Kumeu Village Chardonnay 2018

From benchmark New Zealand producer Kumeu River, this chardonnay proved a little too sculptured for me, with the hand of the winemaker evident.  It opens to aromas of flint and smoke.  The palate has high acidity, the body is full and the wine finishes on acidity rather than fruit.  It proved somewhat hard work.  Rating: […]

Coleraine Te Mata Estate Hawkes Bay 2007

Coleraine Te Mata Estate from Hawkes Bay in New Zealand is regarded as a leading cabernet blend from this part of the world. The 2007 vintage here fell somewhat short of (high) expectations. Its aroma reminds of tomato bush and dried herbs and its palate is fully mature. It retains a quiet elegance and has […]

Church Road Hawke’s Bay Pinot Gris 2018

This pinot gris is influenced by the Alsace style, and is from Hawke’s Bay in New Zealand’s north island.  In the glass, there are muted aroma of herbs, stones and almonds.  The palate is off-dry, full bodied and the acidity racy.  Pleasant enough, and something different, although not in a style I would seek.  It […]

Craggy Range Te Kahu Gimblett Gravels 2015

This is a high quality merlot blend (76% merlot, 14% cabernet sauvignon, 8% cabernet franc and 2% malbec) from Craggy Range in Hawkes Bay in New Zealand.  It has blackcurrant, clove and earth aromatics that are Bordeaux like, although more left bank than right.  The palate has great length and ripe tannins.  Ready to drink […]

South Island Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016

Central Otago pinot noir really has improved at all price points over the last decade. The wines I see are increasingly complex and savoury, perhaps a function of vine age. This wine is rather good for a $16 Central Otago pinot noir. It has aromas of stems and ripe cranberries. The palate has a savoury […]

Dry River Pinot Noir 2008

Martinborough on New Zealand’s north island produces my preferred expression of New Zealand pinot noir.  Having literally heard of Dry River in the hallways, this was a first encounter with this well regarded Martinborough estate.  More premier cru than grand cru in style, it proved an enjoyable wine.  Its aromatics remind of black cherry, cedar […]

Quartz Reef Pinot Noir 2012

Quartz Reef in Central Otago is another winery that has taken to biodynamics, and the results again are good.  This pinot noir is from the Central Otago subregion of Bendigo, the grapes are handpicked and the vine density is admirable at 5000 to 8000 plants per hectare.  Bendigo is warmer than the Gibbston subregion, which […]

Valli Pinot Noir Gibbston Vineyard 2012

Central Otago is surely one of the most beautiful places in the world.  I expect that I am in danger of wishing to return to it sooner rather than later, adding yet a further destination to a list unable to be sensibly satisfied with such limited time.  Since I last looked in on pinot noirs […]

Mud House South Island Pinot Gris 2012

Made from grapes sourced from the Waipara Valley (50%) and the remainder from Marlborough and Nelson, this New Zealand pinot gris has aromatics of pear and slightly candied lemon rind.  The palate is verging on off dry with flavours reminding of sweet pears and lemon rind.  The finish is short, and it presents as relatively […]