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Wednesday Round-up - the 2009 edition
Sue Courtney's tasting notes from the First Glass Fine Wine Wednesday $15 tastings

April 2009
[ 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 - 29 Apr 2009
The Cuisine Top 10 Chardonnay tasting
Wines were tasted blind.

Selaks The Favourite Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2007
Light gold colour. Stonefruit and delicate toasted barrique ferment scents. A medium weight style - creamy and mealy with perfumed spicy oak, a light honey texture, peachy fruit, a biscuity toastiness and a rounded, fresh finish. Five stars and No. 8 in the Cuisine Chardonnay Tasting. Gold Medal Easter Show.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $18.99 special.

Seifried Barrique Fermented Nelson Chardonnay 2006
Moderate gold with an oily veneer. Rich toasty aromas prepare for a full-bodied wine and it meets that expectation. Serve quite chilled, it is profoundly juicy with stonefruit flavours starting to mellow as the wine develops in the bottle picking up some hokey-pokey ice cream nuances. Still drinking well with a long, toffee-coated, toasty finish and a tight citrussy backbone that will keep it focussed for sometime yet. Not in the Cuisine tasting but one of the two most favoured wines on the night. Gold Medal NZIWS.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $22.99 special.

Lonestone Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2007
Pale gold. Citrussy and ripe tropical fruit aromas and a medium bodied palate with toast and honey, lime, tropical fruit and a sherbet like finish with little apparent influence of oak - it adds to the textural richness rather than the flavour. A good finish - long and lasting. Tasted chilled, it get betteras it warms up the glass. Five stars and No. 3 in the Cuisine Chardonnay Tasting.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $18.99 special.

Black Barn Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2007
A powerful number, golden in colour with delicate stonefruit and mealy aromatics and smooth creamy, mealy flavours with smoky oak, hits of caramel and stonefruit pushing through to linger deliciously on the lasting finish. Beautiful now and will become even better with a little more time. Five stars and No. 10 in the Cuisine Chardonnay Tasting but one of my favourites.
14% alc. Screwcap. $332.99 special.

Tohu Gisborne Chardonnay 2007
Straw gold. Fresh aromas of citrus and tropical fruit with an estery floral bubblegum nuance and a light touch of oak lead into a juicy fruit palate with a nutty finish. It’s quite dry, oak slowly develops into the flavour, it doesn’t want to be over chilled and is crying out for a seafood accompaniment. Five stars and No. 7 in the Cuisine Chardonnay Tasting.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $18.99 special.

Craggy Range Gimblett Gravels Chardonnay 2007
A bright gold colour, a powerful and classy aroma of grapefruit and butterscotch with smoke, nuts and a little funk and rich, smooth stonefruit-laden flavours with spicy oak and a toasty finish. A mouthfilling, full-bodied Hawkes Bay style with lots of appeal. Five stars and No. 4 in the Cuisine Chardonnay Tasting.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $29.99.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 11 Chardonnay 2007
Light yellow gold. Sweet nutty oak and hints of citrus and caramel on the nose and citrus and tropical fruit in the smooth seamless honey-coated palate with hints of pineapple, concentrated nectarine and stonefruit and a citrussy spicy flourish to the toasty finish. Creamy, mealy, lifted and long. Another ring-into the Cuisine tasting and like the other ring-in it was voted equal favourite by the majority of the tasters on the night. Gold Medal NZIWS.
14% alc. Screwcap. $27.99 special.

Squawking Magpie Gimblett Gravels Chardonnay 2007
Pale gold coloured with a lightly mealy, earthy, vanillin oak aroma and the sweetness of buttered fresh corn on the cob, it's quite dry in the palate and reasonably high-toned, linear in its expression with a malolactic influence (perhaps) and an earthy, savoury, long but overly acidic finish. Chilling did this wine no favours. Five stars and No. 6 in the Cuisine Chardonnay Tasting.
13.7% alc. Screwcap. $32.99.

