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edited by Sue Courtney

Wednesday Round-up - the 2007 edition
Sue Courtney's tasting notes from the First Glass Fine Wine Wednesday $15 tastings

October 2007
[ Click here for index to other months ]

Sue Courtney's Fine Wine Wednesday tasting notes were recorded for First Glass Wines and Spirits in Takapuna for publication on their website. These notes are archival and may have been deleted from their site by now.
Some of the prices may be 'specials'. Check out for current availability and pricing. New Zealand readers can purchase the wines online from there.

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting - 31st Oct 2007
Fun Wine Options
Most of the wines were 'end of line' selling for super prices on the night - and many sold out. Wines were tasted blind.

Momo Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Pale lime green in colour, this crisp, dry and bracingly racy wine is full of gooseberry, herbs and tomato stalk with a touch of citrus. It's slightly oily in texture with a powerful finish and a pungent, grassy aftertaste.
13.5% alc. Screwcap.

Mount Michael Bessie’s Block Chardonnay 2005 - Central Otago
Medium gold with a bright appearance, this is rich, ripe and creamy and nutty with sweet spicy oak and pineapple-infused tropical fruit. It's big, fat, oily and creamy and fills the palate with its lasting toasty flavour.
14% alc. $23.99 special. Screwcap.

Leeuwin Prelude Vineyards Chardonnay 2003 - Margaret River, Western Australia
Greeny gold in colour with lemon biscuit aromas and barrel-fermented, peach and toasty oak flavours, it's warmly textured and firmly structured with underlying acidity keeping the wine fresh. A classy, stylish, cool climate Australian with well-handled malolactic fermentation.
14% alc. $29.99 special.

Villa Maria Clifford Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2005
Straw gold coloured, leesy and lemony with asparagus and canned pea on the nose and a creamy, full-bodied palate which has lost all its primary fruit and youthful punch. An excellent example of how Sauvignon Blanc goes vegetal with a little age.
14% alc. $19.99 special. Screwcap.

Culley Marlborough Riesling 2005
Dry and steely with talc and lime aromas and a fruity flavour with crisp, zesty lemon oil acidity and hints of cherimoya, it's weighty and long with richness to the finish. 13% alc. $17.99. Screwcap.

Marotti Campi Salmariana Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi 2003
Light gold coloured with fairly neutral nutty aromas and hints of apricot, it's light and breezy to the taste with a smooth, delicately creamy texture and the slightest suggestion of oak. Well-made and clean with underlying acidity adding brightness. Classico Riserva.
13.5% alc. $22.99 special.

Baumann Pinot Gris 2005 - Alsace, France
Light in colour with a slightly oily appearance, it has a sweet perfume of delicate musky florals and a moderate depth of flavour that's reminiscent of apple strudel. Dry and subtle rather than punchy with richness to the finish.
Alsace. 13% alc. $23.99 special.

Redmetal Basket Press Merlot Cabernet Franc 2005
Lightish red in colour with moderate depth, it smells earthy and brambly and tastes savoury and herbal with smoky oak, leather and grippy tannins. It's very dry and just a little stalky with plenty of underlying zesty acidity underpinning the currant-like fruit and creamy oak.
14% alc. $24.99 special. Screwcap.

Xabregas Show Reserve Shiraz 2004
Deep, inky, shiny black red, perfumed and chocolatey on the nose and spicy and creamy to the taste. It's soft, sweet and juicy with a violet fragrance, smooth velvety tannins and a cream-chocolate finish beautifully balanced by a meaty savouriness and an earthy, tarry, liquorice undercurrent with just a hint of acidity that suggests it will keep its youthfulness humming along for quite a while yet. Excellent example of cooler climate Aussie Shiraz.
14% alc. $25.99 special.

Te Awa Hawke's Bay Pinotage 2004
Seemingly an older wine, the deep red black colour is fading on the edges while the smoky flavour is ripe and earthy with a hint of spice. It tastes like an older, full-bodied pinot noir in some respects with underlying acidity, dried herbs, a touch of tamarillo, hints of stewed plum, a chocolatey richness and a long savoury aftertaste.
13.5% alc. $19.99 special.

