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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Featured Reviews

Alpha Domus 2014 Wingwalker Viognier and The Navigator

19 May,2017
Alpha Domus was established by the Ham family who purchased 20 ha of land in the Bridge Pa district of Hawke’s Bay in 1990 and planted vines in 1991, these being Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Chardonnay and Semillon. Since then, Syrah and Viognier have been added. The vineyard manager is Darren Chatterton and winemaker is Barry Riwai, taking over from the long-serving Kate Galloway, for the 2015 vintage. The wines from Alpha Domus have been archetype Bridge Pa expressions, and over the years have built a strong following for their strong character. Here, I review the 2014 ‘Wingwalker’ Viognier and ‘The Navigator’ Bordeaux-varietal blend. The vintage was a warm one, following the highly touted 2013 harvest, and is deemed very successful. Both wines show a lovely harmony and integration, with balanced componentry.


Alpha Domus ‘Wingwalker’ Hawke’s Bay Viognier 2014

Viognier from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Full, even, light golden yellow colour, a little lighter on the rim. This has a full, soft and voluminous nose with well-packed and dense aromas of ripe apricots entwined with tropical fruits, and a layering of creamy, nutty oak, with underlying refreshing citrus zest and floral elements. This is well-integrated and harmonious in presentation. Medium-full bodied, the palate has rich and detailed flavours of ripe apricots and yellow stonefruits, along with tropical fruit, creamy barrel-ferment and nutty oak nuances, and fresh citrus zest and floral notes. The palate has weight and an unctuous texture, balanced by fresh, lacy acidity and some alcoholic cut and power. The wine carries with good linearity, leading to a full, soft, integrated finish of ripe apricots, tropical fruits and exotic floral and citrus nuances. This is a rich, harmonious and well-balanced Viognier with ripe apricot and tropical fruits, an unctuous mouthfeel, good freshness and some power. Match with Middle Eastern and Asian cuisine over the next 3 years. Estate fruit fermented in oak, partially with indigenous yeasts to 14.0% Alc. and 1.4 g/L RS, the wine undergoing batonnage over several months. 18.5/20 May 2017 RRP $28.90

Alpha Domus ‘The Navigator' Hawke’s Bay 2014

Blended Red from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Very dark, near-impenetrable black-red colour with a little garnet on the edge. The nose is softly concentrated with deep and dense aromas of ripe black plums and dark-red berryfruit, unfolding liquorice, spice and cassis notes. Some funky, savoury game and cedary oak elements emerge to add interest. Medium-full bodied, the palate has rich and succulent flavours of ripe black plums, dark-red berry fruits and complexing layers of liquorice, spices and cedary oak, along with savoury, funky game and earth elements. The fruit sweetness is balanced by grainy tannin extraction and structure, with integrated, soft acidity. The flavours carry smoothly to a gently receding, but long, lingering finish. This is a rich Merlot-based wine with ripe black plum, liquorice and spice flavours along with complexing cedary oak, earth and funky game elements on a soft, grainy-textured palate. Match with roasted and slow-cooked game meat dishes over the next 6-8 years. A blend of 46% Merlot, 24% Malbec, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon and 14% Cabernet Franc, fermented o 14.0% alc., the wine aged in seasoned oak, predominantly French for 12 months. 18.5-/20 May 2017 RRP $31.90
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