cloying with the luscious sweetness beautifully balanced by a long fine seam of juicy acidity. 7.5% alc. 225g/l rs. $32. 27Feb2006.

Hunters 'Hukapapa' Riesling Desert Wine 2004 A light style with a touch of bitterness on the honeyed finish. 'Hukapapa' in Maori means frost or ice and the name is used to indicate the wine was made from freeze concentrated grapes. 11% alc. $24.95. 4Jun2006.

Northrow Botrytis Marlborough Riesling 2004 (sc) Light gold in colour. Quite sweet but too dry for many puddings, this is more an intercourse wine. Try it as a before dessert to rid the palate of its main course tastes and prepare it for the sweetness ahead. It is chock full of raisin and dried apricot flavours, with a nectar-like texture, a toffee finish and a clean, fresh, aftertaste with candied citrus peel flavours lingering. I'd try it with something like Bread and Butter pudding or Creme Brulee, but nothing sweeter. Serve very chilled, it makes it seem much more viscous. 11% alc. 11Apr2005.
Waxy aromas and marmalade flavours - sweet and viscous with a tropical fruit juiciness and good viscosity to the finish and a lingering citrus zest freshness. 11% alc. $21.95. 6Sep2005.

Pegasus Bay Encore Waipara Valley Noble Riesling 2004 (sc) Like drinking nectar, with typical botrytis-affected flavours of honey and apricot joined by Pegasus Bay's hallmark grapefruit with an infusion of lime and candied peel. It's viscous in texture, like runny toffee, but it's fine and never cloying with a clean fresh finish. Utterly drinkable and with only 9% alcohol by volume, it's a fantastic way to finish off the night. 9% alc. $34.95 (375ml). 26Nov2005.
Light gold coloured with a beautifully expressive, captivating honeysuckle-like aroma that smells sweet and delicious and prepares the palate for the intensely sweet and luscious flavours that are balanced by beautifully poised acidity. Think orange toffee, grapefruit marmalade, dried apricots and honey with a nectar-like texture and a clean, refreshing, tropical fruit aftertaste. A perfect end to an evening, all on its own. 9% alc. $36.95 / 375ml bottle. 26Jul2006.

Rose Tree Cottage Late Harvest Marlborough Semillon 2004 (sc) Bright lemon yellow with a fragrant but unusual aroma for sweet wine. Full of frangipani, coconut and glace pineapple, it's like a vinous pinot colada with a sweet but not too heavy, runny honey finish. Delicious. 11% alc. $24.95 / 375ml bottle. 21Jun2006.

Saints Gisborne Noble Semillon 2004 (sc) Golden yellow in colour with honeyed orange curd aromas and orange curd and apricot jam filling the palate together with mandarin-like acidity to balance the honeyed sweetness and a spicy touch to the mouthfilling finish. Beautifully balanced, not overly sweet, with a touch of oak adding complexity. 13.5% alc. $17.95. 22Mar2006.
Vivid gold, brilliant in its hues. Concentrated, oily, almost buttery aromas and smooth, nectar-like flavours of apricot, honeycomb, spice and runny golden syrup. Very luscious - it seems very youthful for its age. 13.5% alc. $19.99. 21Oct2009.

Sileni EV Pourriture Noble Semillon 2004 – Hawkes Bay A clear light gold colour with honeysuckle, citrus and jasmine tea on the nose and spicy citrus peel, honey and tropical fruit in the palate. A medium bodied sweet wine, not overly viscous in its honeyed texture, with a delicate botrytis influence, soft acidity and a fresh pineapple fruit salad finish. A fresh, clean palate cleanser with a bright fruity aftertaste. 10% alc. $29.95. 23Feb2005.
Light gold coloured with a slightly waxy appearance. Botrytis, varnish, orange peel, dried apricot - and that's just the nose. Rich and viscous with a powerful toffee influence first but becoming light and fresh on the finish with lingering flavours of apples and raisins. 10% alc. $29.95. 25May2005.

Stonecroft Gewürztraminer Later Harvest 2004 Quite an unctuous wine, it doesn't smell sweet with its smoky, musky, floral, Turkish Delight and spice aromas but it certainly tastes sweet with its soft acidity and rich, powerful flavours of honey and spiced peaches with a hint of banana on the finish and toffee lingering on the aftertaste. 100gm RS, barrel fermented. 12.5% alc. $18. 375ml. 24Feb2005.

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Late Harvest Riesling 2004 (sc) A medium-weight sweet wine with lime marmalade, a touch of honey and a floral, loquat blossom, finish. 11% alc. $21.95. 6Sep2005.

Villa Maria Reserve Noble Riesling Botrytis Selection 2004 - Marlborough (sc) Citrine gold in colour with a sensational clean, fresh, delicious smelling aroma that is lightly floral with lemon and orange honey and just a hint of raisin. The nectar-like liquid fills the mouth with honey, dried apricots, sweet citrus and stonefruits with wonderful balance of sweetness and acidity and a delicate lingering finish. 10% alc. $52.95. 16Mar2005.
Golden coloured. Erotic aromas of honey, apricot and orange zest and toffee flavours, seamless in its flow with a rich botrytis sweetness, a thick, viscous texture and clean acidity that freshens and balances the finish. 10.5% alc. $49.95. 6Sep2005.