John Forrest Collection Syrah 2004 - Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay
Deep purple-red in colour with meaty, spicy, leathery aromas, it's full of succulent fruit flavours with creamy oak, violets, rose spice and white pepper. Full-bodied with smooth, fine, firm structured tannins, it's powerful and stylish with a floral lift to the long, dry finish.
Gimblett Gravels. 14% alc. $49.99.

Yalumba Hand Picked Eden Valley Shiraz Viognier 2001
Dense in colour, murky black with a fading red edge, this is a huge wine - big, rich, meaty and savoury with primary fruit now a distant memory. Sweetish, minty, with voluptuous vanillin oak, succulent thick tannins and a lasting intensity of the flavour with juicy red and black fruits emerging at last with pepper and spice. Ready now. Co-fermented with 7% Viognier and matured for 18 months in French oak.
14% alc. $25.99 special.

Yalumba The Signature Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz 2001 - South Australia
There's still a hint of crimson from the pool of deep red-black colour in the glass. On the nose it's young, tight and youthful with smoky oak and a hint of vitamin B then in the mouth it fills out with a bright yet concentrated cassis and cherry fruit sweetness with chocolate, smoke, earth, dried herbs, and a long succulent aftertaste with persistent length of flavour. A meaty wine and still quite primary with tightly structured tannins, there is still plenty of cellaring life ahead of it. Matured for 20 months American and French oak hogsheads.
13.5% alc. $29.99 special.

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting - 25th Oct 2007
Chardonnay & Shiraz
Wines were tasted blind.

Taylor’s Estate Clare Valley Chardonnay 2006
Ripe, fruity and creamy with spicy oak, fleshy stonefruit and concentrated apricot, it's juicy, delicious, smooth and very approachable with a lingering flourish of tropical fruit. Gold medal – NZ International Wine Show.
14% alc. $14.99. Screwcap.

Mills Reef Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2006
Oak-lovers will revel in the forward oak flavours of this light golden coloured wine. It's a rich, powerful, full-bodied, barrel fermented style with alcohol warmth, a buttery richness, a mouth-coating glycerolic texture and copious amounts of stone fruit.
14% alc. $17.99. Screwcap.

Oakridge Yarra Valley Chardonnay 2006
Light straw coloured with sweet oak and mealy aromas, this classy barrel-fermented style is tight and flinty, with hints of grapefruit and Burgundian-like lactic influences. It's soft and subtle but expands beautifully in the mouth with lifted tropical fruits adding brightness A long term prospect to enjoy now in a big glass at a dinner party. Gold medal – NZ International Wine Show, Trophy – Liquorland Top 100.
13% alc. $29.99. Screwcap.

Bouldevines Dogpoint Road Marlborough Chardonnay 2006
Lemon yellow in colour, this is soft, rounded, smooth and harmonious with caramel on the nose and crème caramel in the palate. Warm alcohol, grilled stonefruit and juicy tropical fruits fill the palate with a fruit bread sweetness and a touch of orange peel to the finish. Powerful, tasty and creamy with lots and lots going on. Gold medal – NZ International Wine Show.
14.5% alc. $25.99. Screwcap.

Kim Crawford Doc’s Block Hawke's Bay Chardonnay 2006
This pale yellow coloured wine is another powerful barrel fermented, mealy style with a creamy, wheaty, spicy oak aroma that hints of butterscotch, and sweet American oak and savoury yeast lees flavours balancing the delicious stonefruit flavours. It's ripe, rounded, smooth and creamy with a spicy zestiness to the luscious finish and already very appealing. Gold medal – Liquorland Top 100; Two trophies – Bragato Wine Awards.
14% alc. $25.99. Screwcap.

