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edited by Sue Courtney

Wednesday Round-up - the 2013 edition
Sue Courtney's tasting notes from the First Glass Fine Wine Wednesday $15 tastings

November/ December 2013
[ Click here for index to other months ]

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting – 4 Dec 2013
Some of our Favourites
Wines were tasted blind

Alchemy Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2010
Citrine gold. Rich sweet toasty oak bouquet and lots of bold toasty oak flavours together with roasted nuts and ripe fleshy stonefruit filling the palate with a touch of tropical fruit and a hint of grapefruit on the spicy finish. A big Chardonnay with a smoky aftertaste.
13.9% alc. Screwcap. $23.99 special.

Balthazar Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2010
There are smoky nuances to the nutty bouquet of this more citrus and nougat style. It's smooth and creamy in the palate with a bright flourish of spice and zest. Dry, long, clean and tasty with subtle stonefruit on the lingering finish.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $19.99 special.

The Landing Bay of Islands Chardonnay 2012
Light gold coloured with hints of apricot on the nutty bouquet that carries through to the creamy vanillin oak nougat-infused palate where smoky gunflint nuances add character. Smooth and seamless with layers of finesse, this is a serious style that begs to accompany food. Gold Medal NZIWS.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $29.99 special.

Lake Chalice Marlborough Pinot Gris 2013
Full of fresh orchard fruit with a hint of vanilla on the nose, it's dry and crisp with spiced apple flavours filling the palate and a twist of lime on the expansive persistent finish, and even though it initially seems dry, there is suggestion of lusciousness creeping in. Trophy for Pinot Gris at the 2013 Air NZ Wine Awards.
13.5% alc. Cork. $16.99 special.

Domaine Schoffit 'Tradition' Alsace Pinot Gris Tradition 2009
Quite restrained on the nose with a subtle hint of lemon bread, dried mango and white pepper but so exciting and vibrant in the medium styled palate where tropical fruit flavours abound. Lovely soft acidity and a smooth textural mouthfeel give this stunner 'all round' appeal.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $36.99.

Waimea Classic Nelson Riesling 2013
It smells crisp and fresh with alluring talc floral notes and there's plenty of racy acidity in this off dry to medium style with flavours of apples and mandarin with just a touch of honey and an incredibly long finish. Gold Medal Air NZ Wine Awards.
11.5% alc. Screwcap. $15.99 special.

Two Degrees 2Ί Central Otago Pinot Noir Rosι 2013
A pretty pinky red colour with an inviting bouquet of raspberries and cream. So bright and tangy with a vibrant juicy freshness yet it has an evocative earthy note too. Thirst quenching and satisfying. Born to be served chilled.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $26.99.

Greystone Waipara Pinot Noir 2012
Deep ruby red with an almost black core. Wonderfully attractive aromatics - fruity yet funky in an exciting and evocative way. Full bodied and creamy with black cherries and rose petals underpinned by a deep earthy savouriness and tannins that are remarkably silky and fine. Such a gorgeous texture to this wine. Champion Pinot Noir Air NZ Wine Awards 2013.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $27.99 special.

Pedro Pasion Navarra 2012 - Spain
Now this dark red coloured youthful looking wine is extremely savoury. There's a rustic character to the bouquet and it's dry and savoury in the palate with firm, slightly grippy, but seductive velvety edged tannins and early season plums emerging to linger with hints of violets on the finish. Not too heavy, made to go with tapas style food, it's a blend of Tempranillo and Merlot and the flamenco dancers on the label look great too.
14% alc. Screwcap. $15.99 special.

Finca El Peral Malbec 2011 - Argentina
Quite dry and just a little spicy, this medium to full bodied dark red coloured wine has a smoky savoury bouquet and a silky texture with flavours reminiscent of plums and leather. Terrifically juicy with a long spicy finish and the merest hint of pepper. A meat lovers wine.
14% alc. Cork. $15.99 special.