Vinoptima Ormond Noble Late Harvest Gewurztraminer 2004 Deep burnished gold, clear, bright. On the nose, botrytis in the fist sense - botrytis, apricot, honey and spice fill the palate with a liquid toffee richness - the sweetness balanced by a delicious zesty brightness. A delicious sweet gewurztraminer with a richness and a raisined gewurztraminer grape sweetness and an aftertaste that last and lasts. For a most decadent treat, match to fois gras. 115g./l rs.12.5% alc. $60 / 375ml. 9Oct2007.

2003 Vintage [top] [index]

Black Ridge Late Harvest Gewurztraminer 2003 Grapefruit peel/orange peel on nose, orange blossom, dry, quite lean, subtle on entry, opens up in palate to reveal rich, spicy citrus and stonefruit characters with good length. Nicely sweet but without the effects of botrytis. 375ml. $18.95. 25Mar2004/

Brightwater Nelson Riesling Ice Wine 2003 Lovely fragrance and flavour of flowers, citrus, honey, mandarin and orange zest. Lovely texture, succulent, clean, refreshing and moreish. 10% alc. 18Jun2004.
Honeyed scents, crisp fruity flavours with a citrussy tang to the finish. Nicely sweet and beautifully balanced. Freeze concentrated to minus 10 degrees C, which gives a 10% reduction in volume as water adheres to the S/S tank and wine is racked out for fermentation. A popular wine in Japan. Match to ginger nuts, blue cheese, walnuts and honey. 10% alc. $23/375ml. 22Aug2004.

Burnt Spur L.H. Riesling 2003 A bright crisp riesling, no obvious botrytis but it is made in a late harvest style. A bit light and delicate with lingering honeysuckle ad citrus. 75g residual sugar. 8Dec2003.

Forrest Estate Botrytised Marlborough Chenin Blanc 2003 Creamy palate filled with fruit salad and apple flavours with a honeyed finish and a waxy, smoky aftertaste. Match to sharp cheeses, Edam, Gouda, etc. 9.5% alc. 175g/L rs. $19.95/375ml. 22Aug2004.

Forrest Estate Botrytised Marlborough Riesling 2003 (sc) Quite copper in colour, this has a mesmerisingly magnetic aroma that is deeply honeyed with butter toffee, dried apricot and orange. The flavour is rich and full but unexpected that it is so powerfully spicy. It has tight acidity and a little V.A. A gorgeous match to a tart lemon honey filled tart. 10% alc. >200g/L rs. $40-$46. 1Sep2008.

Johanneshof Noble Late Harvest Marlborough Riesling 2003 A wonderfully clean and beautifully balanced sweet wine, bright yellow gold in colour with deliciously sweet flavours of apricot, orange honey, flower nectar and toffee and a lovely creamy, viscously textured backbone. Sensational stuff. If this was a German wine it would be a Trockenbeerenauslese. 10.5% alc. $34.95. 6Oct2004.
Deep amber gold with a 24-carat brightness to the hue, tantalising aromas of orange toffee and honey and clean, lifted flavours with natural acidity subliming balancing the unbelievably sweet raisin, orange toffee and honeyed flavours, all building to a fantastically long nectar-like finish. Harvested at 47 degrees Brix. 10% alc. $34.95. 375ml bottle . 22Jun2005.

Konrad Sigrun Noble Marlborough Riesling 2003 Orange gold, waxy looking, rich, sweet and luscious smelling with a thick, viscous, nectar-like texture and gorgeous flavours of honeyed oranges, apricot, passionfruit and toffee - I imagine it would be sublime with a passionfruit topped crème brulee. 189 grams residual sugar. 10.5% alc. $27.95. 375ml bottle . 22Jun2005.
Golden yellow with tempting honey and dried apricots on the nose and nectar-like flavours in the honeyed palate with orange toffee lingering for ages on the sweet, nectar-like finish. Beautifully balanced. 10.5% alc. $24.95. 375ml. 10May2006.

Mt Difficulty Long Gully Riesling 2003 (sc) Light gold in colour and a "wow" evoking aroma – full on aromatically fruity nose filed with citrus peel, apricots and a touch of honey leading into a full flavoured late harvest fruit flavour. Honeyed citrus, stonefruits, a layer of beeswax and the lingering of juicy tangelos that have been sweetened with sweet wine. Lovely balance with lingering flavours of lime zest. Very well done. 100 grams of residual sugar. 9.5% alcohol. $32.95 for a 750ml bottle. Totally delish. 19Mar2004.
Bright straw gold in colour, the botrytis-filled sweet honeyed aromas prepare the palate for something extra special and the palate is not disappointed. It's utterly sweet without being overpowering as the balance of zesty citrus acidity to the sweet grape and tropical fruit flavours is immaculate. Crisp and clean with terrific length, this is an absolutely brilliant wine! I give it six stars. 100 g/L rs. 9.5% alc. $32.95. 21Apr2004.

Mt Difficulty Manson's Farm Late Pick Pinot Gris 2003 (sc) Light gold with just a suggestion of pink to the colour, it smells of spiced pear and oily hand lotion on the nose. There's lots of juicy citrus in the palate joined by feijoa, tropical fruit and a touch of honey with a warm oily texture. The finish is long with beeswax and honeyed citrus lingering. It's a full-flavoured pinot gris, nothing neutral about this wine at all. Picked one month later than the standard pinot gris, it has allowed the grapes to concentrate their flavours. 25g/L rs. 14.5% alc. $28.95. 17Mar2004.