Te Mata Elston Chardonnay 2006
Light golden yellow, this is savoury and nutty with a hint of marzipan on the nose and citrus zest dominates the flavours at first but the citrus is just a curtain that parts to reveal the savouriness and richness within. It's very dry and totally Burgundian in style, intensifying on the palate with rich, mealy, full-bodied flavours and tropical fruit on the finish. A wine with a long, long life ahead of it, yet when tasted blind it stirred up mixed reactions from the tasters.
14% alc. $29.99. Diam.

Kingston Estate Shiraz 2006 - South Australia
Deep black red with crimson edges, it's reminiscent of juicy blackberry 'gum lollies' on the nose and is smooth and juicy to the taste with sweet vanillin oak, nutmeg, allspice, macerated black cherries, blackberries and dark chocolate with a touch of liquorice, a hint of nugget and pepper. Easy to enjoy. A party wine.
14.5% alc. $13.99.

Xabregas Mount Barker Shiraz 2005 - Western Australia
This perfumed, peppery wine is pinky black in colour and tastes dry with a firm, velvety tannin structure and a brooding, 'Cameo Crème' biscuity depth. It's succulent and powerful with smoky vanillin oak, juicy red and black fruits and underlying dried herbs and spices, and the finish is savoury and long. Gold medal – NZ International Wine Show 2007.
14.2% alc. $19.99. Screwcap.

Viu Manent Secreto Syrah 2006 - Colchagua Valley, Chile
Inky blackberry red in colour with sweet vanillin oak and a hint of florals on the nose, it's creamy textured with succulent red and purple jammy fruits, plenty of lifted spices with lots of liquorice, a hint of leather and just a touch of dried herbs. It’s dry on the finish and there's a meaty richness to the smoky, savoury aftertaste. Gold medal – NZ International Wine Show 2007. 14.5% alc. $23.99.

Saltram Mamre Brook Barossa Shiraz 2005 - South Australia
Inky purple-black red in colour, it immediately whisks you to the Barossa with its sweet, vanillin oak scent. Spicy and succulent to the taste with juicy red and black fruits, a touch of chocolate, pepper, hints of liquorice, mocha, beautifully balanced dark toasty oak and smooth, silky tannins, it just flows. Gold medal – NZ International Wine Show 2007.
15% alc. $18.99.

White Box Shiraz 2004 - Heathcote, Victoria
A dense dark thick red, this juicy wine is just a little sweeter with fruitcake cherries to the fore. It's savoury and brightly spicy with liquorice, smoky savoury oak, a creamy texture and a ripe juicy, plummy finish. It's a big, big wine, with smooth integrated, thick-textured tannins and the finish is long.
15% alc. $24.99.

Hentley Farm “The Beauty” Barossa Shiraz 2005 - Greenock Creek
Black, inky, impenetrable right to the purple-red edges. Deep, brooding and smoky on the nose but soon opens up to reveal the most alluring spices. Powerful and tight in the palate, it's a grunter that is screaming out for a big glass, nevertheless the black fruits, sweet oak, tobacco, spice, leather and tar flavours strut their stuff with intense juiciness. Powerful, stylish and very primary with beautifully fine tannins, this delicious wine, that has a 'tad' of Viognier, is one of the best re-discoveries of the year. Gold medal – NZ International Wine Show 2006.
15% alc. $49.99.

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting - 17th Oct 2007
Cuisine Magazine's Pinot Noirs and others
Wines were tasted blind.

Spy Valley Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2007
Light lemon gold with an oily, leggy appearance, it's floral and pungent with a spicy oily richness to the musk, Turkish Delight, lychee orange water and rose petal flavours. Classic Gewurztraminer with just a hint of sweetness and warmth to the lingering finish. 14.5% alc. Gold – NZ International Wine Show. $19.99.

Villa Maria PB Marlborough/Waipara Pinot Noir 2006
Translucent pinky garnet in colour, this has a delicately smoky, savoury aroma with a pinot red fruit scent. It's medium bodied in style, juicy and sweetish with raspberry and cherry fruit, a hint of vanilla and a balancing savoury tartness. Smooth and pleasant drinking. 5 Stars, No 5 in Cuisine Magazine and 'Best Buy'. 13.5% alc. $21.99.

