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edited by Sue Courtney

Wednesday Round-up - the 2012 edition
Sue Courtney's tasting notes from the First Glass Fine Wine Wednesday $15 tastings

August 2012
[ 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 Aug 2012
Price Comparisons
All of the wines were tasted blind. Wines were discussed in pairs.

Passage Rock Waiheke Island Chardonnay 2011
Lemon gold and glossy. Aromas of honey coated roasted nuts. Ripe and juicy in the palate with toasty oak, wheatgerm, peaches, nut butter and caramel cream. Full-bodied and flavoursome, instantly hits the spot and the flavours linger cheerfully.
14% alc. Screwcap. $24.99.

Lake Chalice The Raptor Marlborough Chardonnay 2010
Light gold, a little malty on the nose and leesy lemony notes infiltrate the palate; it's quite savoury, yet creamy, with beautifully integrated French oak, butter sizzled macadamias and a fine seam of citrus. Very elegant, sophisticated and finishing dry; an Audrey Hepburn wine. Gold NZIWS 2011.
14% alc. Screwcap. $29.99.

Greystone Waipara Pinot Gris 2011
Light gold coloured with honeyed aromas introducing the soft, unoaked palate with quintessential pinot gris flavours of apple and pear infused with strudel spices. There's a gentle honeysuckle sweetness and a touch of citrus brings zest and brightness to the finish that tapers off gently. Gold and Trophy Bragato Wine Awards 2012.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $23.99 special.

Gustave Lorentz Reserve Pinot Gris 2009 - Alsace
Perfumed with sweet apple, this more pale coloured gris is drier, finer, flintier, crisper - there's a savoury nuance to the scent and there is a touch of sweetness in there, while the rich, juicy and lingering finish is infused with strudel spices that have a kick of heat.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $25.99 special.

Saints Noble Gisborne Semillon 2009
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. Screwcap. $18.99 special. Sold out.

Waimea Bolitho Noble Nelson Riesling 2003
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. Cork. $44.99. Sold out.

d'Arenberg The Custodian McLaren Vale Grenache 2009
Black red, deeply translucent, a little fading on the edges. The aroma is smoky and tarry with red fruits - perhaps a hint of cherry. The taste is quite savoury, leathery, perhaps even a little gamey, with a little sharpness making the wine seem bright and fresh. Tannins are firm, there's a touch of allspice and the finish is big and fruity.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $24.99 special.

Spinifex Papillon Barossa 2010
Deep cherry red. Tarry and savoury on the nose, firm and robust in the palate. A old-fashioned / old world red wine style with currant-like fruit, leather, tar and herbs, and boiled lollies on the finish. Overall more savoury than fruity, it's mouthfilling in a medium to full-bodied package. From Domaine Jardin in the Barossa, a company that specialises in the weird and wonderful, this is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault Carignan, and Shiraz.
14% alc. Screwcap. $32.99.

The Battle of Bosworth McLaren Vale Shiraz 2009
Concentrated black red with a sumptuous, harmonious scent of chocolate biscuits, oak spice and tar. A deep, rich, juicy, full-bodied wine with thick, mouth-coating tannins, black and red berries, dried currants and a profound savouriness to balance the concentrated fruit sweetness. A little spicy, a touch creamy and bitter chocolate rounding out the lingering finish.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $35.99.

George Wyndham Founders Reserve Langhorne Creek Shiraz 2009
Mint is to the fore on both the nose and in the palate of this super concentrated, intensely purple red coloured wine Crammed with blue and black fruits, it has a fine rippling tannin structure, a touch of chocolate, plenty of new oak and lashings of peppery spice. A new vintage of a First Glass favourite
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $19.99 special.

Penfolds Club Reserve Classic Tawny
Red-hued amber. There's rancio, dried raisins and spirit on the nose and it is intensely sweet in the palate with a Cointreau-like character coming through, and you can taste the old wood that's like a lovingly polished walnut dashboard on a classic car. Very fine, smooth, rich and long.
18.5% alc. Cork. $28.99.

