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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

September 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 - 26 Sep 2012
More Gold Medals from the 2012 NZIWS
All of the wines were tasted blind.

Sileni The Straits Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Aromatic and fresh with a suggestion of pink bubblegum to the bouquet and vibrant, juicy, deliciously quenching flavours. There's a touch of peach joining tropical fruit salad with a lovely twist of citrus and a vivacious summer herb brightness.
13% alc. Screwcap. $17.99 special.

Coopers Creek SV 'The Limeworks' Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2011
Smooth, seamless, soft, harmonious and creamy, this has a tantalising bouquet and a well-defined nutty, smoky, savoury backbone to balance the delicious, juicy, freshly picked peach and nectarine fruit with a spicy flourish to the lingering finish.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $16.99 special.

Askerne Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2010
There are lovely toasty overtones to the bouquet and sweet, ripe, peach-dominant fruit in the palate with nuts, fig and nectarines. It's juicy and flamboyantly spicy with well balanced cedary oak and a long, smooth, deliciously creamy finish.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $28.99 special.

Greenhough Apple Valley Nelson Riesling 2012
There's a spicy, apple skin nuance to the scent of this low alcohol, medium sweet style that's crammed full of honey, lemon and ginger with lingering honeysuckle and citrus blossom. Served chilled, it is a delicious, quenching summer drink. 9% alc. Screwcap. $20.99 special.

Giesen Marlborough Riesling 2012
Perfumed with wild garden flowers and full of delicious, concentrated flavours of exotic tropical fruit and apples layered with honey and sweet citrus, this 'medium' style is powerfully long and aromatic with a very tasty finish. 10% alc. Screwcap. $14.99 special.

Alan McCorkindale Waipara Gewurztraminer 2010
Intensely heady and aromatic with violets and rose petals on the bouquet and rich, intense, mouthfilling, unctuous flavours of Turkish delight, rose water and exotic tropical fruits with Alsace-like concentration.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $25.99 special.

Mission Estate Reserve Martinborough Pinot Noir 2011
A deep violet red, transparent more than opaque, this savoury, earthy pinot has scents of wild strawberries, mushrooms and herb flowers. A lovely floral expression of the Pinot Noir grape with fine tannins, it's medium to full-bodied in style and respects it's traditional heritage.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $20.99 special.

Charcoal Gully Sally's Pinch Pinot Noir 2011
This deep coloured Pinot has a gorgeous seductive fragrance - it's floral with a forest floor savoury earthiness, and tastes spicy with a fine velvety texture, herbs, anise, red cherries and red plums. It's powerful, yet has remarkable harmoniousness and finesse.
14% alc. Screwcap. $26.99 special.

Luis Canas Crianza Rioja 2009 - Spain
Deep dark red with opulent aromas of vanillin oak, toasted coconut and cake spices and juicy succulent flavours that live up to the aromatic impression. It's bright fruited and spicy with perfectly balanced savouriness, silky tannins and a lingering finish.
14.5% alc. Cork. $25.99 special.

Concha y Toro Marques Casa Concha Merlot 2010
From the Rapel Valley in Chile, this inky blockbuster is bursting with red currants and juicy Damson plums over a smoky, earthy, savoury backbone with powerful, plush textured tannins and harmonious toasted cedar and rose spice with nuances of liquorice and anise.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $22.99 special.

Wolf Blass Gold Label Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Purple black red with scents of blackcurrant, liquorice and smoky, almost tarry cedar and a touch of rose petal too. A vibrant, spicy Cabernet Sauvignon with a powerful oak presence, firmly structured powerful tannins, blackcurrants, boysenberry and the brightness of red fruits and mint chocolate on the finish.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $25.99 special.

Chocolate Box by Rocland Barossa Valley Shiraz 2010
Purple violet red with inviting aromas of chocolate, and chocolate coming in waves in the palate. Lovely use of oak to balance the juicy red fruits and the natural spiciness of Shiraz, with rounded tannins and a creamy succulence throughout. Juicy and long. Labelled 'a variety of indulgence' and it certainly is!
15% alc. Screwcap. $20.99 special.

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting - 19 Sep 2012
Gold Medals from the 2012 NZIWS
At the Wednesday tasting the wines were tasted blind.

Starborough Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Lively and fresh, vibrant and distinctive gooseberry and tropical fruit aromas with joining apple, citrus and capsicum in the palate with classical herbaceous pungency and a delicate hint of anise-like chervil on the lasting finish.
13% alc. $16.99 special.