Villa Maria Single Vineyard Keltern Chardonnay 2007
Light medium gold. Rich, savoury, smoky aromas with just a little wild yeast wheaty funk adding to the olfactory allure and a delectably creamy spicy oak palate with hints of grapefruit, a concentrated stonefruit fleshiness and a long savoury finish with a butterscotch overlay. Proudly states its Hawkes Bay heritage - a beautiful wine - powerful, mouthfilling, long. Five stars and No. 1 in the Cuisine Chardonnay and also my favourite.Tasting.
14% alc. Screwcap. $38.99.

Coopers Creek Swamp Reserve Chardonnay 2007
Light gold, medium to full-bodied in style, quite dry and nutty, with a good slug of savoury nutty oak, a smooth texture, peach and nectarine fruit pushing through on the finish and an oily veneer. Quite classy. Five stars and No. 9 in the Cuisine Chardonnay Tasting.
14% alc. Screwcap. $27.99 special.

Vidal Estate Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2007
Light yellow gold. Grapefruit and dried fig with very subtle spicy oak on the nose that carries through to the palate that is characterised by toasty, mealy, Champagne-like yeasty notes with dried fruits, citrus and spicy French oak. Fattens up beautifully with a nougat-like complexity to the full, lingering finish. Very dry, very long, very persistent and full of finesse. Five stars and No.2 in the Cuisine Chardonnay Tasting.
14% alc. Screwcap. $30.99.

Trentham Estate Heathcote Shiraz 2005 - Victoria, Australia
Deep dark red, starting to brick on the edges. Pepper and rich red fruits on the nose and a soft creamy palate with juice red fruit, chocolate and spice over an earthy, savoury backbone with a hint of mint and sweet vanillin oak. Gold Medal NZIWS. Five stars Cuisine.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $22.99 special.

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting - 22 Apr 2009
The Gold Medal Collection
Wines were tasted blind.

Spinyback Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2008
A racy style - straw gold coloured and slightly oily in appearance with a slightly grassy aroma and dry, crisp, herbaceous flavours with a touch of green bean, a hint of orange peel and a pungent, focussed gooseberry finish with a touch of 'fumé' as it lingers. Excellent length and absolutely brilliant for the price. Gold Medal - Air New Zealand Wine Awards & Sydney Top 100.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $12.99 special.

Coopers Creek SV Limeworks Chardonnay 2007 - Hawkes Bay
Yellow gold coloured with a toasty buttery aroma and a rich toasty creamy palate with vanilla bean, butterscotch, fleshy peach and underlying citrus - there's lots of power and oomph to the fat oily American oak and the finish is long, nutty and caramel-laden. Gold Medal – Royal Easter Show Wine Awards.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $19.99 special.

Brunton Road Gisborne Chardonnay 2007
Light gold with sweet oak on the nose, this is subtle and understated on entry with a delicate, mealy barrel-ferment influence and perfumed tropical fruit but quickly asserts its creamy, mealy richness with nutty oak, a touch of spice and a long, juicy finish. Gold Medal – Air New Zealand Wine Awards & Liquorland Top 100.
14% alc. Screwcap. $19.99 special.

Kim Crawford SP Dolly Chardonnay 2006 - Gisborne
Yellow gold in colour with a smoky, mealy, spicy oak aroma and a palate full of ripe fruit in the citrus and stonefruit spectrum with a backing of savoury spicy oak. Lovely texture, smooth, almost oily with a nougat-like complexity and a warm, savoury, butterscotch-infused finish. Gold Medal – NZ International Wine Show.
13% alc. Screwcap. $26.99 special.

Mudhouse Waipara Riesling 2008
Light yellow gold with an expressive lemon/lime aroma that leads into an off dry palate with a light spritzig feel to the texture and moderate sweetness balancing the tangy acidity. Apple joins lemon and lime on the finish that becomes more honeysuckle floral and spicy with a hint of apricot as it lingers. A light to medium-bodied style with a tug of war between the sweetness and acidity, but the sweetness just wins on the day. Fabulous length too. Gold Medal & Trophy – NZ International Wine Show.
11.5% alc. Screwcap. $22.99.

