Featured Reviews

Mainly American from Procure

26 September,2018

After years of many distributors trying to get Californian wines into the New Zealand market, we have seen a blossoming of the numbers hitting the shelves over the last few years. While the (slightly) more favourable exchange rate has helped, it is the Californian producers who have made many more quality wines at a good price that has helped. Even more influential are a small number of focussed distributors, such as Procure Liquor who have become specialists in Californian wines. The range that Procure carries is growing all the time. Here I review a selection of mainly American wines (with a Spanish, thrown in for good measure). www.procureliquor.co.nz


Pacificana ‘Barrel Fermented’ California Chardonnay 2017

Chardonnay from USA


Full, light golden colour with some depth, a little paler on the rim. The nose is full and voluminous with broad aromas of ripe citrus and melon fruit intermixed with an amalgam of creamy barrel-ferment and nutty oak with lemon-curd and butterscotch MLF. This is up-front, accessible and generous. Medium-full bodied, the palate is rich and plush with creamy and buttery flavours showing ripe citrus fruit melded with nutty oak, creamy barrel-ferment and MLF flavours. The flavours form a positive, rounded heart underlined by a little alcoholic power, and the wine flows smoothly, with soft, integrated acidity, leading to a rich lush finish. This is a rich and generous, up-front and accessible Chardonnay with ripe fruit, creamy oak and buttery MLF on a smooth palate with some drive. Match with roast pork over the next 3 years. Californian fruit, 20% from Lodi, fully barrel-fermented to 13.8% alc., the wine aged 6 months in French and American oak. 18.0/20 Sep 2018 RRP $27.00

McManis California Zinfandel 2017

Zinfandel from USA


Even, dark ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, lighter on the edge. The nose is gently full with soft, but well-packed and concentrated aromas of ripe blackberry fruit with blueberries and boysenberries, unfolding some dark red plum notes. This has generosity and a harmonious expression. Full-bodied, the palate has a rich and rounded, well-concentrated heart of ripe blackberry, blueberry, boysenberry and plum flavours. The fruit is lush and sweet, and mouthfilling. The fruit is supported my moderate extraction providing good underlying structure and grip, with integrated acidity. The flavours carry easily to a full, gentle finish. This is a gently full and richly sweet Zinfandel with blackberry, blueberry and boysenberry flavours with fine tannin grip. Match with barbecued and roast red meats over the next 4 years. A blend of 80% Zinfandel, 11% Petite Sirah and 9% Tannat from Lodi, fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 6 months in new and seasoned French and American oak. 18.0-/20 Sep 2018 RRP $25.00

The Crusher California Petite Sirah 2016

Other Red from USA


Full, even, dark, deep black-hued ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is soft and full with deep and dense aromas of ripe blackberry fruit, along with boysenberries and dark raspberries unfolding a little black plum and liquorice. Full-bodied, the palate is sweetly rich with ripe flavours of blackberries, boysenberries and raspberries with plum and liquorice notes. This is plush in expression and mouthfilling with its juicy flavours. The fruit is underlined by moderately fine tannin grip, and there is some alcoholic power and drive. The sweet fruit flavours carry with plenty of drive to a lingering finish. This is a plush, juicy and sweet Petite Sirah with ripe flavours of blackberries, boysenberries and raspberries with good grip and some alcoholic power. Match with barbecued game meat dishes over the next 4 years. A blend of 82% Petite Sirah, 7% Syrah, 4% Tempranillo, 3% Malbec and 2% each Merlot and Zinfandel, the fruit predominantly from the ‘Lake Winchester’ vineyard in Clarksburg and ‘Schatz’ vineyard, Lodi, fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 10 months in French, American and Hungarian oak. 17.5+/20 Sep 2018 RRP $27.00

Marques de Tezona Vino de la Tierra de Castilla Tempranillo 2017

Tempranillo from Spain


Moderately deep ruby-red colour with a little garnet on the rim. The nose is elegant in presentation with a taut core of savoury dark-red berry fruit melded harmoniously with a little game and dried herbs, unfolding a little red floral lift. Medium-bodied, the palate is elegantly concentrated with a heart of dark-red berry fruit entwined with subtle notes of savoury herbs and a suggestion of game. The fruit is sweet and rich, and enlivened by fresh, lacy acidity with light tannin grip in support. The wine carries with good energy to a light, dry, nuanced finish. This is an elegant Tempranillo with sweet dark-red berry fruit and some savoury game and herb notes with lifted florals underlined by light grip and fresh acidity. Serve with antipasto, tapas and pasta over the next 3+ years. A blend of 95% Tempranillo and 5% Shiraz from La Mancha, vines 12-25 y.o., fermented to 13.5% alc., with no oak contact. Winemaker: Jorge Garcia Cuenca. 17.0+/20 Sep 2018 RRP $20.00

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