Neudorf Riesling Botrytis Selection 2003 Pale in colour, beeswax on the nose and full of lime honey and flower nectar in the palate, this is undoubtably Riesling with its abundance of zesty lime with nutty citrus, earthy citrus and citrus honey flavours on an unctuous nectar-like texture. Add a touch of spice and the candied lime and grapefruit peel to zest up the finish and what a clean refreshing sweetie you have. 11.5% alc. 9.5gL TA, 103g/L residual sugar. 22Feb2004.

Peregrine Late Harvest Pinot Gris 2003 Light gold. Sweet and juicy with musk (muscat) and spice on the nose, stewed apples, pears and spice in the palate, loads of raisins, a little honey on the finish but no botrytis. A wine without much substance, which makes it so easy to drink and enjoy. Will be fabulous as an accompaniment to Roast Pork & crackling. 11% alc. $24.95. 17Mar2004.

Sileni Estate Selection Late Harvest Semillon 2003 375ml Yellow gold. Clean and fresh on the nose, smelling of oranges and lemon tea, the palate is just as refreshing as the nose suggests. Lime fills the palate and tropical fruits linger. There's terrific acidity that balances the sweetness of the wine and there's the slightest hint of honey of the finish. Just 10% botrytis, so not cloying at all. It's light and easy and finishes fresh. Serve chilled on very hot days or enjoy as a palate refresher during or after dinner. 11.5% alc. $21.95. 19Nov2003.

Shingle Peak Botrytised Marlborough Riesling 2003 Bright yellow gold. Sweet floral scents with lime zest over toffee, rich and concentrated, decadently sweet but with terrific acidity to balance it perfectly, baked apple, apricots, raisins and citrus honey linger. 9% alc. $27.95. 15Sep2004.

Soljans Dessert Gewurztraminer 2003 Served chilled, this is like liquid toffee, its sweet and sticky with bright acidity balancing the sweetness and the bright lift of aromatics spices. It's not as heavy as some stickies and has a bright clean finish. 3Dec2003.

Spy Valley Noble Riesling 2003 Pale in colour and a little oily in it appearance. Sweet-scented with citrus and tinned Bartlett pear juice but thin, light, lean and unbalanced in palate with a matchstick character and a bitter finish. Disappointing to say the least, especially from this label. 12.5% alc. $20.95. 500mls. 19May2004.

Te Mania Estate Nelson Botrytis Riesling 2003 Richly botrytised, earthy sweet Riesling with a lingering honey and marmalade hint to the citrussy finish. Lovely rich and viscous. Jon matched to Blue Cheese and dried fruit. 12% alc. 135g/L rs. $21.95/375ml. 22Aug2004.

Vidal Estate Reserve Noble Semillon 2003– Hawkes Bay (sc) Amber gold. Sweet, honeyed, waxy, candied orange aromas with a savoury spicy oak and lemon tea influence to the thick viscous flavours with decadent dried apricot and orange honey and a lusciously long finish. 7% alc. $41.95. 15Sep2004.

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Late Harvest Riesling 2003 (sc) Light gold in colour and with light attack in the palate, this has layers of grapes, orange, kiwifruit, pineapple and peach topped with passionfruit, and a lightly toffeed finish. It's like winey fruit juice and would be perfect in the summer. 11% alc. 22Sep2004.

Villa Maria Noble Riesling Botrytis Selection 2003 Orange gold, gemmy and bright. Full of botrytis, orange toffee and spiced honey aromas, it tastes sweet and luscious, like apricot stuffed baked apples with a honey and orange toffee topping. Thick and viscous in texture with a long, sweet, citrussy aftertaste. 10.5% alc. $52.99. 8Nov2006.

Waimea Estates Bolitho Noble Chardonnay 2003 - Nelson Very delicately scented, honeysuckle, citrus and vanilla bean. Superbly sweet with fantastically clean acidity that balances it to perfection, and a warm, waxy, creamy finish with delicious flavours of dried apricots lingering. These grapes were fermented in French oak, which adds another layer of complexity. 10% alc. $41.95. 21Sep2005.

Waimea Estates Bolitho Noble Riesling 2003 - Nelson Deep greeny gold, this is rich, powerful, concentrated and mellow, sweet and powerful with an earthy, slightly cedary undercurrent to the decadent beeswax, muscatel raisin and marzipan flavours. A big wine - mouthfilling and mouthcoating - with exceptional length. A Christmas cake wine. Fermented in French oak, it has 181 grams per litre of residual sugar. 11% alc. $43.99. 25Apr2007.
Bright citrine gold, like a brilliant gemstone with it's clear, glinting appearance, this luscious sweetie smells just gorgeous with apricot, candied orange peel, honey and toffee scents that carry through to the creamy, nectar-like palate. A totally decadent wine with extra complexity from barrel fermentation, a touch of beeswax and spicy citrus balancing the sweetness, it has 181 grams per litre of residual sugar. A totally delicious treat. 375ml. 11% alc. $43.99. Cork. 19Dec2008.
Amber gold with an orange glow, it seems soft and honeyed. Described on the label as crystallised citrus and wild bush honey but with time in the bottle a mellow nuance has crept in. Intensely thick, viscous luscious flavours of toffee, golden syrup and candied oranges, finishing almost creamy. Fermented in French oak. Delicious with the cheese. 11% alc. $44.99. 29Aug2012.