Aramis White Label McLaren Vale Shiraz 2010
This deep coloured, heady smelling red is big, rich and fruity with loads of blackberry, smoky oak, sweet spices, chocolate and liquorice. It's smooth and juicy - one of those wines that will go down a treat with your Shiraz loving mates this BBQ season.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $19.99 special.

Oversettanta Primitivo Di Manduria 2010 - Italy
Inky purple black with opulent black cherry, spicy oak and liquorice scents this sumptuous, super ripe, super juicy, mouthfilling red has so much going on. It's velvety yet firm at the same time with flavours reminiscent of prunes marinated in LBV port, red and black berries, hints of rose petals, hints of leather, a touch of chocolate and succulent spicy oak. Packaged in a big heavy bottle, what a superb wine lover's gift this would make. Champion International Red at the 2013 NZIWS.
14% alc. Cork. $52.99.

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting – 27 Nov 2013
A Selection from the Air NZ Wine Awards
Wines were tasted blind

Nautilus Estate Cuvιe Marlborough Methode Traditionelle NV
Straw yellow with a fine bead. Delectable rich yeasty bouquet, the yeastiness carrying through to the palate, which is deep and savoury with a delicate nuance of peach and a fantastically long, expansive finish. Champion Sparkling & overall Champion Wine of the Show at the 2013 Air NZ Wine Awards.
12% alc. $29.99 special.

Coopers Creek SV Gisborne Albarino 2013 'Bell Ringer'
Served chilled there's a delicate floral nuance to the fragrance and the first taste seems quite dry and nutty but a slight oily feel too. Fruit is reminiscent of apple and pear with a scintillating underlying seam of juicy fresh citrus and a tickle of spice on the lifted finish. 2 golds. 2 Trophies AirNZ & Bragato.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $19.99 special.

Peter Yealands Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Intense passionfruit on the nose with a twist of lime, concentrated and powerful to the taste with fresh vibrant, vivacious flavours and a soft, mouthcoating texture. Tropical fruit and grapefruit combine in harmony, there's an undercurrent of summer herbs and the finish is expansive and long and feels rounded and complete. "Punchy," says Sam. Multiple gold medals.
13% alc. Screwcap. $12.99 special.

Saint Clair Premium Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
A little more restrained on nose in comparison to the Yealands but distinctive nevertheless. Capsicum and a touch of sweat on the nose carry through to the flavoursome palate full of passionfruit and peach with freshly squeezed citrus adding zest and zing. Gold Medal.
13% alc. Screwcap. $15.99 special.

Mount Riley Marlborough Pinot Gris 2013
Light gold, quite glossy in appearance with the bouquet quite delicate and restrained. "Not obvious," says Sam. By deduction Pinot Gris comes to mind. It's moderately dry with texture and weight, poached pears, spiced apples, vanilla and a nuance of peach, and the finish is long with a hint of zest. Gold Medal.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $14.99 special.

Main Divide Waipara Valley Pinot Gris 2012
In contrast this smells opulent and inviting with tropical fruit and sweet spices. It's a medium gold colour and evokes a luscious feel with its textural, mouthcoating, full bodied palate weight. There's an exotic spice vibrancy, fleshy ripe fruit and just a suggestion of botrytis. Not your average local Pinot Gris, it's quite rich and decadent, more like Alsace in style. Michael Cooper's White Wine of the Year.
14% alc. Screwcap. $16.99. special

Mount Riley 17 Valley Marlborough Chardonnay 2011
This smells just divine too. It's full of sweet smoky oak and butter caramel scents and harmonious in the creamy palate with layers of nougat, grilled peach and caramel with a hint of citrus on the finish. Smooth and seamless, just lovely flow. Drinking beautifully right now. ANZWA Elite Gold 2012 & 2013.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $24.99 special.