Dows 10-Year-Old Tawny Port
Dark orange amber. Rich bouquet of toffee, nuts and orange zest with eyewatering spirit vapours. Very rich, thick, smooth and mouthcoating with a lovely infusion of roasted nuts, dried fruit and candied zest, with rancio notes and spiritous heat making the sweet finish glow.
20% alc. Cork. $61.99.

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting - 22 Aug 2012
Four Aromatics, Four Pinot Noirs, Four Other Reds
All of the wines were tasted blind.

Schoffit Cuvee Caroline Alsace Gewürztraminer 2009
Glossy gold with tantalising aromatics reminiscent of bath oil, candied lemon and Turkish delight, and full of Turkish delight and rose oil flavour with a ginger biscuit tingle, an infusion of candied lemon zest and a soft, slippery, mouthcoating texture. A rich powerful wine yet smooth and sensual with lovely balance.
13% alc. Cork. $36.99.

Palliser Estate Martinborough Riesling 2011
It's a light golden colour with a honeysuckle and lime scent and tastes crisp, fresh and dry with tones of grapefruit coming through, a flinty, 'sucking on a river stone' texture, and plenty of acidity to carry the length - the kind of wine to have as the aperitif to get the taste buds salivating. Concentrated and powerful for Riesling, it would go well with salty food. Excellent wine.
13% alc. Screwcap.$17.99 special.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 9 Big John Marlborough Riesling 2011
Pale straw coloured and smelling and tasting like a homemade lemon and honey drink, it's low alcohol with natural residual sweetness but racy acidity cuts neatly through the sugar and there's an apple skin character lingering on the end.
9% alc. Screwcap. $24.99.

Johanneshof Late Harvest Marlborough Riesling 2007
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).

Soho 'White Collection' Marlborough Pinot Noir 2011
Translucent light pinky red with a delicate but appealing bouquet of cherry and spice with a delicate smoke and herb nuance. A light style with fine tannins, a savoury backbone, a strawberry jam-like sweetness balanced by taut morello cherry and a touch of cake spice with chocolate icing on the end. Maybe a bit sweet, but certainly delivers for the price.
14% alc. Screwcap. $19.99 special.

Terra Sancta Central Otago Pinot Noir 2011
Dark ruby / black cherry coloured with complex aromas that are subtle and sensual and a vibrant, spicy veneer to the flavours. A mouthfilling wine that's intrinsically savoury with classic wild thyme, roasted mushroom, fruits of the forest, black cherries, a touch of chocolate, a little tug to the tannins and that sought after brightness to the finish. New label from the new owners of the former Olssens vineyard - same vines, same winemaker - there is a track record and this could one of the vintage's stars.
14.2% alc. Screwcap. $33.99.

Gibbston Valley China Terrace Central Otago Pinot Noir 2010
Dark cherry red with reasonable concentration to the hue. Initially it seems more savoury than fruity and there is a suggestion of a mellow edge (after the vibrant 2011), but the wine expands so beautifully in the mouth and on the lasting aftertaste. It has a lovely warm generosity, a touch of chocolate maybe and dark red fruit jellies, but it is the forest floor connotations and fine velvet-coated smooth tannins that are the standout features of this very smart wine.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $61.99.

Wooing Tree Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009
Dark red coloured with good concentration and a vinous sweetness to the deep, complex, earthy, savoury scent; then the outstanding taste lives up to the inferred complexity of the scent. The most noticeable feature, however, is the tannins, surprising because it is the oldest of the four Pinots tasted tonight. It's full-bodied, concentrated and savoury with black and red fruits, cake spices, smoky oak and a touch of anise, a lovely sensuous savoury wine with a long life ahead of it.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $39.99 special.

Septima Mendoza Malbec 2010
Dark red coloured with a creamy nuance to the smoky scent and flavours full of ripe berries. A big spicy wine with thick crushed velvet tannins, an underlying suggestion of herb and green pepper, and plums, earth and leather. There's a touch of milk chocolate and a lovely, almost floral-like brightness to the end. Lots going on and the finish is long.
14% alc. Cork. $21.99 special.