Waipara Hills Botrytis Marlborough Riesling 2003 (sc) Rich in colour and rich in flavour, this deliciously sweet and beautifully balanced sticky has everything you expect in this style - botrytis, honey, toffee, beeswax and apricots on a nectar-like viscous texture and a terrifically long, sweet finish. 10.5% alc. 177g/L rs. 22Aug2004.

2002 Vintage [top] [index]

Askerne Dessert Cabernet 2002 Fragrant, smelling of cassis with a rich winey scent and a light porty taste, this sweet Cabernet has been lightly fortified. A wine that will stand up to a richer dessert such as Mississippi Mudcake with a Berry sauce, or simply Chocolate Mousse. 15.5% alc. $19.95/375ml. 23Aug2004.

Canterbury House Noble Riesling 2002 Light yellow gold. Honey & beeswax on nose lead into a richly concentrated palate with apricot, limes, honey, toffee and candied peel. Very sweet. Very sticky. Luscious. Moreish. 9% alc. 375ml. 8Oct2003.

Canterbury House Late Harvest Pinot Gris 2002 Honeyed, a little earthy with upfront baked apple flavours, a waxy texture and lingering pear and apple flavours with a spiciness to the lingering, creamy aftertaste. Not overly sweet for a sweet wine, try it with baked cheesecake. 10% alc. $22/375ml. 22Aug2004.

Church Road Reserve Noble Semillon 2002 - Hawkes Bay (c) A big rich, deep gold coloured wine with cedary oak and hints of acetate on the nose at first that quickly blows away to reveal deep, honeyed botrytis scents. Honeyed to the taste, the oak is quite powerful but it is refined, mellow oak playing a supporting role to the chorus of fruit where apricot is the star and a honeyed lusciousness lingers for an age. Stop fermented in new French oak with 14 months maturation. 13.5% alc. $32.95. 375ml bottle. 2Jun2007.
Deep apricot gold coloured with loads of volatile acidity emanating from the nose, this heady nectar is becoming more and more toffeed with age. A very rich wine that needs a food match that will stand up top the strong flavours. $33.95. 14May2008.

Cloudy Bay Late Harvest Marlborough Riesling 2002 Light citrine gold in colour with a sweet citrus and honey aroma even when the wine is straight from the fridge, showing more honeysuckle aromas as it starts to warm. It has lovely viscosity and texture, a nectar-like liquid full of orange citrus, lime and apricot with a honeyed toffee finish. A citrussy wine that doesn’t want to be matched to anything too sweet. Try Lemon cake or lemon tart for a dessert match. 10% alc, 141 g/L rs, 8.6 g/L acidity. $27.95/375ml. 22Aug2004.

Kim Crawford Reka Noble Riesling 2002 Clean and refreshing, sweet but not cloying, light but full of flavour. Nectar-like runny honey with a flavour of apricots soaked in liqueur, orange honey, limes, candied grapefruit peel, marmalade and flower nectar with a lifted zesty finish that is very long. 24Jul2003.
If you want to know what sweet wine is about, then this is it. It's golden in colour, beautifully balanced, not too cloying and laden with honey, marmalade, passionfruit and butterscotch. Wonderfully mouthfilling with a luscious texture, the nectar-like liquid covers every nook and cranny in the mouth. Then when its all been swallowed the waxiness of comb honey atones to the citrus backbone. 12.5% alc. $23.95/375ml. AirNZ Gold Medal tasting. 26Nov2003.

Isabel Estate Noble Sauvage 2002 (100% Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc) A beautifully rich and fruity, wonderfully viscous nectar, thick and sweet, apricots, peach and passionfruit, a little oak on the back palate, made to sip and savour at the end of a long day. Simply divine with fluffy pavlova and fresh summer fruits. Yummo! 25Dec2003.

Margrain Botrytis Selection Chenin Blanc 2002 Rich, unctuous, loads of crisp green apples, thick and syrupy like toffee apples made with granny smiths. I can taste the green skin balancing the sweetness. Bright, lively, fresh, yum. 10% alc. 375ml bottle. ***** . 8Dec2003.

Matariki Late Harvest Riesling 2002 Gold. Wondrous botrytis aromas, orange, honey, apricot, beeswax and sweet ginger marmalade. Rich and concentrated, plenty of flavour, sugary but with terrific acid in there to balance it nicely. It’s sweet and long with lots of fresh fruit, not raisiny at all. A rich, sweet wine that refreshes the palate and leaves a gorgeous lingering taste. $32.50. 11Oct2003.

Matua Valley Late Harvest Muscat 2002 Sweet, fragrant and musky with well defined citrus on a liquid honey. Try a very chilled glass of this sweetly flavoured wine for a refreshing alternative on a hot summer's day. Jan 2003.

Okahu Estate Ice Wine Chenin Blanc 2002 Beeswax scents and apple flavours dominate this sweet wine that has just a touch of tartness. Made from Te Kauwhata fruit, match to apple strudel or ice cream served with loquats. 10.5%alc. $19.95/375ml. 23Aug2004.