Thistle Ridge Waipara Valley Pinot Noir 2012
Medium weight ruby hue. Quite plummy on the nose with a smoky, savoury infusion. Spicy and savoury with fine silky tannins, dried cherry and cranberry fruit, underlying smoky oak and a bright, almost floral nuance to the long dry, smooth, rounded finish. Exciting Pinot for the price. Elite Gold.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $16.99 special while stocks last.

Gibbston Valley Central Otago Pinot Noir 2012
Vibrant deep ruby black hue. Very generous on the inviting nose with nuances of chocolate and cherries. Full bodied and juicy to the taste with creamy oak, opulent black cherry and plum fruit and a smooth harmonious flow with a spicy flourish to the finish and some lovely savoury notes as the wine lingers. Perhaps a little bit of grip too. Like the potential here for aging. Gold Medal.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $43.99 special.

Elephant Hill Hawkes Bay Syrah 2012
Inky red black, it has oodles of pepper on the nose – a definite clue to the variety – with boysenberries and last night's barbecue cinders adding a subtle smoky intrigue. Firm, tight and structured in the palate, it is meaty and savoury with dark berry fruit and a desirable 'rose pepper' character. Rhone like in many respects and while very dry to start, the finish expands beautifully and the lingering aftertaste is generous and long. Trophy for Champion Syrah.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $28.99 special. Limited stocks.

Crossroads Winemakers Collection Hawkes Bay Cabernet Merlot 2012
Dark red black. Seductively fragrant with subtle nuances of cedar, marzipan, fruit cake cherries and cassis. Medium to full bodied with fine tannins, red fruits, smoky oak and a infusion of fruit cake spices. Smooth and harmonious with just a little grip detectable and a seductive lingering finish that is stylishly dry. Gold Medal.
14% alc. Screwcap. $35.99 special.

Riverby Estate Marlborough Noble Riesling 2012
Very light citrine gold with a captivating and evocative scent that radiates honeysuckle, orange blossom and fresh grapey nuances so reminiscent of Muscat. Concentrated semi-dried and candied tropical fruit in the palate – sensational and intense. Honey nuances from the botrytis loiters in the background harmoniously without overpowering. "It's the least sweet 'sweet wine' we have ever made with only 128 g/l residual sugar," says Riverby's Kevin Courtney (no relation) at the tasting. "2012 was a really challenging year for sweet wines – a long cool dry vintage and not so much botrytis as we usually have," he adds. Trophy for Champion Sweet Wine.
9.5% alc. Screwcap. $29.99 special.

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting – 20 Nov 2013
Great Villa Maria Wines with Nick Picone
Wines were not tasted blind

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Dry Marlborough Riesling 2013
Just the merest hint of citrine to the glossy hue. Beautifully fragrant with lime blossom and honeysuckle nectar and fresh juicy flavours of honeysuckle, mandarin and lime with just a hint of sweetness to balance the racy acidity that leaves an impression of dry. Wonderfully quenching and refreshing. Champion Wine at the Marlborough Wine Show. Nick Picone is salivating to accompany this with salt and pepper squid.
12.5% alc. Screwcap. $14.99 special.

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Viognier 2013
Pale gold coloured with a sweet mealy scent infused with creamed nuts and apricot nectar. Quite shy on the nose but powerful and heady in the palate. The mouthfeel is rounded with glycerolic smoothness and weight and the taste is balanced and harmonious with soft acidity, hints of vanilla and the brightness of spiced peaches and apricots on the lifted and lingering finish. A blend of Hawkes Bay and Gisborne (40%) grapes. "An under-rated food wine," says Nick and suggests Middle Eastern foods amongst others.
14% alc. Screwcap. $14.99 special.

Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Auckland Chardonnay 2012
Light golden coloured with a gloriously rich sweet toasty oak scent infused with nougat and a stonefruit concentration. Full bodied with mealy, creamy layers, spicy oak, some lovely savoury notes in behind and hints of butterscotch that make it so instantly appealing yet it has the acidity to balance it. It seems more oaky and more toasty than Ihumatao has been in the past.
13% alc. Screwcap. $29.99 special.