La Vielle Ferme Red 2010 - AOC Ventoux, France
A transparent Burgundy red in colour (a little like a lighter Pinot) with a perfumed aroma and a moderately spicy (cake spice) taste with red fruits, herbs, smoke and tobacco. The finish is dry and the tannins are fine. Made from a blend of Carignan, Cinsault , Grenache and Syrah grapes, this is a lighter-styled wine that will be at its best with food, but something that's light and easy.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $15.99 special.

Thierry and Guy Fat Bastard Shiraz 2011 - Minervois, France
Deep black purple red . A little earthy and smoky on the nose and initially dry and savoury tasting - but only momentarily. It's ripe, juicy, rounded and creamy with succulent mouthcoating tannins, lashings of all spice, pepper, game meats, mint sauce, redcurrants and a long satisfying finish. A medium to full-bodied style with some new world influence, no doubt. Yes, it has a screwcap too.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $21.99 special.

Villa Maria Reserve Hawkes Bay Syrah 2009
Deep purple red with a deep, sweet berry and rich meaty scent, but when you first taste the wine it is the pepper that makes such an impression. The pepper fades to let other lovely spicy components such as anise, such a complement to the deliciously juicy plum and blackberry fruit. Dry yet silky, full-bodied, complex, savoury and deep, with incredible juiciness and phenomenal length.
14% alc. Screwcap. $59.99.

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting - 15 Aug 2012
New Zealand versus Europe
All of the wines were tasted blind.

Champagne Ayala Brut Majeur NV - France
Light lemon yellow. Lovely toasted brioche aromas and yeasty, savoury, citrussy flavours with plenty of fizz on the tongue that becomes quite foamy and soft as it subsides, and while the toasty finish is almost bone dry, there's just a touch of sweetness to balance it all at the end. Gold & Trophy, NZIWS 2011.
12% alc. Cork. $59.99 special.

Nautilus Cuvee Brut Methode Traditionelle NV - Marlborough
It's very pale, very crisp, very dry, very refreshing and quite savoury with a fine foamy mousse, vibrant apple-like acidity and then a delicate lemon infusion to the lingering finish.
12% alc. Cork. $29.99 special.

Billaud-Simon Chablis 2010 - France
The light gold colour has a gem-like glossy sheen, and the flavours are crisp and fresh, with apples - also dominant on the aroma - and perhaps a suggestion of greengage plums and pear. A flinty wine with no perception of oak and fooled some people (including me) into thinking it was Chenin.
12.5% alc. Cork. $38.99.

Vidal Reserve Series Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2011
Oak greets you at the doorstep of this straw gold wine- you can smell it, you can taste it. It's soft and creamy in the mouth, with an underlying savouriness, subtle biscuit spice toastiness and the inferred sweetness of yellow plum. Mouthfilling and long, opening up nicely in the glass.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $16.99 special.

Astrolabe 'Province' Marlborough Pinot Gris 2012
Aromas of apple strudel seem straight up and down, but the flavour of this soft, medium-bodied and very pale coloured wine is intriguing, fresh, floral and bright. There's a delicate hint of musk, a suggestion of lychee and passionfruit, a little pear-like graininess to the texture, and a lively apple and pear finish. Very nice.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $21.99 special.

Willy Gisselbrecht Alsace Pinot Gris 2010 - France
This more gold coloured wine is quite savoury in comparison but at the same time honeyed, almost luscious; sweeter but not sweet, textural and smooth, spicy baked apples and dates with an infusion of sweet orange at the end.
13% alc. Cork. $19.99 special.

Telmo Rodriquez LZ Rioja 2010 - Spain
Dark red with flecks of blackberry. Savoury aromatics, not instantly distinctive, but the taste of this medium-bodied wine is warm and generous with a lovely freshness and anise-like spiciness. A velvety textured beauty with plenty of juicy blue and black fruit that oozes natural sweetness and balances the dry, slightly herbal backbone. Impressive as the first-up red.
13.5% alc. Cork. $19.99 special.

