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Hot Picks

2014 Blackenbrook Nelson Sauvignon Blanc

Normally $21. "Blackenbrook is small ( 4 hectares ) and new ( first wine from 2004 ), so its hardly surprising it's little known outside Nelson. Swiss owners Daniel and Ursula Schwarzenbach have the meticulous approach to winemaking for which their countrymen are famous, while Daniel has some serious winemaking experience under his belt. He has worked for top producers in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and France, and has judged wine at competitions in Switzerland, France, Germany and China. Its greatest strengths are pinot gris, gewurztraminer, riesling, sauvignon blanc and chardonnay. Quality has crept up in recent years and if it continues, Blackenbrook has a very bright future." Bob Campbell


2014 Theory & Practice Hawkes Bay Chardonnay

Finally we have a large, full throttle, lush Chardonnay that ticks all the boxes. Theory & Practice wines are made by winemaker Ant Mackenzie who started out as a vintage cellar hand for Vidal in Hawke’s Bay and progressing through the ranks to become the winemaker/ general manager at Dry River, Ant has also held senior winemaking positions at Framingham Wine Company, Spy Valley, Mud House and Te Awa. 5 Stars Raymond Chan who writes "The nose is softly full with deep and concentrated aromas of ripe yellow stonefruit and citrus fruit, unfolding mealy and biscuitty layers along with subtle and balanced toasty oak and complexing flinty lees elements. The aromatics are detailed and the nose is one of finesse. Medium-bodied and elegantly proportioned, the palate features a fine-featured, tight core of yellow stonefruits entwined with mealy and nutty flavours. The wine flows smoothly with creamy barrel-ferment richness, and the mouthfeel is enlivened by fresh acidity lending good energy. Toasty oak and nutty, gunflinty elements emerge and are carried to a fine-textured, refreshing and sustained finish. This is an elegant, finely concentrated, poised Chardonnay with complex mealy, flinty and toasty detail. Hhand-picked fruit,whole bunch pressed and barrel-fermented, partially by indigenous yeasts to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 40% new French oak, undergoing 100% Malolatic fermentation. Raymond Chan.


2014 Chinock Gisborne Pinot Gris

Very, very well priced Pinot Gris that certainly delivers. "Sourced from our their vineyards this pinot gris is fresh with lifted candied fruit aromas and pure pear notes . The balance is medium dry with delicate stone fruit flavours , leaving a clean long lasting flavour of luscious pear."


2014 Stanly Estate Marlborough Chardonnay

Normal RRP $28. 17.5/20 from Raymond Chan writing "This has a softly concentrated nose with well packed stonefruit, citrus fruit and mealy aromas melded harmoniously with complexing flint and mineral elements, nuts and a creamy barrel-ferment note. Medium-full bodied, the palate features a firm and dense core of stonefruits, citrus fruits and mealy elements, layered with flint, mineral and oaky detail. The mouthfeel has weight and vinosity, the palate flowing along a smooth, near creamy line. A fine phenolic thread and lacy acidity balances the fruit and barrel-ferment richness, and the wine carries to a slender, lingering dry finish with citrus nuances. This is a well-concentrated, weighty Chardonnay with nutty and citrus flavours, and a creamy, fine-textured line. Match with seafood, poultry and pork dishes over the next 4-5 years. Hand-picked fruit from 12 y.o. vines, barrel-fermented, 60% by indigenous yeasts to13.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 10% new French oak barriques, undergoing batonnage. 127 dozen made. 17.5+/20 May 2015 RRP $28.50." A GREAT BUY


2004 Bollinger La Grand Annee Vintage Champagne

Normally $220. The top expression of Bollinger's house style, La Grand Année is rich, full and rightly known as one of the world's greatest Champagnes. 2004 was a great harvest, with high-quality grapes and wines and lots of them – this will drink well already but will improve if cellared.