Rongopai Late Harvest 2002 Yellow gold with delicious botrytis and citrus flavours on a lovely creamy, honeyed texture, there's just a hint of spicy oak that lingers on the finish. A very powerful sweetie indeed. Made from a blend of Riesling, Chardonnay and Wurzer, the grapes were hand selected, berry by berry. 24Jul2003.

Stonecutter Martinborough 'Topaz' Late Harvest 2002 Soapy aromas. Zingy and refreshing at first with lemon, ginger spice and honeysuckle however I find a bitter character running through this hot finishing grainy textured wine. 40gms rs. 13% alcohol. 2/3 GW, 1/3 SB. 13.5%. 10Nov2002.
A Martinborough blend of 66% Gewurztraminer and 33% Sauvignon Blanc, this late harvest berry selection has delicate musky orange and lemon scents. Laden with zingy citrus, apricots, passionfruit and nectar, it's fruity, fresh and vibrant, not cloying at all, just a touch of honey and a touch of zingy spice on the finish. For semi-sweet wine lovers and for those who want something different. Serve lightly chilled with creamy blue cheese as an aperitif or as an after dinner palate refresher. Comes in a 500ml bottle and costs $19.95. ****1/2. 27Nov2003.

Villa Maria Reserve Noble Marlborough Riesling 2002 Slightly tea characters to the aroma but otherwise quintessential late harvest rather than botrytis Riesling scents. What it lacks on the nose it makes up for in the palate with a viscous honeyed texture and concentrated and beautifully balanced flavours of apricot and citrus with just a tickle of exotic spice. 14% alc. 19Oct2004.

West Brook Late Harvest Riesling 2002 Yellow gold with orange tinges. Rich and toffeed with apricots and spice, lots of honey and citrus marmalade flavours on finish. Mellow and sweet with a quince jam aftertaste. 10% alc. 22Sep2004.

2001 Vintage [top] [index]

Forrest Estate Botrytised Riesling 2001 Deep gold and waxy in appearance. Gorgeously aromatic with botrytis, honey, beeswax and marmalade on the nose. Richly flavoured with honey, macerated raisins, orange peel , spices and cardamon. Intensely concentrated throughout with a deliciously balanced finish and a long, honeyed, nectar-like aftertaste. 11% alc. $34.95. 25May2005.

Matariki Late Harvest Riesling 2001 The honey flavours emanate from the glass of this lemon gold wine, titillating the senses from several inches away. Closer, the beeswax and apricot aromas are rich and appealing. This beautifully balanced sweet wine is elegant and lifted. Not at all cloying, but mouthfilling, with a lovely citrus twang on the honeyed finish. $33. 21Feb2002.

Murdoch James 'Trafalgar' 2001 A sweet wine that is made from a blend of sauvignon blanc, riesling and chardonnay. It's a well coloured pale gold with a honey aroma along with apples, pears and nuts. It is amazingly sweet with a leesy character on the finish and no indication of botrytis. It is light and delicate in the palate but the flavours are subtle and linger for an awfully long time. $30. 2Oct2001.

Selaks Founders Reserve Marlborough Botrytis Riesling 2001 Laden with botrytis on the nose together with orange blossom and toffee, this light gold coloured, sweet, perfectly balanced sticky has a lovely honey and beeswax botrytis influence to the apricot and peachy fruit. It's, thick, luscious and delicious - what more can I say. 10% alc. 10Sep2003.
This golden coloured nectar-like wine is all class. It smells a little Euro, dare I say it, like Sauternes, and is absolutely filled with flavours of toffee, citrus, honey and apricot. It has terrific weight and mouthfeel and is wonderfully balanced with sweet orange citrus balancing the rich sweetness. Deliciously sweet with lingering toffee, this multi gold medal winner is perhaps the ultimate desert wine, however I’d be quite happy to have this instead of dessert. But Creme Brulee would definitely be tempting! 10% alc. $28.95/$25.95. 375ml. 21Apr2004.
Deep gold, clear, star bright. Orange pekoe tea aromas with an infusion of orange water adding to the attractive honeyed scent. Oily apricots fill the palate with a honeyed richness and a sweet luscious dried mango, tropical fruit finish with still a touch of acidity to keep it fresh and youthful. 10% alc. 190g/l RS. $25.95 375ml. 1Feb2006.

Waimea LH Riesling 2001 Pale straw gold. Aromas of spice, flowers and honeyed limes. Spritzy, sherbetty, clean and refreshing in the palate. Not too sweet. Lovely balance. Gentle botrytis. Very impressive. This would be delicious as a sorbet. $15. 6Feb2002.

Wither Hills Noble Riesling 2001 - Marlborough Deep yellow gold, the nose is intense and honeyed with the aromas of toffee, apricot and sticky raisined grapes. It's powerfully rich and treacle-like in its texture with the graininess of fresh pears, and intensely concentrated in its flavour with a slight suggestion of citrus oil before it fills out with honeycomb and orange toffee. A wonderfully botrytised wine with a good stream of acidity that makes it seem fresh and youthful and you know its got simply years of life ahead of it. The honeyed flavour lasts for ages. 375ml. 10.5% alc. 22Oct2003.

