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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

November / December 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 - 5 Dec 2012
First Glass Signature Tasting: Six Chardonnay and Six Shiraz
Wines were tasted blind.

Spinyback Nelson Chardonnay 2009
This bold toasty wine has smoky cedar on the nose and lashings of savoury oak in the palate with a touch of caramel in the background and bright tropical fruit that's heading towards pineapple. A fitting curtain raiser to the main event.
13.9% alc. Screwcap. $10.99 special.

Kahurangi Mt Arthur Reserve Nelson Chardonnay 2011
There's plenty of oak in this youthful wine with nuances of pink bubblegum on the bouquet. Fruit is more in the fleshy stonefruit spectrum, tending towards apricot, and the caramel tones are creamy with nougat sweetness balanced by the citrussy backbone. Gold NZIWS.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $19.99 special.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 4 Marlborough Chardonnay 2010
There's lovely integration and balance to this light gold coloured wine that has a haunting smokiness to the scent and a deep toasty savouriness to the taste with pear, citrus and melon fruit and an expansive, creamy, harmonious finish.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $25.99 special.

The Landing Bay of Islands Chardonnay 2011
Full-bodied and layered with complexity, this heady wine continues the classy theme. It's toasty on the nose with flavours of nut-brown butter, rich ripe nectarine and white currant fruit, a clarity to the underlying savouriness and an exotic smokiness to the lingering finish. Gold NZIWS.
13.1% alc. Screwcap. $29.99 special.

Vavasour Anna's Marlborough Chardonnay 2010
A creamy, nutty, leesy, nougat style with crème brulee on the nose and obvious malolactic influence in the smoky palate. It's rounded and creamy with apricot and melon fruit, nuances of butterscotch and a lifted harmonious finish with fabulous length.
14% alc. Screwcap. $42.99.

Seifried Barrique Ferment Nelson Chardonnay 201
0 This is vibrantly fruity with perfectly poised toasty oak, peaches and cream. Nougat intermingles with savoury oak on the nose; it's smooth, seamless and layered with deliciousness in the palate with freshness to the full-bodied finish. Drinking at its best.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $22.99 special.

Kingston Estate Shiraz 2010
A blend of Barossa and Clare Valley fruit, this has a deep boysenberry colour, a rich fruity bouquet and flavours that are awash with juicy blackberry and raspberry fruit with an earthy savoury depth, hints of tobacco and chocolate biscuits on the succulent creamy finish. An easy drinking summer BBQ style. Four gold medals.
14% alc. Screwcap. $13.99 special.

Jim Barry The Lodge Hill Clare Valley Shiraz 2010
Deep dark purple red with a bevy of berries and a subtle hint of pepper infusing the delicate spicy oak scent. Exotic fruit fills the palate with hints of mocha and chicory while the fine velvety tannins that wrap around the tongue are a very desirable feature. Smooth, creamy and deliciously approachable with lingering tobacco and boysenberry ripple ice cream.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $19.99 special.

Gemtree Vineyards 'Uncut' McLaren Vale Shiraz 2010
Chocolate biscuits on the nose carry through to the palate of the purple red wine with silky tannins seductive and caressing. Full of sweet red fruit with mint and earth in the background, well balanced spiciness with a sprinkling of pepper, a lovely smoky cedary intrigue and a meaty richness to the finish. Gold NZIWS.
14.5 % alc. Screwcap. $22.99 special.

Peter Lehmann VSV 'Orrick' Flinder Ranges Shiraz 2009
This is deep, dark, concentrated and intense with smooth, fine, seductively silky tannins. A big wine, nevertheless, with smoky oak and mint adding brightness and freshness to the earthy savoury depth. Concentrated fruit, cake spices and hints of roses and mint chocolate on the end. Mouthfilling, classy and persistent, worth every cent.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $47.99.

St Hallett Blackwell Barossa Valley Shiraz 2010
Blackberry red with a vanilla and chocolate nuance to the smoky bouquet, it's earthy and savoury to the taste with firm tannins, peppery spice and concentrated plum and blackberry fruit. A deep meaty, juicy blockbuster with a long life ahead of it. A worthy cellaring proposition.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $39.99.