Villa Maria Reserve Barrique Fermented Gisborne Chardonnay 2012
Light gold with a delicate lemon hue. In comparison to the Ihumatao, this seems so subtle on the nose with nougat, citrus and toasted oatmeal. Quite lifted in the palate, the malo more obvious and fruit in the tropical spectrum with a touch of dried pineapple coming through and lovely refined mealy, nutty notes that add to this youthful wine's complexity. Fabulous length. Will open up beautifully over the next year or so. Champion Wine of the Show at the Gisborne Regional Wine Awards.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $29.99 special.

Villa Maria Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2012
Light citrine gold. Smoky, malty nuances on the inviting nose. Full-bodied and spicy with an exciting freshness that is so in harmony with the savoury, leesy, mealy flavours with more wild yeast funk that the two preceding it. Peach leaf in the palate with a toasty grapefruit character and brightness as the flavours lingers. Waikahu and Keltern fruit. Clone 15, 95 and Mendoza fruit. 4 gold medals.
13% alc. Screwcap. $26.99 special.

Villa Maria Single Vineyard Keltern Chardonnay 2012
Grapefruit mingles with delicately smoky oak and gunflint nuances that Nick says is "controversial sulphides" that he believes that when done well adds complexity. And the taste is spicy and savoury with sweet mealy nuances, grapefruit, fleshy peach and a nougat creaminess. Oak is in harmony without overpowering. "Lovely tail," says Nick. And he's right because the finish is gloriously long with a spicy tingle that's just so exciting. 5 gold medals.
13% alc. Screwcap. $29.99 special.

Villa Maria Single Vineyard Seddon Pinot Gris 2013
Pale straw coloured with a terrifically fragrant bouquet that radiates orange blossom, spice and complex mealy notes from the partial wild yeast fermentation. It's just off dry with the spiced pear notes continuing through to the palate, the 7 grams of residual sugar adding a pleasing opulence with a lovely twist of citrus on the fresh, bright finish. Trophy Pinot Gris Marlborough Wine Show.
13% alc. Screwcap. $26.99 special.

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Marlborough Pinot Noir 2010
There's a hint of tamarillo skin colour creeping into the once rich ruby hue. Inviting aromatics of spiced cherries and violets with lovely sweet savoury notes coming through. Then the palate – so spicy and bright, with underlying savoury gamey notes, mushrooms sweated with anise, woody herbs, varnishy oak and a dry, firm, fleshy plum finish. 5 gold medals.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $19.99 special.

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Hawkes Bay Grenache 2011
Rich red. Intriguing nose of vibrant red fruits and leather and full bodied and succulent in the palate with aromatic spices and white pepper. The floral notes of violets and rose petals are fascinating but there is an underlying leathery savouriness and firm tannins, and the finish is long, juicy, lifted and aromatic. "Different, exotic and fragrant," says Nick.
14% alc. Screwcap. $21.99 special.

Villa Maria Reserve Hawkes Bay Malbec 2009
The inky purple red colour sets the scene for the full-bodied opulent stunner. It's spicy, biscuity, succulent and savoury and although it is a veritable blockbuster, its seems incredibly smooth and fine as the wine traverses the palate. It's full of concentrated juicy dark plums and loganberries with hints of violets and a beautifully balanced savoury backbone. First made in 2002, this is the follow-up. Yes, a veritable stunner and Nick's favourite red wine of the 2009 vintage. Multiple gold and Trophy winner.
14% alc. Screwcap. $53.99 special.

Villa Maria Reserve Hawkes Bay Cabernet Merlot 2010
Inky purple red with a deep, brooding cedary nose and harmonious in the savoury palate with a fine silky edge to the firm, velvety and slightly teeth-coating tannins. "Chocolate, cassis, dried herbs and mocha," says Nick, and I detect a lovely creamy veneer to the red and black fruit and some underlying acidity that will ensure this wine will continue to develop in the bottle for many, many years. A blend of 70/30 Cabernet to Merlot, this multiple gold and Trophy winner is outstanding in its category.
14% alc. Screwcap. $44.99 special.