2000 Vintage [top] [index]

Cloudy Bay L.H. Riesling 2000 Light yellow gold, rich and sweet, beeswax, honey, melon jam and butter caramel . There's a good seam of citrus peel acidity and honey and apricot linger. Terrifically balanced with lots of botrytis influence, the acidity cuts through the sweetness and leaves the mouth feeling lively and refreshed. 31Dec2003.

Coopers Creek Late Harvest Marlborough Riesling 2000 Grapey aroma. Zesty and bright, well balanced with a touch of lime and apricot jam. 1 50% of the fruit was botrytis affected. Harvested at 27 brix. $18.50. 22Oct2001.

Dry River Late Harvest Riesling 2000 ($35.00) Simply sublime. This wine is Class with a capital 'C'. The aromas are floral and full of blossoms. Zingy and fresh with flavours of honey, lemons, talc-mineral, limes, mandarins, plumped-up dried apricots and other juicy citrus bound up in a classy structure that exudes power and length. As the wine lingers after it has been swallowed, the honey, honeysuckle-like notes compound into a butterscotch-like richness. It's a spatlese style with about 60 grams of residual sugar, yet clean not cloying. This wine is a must for sweet wine fanatics. 19/20 Aug 2000

Forrest Botrytised Chenin Blanc 2000 (Marlborough). This is a lovely rich honey nectar with delicate flavours of apple and pear. A top class 'sticky'. 18Sep2001

Forrest Estate Botrytised Riesling 2002 Golden yellow. A bright palate cleanser, lots of unctuous, lush honey and dried apricot flavours, a very balanced, delicious wine with good acidity. Drink it before, during and after. Yum! 11% alc., 10 grams/litre residual sugar, picked at 37 brix. $36.95 / 375ml. 2Jul2003.

Margrain Chenin Blanc Late Harvest 2000 Well, I just went gaga over this wine, totally loving it. Attractive clean and fruity aromas and rich, ripe, sweet fruit in the palate with plenty of acidity balancing the sweetness. Fresh apples and apple shortcake with crisp lemon supporting it and a wonderful glycerolic, almost viscous texture. A fresh clean finish. What a wonderful 'hot summer days' wine for immediate drinking now but this wine will age fantastically. With just 20grams / litre residual sugar, the 'late harvest' is perhaps a misnomer. WOTW 19Nov2000.

Ngatarawa Noble Harvest 2000 Botrytized. Copper gold colour. Very strong apricot and beeswax aromas. Quite lifted and clean with viscous, orange-toffee toasty flavour, a touch of lanolin and a slightly burnt toffee-apple finish with a long lingering after flavour of orange-blossom honey finish. Good. 29Jun2002.

Palliser Estate Noble Chardonnay 2000 Honey-rich bouquet and massively sweet honey peach apricot flavours in the palate. Superbly balanced sweetness with a sweet raisin finish. One of the best botrytis chardonnays I've tried in a long time. 8.5% alcohol. 250 grams residual sugar. $25. 24Sep2001.
A superb botrytised wine with excellent balance, flavours full of plumped-up dried apricots and fruit salad, and a lovely viscous texture. 18Nov2001

Konrad and Conrad Marlborough Sigrun Noble Riesling 2000 Voluptuous rich honey scents and ripe and luscious in the palate with a smoky toastiness and peach and apricot fruit. A wonderfully balanced and delicate sweetie. 18Sep2001.

Schubert 'Dolce' 2000 ($25 for 375ml), made from a blend of Muller-Thurgau and Sauvignon Blanc, is one of the sweetest wines I've tasted but has lots of bright acidity to balance it. It is extremely luscious and rich, a wine that one just needs to sip very slowly on after dinner. 25Feb2003.

Siefried Riesling Ice Wine 2000 Delicious honey aromas and lovely sweet fruit with rich apricot and orange flavour. Nectar-like. (These grapes are nor frozen on the vine, but harvested, then frozen). 17Sep2001.

Virtu Hawkes Bay Semillon 2000 Bright gold in appearance, there's a subtle oak influence on the honey-rich nose and mouthfilling flavours in the palate. With honey, marmalade, apricots, orange and candied grapefruit, this is rich and full-bodied, elegant and seamless, powerful and sophisticated. Oak softens the wine, it is lovely and smooth rather than waxy in its texture, a wine you can sip and savour as the finish that goes on and on and lingers like toffee. 12.5% alc. $35.95/$31.95. 2Jun2004.

1999 Vintage [top] [index]

Blue Ridge Marlborough Late Harvest Riesling 1999. Smoky, flinty, botrytis, honey apricot. Has a little burnt character (rot?) showing through, though. Lots of limey acid and a rich marmalade finish with a touch of ginger. FG 14Oct2000.

Brown Bros Orange Muscat and Flora 1999 Spritzy lemon. Very clean, very refreshing. Lovely balance with candied lemon zest and angelica flavours. 4.5/5 31 Jan 2000.

Church Road Reserve Noble Semillon 1999 Orange gold in colour, its smells rich and luscious with toffee and orange liqueur on the nose then a flow of orange honey across the palate. It's sweet with a bees-wax texture and just a little spicy with orange marmalade, a touch of dried apricot and just a hint of lychee on the concentrated rich finish. The lingering orange toffee flavour lasts for ever (well almost). Matured in 100% new French oak, the concentrated nectar soaks the oak up. Terrifically balanced and just a gorgeous luscious sweet dessert wine. Accompany with almond tart and make sure the dessert is not as sweet as the wine. $32.95/375ml bottle. 16Sep2003.