Whitehaven Marlborough Pinot Gris 2008
Pale straw coloured with intense Riesling-like citrus and honeysuckle aromatics and Gewurztraminer-like musky spices in the palate. Quite earthy/pithy with a steely undercurrent at first, it has a soft mid palate with a moderate oiliness to the texture, concentrated pear and baked apple fruit, hints of strudel spices and a finish that is dry. Gold Medals – NZ International Wine Show and Royal Easter Show.
13% alc. Screwcap. $19.99 special.

Wild Earth Central Otago Pinot Noir 2007
Rich red garnet with a pretty sweet/savoury perfume of wild cherries and tarragon-like herbs and a bright, spicy floral palate with concentrated black cherry to the fore, just a hint of chocolate and well-balanced savouriness from the spicy French oak. With its supple tannins it shows all round drinkability and deliciousness with tarragon nuances, hints of wild thyme and violets adding to the floral allure on the gorgeous silky-textured finish. Gold Medal – NZ International Wine Show.
14% alc. Screwcap. $39.99.

Chapel Hill "The Abbot" Bush Vine Grenache 2006 - McLaren Vale
This dark pinky red has a perfumed, mellow character to the smoky aroma and sweet vanillin oak in the palate with sweet red fruits that hint of strawberry, underlying tar, pepper and cake spices. Juicy from the outset, this is a serious Grenache with firm tannins and smoky tobacco infusing the sweet oak and a long lasting, alcohol driven finish. Excellent example of Grenache as a single variety. Gold Medal – NZ International Wine Show.
15% alc. Screwcap. $34.99.

Mills Reef Reserve Syrah 2007 - Hawkes Bay
Deep purple red. Pepper, earth, leather and cracked berry on the nose, hints of barnyard too. Smoky and spicy in the palate with red currant and black cherry pushing through. Fruitier than expected from the nose with a softness to the tannins and a sweetness from the vanillin oak, it's medium-bodied in style and pleases with its juicy disposition. Gold Medal – New World Wine Awards.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $19.99 special.

Thorn Clarke "Sandpiper" Barossa Shiraz 2007
Deep, shiny purple black, vanilla and smoky oak on the nose with just a hint of mint and savoury and earthy on the first taste - it seems like a rich, powerful, tight, youthful Shiraz, not really hitting its straps yet but hinting of so much potential. Tarry, a little bit chocolatey with concentrated fruit and subtle tannins, vanilla, spice and smoky oak, it just gets better and better with every mouthful. Gold Medal – NZ International Wine Show.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $17.99 special.

Mitchelton "Parish" Shiraz Viognier 2006 - Victoria
Dense dark red with purple hues. Perfumed aromatics smell sweet, ripe and just a little jammy with mocha and spice and an earthy depth to the savoury oak. The palate is initially sweet and jammy with its concentrated cherry / berry fruitiness but has a very fine tannin structure with spice, earth, chocolate, mocha and tobacco building to a grunty finish with staying power. Gold Medal – NZ International Wine Show.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $29.99.

Serafino McLaren Vale Shiraz 2007
Deep dark black-red. Cherry and vanillin oak on the nose lead into an earthy, savoury palate with juicy red fruit, a touch of tobacco, smooth supple tannins and chocolate that powers through the peppery finish. "Its back". Gold Medal – NZ International Wine Show.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $21.99 special.

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting - 15 Apr 2009
Saturday Night Superstars versus Everyday Affordable.
Wines were tasted blind.

Cloudy Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008
Pale straw coloured, brightly aromatic zesty citrus scents and mouthwatering fresh zesty flavours - think lime sherbet, Granny Smith apple and crushed Florence fennel seed with a slight saline tang to accentuate the acidity and a long lasting finish that is dry. It was served chilled, as were all the whites on the night.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $34.99.