2010 Two Gates Hawkes Bay Merlot/ Cab Franc

Just when we thought this label had disappeared the 2010 has surfaced and its tasting as good as ever. If you recall the Two Gates vineyard sold its land, wine stocks and label when their wines were selling for $55 and boy were they good. Here is the 2010 which is drinking superbly now with 4 years bottle age. 4 1/2 Stars Sam Kim’s Wine Orbit, 4 1/2 Stars Raymond Chan writing "53% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Franc, 11% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% each of Syrah and Malbec, the Merlot from the original ‘Two Gates’ vineyard in the Gimblett Gravels, fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine spending 28 days on skins and aged 22 months in French oak. Dark ruby-red colour with black hues. This has a very fine and intense nose with penetrating dark redcurrant and plum aromas with a dark herbal underlay and strong spicy, cedary oak. Medium-bodied, the fruit flavours of dark plums are concentrated and compact on palate, with spices and oak cedar prevalent. A complex melange of flavours unfolds, with dark herbs, menthol adding interest. The palate features fine-grained, firm tannin extraction with good acidity enhancing the palate liveliness, leading to a tight, sustained finish. This is a tight and concentrated Merlot blend with fine textures and spicy, cedary fruit and oak flavours. Serve with Middle Eastern lamb dishes and casseroles over the next 5-6 years." Lovely, lovely drinking.


2014 Big Sky Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc

What a revelation this old vine, single vineyard, hand picked and low cropped sauvignon blanc is. From a single block on Te Muna Road the 21 year old vinesy give a very complex sauvignon blanc. Whole bunch pressed and 20% barrel aged with malo. it has a bouquet of zesty lemon, grapefruit and honeysuckle. On the palate it has ripe stonefruit characters with notes of lemongrass and lime zest and flinty minerality. It has had minimal fining. Absolutely outstanding.


2013 Johner Gladstone Pinot Noir

Bob Campbells Best Value Pinot Noir that scored 95 points or higher writing "Deliciously juicy Pinot Noir with appealing sweet plum and raspberry flavours cocooned in a featherbed texture. Very attractive wine indeed in an accessible style. The best yet under this label. Good value. 95/100." Also 5 Stars from Raymond Chan. Karl Johner and his family have 12 varieties planted in their vineyard in the Wairarapa but their focus is on Pinot Noir. After searching the world to find the ideal place to complement their home estate in the Kaierstuhl district of Baden in Germany, they planted a mix of Pinot Noir clones at the end of Dakins Road in Gladstone, in 2001.


2012 Archangel Central Otago Pinot Noir

Winemaker Peter Bartle ( ex Peregrine ) and Dr David Jordan Consulting Viticulturist ( two heavyweights in the NZ Wine scene ) have made a superb job of this gem we've just discovered. Pure Elite Gold at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2013. This was $34 and scored a 94/100 by JamesSuckling.com writing "This has an upbeat, red-fruit style to it. The oak makes a cedary, almost chalky impression on the nose, too: very young and tight. The palate has supple fruit, really brightly captured; it needs time to unfurl as oak has it on lock-down for the time being. Great wine here, with tannins mapping out a classy future." Also a 90+/100 from Decanter writing "Ripe cherry nose with hints of rose petals. Good concentration on the palate with flavours of liquorice and a savoury herb nuances. This is a gutsy yet balanced Pinot with excellent grip." These are two well respected international reviews which always score the wines a lot harder than local writers. Great buying.


2013 Nisia Old Vine Verdejo

A killer project from Jorge Ordonez in the Rueda area where this 100% old vine Verdejo is made. This 5000 case cuvee was fermented in stainless steel and large format French oak, and aged sur lie prior to bottling. Coming from sandy soils and ungrafted vines (some of which are 120+ years of age). "Jorge Ordoñez has a small winery in Rueda with just over 38 acres of organically farmed vines. From vines situated at 2,850 feet above sea level. The wine offers up crisp, elegant, white peach and citrus notes intermixed with loamy, sandy soil undertones, zesty acidity and a naked mouthfeel. Drink this beauty over the next several years." Parker


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