Villa Maria SV Ihumatao Auckland Chardonnay 2011
There's a fine seam of grapefruit zest on the perfectly savoury smoky oak scent, the grapefruit carrying through to the smooth, seamless, harmonious, palate joined by ravishing stonefruit and nougat, creamy and long. A lovely savoury spicy wine with a spicy richness and a creamy harmony. Yum!
13.5% alc. $29.99 special.

Lawson's Dry Hills Marlborough Chardonnay 2008
Spicy nougat and toasted nut scent and ripe, rich, full-bodied flavours of citrus and allspice with a deep savoury backbone. Still very fresh despite being four years of age, it shows how well the best Marlborough Chardonnays can age.
14% alc. $20.99 special.

Villa Maria Private Bin Viognier 2010 East Coast
Apricots and spiced toasted nuts introduce this young, aromatic, vibrant and tasty expression of this northern Rhone grape, the aromas carrying through to the palate that's soft and rounded with a smooth texture and a mouthfilling, lasting aromatic finish with a youthful veneer.
14.5% alc. $13.99 special.

Coopers Creek SV "Bell Ringer" Gisborne Albarino 2012
Aromatic, perfumed, with apple blossom and honeysuckle. There's a flinty nuance to the backbone and a spiciness to the finish. A little like a cross between Pinot Gris and Viognier with the aromatic expression of Riesling, an exciting new variety and a delicious aperitif.
12.5% alc. $16.99 special.

Waimea Nelson Gewurztraminer 2011
Ripe fruit aromas and flavours with a spicy complexity. Passionfruit, candied pineapple with hallmark rose petals and lychees and a warm, lifted finish. Full-bodied, mouthfilling and intense, hard for Gewurztraminer lovers to resist.
14.5% alc. $19.99 special.

Mission Estate Martinborough Pinot Noir 2011
Though seemingly light in colour, it's enticingly aromatic with a savoury underpinning to the cherry fruit bouquet and in the palate it's spicy, savoury and red fruit juicy with a medium-bodied presence, firm fine tannins, a hint of cake spice and a touch of anise on the intriguingly earthy and woody herb finish.
14.5% alc. $14.99 special.

Finca Constancia Parcela 23 Tempranillo 2011 - Otera Spain
A rich, meaty concentrated red with a vibrant purple red colour, aromas of Old Port tobacco, red currants and flavours of fruits of the forest. It's savoury and earthy yet has a bright fruity finish infused with vanilla and the tannins are fine. A lovely succulent, fruity, savoury wine.
14.5% alc. $25.99.

Kingston Estate Barossa/Clare Valley Shiraz 2010
Inviting rich black red in hue; lovely smoky savoury oak infuses the berry jam aromas and it's full of plums and smoky oak flavours in the palate. Succulent and juicy with harmonious spice flavours and a deep rich creamy finish. Very easy to like and enjoy.
14% alc. $13.99 special.

Duck Duck Goose Shiraz 2010 Barossa
Inky red with powerful red fruit aromas infused with smoky oak, tar and leather, and succulent, juicy flavours with a texture that's almost silky and belies the power of this gratifying, fruit forward wine with cherry, vanilla, a touch of chocolate and the slightest suggestion of mint.
14.5% alc. $19.99 special.

Mr. Riggs Piebald Syrah Adelaide
An aromatic wine with an inky colour and a bright, red fruit and vanillin oak spice bouquet, and sensual tannins that underpin the vibrant flavours of spiced cherry and plums with a smooth, cherry and dark chocolate finish and a bright spicy infusion. A lovely cool climate style, it seems an oxymoron for South Australia.
14.5% alc. $32.99 special

Serafino McLaren Vale Shiraz 2010
A lovely deep red black in hue with an inviting milk chocolate scent and red fruits and cake spices abounding in the palate. A rich, ripe, mouthfilling wine with firm, velvety tannins, succulent chocolatey oak and a long, juicy finish. Our style of wine. Need we say more?
14% alc. $22.99 special.

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting - 5 Sep 2012
All Black - Black names or Black labels
All of the wines were tasted blind.

Spy Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Fresh and racy crammed with juicy passionfruit, pineapple and zingy taut citrus with classic flavours of summer herbs and a long pungent tasty finish. Still very exuberant and exciting at one year of age.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $15.99 special.

Black Estate Waipara Chardonnay 2010
Juicy peach and citrus on the front palate morphs into lovely savoury, toasty nutty flavours in the mid palate with a creamy richness to the spicy oak and lemony leesy finish and a lingering touch of tropical fruit Golden coloured, full-bodied, rounded and long. Serious. Delicious.
14.2% alc. Screwcap. $34.99.