Eradus Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008
Pale straw coloured with orange peel and leafy summer herbs on the nose, this is vibrant, tangy and herbaceous with a touch of oiliness to the texture and fleshy tropical fruit joining classic gooseberry on the rich and lasting finish. Compared to the Cloudy Bay this is slightly sweeter and just a little softer and rounded and while it is the cheaper wine, it was the most preferred of the pair on the night. Also a wine show favourite with gold medals from Air NZ, Royal Easter Show and the Sydney International.
13% alc. Screwcap. $17.99 special.

Terravin Marlborough Chardonnay 2007
The nose of this light yellow gold coloured wine is malty and mealy with sweet toasty oak and hints of stonefruit. It prepares you for a big, rich number but the first taste is surprisingly acid driven and lemon citrussy becoming quite savoury and smoky as it evolves. It reveals its juicy disposition with tropical fruit coming to the fore on the toasty finish and a rich, almost voluptuous, creamy aftertaste with a hint of caramel too.
14% alc. Screwcap. $34.99.

Shingle Peak Reserve Marlborough Chardonnay 2007
Light yellow gold in colour, this wine does not want to reveal too many secrets on the nose but as it warms in the glass it later gives off mealy scents with sweet toasty oak. Tight-knit in the palate with a creamy undercurrent to the caramel-infused toasty oak, it is a high-toned wine with plenty of lime-like acidity underpinning the spicy lush fruit but evolves beautifully as it warms in the glass to a full rich finish. Gold Medal Royal Easter Show.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $16.99 special.

Seifried Winemakers Nelson Gewurztraminer 2007
Moderate yellow gold with a light oily veneer, the beautifully fragrant, floral and slightly confectionary spicy aroma immediately pinpoints the variety. The assumed sweetness carries through to the palate that is a little bit toasty with a herbaceous backbone to the spicy flavours and the finish is drier than expected. White pepper and ginger fill the mouth with heat while the aftertaste softens and becomes quite floral with hints of Turkish delight.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $22.99.

Cuvee Emile Willm Gewurztraminer 2006
Deep yellow gold, oily in appearance, this immediately seduces with its rich, spicy honey, botrytised-influenced (beeswax) aromas and decadent flavours of burnt orange toffee, dried orange peel, Asian spices and honey. An opulent expression of Alsace Gewurztraminer with soft acidity and a beautifully fine mouth-coating texture, it initially seems very sweet but, amazingly, finishes dry. Simply outstanding and easily the pick of the pair on the night. Gold Medal NZ International Wine Show.
13% alc. Cork. $35.99.

Wild Rock "Strugglers Flat" Martinborough Pinot Noir 2008
Deep maroon garnet coloured with a perfume of sweet cherry and strawberry fruit on a bed of spiced smoky oak, it is earthy and savoury to the taste with velvet-like tannins, rich cherry fruit and a bittersweet finish. There is no doubt that this is NZ Pinot Noir and while a little youthful and gangly at the moment it definitely has the foundation on which to build.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $21.99 special.

Palliser Estate Martinborough Pinot Noir 2006
Deep garnet red, dense in appearance with a little bricking on the edge, there is maraschino cherry and vanillin oak on the nose and a spicy, juicy sweet palate. A red wine drinker's Pinot Noir, it is full-bodied and savoury with firm, dry tannins, a smoky, herbal, earthy undercurrent and an unexpectedly spicy finish.
14% alc. Screwcap. $47.99.

Mission Estate Reserve Hawkes Bay Merlot 2007
Dense black red with crimson edges. Deep and brooding on the nose with leather and a spiced berry scent, it is full-bodied and sumptuous in the palate with thick-textured velvety tannins, sweet dark plum and berry fruit, tobacco, cigar box, leather, a little bit of tar and a hint of bitter chocolate too. Delivers value for money and mouthfilling pleasure. Gold Medal Royal Easter Show.
14% alc. Diam. $18.99 special.

