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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’
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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
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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

Thomas Waiheke 2016 Rose, 2015 Blanc de Gris, and 2014 Franc Blend and Cabernet

06 July,2017
The Batch Winery on Waiheke Island is one of the newer winery additions, established by the Thomas family from Canada. Purchasing and rejuvenating an already planted vineyard, they have set up on-site a restaurant, cellar door and winery on Carson’s Road. The design is that of a modern ‘bach’ to evoke a holiday atmosphere, and the wines are small batch editions (puns are great!). A diverse range of wines is crafted by winemaker Daniel Struckman. Recently, Batch Winery has released the ‘Thomas’ and ‘Thomas Legacy’ wines to represent the more serious and sophisticated style which complement the more accessible ‘Thomas’s Bach’, ‘Fizz’ and ‘Batch Winery’ labels. I was impressed with the first release of the ‘Thomas’ wine when I reviewed them in February last year (click here to see my reviews). Here I review a rosé, sparkling wine and two reds under the ‘Thomas’ brand.


Thomas ‘Field Blend’ Waiheke Island Rosé 2016

Rose from New Zealand – Northland & Auckland

Pale strawberry pink colour with slight purple hues and some depth, lighter on the rim. The nose is tightly bound with fresh, mouthwatering aromas of white and yellow stonefruits entwined with red berry fruit element, along with mineral elements, unfolding red florals. Dry to taste and light-medium bodied, the palate has a deep core with flavours of savoury yellow stonefruits melded with subtle red berry fruit notes. Hints of spice unfold adding interest. The mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing with thirst-quenching acidity, and the wine flows along a fine, dry-textured phenolic line, leading to a dry finish with a little grip. This is a crisp, mouthwatering dry rosé with savoury yellow stonefruit and red fruit flavours on a dry-textured palate. Serve as an aperitif and with antipasto over the next 2 years. A blend of 46% Syrah, 31% Chardonnay, 13% Riesling, 8% Flora and 2% Pinot Gris from the ‘Thomas Estate’, hand-picked, foot-crushed and co-fermented to 12.0% alc. and dryness, the wine aged 6 months on fine lees. 592 bottles made. 17.0+/20 Jul 2017 RRP $38.00

Thomas ‘Blanc de Gris’ Waiheke Island 2015

Sparkling Wine from New Zealand – Northland & Auckland

Bright, light straw-yellow colour, paler on the rim, the bubbles moderately fine and the bead with good persistence. This has a full, soft nose of savoury yellow stonefruits melded with nutty lees notes, hints of yeast, and subtle saline and mineral nuances. Medium-dry to taste, and medium-full bodied, the palate has gently sweet and luscious flavours of stonefruits with notes of honey, entwined with subtle nutty and yeasty lees elements. The mouthfeel is soft and creamy with good effervescence, and the fresh acidity balances the light phenolic textures. As the wine flows, it unfolds savoury stonefruit flavours entwined with a touch of honey. This is a gently luscious sparking Pinot Gris-based wine with modest sweetness, savoury stonefruit flavours with subtle honeysuckle notes, combined with nutty and yeasty hints on a creamy textured palate. Serve as an aperitif and with Mediterranean fare over the next 2+ years. A sparkling wine. a blend of 83% Pinot Gris and 17% Flora, hand-picked, foot-crushed and cool-fermented to dryness, the wine blended and aged 18 months on lees, then transferred to Charmat tank for secondary fermentation to 13.5% alc. and 16 g/L RS. Bottled on 24 January 2017. 3,400 bottles made. 17.5-/20 Jul 2017 RRP $38.00

Thomas Waiheke Island Cabernet Franc/Merlot 2014

Blended Red from New Zealand – Northland & Auckland

Dark, deep, purple-hued black-red colour, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is full and softly voluminous with aromas of ripe redcurrants and blackcurrants, along with herb notes, forming a dense, well-packed core which unveils nuances of spice, earth and hints of nutty oak. Full-bodied, the palate has a rich and sweet core of ripe redcurrant and blackcurrant fruit entwined with dark plums, forming a dense, integrated heart. Nuances of dark herbs, a little spice and earthy hints add detail. The fruit is supported by moderately extracted, grainy tannin structure, with subtle lacy acidity lending energy and tension. The palate has an attractive, even mouthfeel and presence, and flows to a rich, full, lingering finish of currants and herbs. This is a rich, sweet fruited Cabernet Franc/Merlot blend with good depth and concentration supported by grainy structure and fresh acidity. Match with roast lamb, beef and venison dishes over the next 6-9 years. A blend of 48% Cabernet Franc, 45% Merlot 4% Syrah and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, from Onetangi, hand-picked and fermented to 14.5% alc., the wine aged 15 months in 26% new French oak barriques. 2,096 bottles made. 18.0-/20 Jul 2017 RRP $46.00

Thomas Waiheke Island Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Cabernet Sauvignon from New Zealand – Northland & Auckland

Full, even, black-red colour with youthful purple hues, a little lighter on edge. The nose is tightly bound and elegantly concentrated with penetrating and pure aromas of blackcurrants and cassis liqueur, along with dark herbs and suggestions of blackcurrant leaf. This has intensity and depth, the core unveiling some pencilly oak notes. Medium-full bodied, the palate has bright, vibrant, rich and juicy blackcurrant fruit flavours with cassis and dark herbs forming a concentrated core. The mouthfeel is lively and fresh, with crisp acidity supporting the fine-grained tannin extraction and structure, The fruit sweetness on the palate has linearity, and carries with plenty of vitality to a long and sustained finish of blackcurrants and cassis. This is a rich, vibrant Cabernet Sauvignon with concentration and clarity of blackcurrant and cassis fruit on a fine-grained palate with a lingering finish. Serve with herb-marinated lamb and beef dishes, and semi-hard cheeses over the next 7-10 years. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Onetangi, hand-picked and fermented to 13.8% alc., the wine aged 15 months in 43% new French oak. 1,549 bottles made. 18.5/20 Jul 2017 RRP $56.00
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