Mud House Central Otago Pinot Noir 2010
Translucent light ruby coloured. Nuts and Christmas cake cherries on the nose, juicy red fruit in the medium-bodied palate with cake spices, a fine tannin structure and an earthy undercurrent. Pure Elite Gold AirNZ 2011.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $19.99 special.

Guigal Cotes du Rhone 2009 - France
Deep black red. Savoury with a lick of leather to the scent, that savouriness carrying through to the earthy, leathery, spicy palate that's layered with sweet vanillin oak, concentrated berry fruit and herbs. This medium more than full-bodied wine has lovely balance, firm velvety tannins and a dry finish with a hit of chicory.
14% alc. Cork. $19.99 special.

Passage Rock Waiheke Island Syrah 2010
Deep blackberry red. Crammed with sweet coconutty American oak (50% of the blend), this smells powerful and tastes powerful too. Firm, yet supple, with an opulence to its delivery, it's concentrated with red and black fruit, allspice, a delicate seasoning of pepper, seemingly integrated tannins and a juicy, persistent finish. Delicious.
14% alc. Screwcap. $27.99 special.

Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Merlot Cabernet Malbec 2007 - Hawkes Bay
Dark black red, with an aroma of herbal nuances, smoky, savoury French oak and cassis that immediately emanates class. Incredibly juicy, full-bodied and succulent with oak spice, concentrated blackcurrants and plums, rippling muscular tannins, a well-balanced savoury undercurrent and mellow vinous sweetness to the dry finish. Consummate and complete.
14% alc. Screwcap. $59.99.

Farnese Edizione 'Lot 2009' - Puglia / Abruzzo, Italy
A blockbuster wine with a glossiness to the purple black colour, it's smells of blackberry jam and tastes firmly structured with powerful yet succulent tannins, juicy purple and black fruits, sweet oak, hints of anise, fruit cake, salted raisins and tobacco. Concentrated, yet seductive with its mouthfilling presence. Made from Montepulciano, Primitivo, Sangiovese, Negroamaro and Malvasia.
14% alc. Cork. $51.99.

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting - 8 Aug 2012
Chips and Chardonnay, Chocolate and Shiraz
All of the wines were tasted blind.

Cairnbrae Marlborough Chardonnay 2010
Medium bodied, smooth, seamless, soft and creamy with a lemon butter nuance to the scent, integrated spicy oak, hazelnuts, a touch of stonefruit and a long finish. Not matched to chips.
13% alc. Screwcap. $12.99 special.

Sileni The Lodge Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2010
With hints of grapefruit to the bouquet, this rich, full, fat, spicy Chardonnay totally delivers with flavours of toasty oak, roasted nuts, stonefruit and a nice touch of citrus that adds zest and brightness to the long, mouthfilling finish. Matched to the strong tasting Moroccan Chicken chips - the Chardonnay was the highlight of the combination.
14% alc. Screwcap. $25.99 special.

Seifried Barrique Fermented Nelson Chardonnay 2010
This new vintage (we tasted the '09 last week) has an appealing mealy, leesy, barrel-ferment bouquet, and a bold spicy flavour with citrus and stonefruit, plenty of toasty vanillin oak and a buttery creamy finish. Full-bodied and fairly dry, it's hinting it will develop big caramel flavours with a little more time. Matched to Spare Ribs chips - the honey and smoky bacon flavour of the chips reasonably complements the wine.
14% alc. Screwcap. $22.99 special.

Charles Wiffen Marlborough Chardonnay 2010
A mealy, creamy bouquet infused with nuts and lemon carries through to the dry savoury palate that's layered with toasty oak and butter caramel. Matched to Roast Lamb chips that have a mellow honey and mint flavour, the wine and chips are the best match so far, highlighting the creaminess of the wine.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $19.99 special.

Brunton Road Gisborne Chardonnay 2009
A nutty, savoury Chardonnay that takes chilling well, it has a rich mealy bouquet and tastes a little spicy with mellow oak a touch of stonefruit and softness from the 100% malolactic fermentation Medium-bodied in style with brightness to the finish. Matched to Roasted Tomato, Basil and Ricotta rice things, the crisps are reasonably bland so the wine makes them taste better.
13.6% alc. Screwcap. $19.99 special.