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting – 13 Nov 2013
A Wine Tour of Varieties and Places
Wines were tasted blind

Giesen Vineyard Selection Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Vibrant and fresh with classical Sauv pungency to the scent and juicy citrus reminiscent of lemon and grapefruit filling the zingy palate. There's lovely concentration with a touch of oiliness to the texture and a rush of passionfruit on the lasting finish.
12.5% alc. Screwcap. $15.99 special.

Waimea Estate Nelson Sauvignon Gris 2013
Soft aromas of concentrated Pinot Gris-like apple and vanilla-infused pear with a touch of lemongrass too, and while it tastes a little to the sweet side of off dry (5 g/l rs) the underlying freshness keeps this in check. The finish has herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc-like pungency but Sauvignon Gris is not a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris, it is a grape variety in its own right. Gold Medal NZIWS.
13% alc. Screwcap. $19.99 special.

Clearview Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2012
Light gold coloured with a desirable mealy, creamy oak scent, it's rich and bold but beautifully balanced in the palate with concentrated peach and a touch of oak spice. Mouthfilling and long with a deep savoury presence and a flinty seam that is keeping it quite tight at this stage of its youth it will open up more with a little more time and won't disappoint followers of this wine. Gold Spiegelau IWC.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $37.99 special.

Marc Bredif Classic Vouvray 2012 – Loire Valley
Made from Chenin Blanc, this is straw gold coloured with a fragrant, floral, subtle ginger/pepper scent and a suggestion of mineral salts. The first taste seems quite dry but there's increasing lusciousness from the baked apple and honey flavours with a touch of apricot and some salty, herbal notes in behind. A varietal heralded for its aging capability, drink now or any time over the next 20 years.
12.5% alc. Cork. $30.99.

Felton Road 'Bannockburn' Central Otago Riesling 2013
With juicy apples to the fore on the nose and in the palate, this delicious tasting Riesling has a tingly freshness and a vibrant finish with hints of freshly squeezed tangelo and an x-factor lusciousness to the lingering aftertaste. It has 56 g/l of residual sugar but wonderfully fresh acidity to balance it.
9.5% alc. Screwcap. $29.99 special.

Maretti Langhe Rosso 2012 – Piedmont, Italy
Dark red with a cerise/crimson glow, the aroma is sappy and plummy and the taste is ripe and jammy with a savoury tarry undercurrent, some barnyard notes and a touch of chicory on the finish. It's medium bodied with moderately grippy tannins and while richer than most pinots, or Chiantis for that matter, it's lighter than most Shiraz. Something a little bit different from Northern Italy and made from a blend of Barbera (70%) and Nebbiolo (30%) sourced from young vines grown in Barbaresco and Barolo, it definitely needs food.
13.5% alc. Cork. $24.99 special.

Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva 2008 – Rioja, Spain
Deep red with garnet edges, the aroma radiates sumptuous vanillin oak with spiced cherries and a savouriness that is quite intriguing. It's super smooth with meaty bottle-aged complexities and lovely waves of mellowing sweet red fruit and savoury, earthy notes. Oak is still quite dominant and there's a lovely spicy flourish to the rustic finish. Very good example of a Rioja Reserva.
13.5% alc. Cork. $39.99 special.

Caravan Petite Sirah 2012 – South Eastern Australia
Inky dark red, very youthful in appearance, the aroma offers juicy dark berry fruits infused with sweet spicy oak and pepper. Deep, dark and opulent tasting with a smooth velvety texture, ripe blackberry and redcurrant fruit, a touch of savouriness in behind and plenty of creamy vanillin oak – there is plenty of guts and oomph in this supple juicy wine. Aka Durif, this is another ripper from the master of value, John Quarisa.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $15.99 special.