C.J. Pask "Declaration" Hawkes Bay Merlot 2004
A deep rustic red, dense in the core with some bricking on the edges. Fragrant with sweet oak, leather and barnyard on the nose and a sweet, spicy, meaty palate with fine tannins and flavours reminiscent of chocolate biscuits, cassis, cedar and mint with lots of smoke and leather on the expansive mouthfilling finish. A generous wine from a very good vintage and the favourite of the pair on the night but ready now and unlikely to improve with further cellaring.
14% alc. Cork. $53.99.

Mission Estate Reserve Hawkes Bay Syrah 2008
Vivid dense purple red. Sensuous aromas of dried rose and black pepper - so distinctive of NZ Syrah, and a dark, dense, meaty, savoury palate with sweet oak, thick tannins, black pepper and a dark cherry / blueberry fruit. The tannins seem to dissolve and there's a fineness to the lingering floral aftertaste. Smart already.
13.5% alc. Cork. $18.99 special.

Kilikanoon "The Covenant" Clare Valley Shiraz 2005
Dense red black in colour with perhaps an extra year of age when compared to the previous wine but, wow, it is three years older. This is so distinctively Australian with vanillin oak, chocolate, savoury meats and cake spice on the nose and a sumptuous, silky textured, chocolate-laden palate. Smooth and creamy with some grip to the tannins and a decadently long savoury finish pricked with pepper spice, it is a big juicy wine and such a treat to taste. For many tasters, this was the 'Wine of the Night'.
15% alc. Screwcap. $53.99.

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting - 8 Apr 2009
2006 vintage - mostly
Wines were tasted blind.

Taylors Jaraman Chardonnay 2005 - South Australia
A rich toasty wine with a deep yellow gold colour, smoky, nutty aromas and lots of toasty oak flavours. It's quite nutty, cashew perhaps, with stonefruit, spice and a honey butter richness to the full, fat, long lasting finish. Just starting to pick up some mellow characters, it's oaky, buttery and seamless and tastes beautiful right now. Clare Valley and Adelaide Hills fruit.
15% alc. Screwcap. $19.99 special. Limited stocks.

Marsden Black Rocks Chardonnay 2006
An outstanding wine from the Bay of Islands, it's light lemon gold in colour with hints of citrus joining the delicately smoky aromas and has a light touch to the malty, barrel ferment flavours. Seems very youthful with a bright citrus lift underpinning the tropical fruit with toasty oak and lots of spicy zest. Served chilled, it's delicious and refreshing and leaves a creme caramel connotation to the lingering finish. Champion Chardonnay at the International Chardonnay Challenge 2007.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $30.99.

Seresin Reserve Marlborough Chardonnay 2006
Bright yellow gold in colour with mealy butterscotch nuances joining the prominent grapefruit scents then grapefruit brims through the full-bodied toasty oak palate. There's a buttery creamy overlay with wild yeast adding an extra funky dimension to the rich, mouthfilling flavours with butterscotch lingering on the bright, tropical fruit finish. Serious Chardonnay from a brilliant winemaker.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $39.99.

Cloudy Bay Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2006
Light gold in colour with watery edges. Quite restrained on the nose for the variety, the spice and musky floral aromas are released with vigorous swirling but despite the shyness of the nose, this is intensely rich and varietal to the taste. Quite sweet but with a savoury edge, it is full of lychee, orange oil and Turkish delight with a long, zesty finish.
14% alc. Screwcap. $34.99.