Cloudy Bay Late Harvest Riesling 1999 Lovely botrytis characters on the nose - sweet apricot with a honey bees-waxy characters together with lifted spice. Great balance. Delicious. If you are a lover of comb-honey, you will love this nectar. 18//20. Nov 2000

Geisen Canterbury Late Harvest Riesling 1999 Pale gold. Raisin aromas, no hint of botrytis. Raisin, stonefruit and sweet grapey flavours. A light style and not terribly sweet. Would be suitable as an aperitif. 9% alc. 375ml bottle. 2May2003.

Forrest Indian Summer 1999 This wine is a blend of chenin blanc, riesling and gewurtraminer. At first it smells like sauvignon blanc on the nose and there's heaps of aromatics, Sweet, simple and easy. A very appealing and affordable sticky. RRP $15.95 (375ml). 25Aug1999.

Forrest Marlborough Botrytised Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc 1999 A blend of 80% semillon and 20% sauvignon blanc. Enticing scents of apricots, honeysuckle flowers and botrytised grapes lead into a rich, clean palate where citrus acidity is superbly balanced by the sweetness of the nectar-like liquid. While citrus abounds I envisage fresh meadows and summer hay, then a wave of sweet orange marmalade fills the palate and a toasty richness lingers with a hint of passionfruit. Take another mouthful, this time there's lemons, warm honey, apricots and subtle gooseberries at the end. A dried apricot richness lingers joining the toasty flavours of the previous mouthful. The aftertaste is very very long. Simply luscious. 375ml. $25. WOTW 30Jul2000.
This intensely, intensely rich and lusciously sweet wine is overflowing with apricots, oranges, honey and beeswax. Amazing concentration and length. It is so young, but the upfront acidity in this wine tells me it's going to be an amazing keeper; 3-5 years at least. RRP $24.95 (375ml). 25Aug1999.

Konrad and Conrad Marlborough Sigrun Noble Riesling 1999 Very delicate and intense honey, beeswax and sweet orange marmalade flavours. 18Sep2001.

Oyster Bay Botrytised Riesling 1999 A deep gold wine that smells of sweet botrytis, a rich concentrated nectar that is choc-full of sweet sticky raisin flavours that have been steeped in orange-tea and honey. It's thick, sweet, sticky and delicious. 14Aug2003.

Saint Clair Doctor's Creek Noble Chard & Riesling 1999 ($23.95) Spritzig fruit. A touch of honey and citrus. Short finish. Would be delicious with dried fruits. 17.0 7Mar2001
Green gold. Very clean and pure lime and honey botrytis scents. Very, very sweet, toasty, honeyed peaches baked in orange juice flavours in mouth. A touch of toffee. A wine to sip and savour. Delicious. 375ml $26. 22May2002.

Saints Botrytis Semillon 1999 Bright yellow gold in colour. Liquid honey. Dessert flavours of peaches and figs emerge and a touch of banana too. Would be delightful with the Xmas trifle and fruit salad. NZ$17.95. 12Dec2001.

Te Whare Ra Noble Semillon 1999 Delicious dried apricots totally dominate the palate with a hint of citrus, hay, and honey and candied grapefruit peel.. Warm and a little bready - 14.5% alc. $24 (375ml). 17Oct2001.

Villa Maria Reserve Noble Riesling 1999 Delicious - knock your socks off - aromas. Rich and intense in the palate with zingy spice and intense fruit. An altogether delicious and powerful wine. 19.5/20. Tasted 30/10/2000

Waimea Estate Noble Riesling 1999 (375m) - Nelson. Sparkling bright burnished gold, this ultra-sweet wine (picked at 47 degrees Brix and with 200 grams of residual sugar) emits wonderfully concentrated aromas of botrytis, apricot and orange honey and tastes of bright, spicy and zesty ripe Riesling fruit with flavours of orange syrup and apricot nectar. Wonderfully thick and viscous in texture with terrific concentration, weight and length, a hint of spicy ginger and candied peel livens up the long lingering honeyed finish. Fully deserving of its Gold and Trophy for Best Sweet Wine in the 2001 Liquorland Top 100. $49.95. 15Jan2003.
A clear, bright orange gold colour, it smells of honey, toffee and apricot nectar and tastes intense and sweet with spicy citrus balancing the sweetness to perfection. The texture is thick and nectar-like and the finish is long and clean and the citrus acidity leaves the mouth sweetly refreshed. 12.8% alc. $49.95. 375ml bottle. Gold medal & Trophy winner. 26May2004

Waipara Springs Botrytised Riesling 1999 Sweet apricot and orange aromas and a honey, sugary flavour. A light style of sweet wine with softly honeyed fruit. $28. 24Sep2001.

1998 Vintage [top] [index]

Alpha Domus AD Noble Selection 1998 Burnt gold in colour. Rich and caramel-like with beeswax and raisins fruit. 24Sep2001.
Burnished gold in colour, brilliantly clear. Rich, honeyed apricot flowers, ginger and orange. A deliciously rich and concentrated sweet wine with lovely balance and a clean finish. 1Aug2002.

