Featured Reviews

Australian, Spanish and Californian Wines from RM Wine Partners

16 November,2018

RM Wine Partners is the distribution business associated with what was Rod McDonald Wines. Independent now and based in Auckland, it is headed by Mike Farrugia and the company imports and distributes wines from around the world into the New Zealand market in addition to distributing the Te Awanga Estate wines and a number of other brands from New Zealand. Here, I review a selection from Australia, Spain and California. www.rmwp.co.nz


The Primrose Path South Australia Organic Rosé 2018

Rose from Australia – South Australia


Bright, pale eye-of-the-partridge pink colour with a little depth, lighter on the rim. The nose is fresh with firm and elegantly taut aromas of white and yellow stonefruits with hints of thirst-quenching chalky minerals, unfolding a little herbal and floral detail. This has freshness and intensity. Medium-dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has sweet and luscious fruit flavours of strawberries and minerals, with yellow stonefruits, suggestions of exotic florals and hints of honeysuckle. The fruit sweetness is balanced and underlined by light phenolic textures lending fine dry grip to the mouthfeel, and fresh acidity provides brightness. The wine carries to an elegantly concentrated, lingering, mouthwatering finish. This is a lush and juicy medium-dry rosé with strawberry, floral, stonefruit and mineral flavours on a light, phenolic-textured mouthwatering palate. Serve as an aperitif and with Asian fare over the next 2 years. A blend of South Australian Cabernet and Shiraz from the Grigoriou family vineyards in the Monash Valley, vines up to 30 y.o., fermented in stainless-steel to 13.0% alc. Winemaker: Con-Greig Grigoriou. Australian certified organic. 17.0+/20 Nov 2018 RRP $19.95

Bodegas Piqueras ‘El Abuelo’ Almansa Garnacha Tintorera 2017

Grenache from Spain


Dark, deep, black-hued ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim with youthful purple hues. This has a moderately concentrated nose with aromas of dark raspberries interwoven with dark herbs and some earthy notes, unfolding a little pepper. This is uncomplicated with a little rusticity. Medium-full bodied, the palate has sweetly rich flavours of ripe dark raspberry fruit with some jammy notes, along with herb and earth nuances. The fruit is underlined by grainy-textured tannins lending the mouthfeel some robust grip. The wine has good energy with balanced acidity enhancing the fruit, and carries to a light, raspberry-fruited finish. This is a sweet, raspberry fruited Garnacha with herb and earth notes on a robust, grainy palate. Match with grilled and roasted red meats over the next 2-3 years. 100% Garnacha Tintorera from Almansa, Spain, vines 25-35 y,o,, fermented with a short maceration time to 14.0% alc. Agricultura UE organic wine. 16.5/20 Nov 2018 RRP $21.99

Bodegas Piqueras ‘ El Picoteo’ Almansa 2016

Blended Red from Spain


Dark, deep, black-hued red colour with garnet hues on the edge. The nose is elegantly proportioned with a taut core and good intensity of black berried fruits with light hints of raspberries and some piquant dark herbs that unfold in the glass. This is clean and fruit-driven, and straightforward in expression. Medium-bodied, the palate has a firm core with tightly bound flavours of ripe black berried fruits with sweet raspberry notes, interwoven with dark herbs. The fruit forms a tight line and core providing drive with fine, near-powdery tannin structure. The acidity is balanced, and the firm line leads to an elegantly concentrated, moderately long finish of black fruits. This is a firm and taut finely concentrated, black-fruited Almansa red blend with raspberry notes and dark herbs showing good linearity. Match with roasted lamb, beef and venison over the next 3+ years. A blend of 70% Monastrell and 30% Syrah from Almansa, Spain, vines 30-35 y.o., indigenous yeast fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 3-4 months in American and French oak 300 L barrels. Agricultura UE organic wine. 16.5+/20 Nov 2018 RRP $21.99

Grandeza ‘Gran Tradicion’ ‘Anos 5’ Espana 2012

Tempranillo from Spain


Garnet-hued ruby colour with some depth, lighter edged with a little bricking. The nose is softly full and gently voluminous with aromas of savoury dark-red berry fruits harmoniously melded with a layering of nuts, earth and secondary oxidative development lending mellowness. This builds in intensity with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the palate is softly full with expansive layered flavours of soft red berry fruit melded with dried herbs and earth lending savoury interest, plus a little oxidative secondary development. The fruit is supported by light, grainy tannins providing plenty of fine-textured grip, and the wine is carried by the structure to a soft, mouthfilling finish. This is a soft, textured, mouthfilling Tempranillo with sweet and savoury dark-red berry fruit with dried herb and earthy flavours. Match with casseroles and slow-cooked red meat dishes over the next 3 years. Tempranillo fruit from central Spain, vines 10-30 y.o., fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 5 years before release. Winemakers: Javier Murua and Sara Ugarte. 17.0+/20 Nov 2018 RRP $19.99

Gnarly Head ‘Old Vine Zin’ Lodi Zinfandel 2016

Zinfandel from USA


Dark, deep ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is bold and firm with good intensity of dark-red and black berried fruits along with blueberry and boysenberry notes. This is aromatic with some lifted, spicy oak adding interest. Medium-full bodied, the palate has sweetly ripe flavours black berried fruits with blueberries and boysenberries, forming a luscious core. The palate is elegantly deep and moderately concentrated with balanced tannin in support, allowing the fruit sweetness to feature. The acidity is soft and integrated, and the wine carries to a light finish. This is a bold, up-front, sweet-fruited Zinfandel with black and blue berried fruit with boysenberry notes on a luscious core with balance tannin support. Match with barbecued and grilled red meat dishes over the next 3 years. Old Zinfandel, vines 35-80 y.o. from the Mokelumne River region of Lodi, California, fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged in American and French oak. 17.0/20 RRP $25.99

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