Pegasus Bay Waipara Riesling 2006
Straw gold coloured with perfumed floral aromas, hints of lime and a fragrance reminiscent of dissolving powdered bath salts, this Riesling has garnered some richness with three years of age but it is still overtly characterised by a sherbet-like spritzy texture. A sweetish wine with lots of tangy citrus, the back label says it is made in a 'Spatlese' style.
12% alc. Screwcap. $27.99. Limited stocks

Pirineos Mesache Tinto 2006 - Somontano DO, Spain
Rich black red. Smoky with cassis and hints of violets on the nose, the upfront tobacco-like smoky savouriness, subtle spices and strong tannin attack in the palate give way to juicy blue and black fruit and cassis with a hint of chocolate on the finish. Made from a blend of Grenache, Parraleta, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, it's a super buy at the special price.
13.5% alc. Cork. $9.99 special.

Bald Hills Central Otago Pinot Noir 2006
Translucent garnet with perfumed floral aromas, this seems like a light to medium bodied wine with a gentle attack but builds in the palate to a rich full finish. Earthy and savoury with sweet red fruit, sensual sultry tannins, a smoky savoury finish and very good length, it needs attention for the utmost enjoyment.
14% alc. Screwcap. $46.99. Limited stocks.

Ridge Geyserville Zinfandel 2006 California, USA
Fabulous deep blue-black red colour, smoky aromas with vanillin oak and hints of tobacco and immediate juicy delicious flavours. With upfront spice, vanillin oak, raisin and cherry-like fruit and smooth velvet-edged tannins, it has plenty of structure, loads of flavour with a touch of savouriness bringing it all into balance. Made from a blend of 70% Zinfandel, 18% Carignane, 10% Petit Sirah and 2% Mataro.
14.6% alc. Cork. $64.99.

Mamre Brook Barossa Shiraz 2006
Vivid purple red. Smoky, cedary chocolate aromas with blackberry and liquorice lead into a smooth, creamy palate with sweet spicy blackberry and redcurrant fruit, fine-textured tannins, integrated smoky oak, chocolate, spice and just a hint of mint. It's a bit deceiving of its stature because it's an absolutely monumental wine - a blockbuster, with elevated alcohol and 16 months in new and seasoned French and American oak.
15.5% alc. Cork. $18.99 special.

Bremerton Tamlyn Cabernet Shiraz Malbec Merlot 2006
A deep dark red with a hint of bricking on the edges, this has savoury aromas with bottled plums on the nose. A big wine, a smoky, savoury wine with upfront savouriness giving way to a sultry chocolate/ mocha sweetness and ripe currant and berry fruit, it is velvety, rich, smoky and long with lots of complexity and lots of interest. A blend of 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Shiraz, 13% Malbec and 7% Merlot from Langhorne Creek in South Australia.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $21.99.

Penfolds Bin 128 Coonawarra Shiraz 2006
Black red, shiny, and deep. A profound aroma, earthy and spicy with hints of chocolate. Savoury and earthy on entry to the palate with dried herbs, smoke and charred grilled meat, this is quite a grippy wine yet has lots of vinous sweetness and a voluptuous spicy, savoury finish where, despite the French oak regime, the hallmark Penfolds vanillin sweetness comes through.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $21.99 special.

'Kilroy Was Here' Barossa Shiraz 2006
From the House of Rocland in Nuriootpa in the Barossa Valley, this is shiny black red colour with crimson edges. Spicy savoury aromas embellished with pepper, red fruit and vanillin oak lead into a spicy savoury palate with a juicy backbone of sweet Shiraz fruit, vanillin oak and svelte tannins. A chocolate richness envelops the finish. An appealing wine with a good story too.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $23.99.

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting - 1 Apr 2009
First Glass 10th Birthday
Wines were tasted blind.

Piper Heidsieck NV Champagne
Light gold coloured with a fine bead of bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass, this has a savoury, toasted brioche aroma and a rich toasty palate with a touch of concentrated peachy sweetness and a pleasing fizz attack. Excellent bubbles. A great crowd pleaser and a fabulous start to a fabulous evening.
12% alc. Cork. $49.99 special.