Brookfields Hawkes Bay Noble Gewurztraminer 1998 Pale coloured. Beautiful, luscious flavours, mouthfilling sweetish finish with hints of musk and tropical fruits. Rich, full-bodied and heaps of persistence. 2/3/99. Rating: Very Good.

Esk Valley Reserve Botrytised Chenin Blanc 1998 Classy bottle. Rich toasted apple scents. Lifted, white honey, floral, dried fruits. A clean wine with apple seed spice lingering on the finish. A totally different style to the familiar style of botrytised wines. Should develop well. 16.5/20. Tasted 0/10/2000

Vidal Estate Noble Semillon 1998 Gold colour, tending towards bronze. Rich, botrytis scents. Intense botrytis flavours in palate. Viscous, luscious, with intense apricot, honey and beeswax flavour. Very full and long. 18.5/20 Tasted 30/10/2000

Villa Maria Reserve Noble Riesling 1998
The aromas are lemony and lush with lots of botrytis characters of wax and honey wafting their scents around the vicinity of the glass. In the palate the texture is rich and viscous with concentrated citrus and botrytis characters. A terrific wine from a low botrytis year. A blend from Marlborough and Hawkes Bay. $38.95 a 375ml bottle. WOTW 21Mar1999.

Older Vintages [top] [index]

Brown Brothers Noble Riesling 1996 (Aus) Smells like orange honey and tastes like candied oranges. Hints of beeswax and lots of acid. Viscous and mouthfilling in the palate. Excellent lingering finish. 1/12/98 Rating: Excellent.

Corbans PB Noble Riesling 1997 Three years younger than the Villa Maria 94 tasted on the same occasion (see below) but so much darker. Intensely aromatic, apricot jam though it is not overly sweet to the taste. Sweet not cloying. Exquisite balance with lots of citrus acidity and a bright orange finish. The conversation ground to a halt as people went into orgasmic moans of satisfaction. 22Nov2003.

Katnook Coonawarra Riesling 1997 A botrytised wine. Fantastic aromas of botrytis, toffee and oranges. In the palate a delicious viscous texture and flavours of honey, orange peel and apricots. Delicious concentration with power, acid and length. Tasted 22/12/99 at Kingsley's 'Wines of the Year'.

Montana Virtu Noble Semillon 1996 (Hawkes Bay)
Yellow gold with a touch of green, it's bright and richly coloured. The nose is distinctly orange-peel and other citrus fruits with botrytis and honey aromas, perhaps even a hint of coconut, very intense and very aromatic. In the palate the orange flavour is very upfront with mandarins joining in. There's some apricot as well - like dried apricots that have been macerated in cointreau. The fruit is ripe and the wine is clean and lush with good viscosity of texture. The oak is very subtle - just a hint on the finish. The wine is beautifully balanced - very well made indeed. The apricot and citrus flavours linger for a long time afterwards. About $40.00 for 375ml. WOTW 27Jun1999.

Palliser Estate Martinborough Botrytised Riesling 1995: This wine has 3 years of age on it when tasted on 7 Nov 1998. The colour is deep amber, probably a reflection of the problematic vintage. The taste is just simply pure botrytis - liquid honey and bees wax with a lingering honey finish with orange citrus flavours and sweet raisins. The perfect finish to the evening. ****

Peter Lehmann Noble Semillon 1996 (Aus) Lovely rich gold colour, lemon flavours and a clean finish. Would make a fabulous sorbet for a mid course cleanser. Tasted 6/98 Rating: Very good.

Tokaji Aszu 6 Puttonyos 1988 14% alcohol, tasted of almonds and burnt toffee, raisins and sweet butterscotch and orange peel and limes on the finish. It is a very rich, very viscous, very full-bodied wine and totally interesing wine. Tasted with food, Dec 2000.

Villa Maria Noble Riesling 1996 The aroma is just divine - sweet honeysuckle. Glorious viscosity, lovely integration and balance. Flavours of apricots and mandarins. Some acidity becomes apparent in the finish indicating this wine has years to go. 17/2/99 Rating: They don't get much better than this.

Villa Maria Botrytised Selection Riesling 1994 Intense citrus and honey beeswax aromas with delicious and viscous with concentrated flavours of apricots, lemons and limes with orange zest. Light and lively yet sweet and sticky. Almost like a sticky toffee pudding in a glass. Tasted with food, Dec 2000.
Fantastic toffee flavour and texture yet still so youthful but in reality it has many developed Riesling characters, just so waxy and full of botrytis with an amazingly long finish. 22Nov2003.

Other [top] [index]

Morris Liqueur Muscat Rich and sweet with dried fruits, nuts, raisins and apricots. Chewy, spicy, thick, viscous. 9 May 2001

Rongopai Botrytis Selection Coppery gold in colour. Rich botrytis aroma. Not too viscous. Burnt caramel taste and a bit astringent on the finish. 2/3/99 Rating: H'mmm.

[2009] [2008] [2007] [2006] [2005] [2004] [2003] [2002] [2001] [2000] [1999] [1998] [older] [index]

Index to Varietal Tastings
Chardonnay Gewurztraminer
Riesling
Pinot Gris Sauvignon Blanc Other Whites
Bubblies Sweeties Pinks
Cabernet dominant Merlot dominant Pinotage
Pinot Noir Shiraz Other Reds

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