Two Hands Angel's Share McLaren Vale Shiraz 2010
Shiny black red with a smoky, savoury, cedary scent but so big, rich, ripe and juicy in the palate with layers of vanilla, chocolate, blueberry and spices with fine succulent tannins and a long mouthfilling finish with an intense savoury depth. Like all the Two Hands wines, it's seems to ooze consumer satisfaction and consequently it is very hard to resist.
14.6% alc. Screwcap. $36.99.

There was only the one tasting held in December 2012

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting - 28 Nov 2012
Around the World in Ninety Minutes
Wines were tasted blind.

No.1 Family Estate Cuvee No.1
Pale lemon hued with fine incessant bubbles, the yeasty bouquet has creamy nuances with a vanilla pod sweetness and the taste is deep, toasty and savoury with complex yeast autolysis, yet it's bright in the mouth with citrus and fresh peach, and a crisp, fresh finish. A blanc de blancs made from 100% Chardonnay.
12% alc. Cork. $29.99 special.

Saint Clair Omaka Reserve Marlborough Chardonnay 2011
There's a caramel cream nuance to the tantalising bouquet and butter caramel coats the smooth palate with toasty oak and grilled summer peaches adding richness and complexity while underlying acidity adds freshness. A bold, rich wine that is developing beautifully, Kingsley says drink over the next two years.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $32.99.

Man O War Ponui Island 'Exiled' Pinot Gris 2012
A wine with a delicate aroma but lashings of flavour. There's tropical fruit, nashi pear, honeysuckle, juicy sweet citrus and a texture that has very obvious spritz. Off dry in sweetness level, yet served lightly chilled it has freshness and verve.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $25.99 special.

Lawson's Dry Hills Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2010
This is ripe and sweeter. There's a subtle smoky nuance to the sweet with exotic tropical fruit like babaco and pepino, then gewurz's typical rose petal nuances with delectable sugared violets and spiced citrus coming through. It's silky almost creamy in texture with lingering flavours of peach nectar. Trophy winner Air NZ Wine Awards.
14% alc. Screwcap. $19.99 special.

Two Hands 'Brilliant Disguise' Moscato 2011
Fresh and bright with hints of lime infusing the grapey flavours, and a light foamy texture. It's sweet, yet a salty aspect adds savouriness and bring the sweetness into balance Fantastic palate refresher. Serve as an aperitif, a mid course sorbet or with (or on) fruit salad. Made from Frontignac grapes, this comes in a cute 500ml bottle. 8% alc. Screwcap. $22.99.

Akarua 'Rua' Central Otago Pinot Noir 2011
Violet red. With an inviting and gentle bouquet of red fruits interweaved into spicy savoury oak, this velvety smooth wine has a seductive creamy overlay to the black cherry and wild strawberry with fruits of the forest chocolate and perfectly honed savouriness . Made by the King of Bling (so named for winning so many medals), this a great value Central Otago pinot and dangerously drinkable too.
14% alc. Screwcap. $21.99 special.

Guigal Côtes du Rhone 2009 – Rhone Valley, France
Youthful black red, There's a hint of barnyard to the scent together with chocolate, plums and leather and the taste is savoury, earthy and a little spicy with the richness of black cherry. There's a definite European feel to this firm tannined wine but a modern feel to the velvety finish. One of the bargains in big name French reds.
14% alc. Cork. $19.99 special.

Pipoli Aglianico d'el Vulture 2009 – Southern Italy
Inky black red with a herbal nuance to the black fruit aromatics, this is a deep meaty savoury wine with firm suede-like tannins, a juicy undercurrent and ultra-ripe berry and currant fruit that emerges from behind the layers. Someone said a little like Christmas cake and the finish has succulence, lingering spiciness and fruit sweetness.
13% alc. Cork. $17.99 special.

Trinity Hills Gimblett Gravels T Tempranillo 2010
This deep, dark, full-bodied, meaty wine is an enticing purple black colour. 'A classic example' of this native Spanish grape, according to Michael Brajkovich, chairman of judges at Air NZ, and it's 'supple and fleshy with fine tannins', says Sam. I get tobacco, dark fruits, smoky oak and an earthy undercurrent with a succulence to the rounded harmonious savoury finish and hints of dried rose petals lingering. Trophy winner Air NZ 2012.
13.5% alc. Cork. $29.99 special.

