Hawkshead 2017 Pinot Gris. 2015 Riesling and Bannockburn Pinot Noir, and 2014 ‘First Vines’ Pinot Noir
Smoking Loon, La Crema, McManis and The Crusher Releases
Two Sisters Central Otago Pinot Gris 2016
Clearview Estate 2016 ‘Old Olive Block’, Enigma’ and ‘The Basket Press’
Ceres 2017 ‘Swansong’ Pinot Gris and 2016 ‘Composition’ Pinot Noir
Vicarage Lane Canterbury Pinot Noir 2016
Paddy Borthwick 2017 Riesling and Chardonnay, and 2016 Left Hand and Right Hand Pinot Noirs
Trinity Hill Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016
Villa Maria ‘Ngakirikiri’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Paxton ‘NOW’ Shiraz 2017 and Hogshead Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Kuru Kuru and Tarras Vineyards Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Red Queen Marlborough Pinot Nor Rosé 2017
Waipara Valley Wines Blanc de Blanc, 2016 Sauvignon, and 2016 Pinot Noir
Elephant Hill 2016 Sauvignon Blanc and Reserve Chardonnay
Aix Rosé, A Torres Selection and Lustau Vermut from EuroVintage
Mills Reef 2017 ‘Reserve’ Pinot Gris and Chardonnay
Nevis Bluff ‘Duke of Cromwell’ Pinot Blanc 2017, and 2017 Rosé, 2014 Pinot Gris and 2013 Pinot Noir
Smith and Sheth ‘CRU’ Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Syrah Releases
Palliser Estate Martinborough Pinot Gris 2017
Karikari Estates 2014 ‘Calypso’ and 2015 Chardonnays, 2016 Viognier and 2015 Syrah and Pinotage
Auntsfield 2016 ‘Single Vineyard’ Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
The Crossings ‘Wild’ Awatere Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Pisa Range Estate‘ Black Poplar’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015
Z Wine ‘Rustica’ ‘Reserve’ Barossa Valley Shiraz 2015
Grava Wines 2016 Martinborough Sauvignon, Rosé, Riesling and Pinot Noir
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Tasting Reviews

I Am George 2016 Shiraz and Shiraz Cabernet, and 2015 Cabernet Merlot

I Am George is an Australian red wine brand developed by Pernod-Ricard in tribute to George Wyndham, one of the pioneers of Australian wine. George Wyndham arrived in Sydney from the U.K. in 18727 to purchase over 2,000 acres of land near the Hunter River, where he established his ‘Dalwood’ property. He planted Shiraz vines in 1830, and thus began an illustrious history of winegrowing which eventuated in Wyndham Estate in modern times. Pernod-Ricard has honoured George Wyndham with a number of brands including ‘I am George’. This brand is based on red wines made by winemaker Steve Meyer to give robust bottlings which show varieties growing in especially suitable regions. The ‘disruptive label designs’ represent the story behind George’s journey, including the storm, the compass, the vine and the grapes. Here, I review three ‘I Am George’ wines, available in New Zealand.

I Am George Langhorne Creek Shiraz 2016
Full, dark, deep, saturated black-hued, purple-red colour, very youthful in appearance. The nose is full, up-front and gently voluminous with softly packed aromas of ripe blackberries and boysenberries along with notes of dark raspberries and eucalyptus, unfolding black plums, liquorice, black pepper and cedar. This has very good depth and density. Full-bodied, the palate features bright and lush, succulently juicy flavours of ripe blackberries and boysenberries, with blueberries to form a firm core, unveiling subtle eucalyptus, liquorice and raspberry elements. The palate is smooth and fine in texture with balanced, flowery tannins and integrated acidity. The palate has vibrancy, sweetness and drive, carrying along a fine line leading to an elegant finish. This is a juicy and succulently sweet Shiraz with ripe blackberry, boysenberry and blueberry fruit along with liquorice and eucalypt notes on a very fine-textured palate. Match with barbecued and roasted game meat over the next 6+ years. Shiraz fruit from Langhorne Creek, fermented to 14.8% alc., the wine fermented on skins 15 days and aged 16 months in predominantly season French and American oak barrels. 18.5/20 Mar 2018 RRP $22.99

I Am George Limestone Coast Shiraz/Cabernet 2016
Full, deep, impenetrable black-hued purple-red colour, very youthful in appearance. The nose is soft and harmonious with gently interwoven aromas of ripe blackberries and boysenberries entwined with dark herbs, liquorice, black pepper, and nuances of blackcurrants, cassis and black florals, unfolding some mint with aeration. Full-bodied, the palate has a deep and concentrated heart packed with flavours blackberries and dark raspberries, boysenberries and liquorice, revealing black pepper, mint and cassis. The palate has a firm-textured, dense line with good tannin structure, and a fine thread of acidity providing energy and drive. The flavours carry to a sustained, crisp finish. This is a firm-hearted Shiraz/Cabernet blend with ripe blackberry, boysenberry and dark raspberry fruit with notes of currants and mint on a grainy-textured palate with good acid tension. Match with grilled and roasted lamb, beef and venison over the next 6-8 years. A blend of 73% Shiraz and 27% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Limestone Coast, fermented to 14.6% alc., the wine aged 14 months in predominantly French oak, mostly seasoned. 18.0+/20 Mar 2018 RRP $22.99

I Am George Limestone Coast Cabernet/Merlot 2016
Veery dark, deep, impenetrable black-hued purple-red colour, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is soft and restrained in expression with an elegantly concentrated core of ripe blackcurrant and blackberry fruit along with cassis and subtle notes of mint herb, unfolding a little eucalyptus and oak spice. Full-bodied, the palate is well-proportioned with deep and elegantly concentrated flavours of blackcurrants, cassis, liquorice and eucalyptus, unveiling herbs and cedary oak. The fruit forms a firm line with grainy tannin extraction and grip, with balanced acidity. The wine is carried by the structure to a dry, textured, lingering finish. This is a firm and grainy Cabernet/Merlot blend with ripe blackcurrant fruit along with cassis, liquorice and eucalypt notes. Serve with roasted lamb and semi-hard cheeses over the next 7-8 years. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from the Limestone Coast, fermented to 14.3% alc., the wine aged 21 months in new and seasoned French and American oak hogsheads. 18.0/20 Mar 2018 RRP $22.99
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