Coopers Creek Swamp Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2009
A little touch of pear oil to the scent, and oh so smooth and creamy in the palate with caramel and tropical fruit flavours to the fore, a well-balanced hint of citrus and a spicy, vanillin oak backbone with a salty nuance coming through. Harmonious and immediately approachable.
14% alc. Screwcap. $29.99.

Waimea Estate Nelson Chardonnay 2010
A savoury smelling wine that oozes expensive barrel fermentation scents and backs that up in the palate with toasted nuts, grapefruit and spicy vanillin oak. A lavish Chardonnay of extreme concentration and satisfaction, like the forebears from this label it has developed beautifully in the bottle and will continue to do so. If you like full-bodied, oaky Chardonnay, it is hard to go past this.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $17.99 special.

Black Barn Barrel Fermented Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2010
A powerful Chardonnay that has the guts to follow on from the Waimea, but takes the taste satisfaction to another level. A nuts and nougat Chardonnay with a creamy richness and beautifully balanced sweet citrus backbone. A very stylish, classy harmonious wine with a well balanced savouriness and a delectable and more-ish finish. An absolute star!
14% alc. Screwcap. $34.99.

Villa Maria Dry Marlborough Riesling 2010
Fresh scent of lime and flint and quiveringly racy in the palate, although it is noted it was chilled for two hours before tasting. Full-bodied, earthy and dry with green apple and lime, and a smidgen of honey to soften the edges.
12% alc. Screwcap. $23.99 special.

Tohu Rore Reserve Pinot Noir 2010
Dark garnet red, translucent in appearance, it looks light but the taste is mouthcoating and full. It's smoky on the nose and savoury in the gentle and harmonious palate with stewed tamarillo, morello cherry, plenty of spice, well-balanced acidity and a lingering, expansive finish. Gold NZIWS 2011.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $34.99 special.

Lar de Paula Reserva Rioja, Tempranillo 2005 - Spain
Black red, with a redolence of saddle leather to the scent, this is an earthy, savoury, herbal wine with a sweet vanillin oak undercurrent, fruit flavours of prune and strawberry, and a flourish of orange peel on the end. Although there's a grippy edge to the velvety tannins, the wine opens up beautifully in the glass and the lingering taste is sensual, seductive and mellow. A 'thinking' wine to be enjoyed with friends and food.
14% alc. Cork. $42.99.

Man O' War Waiheke Island Ironclad 2009
Concentrate red black with a complex savoury aroma that offers up, salami, leather, currant and allspice. Fine yet firm teeth-coating tannins, pepper, allspice, dark currant fruit, cigar box and chocolate box, then dried rose on the finish A meaty wine with lots going on - the florals perhaps coming from the 34.4% Cabernet Franc that's blended with Merlot (31.4%), Malbec (22.4%), Petit Verdot (7%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (4.8%).
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $44.99.

Shot in the Dark Shiraz Petit Sirah 2008
Dark reddish black. Smoky oak aromas and very fruity, very ripe (almost over-ripe) jammy fruit flavours with chocolate-coated raisins, cake spices, firmly structured tannins and a suggestion of violet on the juicy finish.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $13.99 special.

Penny's Hill Cracking Black McLaren Vale Shiraz 2009
Purple black coloured with a deep, rich, smoky, succulent aroma and a savoury, meaty, full-bodied palate with masses of cracked black and green peppercorns, smooth rounded tannins, and a juicy black fruit, lingering finish.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $21.99 special.

Shinas the Verdict Cabernet 2008
Dark in colour, vibrant to the taste and full of spice and pepper (I thought it was Shiraz) but in such a harmonious way. With beautifully balanced strawberry, cherry and plum fruits, a savoury oak backbone, and hints of nut chocolate, the kind of wine you can confidently take along to a BBQ to share with friends and know that most of them will like it.
15.5% alc. Screwcap. $19.99 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.

Wednesday Wines index
Current month's tasting notes.
Index to all Wednesday tastings notes.

2012 Tastings
Jan 2012 tasting notes.
Feb 2012 tasting notes.
Mar 2012 tasting notes.
Apr 2012 tasting notes.
May 2012 tasting notes.
Jun 2012 tasting notes.
Jul 2012 tasting notes.
Aug 2012 tasting notes.
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Oct 2012 tasting notes.

Dec 2011 tasting notes.

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