John Forrest Collection Marlborough Chardonnay 2007
Suggesting age with its deep golden colour, this smells sophisticated and savoury with a grapefruit nuance to the scent and tastes full-bodied, dry, smoky and toasty with a soft mellow character to the nutty, creamy flavours. The salty Sunday Roast chips are very tasty and reminiscent of meat drippings, and the wine is rich enough to match these bold flavours. Most agreed this was the best wine and chip combo of the night.
14% alc. Screwcap. $45.99.

Chocolate Box Sparkling Shiraz 2009
A little pink mousse sits momentarily atop this sparkling red when it is poured. It has a deep rich earthy Shiraz scent with vanillin oak, plums and berries and the bubbles are effervescent in the mouth, but when they subside the spicy fruitcake and blueberry flavours come through. Dream white chocolate was the match - much better with the wine than on its own - the creamy chocolate and the savoury spicy wine a pleasing combination.
14.5% alc. Cork. $29.99.

Gemtree Tatty Road McLaren Vale Shiraz 2010
Medium bodied, savoury and spicy, a little earthy to start but opens up nicely. Smooth and mellow with spiced blackberry fruit and an easy tannin structure. A gold medal judged on its own at the New World Wine Awards in 2011. The Turkish Delight chocolate was sweet and overpowering - a disastrous match.
14% alc. Screwcap. $14.99 special.

Taylors Clare Valley Shiraz 2009
Black red, big, rich, full-bodied and spicy, crammed with voluptuous vanillin oak and juicy red and black fruit, well balanced fruit sweetness and oaky savouriness, and the tannins are firm yet fine. The Dairy Milk with Crunchie (hokey pokey) chocolate introduced an intriguing nutty character, although there was a little bit of dissension about this match.
14% alc. Screwcap. $15.99 special.

Rocland Estate Barossa Shiraz 2009
Black red with an opulent aromatic expression, this is an big, rich wine heading towards that blockbuster category - but not quite. It's a youthful expression with primary plum and blackberry flavours, silky smooth tannins, savoury oak, liquorice and pepper. The Roasted Almond dairy milk chocolate match was too strong and actually overpowers the wine.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $24.99 special.

Thorn Clarke William Randell Barossa Shiraz 2008
Mouth-watering bouquet of vanillin oak, spiced plums and cherries, and a luscious, full-bodied, smooth creamy taste. A blockbuster in every sense of the word, but with stunning sophistication. It's spicy and peppery with concentrated red, black fruit and purple fruit and beautifully structured throughout. The cherry bits in the Black Forest dairy milk chocolate was the best part of the combo - the wine the definite winner on the night.
15.5% alc. Screwcap. $54.99.

Two Hands Angels Share McLaren Vale Shiraz 2010
Purple red, Deep, savoury, spicy and concentrated vanilla red berry scent. More concentration in the palate, spicy, just the right amount of pepper, red fruits, fine tannins and chocolate!!! A lovely vinous sweetness, silky tannins, powerful yet refined and balanced. Matched to the ultra smooth Old Gold 70 per cent cocoa chocolate, it was voted the Best Match of the Night.
14.6% alc. Screwcap. $33.99 special.

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting - 1 Aug 2012
Non Stop Variety
All of the wines were tasted blind.

Maven 'Premier' Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011
A smoky, cut grass and green passionfruit bouquet introduces this flinty tasting wine with tomato stalk and guava-like fruit characters, loads of tangy citrus, a tickle of ginger and white pepper and a touch of musky sweetness and candied mint on the pungent finish, which tapers off gently. Gold ANZWA.
12.5% alc. Screwcap. $16.99 special.

Esk Valley Hawkes Bay Verdelho 2010
Apples are the dominant character in this moderately full bodied wine. It has a warm spicy character and a touch of sweetness to the crisp acid finish - like a layer of toffee over apple, and there's barrel ageing adding complexity.
14% alc. Screwcap. $21.99.