Baltasar Tempranillo 2009 - Calatayud, Spain
This deep burgundy-hued wine is also Tempranillo but lighter and without the complexity and depth of the Hawkes Bay wine. But nevertheless, it is juicy, spicy and tasty with subtle oak scents and a citrus-like freshness underlying the juicy red fruit flavours. Medium bodied and creamy with a touch of chocolate on the finish.
14.5% alc. Cork. $28.99.

Papa Luna 2010 – Calatayud, Spain
Dark red with hints of tobacco infusing the blackberry and chocolatey oak scent. It seems incredibly dry at first but a juicy succulence takes over with raspberries, redcurrants, pepper, perhaps a little anise and other exotic spices adding intrigue. Lifted on the long, focussed finish with nuances of black forest (or raspberry) chocolate and a flourish of pepper, this is a blend of 70% Grenache, 25% Shiraz and 5% Mazuela and Monastrell. Gold NZIWS.
14.5% alc. Cork. $27.99.

Wynns Coonawarra Estate 'Black Label' Shiraz 2010
This concentrated purple black-coloured wine whisks us back to familiar territory with its creamy vanillin oak, spice and juicy blackberry scent. It tastes ripe, creamy and succulent with fine textured tannins, blackberry and raspberry fruits, vanillin oak, a well-balanced savoury undercurrent and a long, dark, juicy finish. It envelopes the mouth with its cosiness and excites with its peppery spiciness.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $36.99 special.

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting - 21 Nov 2012
Air NZ Gold Medal Winners and More
Wines were tasted blind.

Quartz Reef Methode Traditionelle NV
There's a suggestion of sweetness to the yeasty scent and a toasty richness to the slightly salty lemon brioche flavour with tantalising nuances of pineapple and mouthwatering freshness. Very dry, classy bubbles, crying out for an oyster to wash down. Gold AirNZ.
12.5% alc. Cork. $24.99 special.

Mud House Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012
There's a silvery lustre to the hue of this bursting out of the glass Sauv. There's capsicum and gooseberry scents and vibrant tasting juicy tropical fruit flavours, perfectly balanced edgy summer herbs and a lightly oily texture that rounds it out nicely. Gold AirNZ.
13% alc. Screwcap. $14.99 special.

Auntsfield Single Vineyard Marlborough Chardonnay 2010
There's a caramel coating to the barrel ferment scent of this light golden hued wine that has lashings of toasty oak hidden underneath the layers of grilled peach, nuts and grapefruit. Harmonious and rounded, with a mouthcoating richness and full flavoured length. Gold Spiegelau, Gold AirNZ.
14% alc. Screwcap. $36.99.

Vidal Legacy Series Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2010
There's a slight lime-edged tinge to this smoky, nougat scented wine that is so poised in the savoury palate. Lovely fresh acidity tending towards lime, that nougat coming through too with nuts, hint of apricot and fig - it caresses the palate gently yet has amazing concentration and length. Outstanding. Gold Easter, Gold NZIWS, Gold AirNZ.
14% alc. Screwcap. $54.99.

Lawson's Dry Hills Pioneer Series Marlborough Pinot Gris 2010
Full of juicy melon and pear with a squeeze of citrus and a sprinkle of strudel spices, it's a charming off dry style with a softness to the backbone even though the fruit is vibrant and fresh. There's a beguiling floral nuance and something reminiscent pink-iced buns, this beautifully ripe wine has a smooth slippery texture and subtle oak influence too. Gold AirNZ.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $29.99.

Esk Valley Hawkes Bay Merlot Malbec Rosé 2012
Deep watermelon hue. There's an inviting bouquet of cherry but the fruit-filled palate is more reminiscent of blackcurrant initially but there is pepper and strawberry on the finish. There's richness and weight, and the merest suggestion of tannin that makes it seems more like a light red style rather than a frivolous pink. Served lightly chilled, it really is the perfect lunchtime or aperitif drink. Two silver medals.
12.5% alc. Screwcap. $15.99 special.

