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

European Imports from Steve Bennett MW

01 November,2017
Steve Bennett MW has a wide circle of contacts around the world from who he can access all manner of wines. He has a penchant for selecting wines for the New Zealand market that are very representative of the origins, but also offering very good value. This takes considerable skill and knowledge of the wine as well as the market, and a sharp palate, attributes he has shown to have over his many years of importing and distribution. Here, I review a selection of European Imports imported by Stephen. All are ripe and sweet-fruited, and should find good appeal in the marketplace. For availability, contact Stephen Bennett MW at Tel: 09 378-9463


Thierry Boudinaud ‘La Grande Tour’ Pays d’Oc Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2015

Blended Red from France – Other

Dark, even, ruby-red colour with purple-black hues, youthful in appearance. The nose is soft and gently full with aromas of well-ripened savoury black and red currant fruit with some black plum notes along with a subtle nutty and earthy amalgam. Medium-bodied, the palate is juicy and sweet with plush fruit flavours of ripe blackcurrants, blackberries and black plums, along with a little earthy and nutty edge. The mouthfeel is bright and gently rich with fruit sweetness and balanced acidity. The palate has light, supple tannins providing good accessibility. The wine carries to a light, gentle finish. This is a bright, sweet and juicy-fruited Cabernet/Merlot with blackcurrant and plum flavours on an accessible palate. Match with antipasto, tapas, and barbecued and roasted red meat dishes over the next 3+ years. A blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Merlot from Languedoc-Roussillon, fermented to 13.0% alc. 16.5+/20 Nov 2017 RRP $14.99

Vino Lascito Rubicone Sangiovese IGT 2015

Sangiovese from Italy – Other

Full, saturated black-red colour, with slight ruby hues on the edge. The nose is full and well-packed with ripe black berried and dark-red cherry fruit aroma along with some black plum and port-like notes. Medium-full bodied, the palate is rich and ripe with mouthfilling flavours of savoury black berry and cherry fruit with black plum elements. The flavours unfold port-like and jammy layers. The fruit is underlined by fine, grainy tannin textures, with integrated, soft acidity. The wine has good energy and carries positively to a softly full, sweet and savoury red fruited finish. This is a very ripe Sangiovese with savoury black berry and cherry flavours with plum and porty notes on a fine, grainy palate. Match with roasted and slow-cooked game meat dishes over the next 3+ years. Sangiovese fruit from the Bidente Valley in the Rubicone region of Emilia-Romagna, Italy, fermented to 13.0% alc. 17.0/20 Nov 2017 RRP $16.99

MGM Mondo del Vino ‘Il Sarone’ Vino Rosso 2014

Blended Red from Italy – Other

Full, dark ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is softly full with finely presented, fragrant and lifted aromas of dark-red and blackberry fruits along with dark-red floral notes, hints of ripe plums and suggestions of jam. Medium-bodied, the palate has intense flavours of sweet, dark-red fruits with lifted floral elements and hints of plum jam. The fruit is balanced by light, background tannins and soft, ripe acidity that allows the fruit sweetness to prevail. The wine carries to an elegant and stylish finish. This is a sweet-fruited, aromatic Italian blended red with ripeness and soft tannin structure. Match with pasta, pizza and barbecued fare over the next 3 years. An Italian Vino de Tavola. A blend of Negroamaro, Primitivo, Montepulciano and Nero d’Avola, fermented to 13.0% alc. 17.0/20 Nov 2017 RRP $16.95

Bodegas Piqueras ‘Black Label’ Almansa Garnacha Tintorera 2014

Grenache from Spain

Full, even, dark ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the edge. This has an elegantly concentrated nose with ripe, dark-red raspberry and blackberry fruit aromas, along with a suggestion of nutty oak and earthy elements. The nose reveals a soft aromatic lift with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the palate has rich, ripe and juicy fruit flavours of dark raspberry and blackberry fruit. The fruit is supported by light tannin extraction, providing a supple, easy-flowing palate, underlined by a little alcoholic power. The acidity is balanced and harmonious, and the wine carries smoothly to a light-nuanced, lingering finish. This is a rich, ripe old vine Garnacha with raspberry and blackberry fruit on a smooth palate with some alcoholic drive. Match with roasted and grilled red meat dishes over the next 3-4 years. Old vine Garnacha Tintorera from Almansa, Spain, bush vines 45-60 y.o., hand-picked and fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 6-8 months in American oak 300 L casks. 17.5/20 Nov 2017 RRP $19.95
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