Strugglers Flat Martinborough Pinot Noir 2006
Deep berry red, almost opaque in the core. Black cherries on the nose and rich, ripe flavours with black cherry fruit, a spicy undercurrent, velvety tannins, sweet oak and an earthy richness to the long savoury finish. Value drinking. Gold – NZ International Wine Show.13.5% alc. $21.99.

Vidal Marlborough Pinot Noir 2006
Deep ruby red with flashes of purple. Quite alluring with cherries, musk and spice on the nose and well-balanced, savoury flavours with silky tannins. Full-bodied, earthy and complex with red and black fruits mingling with spiced mushrooms and an infusion of smoky oak with a hint of violet and a touch of chocolate emerging on the persistent finish, it's amazing quality for the price. 5 Stars, No 10 in Cuisine Magazine and 'Best Buy'. 13.5% alc. $24.99.

De Vine Central Otago Pinot Noir 2006
Deep in colour with chocolate and dark berries on the nose and red guava and black cherry fruit in the savoury, earthy, gamey and ever so slightly funky, palate. A deep, complex, brooding wine with just a little bit of grip to the tannins, underlying acidity and a touch of spice, it becomes quite creamy with that hint of chocolate detected on the nose, showing again. With its lovely mouthfeel and excellent length. it will appeal to drinkers of the tighter Burgundy look-alikes. Gibbston Valley fruit. Gold Medal – NZ International Wine Show. 13.5% alc. $39.99.

Stoneleigh Rapaura Series Marlborough Pinot Noir 2006
Ruby-garnet in colour with moderate depth, it's smoky and savoury on the nose with cherry and hints of chocolate that carry through to the silky textured palate. Strawberry and raspberry joins the cherry fruit and is underpinned by spicy sweet oak with hints of chocolate, a herbal fascination, and richness and length to the persistent, savoury finish. Medium to full-bodied and beautifully balanced with abundant pinot noir charm, it is an easy wine to appreciate and enjoy. 5 Stars and No. 4 in Cuisine Magazine; Gold – NZ International Wine Show. Gold and Trophy – Liquorland Top 100. 14% alc. $26.99.

Fairmont Block One Wairarapa Pinot Noir 2006
Bright in its black red colour, this smells rich, smoky, savoury and complex with a touch of dark chocolate to the scent and is even more complex in its mouthfilling taste. Dark red and black fruits, spice, earth, a hint of leather, firm silky tannins and fruit brightness to the long, long finish with an expansive ‘peacocks tail’ flare, it's a beautiful expression of pinot noir. 5 Stars, No 6 in Cuisine Magazine; Gold – Liquorland Top 100. 13.5% alc. $29.99.

The Crater Rim Central Otago Pinot Noir 2006
Deep red in colour, opaque in the core, its perfumed scent leads into a powerful, full-bodied, grunty palate with plum and blackberry fruit, hints of leather, spice and savoury, creamy oak. As the wine opens up in the glass, the pinot noir intricacies are revealed with an earthy herbal undercurrent, silky tannins, more typical red cherry fruits, hints of chocolate and a long, savoury and succulent finish. One for the lovers of 'big reds', decanting is recommended for others. Gold Medal – NZ International Wine Show. 14.5% alc. $25.99.

Tirohana Martinborough Pinot Noir 2006
Garnet red with savoury scents that are infused with spice, musk and red fruits - it's quite floral compared to the others. It's firm in its tannin structure with a touch of chocolate, underlying acidity and sweet oak and seems quite tight at first but fleshes out beautifully with sweet red and black fruits, savoury oak, a delicate spiciness and a long, persistent finish. 5 Stars, No 9 in Cuisine Magazine; Gold and Trophy – Bragato Wine Awards. 13.5% alc. $69.00.

Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Pinot Noir 2006
Deep purple red in colour, it's dark and savoury on the nose and big, rich and succulent to the taste. Filled with savoury, earthy, gamey flavours with leather, tar, chocolate, chicory and anise, the ripe cherry and plum fruit balances the savouriness perfectly. Lots of flavours and harmonious in its flow with silk-edged velvety tannins, it has a powerful finish that is long and tasty. 5 Stars and No 1 in Cuisine Magazine. 14% alc. $55.99.

Taylors Clare Valley Merlot 2005
Black red and inky in appearance, it's chocolatey and spicy on the nose and rich and flavoursome to the taste with juicy tannins, concentrated red and black fruits, savoury oak and a chocolatey finish. With some lovely Bordeaux-like complexities that start to emerge with a little time, this succulent Merlot will be a real crowd pleaser. Gold – NZ International Wine Show. 14.5% alc. $16.99.

Valdespino El Candado Pedro Ximenez Sherry NV
Dark amber coloured with a green tinge to the edges, the heady treacle-like aroma prepares the palate for the sweet, syrupy flavours. It's smooth and unctuous, warm and sticky with almonds, golden syrup, chocolate, toffee, liquorice and a woody infusion to the sun-dried muscatel and candied orange finish. Gold – NZ International Wine Show. 18% alc. $49.99. 700ml.

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting - 10th Oct 2007
More Gold Medals from the New Zealand International Wine Show
Wines were tasted blind.

Sugar Loaf Founders Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Pale in colour, this pungently scented crisp, fresh, grassy wine is full of the taste of summer. It's juicy and crunchy with lime, tropical fruit, gooseberry, nectarine and zingy herbs with a vibrancy to the bright and long tasty finish.
13% alc. $18.99. Screwcap.

Bouldevines Marlborough Chardonnay 2006
Light straw gold, this lightly toasty smelling wine has obvious malolactic influences. It's soft and creamy and full of ripe melon and tropical fruit with a spicy oak flourish to the warm smooth finish. It's a wine of finesse and drinking beautifully now, but it will evolve beautifully over the next year.
14.5% alc. $22.99. Screwcap.

Seifried Estate Barrel Ferment Nelson Chardonnay 2006
Golden coloured with plenty of legs, this is rich, ripe and toasty with abundant caramel and toffee scents. It's full-bodied and creamy with a bright, spicy, zesty undercurrent to the smooth flavours that have hints of stonefruit and a lovely balancing savouriness from the oak and yeast lees. The finish is long and seamless.
14.5% alc. $28.99. Screwcap.

Morton Estate Private Reserve Hawkes Bay Viogner 2007
Lemon gold with pears and citrus blossom on the nose and citrussy flavours with soft acidity, gingery spices and a touch of musk building to a long, creamy finish with a juicy, stonefruit freshness and a long, bright and clean aftertaste.
14.5% alc. $21.99. Screwcap.

Whitehaven Marlborough Riesling 2007
Very pale straw, it's quite well chilled so just a little closed on the nose but there's nothing chilly about the powerful, bright, citrussy zesty flavours. Juicy limes and apples, a touch of pith and a smidgen of honey make this a very thirst-quenching summery wine.
14.5% alc. $20.99. Screwcap.

Spy Valley Marlborough Pinot Gris 2007
Light lemon gold, this sweeter wine has a richness of flavour. It's soft, rounded and full-bodied with juicy citrus and tropical fruit over an apple and pear backbone. It's delicately floral and creamy in texture and finishes with a spicy, lemon zest flourish.
13% alc. $19.99. Screwcap.

Kiritea Martinborough Pinot Noir 2006
Ruby garnet with a deep translucency to the colour. Ripe and succulent, gamey and savoury with a hint of smoke on the nose, it's savoury and spicy to the taste with cherry and raspberry fruit, dried herbs, a touch of smoke and soft, silky tannins. Very tasty and outstanding value for the price.
14% alc. $18.99. Screwcap.