Jules Taylor Marlborough Pinot Noir 2011
An enticing deep ruby red, this opulent mouthfilling pinot is fragrantly scented and ripe and seductive tasting. It's spicy with deep-seated black cherry and purple berry fruit, savoury oak, an intriguing gamey undercurrent and bitter chocolate emerging on the finish. The texture and taste makes this young wine already hard to resist. Gold AirNZ.
14% alc. Screwcap. $31.99.

Wooing Tree Central Otago Pinot Noir 2010
A little mellow in comparison, this deeply savoury wine seems to have the benefit of maturity and bottle age. It's dry and firm to start but fleshes out beautifully in the expressive palate and the very ripe dried cranberry (craisin) flavours become so enjoyable as the wine lingers. Gold AirNZ.
14% alc. Screwcap. $39.99 special.

Bannock Brae Goldfields Central Otago Pinot Noir 2010
Enticing rich deep almost black red colour, this is an opulent, succulent, luscious style with a sensuous velvety texture and spicy savouriness to the deep, rich flavour. It's a beautiful balance of fruit and oak and winemaking prowess, and mouthfilling length. On a show of hands, the overwhelming favourite of the three pinots on the night. Gold NZIWS, Gold Bragato, Michael Cooper's Red Wine of the Year.
14.3% alc. Screwcap. $25.99 special.

The Lackey South Australia Shiraz 2009
This bright red black coloured wine is smoky and savoury with a creamy vanillin infusion to the super ripe berry flavour that has layers of seductive American oak, dark chocolate and pepper. The juicy succulence wraps itself around the tongue and settles in all the nooks and crannies of the palate. Made by Kilikanoon, Shiraz lovers will find this irresistible, especially at the price.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $15.99 special.

Katnook Founders Block Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
A full-bodied concentrated red with a dark red-black colour, it’s dry and savoury with classic Coonawarra cassis, harmonious cedar and nuances of mint. A lovely expression of cool climate cabernet with fruit and oak in harmony and fine grained tannins. Gold NZIWS.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $19.99 special.

Buller Fine Old Muscat NV
Clear orange-tinged tawny - like a cairngorm gemstone in hue and the bouquet of toffee and muscatels with orange peel, honey, and fruitcake is tempting and inviting. In the mouth the smooth, mouthcoating texture is like runny honey and the taste is like liquid toffee, muscatel raisins and sticky date pudding with the vibrancy of candied peel. Adorned with Trophy and gold medal stickers, a Xmas season treat.
18% alc. Screwcap. $36.99.

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting - 14 Nov 2012
Villa Maria Wines with Nick Picone
Wines were tasted blind.

Villa Maria Private Bin East Coast Viognier 2010
Apricots fill the palate of this soft, smooth, fragrant, oily textured wine. It's spicy and savoury, rich and weighty with harmonious fruit balance, toasted nuts a touch of honeysuckle and a long, lifted finish. "It's about opulence and texture," says Nick, and it is ready to drink now or within the next year. Gold NZIWS 2012.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $13.99 special.

Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Chardonnay 2011
There are hazel nut nuances to the delicately smoky scent and it is even more nutty in the palate with hints of grapefruit coming through - this silky textured, beautifully harmonious and savoury wine is a stylish rendition of the Chardonnay grape with underlying freshness and distinctive flintiness in sync. 3 golds and Bragato Champion Wine of Show.
13% alc. Screwcap. $29.99 special.

Villa Maria Single Vineyard Keltern Chardonnay 2011
There's smoky oak and stonefruit on the nose, then in the full fleshy palate there is stonefruit, spicy oak and savoury, mealy nuances with hints of grapefruit. It's silky with a warm, smooth texture, the kind of wine that makes me think bread sauce with chicken. Nick says while it is a beautiful drink right now, time will bring out its best – 5 to 7 years cellaring he suggests. 3 gold medals.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $29.99 special.

Villa Maria Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2010
Sweet nutty oak and grilled fig scent follows through to the creamy, savoury, nutty palate with white peach, a touch of gun smoke, underlying acidity imparting freshness, mealy nuances and a long, mouthfilling fleshy finish. 70% Waikahu Vineyard and 30% Ngakirikiri Vineyard on the Gimblett Gravels. 6 gold medals and one of Nick's personal favourites.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $26.99 special.