Kim Crawford Tietjen Chardonnay 2007
This powerful Chardonnay is bright yellow gold with toasted nuts and French oak on the nose and a gorgeous, rich, creamy, spicy flavour that simply seduces. Full of tropical fruit, there's a touch of citrus and a hint of caramel while stonefruit and nougat flesh out the long lasting finish. Gold Medal – Royal Easter Show.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $27.99 special.

Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Chardonnay 2006
Light yellow gold with hints of grapefruit on the smoky French oak and savoury, mealy nose it has a luscious fat edge to the palate, fleshed out with spiced peach and vanillin oak. Full-bodied, concentrated and toasty with a long rich spicy finish, it has a lovely complexity that has come with that little bit of age. Gold Medal – NZ International Wine Show.
14% alc. Screwcap. $25.99 special.

Villa Maria Reserve Gewurztraminer 2007
Light golden yellow in colour, this is reminiscent of pink 'smoker lollies' (musk lollies) on the nose and is just a little sweet and confectionary in the palate. It's full of musk, rose petal and exotic spices with ripe lychee fruit, a touch of candied angelica and a tickle of ginger. Juicy and luscious with a long lasting finish. Gold Medal – Royal Easter Show.
14% alc. Screwcap. $23.99.

Reichsgraf von Kesselstat Scharzhofberger Riesling Kabinet 2006
Very pale gold in colour, this emits aromas of quenching lime and apple juice on the nose and follows through with a cool, refreshing palate. Earthy and flinty with pithy lemon and lime and a green apple brightness, it has a jubey sweetness to balance the fresh acidity and a touch of lanolin coming through to linger on the finish. Quite sweet for a kabinet, but that is reflective of the vintage.
8% alc. Cork. $44.99.

R Wines Strong Arms Shiraz 50% McLaren Vale 2007
Deep black-red. Sweet spicy aromas with smoky oak over a creamy vanillin backbone and hints of cherry, it is smooth in its attack on the palate with redcurrant, blackberry, a touch of mocha and dried herbs. Atypical for McLaren Vale with the herbal character imparting a Euro-like savouriness to the lasting finish but is has that unmistakably ripe South Australian fruit. 15% alc. Screwcap. $16.99 special.

Marquis Philips Baby Roogle Shiraz South Australia 2007
Rich dark purple red. Cherry and smoky creamy oak on the nose. Slightly grippy tannins on entry to the palate are tempered by succulent blue and black fruits and hints of liquorice. It is plush, juicy, inky deep and concentrated with an almost luscious sweetness, yet always that intrinsic Shiraz peppery spice and a winey leathery savouriness that builds to a very long finish.
15% alc. Screwcap. $16.99 special.

Mamre Brook Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
Shiny, deep red black. Smoky with just a hint of leather on the nose. Succulent American oak in the palate - nutty, rich, creamy cedar with juicy red fruits, fruit cake spices and just the slightest nuance of mint. With still very youthful tannins, it's like it just doesn’t want to age. A beautiful full-bodied red, delicious now but with so much potential to age. Gold Medal – Sydney Top 100.
15% alc. Cork. $18.99 special.

Kilikanoon Killermans Run Shiraz 2006
Dark purple red. Fragrant herbs on the nose, like dried rosemary over BBQ’d lamb. Quite contrastingly juicy sweet in the palate, the creamy oak, luscious fruit and smooth tannins seem nicely integrated with chocolate and cherry over a spicy peppery backbone. The dried herbs detected on the nose kick in and bring a complementary savouriness to the lasting finish. Gold Medal – NZ International Wine Show
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $24.99 special.

The Willows Barossa Valley Shiraz 2005
Shiny black red in colour with pepper and purple fruits on the nose, this is an intensely profound Shiraz in the palate. Crammed with chocolate, mocha, juicy blackberry, black cherry, plum and spice, the beautiful fine tannins impart a silky texture and the signature Willows mintiness makes an appearance with a flourish on the finish. Just class, class, class.
15% alc. Screwcap. $31.99.

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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