Esk Valley Hawkes Bay Chenin Blanc 2011
Delicately perfumed apple blossom scent, this has fresh and stewed apple flavours to the fore, a combination of tart and sweet, like apple pie / apple strudel, with a hint of melon over the crisp, flinty high acid backbone and a touch of musk and anise to the long, rich finish.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $21.99.

Seifried Barrique Ferment Nelson Chardonnay 2009
Moderate yellow gold with a toasty, caramel cream and roasted peach bouquet, this is juicy and mouthfilling, with an abundance of spicy oak, a lovely savoury leesy backbone, yellow raisins, caramelised peaches and a long smooth finish. Drinking quite superbly on the night.
14% alc. Screwcap. $NA.

Olssens 'Tom Logan' Central Otago Pinot Gris 2011
The delicate bouquet of honeysuckle and citrus blossom belies the full flavoured palate. There's a juicy, zesty, freshness to this off dry wine that's plump with poached pear, layered with honeysuckle and tarragon, and lovely floral nuances on the perfectly poised finish. This really hits the spot for Pinot Gris drinkers.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $19.99 special.

Pyramid Valley Lebecca Vineyard Marlborough Riesling 2006
Perfumed with concentrated juicy citrus, yet there's quite an earthy Germanic-like veneer to the wine. It's fresh, its zingy, it's deliciously juicy yet quite savoury too and the acid is perfectly in balance with beautiful honey-coated flavours. Six years old but looking like it could easily go for another 10 years, the vote for country was split on this wine and half of the tasters went for Germany. It's so good, I went for Germany too. 8.5% alc. Screwcap. $32.99.

Farnese Sangiovese 2010 - Ortono / San Salvo, Italy
Deep pinky red. Pure purple plum aroma, clean, fresh, and velvety cloaked in the palate, this medium-bodied savoury wine is infused with cherries with hints of chocolate, a suggestion of liquorice, a touch of pepper and a firm finish. This is what we call a 'food wine'. A hard act, following the Riesling, but after the 3rd or 4th mouthful, it rounds out nicely.
12.5% alc. Cork. $15.99.

Water's Edge Nelson Pinot Noir 2010
Translucent garnet red. A little jammy on the nose - strawberry jam, perhaps. Light to medium bodied, juicy, smooth and easy; sweet vanillin oak, strawberry and cherry fruit, fruitcake and a little pepper on the spicy finish. A 'made up' label to fit the price point.
14% alc. Screwcap. $12.99 special.

Henry's Drive Dead Letter Office Shiraz 2008 - Padthaway / McLaren Vale, South Australia
Dark red, fine in appearance. Full on nutty vanillin oak and red berry scent and a full flavoured palate with firm fine tannins. Spicy and savoury with a creamy oak backbone, ripe red berry fruit, liquorice and chocolate, a hint of mint and a lovely, sweet, juicy, moreish finish. Perhaps just starting to pick up a mellow edge.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $22.99 special.

Sessantani du Manduria Old Vine Primitivo 2008 - Puglia, Italy
Dark red. Concentrated smoky, savoury, plummy bouquet; thick textured - fleshy and mouthcoating, spicy and juicy with an intensity of currant, blackberry, boysenberry and prune-like fruit, a touch of allspice and cloves, and a big, rich, sumptuous finish. Fantastic wine, as always. 14.5% alc. Cork. $51.99.

San Marzano 'F' Negroamaro 2008 - Salento, Italy
Dark red, savoury smelling with sweet smoky oak and a hint of cherry The palate is quite dry and cedary with cocoa powder, strawberry fruit, violets, vanilla and cake spices. Initially the tannins seem very dry but the wine becomes quite creamy and finish is smooth and rounded with the smoky aftertaste infused with hints of red fruit and cigar.
13.5% alc. Cork. $51.99.

Henry's Drive Pillar Box Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 - Padthaway, South Australia
Dark red, with cassis and a nuance of mint to the smoky scent, this spicy wine has vibrant cassis and blackberry fruit with nutty oak and fine tannins. It evolves beautifully in the mouth, leaving behind a satisfying full-bodied finish. 14% alc. Screwcap. $20.99 special.

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

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