Villa Maria Reserve Barrique Fermented Gisborne Chardonnay 2010
A rich, ripe, savoury wine with lovely balance of tropical fruit, savoury oak and skilful winemaking influences of mealy yeast flavours and biscuity oak – probably the oakiest, and possibly the creamiest of the four tasted tonight with some delectable nougat and spice flavours coming through. On a show of hands, this was marginally the favourite on the night. 6 gold medals.
14% alc. Screwcap. $29.99 special.

Villa Maria SV Ihumatao Gewurztraminer 2010
This has such a heady scent of incense, rose petals and Turkish delight. A powerful tasting wine with a silky smooth texture, hot spices and candied peel and the typical floral and rose petals, it is wild yeast fermented, which adds to the opulent mouthfeel and complexity of this 'just off dry' style. 2 golds.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $29.99.

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Grenache 2010
Deep red coloured, ripe, fragrant and juicy smelling; this little ripper is full of juicy, sweet-fruited, drink now appeal. It is succulent and plummy with a touch of pepper, all spice, and chocolate! Nick says, "It is like Pinot noir on steroids." From the Ngakirikiri Vineyard in the Gimblett Gravels, grown for 12 years, but this is only the second Grenache release after the Reserve 2007. 92% Grenache, 6% Syrah, 2% Malbec – a GSM!!! Gold AirNZ 2012.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $21.99 special.

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Syrah 2010
Striking purple red coloured with pepper, dark smoky oak and juicy berry fruit scents, it's spicy tasting and initially seems quite dry with fine firm tannins, plenty of pepper and all spice, then the succulent berry fruit comes into its own and makes the tannins dissolve, setting it up for a long, harmonious and creamy oak finish with hints of violets. For a food match, venison is Nick's first choice. Limited volume and not available in supermarkets. 4 gold medals.
14% alc. Screwcap. $21.99 special.

Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2010
Deep, dark dense purple red with a brooding, dark chocolate oak scent, it's opulent and powerful in the palate with concentrated cherry, plum and blackberry fruit, chocolate biscuits, underlying gamey savoury nuances, fine tannins and a brightness to the finish. There's pepper, but it's so harmonious, and while it seems so drinkable already, Nick says it is a 12 year cellaring proposition. This is the wine that got him across the line in the Winemaker of the Year competition. Gold AirNZ.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $59.99.

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Merlot Cabernet 2009
So harmonious and smooth, the tannins are exceptional in this wine. It's a violet red colour, and has a softness and fragrance to the succulent bramble berry scent. Firm in the palate with a touch of anise-like spice, it is classic blackcurrant Cabernet with cherry fruit Merlot and lovely cigar box smoky oak on the finish. Unbelievable value – truly! Concentration adds to its appeal. Elite gold Air NZ Wine Awards 2011.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $15.99 special.

Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Merlot 2010
Purple red in colour, this is ripe and juicy on the nose, emanating a concentrated cake spice and dried fruit scent with a lovely savoury cedary complexity coming through. In the mouth the tannins are so svelte and velvety and the currant-like fruit is so ripe, it seems so drinkable already, but this is another wine that will reward cellaring, if that is what you want to do. 70/30 blend. Gold AirNZ.
14% alc. Screwcap. $49.99.

Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Merlot 2010
Wonderful fragrant red fruit bouquet follows through to the concentrated and opulent palate – it seems like a wine that really needs time. Tannins are powerful and firm while a lovely allspice complexity infuses the flavours with plums, currants, a touch of chocolate, lovely dried herbs and pencils shavings coming through. Nick says this is the greatest red wine he has produced in his career. Trophy Easter Show 2012. Gold AirNZ 2012.
14% alc. Screwcap. $49.99.

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting - 7 Nov 2012
New Arrivals and Not So Common
Wines were tasted blind.

Cavallina Grillo Pinot Grigio 2011 – Sicily
Lemon coloured, a little smoky on the nose, like toasted nuts, with nuances of pear, and rich and textural in the palate with tropical fruit and apple strudel spices and a crisp, zesty finish with a juicy infusion of mandarin. The Grillo grape is widely planted in Sicily.
12.5% alc. Screwcap. $17.99.