Johnny Q Shiraz Viognier 2010 - NSW
Inky dark red with crimson edges and a fragrance that is quite beguiling, it must be the Viognier component in there that's adding a floral allure to the spicy, creamy oak scent. On first tasting it seems quite biscuity – Shrewsbury biscuits (with the red berry jam filling) come to mind - the texture is velvety smooth and the flavours are just so juicy and succulent with spiced cherries, Black Doris plums, a hint of chocolate and a creamy oak finish with a flourish of spice. Champion Shiraz NZIWS 2013.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $14.99 special.

Kaapzicht Stellenbosch Pinotage 2008 – South Africa
Dark red with a garnet edge. The aroma is rich and sumptuous with a waft of pepper (that gave me the sneezes). Succulent and fleshy to the taste with pillowy tannins, Shiraz-like vanillin oak, succulent plums, spices and deep gamey savoury notes … "the most amazing thick cut feral smoky bacon," says Andrew. Full bodied, tasty and actually quite exciting, this is Pinotage as 'old school' drinkers won’t know it.
14.5% alc. Cork. $30.99.

Chateau Musar Hochar 2007 – Bekaa Valley, Lebanon
Dark red with a touch of bricking, it is deep, dense and brooding on the nose with earthy, barnyard connotations coming to mind. Quite dry to the taste with a vibrancy to the flavour that hints of redcurrant jelly, briar rose, mocha and cowpats integrating with the cedar. The structure is firm while the tannins are fine. Mouthfilling and savoury with a wonderfully long, expansive finish, this defines complexity and is my Wine of the Night so far. A blend of Carignan, Cinsault, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache from one of the world's most legendary producers.
14% alc. Cork. $37.99.

Robert Mondavi Private Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 – Central Coast, California
Inky black red, very vibrant in appearance. Confectionary-like black fruits on the nose and surprisingly sweet, ripe and red fruit jammy in the palate with cedary oak surging through. Tannins are firm and there's a youthful bitey freshness in behind.
13.5% alc. Cork. $27.99.

Fine Wine Wednesday Tasting – 6 Nov 2013
A Selection from Cuisine's Champagne & Pinot Noir
Wines were tasted blind

Forrest Marlborough Chardonnay 2011
Light gold with a smoky oak scent infused with juicy fruit that make it seem so fresh and inviting. Full of sweet nutty oak in the palate with spiced stonefruit, zingy citrus and a long toasty finish with a butterscotch coating, it's not too heavy and a lovely starter wine.
13% alc. Screwcap. $17.99 special.

Hunters MiruMiru Marlborough Methode Traditionelle NV
Foamy mousse tops this straw gold wine when it is poured and a layer of bubbles persists. The bouquet is freshly baked lemon bread and the taste is yeasty and fresh. There's a foamy mouthfeel and apple / apple blossom / mineral salt characters come to mind, then a touch of sweetness on the finish that is very appealing. 5 stars Cuisine.
12.5% alc. Cork. $22.99 special.

Roederer Estate Anderson Valley Methode Traditionelle NV
Light gold with a stream of bubbles rising incessantly from the bottom of the glass. The bouquet is gloriously yeasty with a malty richness. More powerful wine than the MiruMiru, it's yeasty and savoury with a lovely zing of peach ... filling the mouth with its foamy richness and the finish tapers off gently. Gold NZIWS, Gold Spiegelau, 4½ stars Cuisine.
12% alc. Cork. $40.99 special.

Morton Estate Blanc de Blanc Methode Traditionelle 2002
Golden coloured with a lemon meringue scent, it's full-bodied and savoury with a mellow feel that hints of a little age yet the gentle bubbles impart a fresh feel. The yeasty flavours are strong but beautifully balanced by a touch of ripe peach and the finish is long and lingering. Coasting along nicely – it's a classy drink. 4½ stars Cuisine.
12.5% alc. Cork. $21.99 special.