Jacobs Creek Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
Black red, inky in appearance, and opaque right to the mm thick crimson edges. Intense and concentrated red berries and cassis on the nose and a dark, deep, spicy palate with savoury oak, a vanillin sweetness and red fruits. A big wine but very ripe, deliciously succulent and impressively youthful with firm but beautifully integrated tannins. Outstanding value and cellaring potential too.
14.5% alc. $14.99.

Viu Manent Secreto Malbec 2006 - Colchagua Valley, Chile
Black purple, inky coloured with violet edges. Full of purple fruit and violets on the nose with purple fruits and wild berries in the deep, earthy palate. Sweet and creamy with boysenberry rippling through the dark savouriness, and dried herbs and tobacco emerging on the finish. Tight but juicy with a lip smacking succulence and fruit sweetness. Spicy and delicious.
14.5% alc. $23.99.

Viu Manent Secreto Carmenere 2006 - Colchagua Valley, Chile
Deep inky purple. Vanilla on the nose, soft and succulent in the palate, with chocolate, spice, liquorice, dried herbs, blackberry and currant fruit, an earthy savoury depth and a smoky, spicy finish. An intense and juicy wine and a very good example of a clean, modern style. 14.5% alc. $23.99.

Jacobs Creek Reserve Shiraz 2004
Back in familiar territory with a sweet vanillin oak nose and a vibrantly fruity palate chock full of creamy oak, red and black fruits, pepper and spice with a savoury richness and a juicy finish.
14.5% alc. $14.99.

Gemtree Uncut McLaren Vale Shiraz 2006
Amazingly deep colour, concentrated and intense with firm fine-grained tannins, this super ripe, full-bodied wine has dark chocolate, smoky French oak, spice, earth, dried herbs, pepper and liquorice and a mouth-filling succulence to the long, creamy finish.
14.5% alc. $23.99. Screwcap.

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting - 3rd Oct 2007
Trophy Winners from the New Zealand International Wine Show
Wines were not tasted blind.

Wolf Blass Gold Label Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2005 - South Australia
Golden coloured with a fragrant, spiced oak and blossomy nose and a lovely, rich, ripe creamy palate full of toasty oak and tropical fruit with a stonefruit richness and lots of mealy, yeast lees spiciness. Fleshy and flavoursome, powerful and long. Trophy for Champion Commercial White Wine.
14% alc. $15.99. Screwcap.

Church Road Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2005
A light gold colour introduces this sophisticated, savoury, full-bodied wine with polished French oak and a mealy, nutty depth. It's creamy, elegant and delicately spicy although subtle to start, it opens up beautifully to reveal an orchard of succulent stonefruit and oaky flavours in a most appealing way. A touch of underlying acidity adds brightness and length. Stylish, classy and seamless in its flow. Trophy for Champion Chardonnay.
13.5% alc. $28.99. Screwcap.

Villa Maria Omahu Gravels Hawkes Bay Viognier 2006
Pale straw gold with delicately fragrant aromas of apricot, pear and citrus zest and pure, clean flavours of apricots and spice with a perfect level of alcoholic warmth. Light and ethereal in its fragrant nature, it's seductive and enticing with mid-palate richness, persistent length and a musky, rose petal intrigue. Muse over it and enjoy it and let all the little intricacies evolve. Trophy for Champion Viognier.
14.5% alc. $32.99. Screwcap.

Blackenbrook Vineyard Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Light golden coloured with powerful aromas and flavours of citrus, apple and nectarine with underlying gooseberry and tropical fruit. Juicy and flavoursome with an amazingly long finish where hints of tobacco, tomato stalk and capsicum emerge. A wine of richness and power with a wonderful texture, bright acidity and balance all the way through. A truly remarkable Nelson Sauvignon Blanc. Trophy for Champion Sauvignon Blanc.
13% alc. $18.99. Screwcap.

Orlando St Helga Eden Valley Riesling 2004 - South Australia
Light gold with a glint of green, this classic Australian dry Riesling has aromas of talc, lime and dried hay and a rich lemon / lemon oil palate with baked green apple, a hint of honey, spice and lots of lime and citrus zest. It's Riesling but its creamy, a pleasing trait that develops with a little bit of age. Beautiful now but made to age for an age. Trophy for Champion Riesling.
12.5% alc. $16.99. Screwcap.