D'Arenberg The Dry Dam Riesling 2011 – McLaren Vale
Pale in colour with an enticingly fresh, floral aroma, almost bone dry in the palate, the vibrant fresh acidity tempered by the juiciness of the array of citrus fruit. A super quenching, summer days wine to be served straight from the fridge.
10.9% alc. Screwcap. $22.99 – but not available on the night.

Isabel Marlborough Chardonnay 2008
This big, bold, toasty wine is yellow gold in colour with rich stonefruit and citrus flavours layered with buttery oak and caramel and a mellow oak softness to the finish. Five years old and holding up well – although there was some discussion about bottle variation on the night.
14.2% alc. Screwcap. $19.99 special.

Vasse Felix Heytesbury Chardonnay 2009 – Margaret River
Yellow gold coloured with a nutty oak scent infused with hints of grapefruit. Oak is still dominant in this powerful savoury palate that has a lovely stonefruit richness and a long, dry, nutty finish. A big rich decadent mouthful of classy Chardonnay.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $49.99 special.

Lawson's Dry Hills Marlborough Pinot Rose 2011
Watermelon hue. Delicate strawberryish bouquet. Quite fresh and zesty in the palate with well balanced off dry sweetness and fruit flavours of strawberry and red cherry with a crisp savoury undercurrent. Don't believe the hype you hear about drinking Rosé on release - this is a tasty wine 18 months on from vintage.
12.5% alc. Screwcap. $16.99 special.

Fairmont Block One Wairarapa Pinot Noir 2010
Violet red in hue with a lovely deep, gamey scent with black cherry adding to its allure, it's juicy tasting with fine silky tannins, tamarillo and strawberry fruit and sensuous smoky bacon lingering on the finish. Great value for the special price. 4½ stars Cuisine.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $19.99 special.

Lantana Shiraz Cabernet 2010 – Murray Darling region, NSW
Dark red with a sweet, jammy scent of strawberry, cherry, vanilla, chocolate and cake spice. In the palate it's a medium bodied, easy drinking style with a tobacco smokiness, a savoury undercurrent and blackberry and raspberry jube-like fruit. Made by Trentham Estate, this is the wine to take to the neighbour's BBQ.
14% alc. Screwcap. $11.99 special.

Craggy Range Gimblett Gravels Merlot 2010 – Hawkes Bay
Purple red with smoky savoury aromatics joined by plums, leather and sweet cedary oak. Ripe and juicy tasting with firm tannins kicking in, it has ripe berry fruit in harmony with cedary oak. Concentrated and impressive, but needs more time.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $26.99 special.

Ridge Geyserville 2010 – Sonoma, California
Deep purple red with ripe currants and smoky vanillin oak scents, this is an intriguing wine with ultra-ripe plum and berry fruit, a cigar box smokiness, a savoury undercurrent and peppery spice, and while it has firm tannins there is a juicy succulence throughout. An opulent wine with a velvety mouthfeel and a fantastically long finish. Predominantly Zinfandel (64%) with 20% Carignane, 12% Petite Sirah, 2% Alicante Bouschet and 2% Mataro (Mourvedre).
14.3% alc. Cork. $68.99.

Chocolate Box Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Sub-titled 'Truffle Chocolate', this black red coloured wine has an opulent and ripe cassis and blackcurrant jam scent with cedar in the background. A serous wine in the palate with fine silky tannins, creamy oak, a subtle hint of violet, a suggestion of woody herbs and a freshness to the finish that's layered with chocolate.
15% alc. Screwcap. $19.99 special.

Langmeil Blacksmith Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Very dark red. Concentrated blackcurrant aromas emanate opulence and concentration. There's ripe, juicy blackcurrant and plum fruit, a lovely savoury undercurrent, smoky French oak and a touch of spice. Tannins are firm yet fine and there's a definite mint chocolate character coming through. A lovely mouthfilling wine with a long succulent finish.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $39.99.

Riverby Estate Marlborough Noble Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2011
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. Gold medal and Champion Sweet Wine NZIWS 2012.
9% alc. Screwcap. $30.99 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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