Champagne Mumm 'Le Rose' NV
Pink Champagne always gets the heart fluttering with the promise of something rare and special and this one delivers in that respect. There's a subtle strawberry on the nose and it's delicate and savoury in the palate where the fine bubbles are vibrantly effervescent. Made from predominantly Pinot Noir, it's a glorious expression with a fine creamy feel to the lingering finish. Another glass please! 5 stars Cuisine.
12% alc. $69.99 special.

Champagne Pol Roger Brut Reserve NV
There's an aura of class to the decadent bouquet where aromas waft around like freshly baked baguette. The bubbles are silky and fine, the taste is yeasty and savoury, the texture becomes quite creamy and the finish is vibrant and fresh with a nuance of lime. Classy and stylish with harmony all the way through. Gold NZIWS. 5 stars Cuisine.
12.5% alc. $69.99 special.

Champagne Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve NV
There's an inviting sweet freshly baked lemon-scented brioche-like character to the aroma that carries through to the glorious flavour and the bubbles are fine as they come. There's a deep yeasty savouriness and a hint of a butterscotch layer but underlying citrus imparts exciting freshness and verve. Gold NZIWS. 5 stars & No.
1 in Cuisine.
12% alc. $89.99 special.

Te Hera Reserve Martinborough Pinot Noir 2011
Deep ruby purple colour with a hint of pencil box and a nuance of chocolate to the bouquet, and rich and fruit-sweet in the velvety textured palate with spicy oak, underlying gamey notes and a bright zesty flourish to the long full finish. A lovely fleshy Pinot from the promising Te Muna Road area. Gold NZIWS.
14.5% alc. Cork. $32.99 special.

Martinborough Vineyards Te Tera Martinborough Pinot Noir 2012
Translucent purple red with a very inviting bouquet that's delicately spicy and floral with sensual gamey notes coming through. It has a gorgeous fine silky texture with flavours reminiscent of violets and juicy sun-ripened red and purple berries, and the finish is savoury and long. Very stylish and great buying at the price. 5 stars Cuisine.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $25.99 special.

Saint Clair Block 14 Doctors Creek Marlborough Pinot Noir 2012
Dark cherry red with sweet berry fruit on the nose and a rich, powerful presence in the palate. It's juicy, almost luscious, with gentle tannins, a spicy flourish and those almost funky, hard to describe bittersweet red fruits on the lingering finish. A show of hands proved this wine was very popular on the night. 5 stars & No. 2 in Cuisine.
13.5% alc. Screwcap. $30.99 special.

Fairmont Block One Block Wairarapa Pinot Noir 2010
This is just lovely. It's a dark berry red colour and the aroma radiates opulence and savouriness. It tastes spicy and juicy with spiced cherry and plum fruit, and hints of mushroom and game. It's a plush velvety wine with a curvaceous richness, just the right amount of grip and a fantastically long lifted finish. It has so much going for it that many thought it the pinot of the night … so far. It has developed magnificently since earning 4½ stars Cuisine and 'Best Buy' last year.
14.5% alc. Screwcap. $19.99 special.

Rockburn Central Otago Pinot Noir 2011
There's a translucent aura to the dark ruby colour and the subtle aromas have a musky floral allure. It's super succulent and savoury with spiced mushrooms, rosemary and game. Silky tannins add to the enticement of this beauty, as does the terrific long finish. Still quite a lot of oak, but deftly integrated … this winner of the AirNZ Trophy last year is unfolding nicely. 5 stars Cuisine.
14% alc. Screwcap. $35.99 special.

Brennan Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009
Dark garnet red in colour with a creamy oak bouquet, it's spicy in the palate with red plums, cherries, cranberries. Very silky texturally with a deep underlying smoky savouriness, this multi-awarded wine has won gold at Air NZ and the Easter Show, and now 5 stars and No. 1 in Cuisine.
14% alc. Screwcap. $42.99 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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