Kemblefield 'The Distinction' Hawkes Bay Gewurztraminer 2006 Pale lemon gold, this beautifully fragrant Gewurztraminer is oily and powerful with classic varietal flavours and a harmonising flow. Lychee, rose petals and violets combine with a myriad of exotic spices and Turkish Delight on the lasting finish. Just off dry and perfectly balanced with an aura of delicacy throughout. A wine that can be enjoyed with food, chill it a little and match to Duck Liver Pate. Trophy for Champion Gewurztraminer.
13.5% alc. $19.99. Screwcap.

Esk Valley Hawkes Bay Rose 2007
Clear ruby pink with depth and brightness to the hue, this blend of Merlot and Malbec has a fragrant, lightly floral, strawberry aroma and a spicy, creamy flavour with richness and depth. With strawberry, cherry and blackberry fruit, a savoury undercurrent and a delicate hint of tannin, this full-bodied, dry Rosé is more than just a frivolous fling. It's consistently NZ's best. Trophy for Champion Rosé or Blush.
14% alc. $18.99. Screwcap.

Julicher Estate Martinborough Pinot Noir 2006
There's a lovely glow to the deeply translucent ruby violet colour and an appealing charm to the floral yet meaty scent with subtle smoke, intriguing red guava, cherry and earthy, meaty flavours, a spicy overlay, a velvety texture and a hint of chocolate on the succulent yet savoury finish. Hints of violets and rose petals with a suggestion of dried herbs emerge and the aftertaste is long and memorable. Trophy for Champion Pinot Noir. Trophy for Champion Wine of the Show.
14% alc. $36.99. Screwcap.

Clearview Old Olive Block Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 - Hawkes Bay
Deep and dense in its black red colour, this full-bodied, complex blend of 44% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Cabernet Franc and 5% Malbec with 18 months in French and American oak, is fragrant, concentrated, harmonious and integrated with an intensely savoury depth. There's a lovely balance of wild berry, blackcurrant and plum fruit to the sweet smoky oak and ripe tannins with chocolate, spice, just a touch of leather and a succulence to the lasting finish. Trophy for Champion Merlot Predominant.
13% alc. $31.99.

Sessantanni Old Vines Primitivo di Manduria 2004 - Italy
Vivid purple red with prune and raisin aromas and sweet, jammy, spicy flavours with a smoky richness, chocolate and even a hint of tobacco. Concentrated black and purple fruits fill the palate with a mouthfilling ripeness, a touch of liquorice, smooth flowing tannins and a sweet spicy finish with a succulence to the aftertaste that just goes on and on. A magnificent wine in a magnificent bottle. Trophy for Champion International Red Wine.
14.5% alc. $47.99.

Grant Burge Filsell Barossa Shiraz 2005 - South Australia
Deep purple black with purple crimson edges, this classic 'old vine' Barossa Valley Shiraz radiates fragrance and flavour. It's sumptuous and mouthfilling with seductive chocolatey oak , peppery spices, cherry, a hint of mint, spice, beautifully integrated savoury oak and fine grained tannins. Ripe, rich, smooth, creamy and succulent with balance, concentration, length and power. Trophy for Champion Shiraz.
15% alc. $26.99.

Forrest Estate Botrytised Marlborough Riesling 2006
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. Trophy for Champion Sweet Wine.
9% alc. $31.99. Screwcap.

Sandeman Vintage Port 2000
Deep black red, dense in appearance, the heady aromas smell rich, spicy and decadent and the sweet, spirity, porty taste is even more so. Full of liquorice, cassis, wild berries, raisin and spicy woody oak, it's deliciously warm with a lingering finish which is sumptuously satisfying. Trophy for Champion Fortified Wine.
20% alc. $164.00.

Note: The New Zealand wines listed on this page have been cross-catalogued to my wine reviews by grape variety - check out my Wine Review Index.

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