Spade Oak Methode Blanc de Blancs NV and Tempranillo Rosé 2017
Gate 20 Two Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015
Waitapu Estate ‘Reef View’ Northland Pinotage 2016 and 2015
The Crossings 2017 Sauvignon and Pinot Gris, and 2016 Gruner and Pinot Noir
Whistling Buoy 2016 ‘Kokolo’ Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and ‘Half Acre’ Pinot Noir
Rossendale 2017 Sauvignon Blanc and 2016 Reserve Pinot Noir
The Luminary 2017 Sauvignon Blanc
Waipara Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Gate 20 Two Central Otago 2016 Pinot Gris and 2014 Pinot Noir
Clearview 2017 Blush, Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay, and 2016 Merlot
Urbn Vino Dunedin ‘Reserve’ 2016 Pinot Noir
American and Australian Imports by Procure
Obsidian ‘Estate’ Waiheke Island Chardonnay 2017
Pinot Noir Naturel by Fromm 2017
Te Mania Nelson Riesling 2016 – A Re-Look
The Luminary 2017 Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir
Maori Point Central Otago 2017 Pinot Gris and Riesling
No. 1 Family Estate Rosé and No. 1 Reserve Methodes
Domaine Rewa Central Otago Chardonnay 2016
Spade Oak ‘Voysey’ Le Champ and 2017 Chardonnay, and 2016 ‘HOG’ St Laurent and Tempranillo, and 2016 ‘The Prospect’ Chardonnay
Locharburn 2017 Riesling, Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc
Saint Clair ‘Wairau Reserve’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Clos Henri, Bel Echo and Petit Clos Releases, and New Methode and Late Harvest Wines
Charles Smith Washington State 2015 Riesling, Chardonnay and Syrah
Theory & Practice and Craft Farm Aromatic Wines, 2017, 2016 and 2015
// View More Featured Reviews

Featured Reviews – The On-line Wine Merchant – French

30 August,2017
As one of New Zealand’s successful on-line wine merchant operations, specialises in accessible quality wines that offer good value. Based in Petone in Wellington, efficiently ships orders throughout New Zealand. While much of the portfolio is based on domestic wines, the Archibald family’s buyer Brendon Nottage knows that with French wines there must be a smattering of the traditional and well-recognised wines as well as a strong selection from the up-and-coming, or lesser-known country regions, especially from southern France to ensure good turnover. Here, I review a selection of French Wines.


Pierrick Harang ‘Cuvee Balthazar’ Pays d’Oc Viognier 2016

Viognier from France – Other

Bright, light golden-hued straw-yellow colour with some depth, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is softly full with aromas of ripe apricots and yellow stonefruits, and savoury exotic florals, unfolding nuances of herbs, nuts and citrus zest. The aromatics grow in depth with aeration. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a well-concentrated core of lively yellow stonefruits and apricots with notes of florals and citrus zest. The fruit is bright and vibrant with fresh, lacy acidity enlivening the mouthfeel. The wine flows along a fine phenolic-textured thread and carries to a light but refreshing aromatic finish. This is a fresh, lively, bright-fruited Viognier with stonefruit, apricot, florals and citrus zest flavours and a fine-textured line. Match with Asian and Middle Eastern fare over the next 2-3 years. Fruit from Pepieux, Minevois fermented to 13.0% alc. Winemaker: Pierrick Harang. 17.0/20 Aug 2017 RRP $24.99

Pierrick Harang ‘Cuvee Balthazar’ Pays d’Oc Syrah 2015

Syrah from France – Other

Dark ruby-red colour with a suggestion of purple, lighter on the rim. This has a soft and gently full, moderately packed nose of dark raspberry fruit melded with earthy notes and some black pepper, revealing dark herbs and violet floral elements. Medium-full bodied, the palate has lively flavours of savoury dark raspberry fruit entwined with dark herbs and earthy notes and some black pepper. The fruit sweetness is balanced by hints of bitter herbs and underlined by light, grainy tannin extraction and fresh, lacy acidity. The palate has good presence and flows positively to a softly packed finish of savoury raspberries and earth. This is a lively Syrah with savoury raspberry, earth and herb flavours on a light, grainy-textured palate with good flow. Match with roast lamb and beef dishes over the next 2-3 years. Fruit from La Liviniere fermented by carbonic maceration to 13.5% alc. Winemaker: Pierrick Harang. 16.5/20 Aug 2017 RRP $24.99

Les Eparpillees ‘La Belle Pierrie’ Costieres de Nimes 2015

Blended Red from France – Other

Full, even, dark ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, youthful in appearance. This has a fresh and moderately intense, but vibrantly fruity nose of lifted raspberries and confectionary notes from whole berry fermentation. Medium-full bodied, the palate has bright, aromatic and intense fruit flavours of dark raspberries and cherry fruit lifted by confectionary, floral and jam notes. The fruit has penetration and reveals spice and dark herb elements that add interest. The sweet fruit is underlined by light, grainy tannin providing texture and linearity, and the wine carries to a moderately long finish of dark raspberries and herbs. This is a vibrant, lively, aromatic Costieres de Nimes with raspberry and cherry fruit lifted by confectionary and jam notes on a grainy, linear palate. Match with antipasto, tapas and Mediterranean fare over the next 3 years. A blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah fermented to 13.5% alc. 25% of the wine aged in oak. 16.5+/20 Aug 2017 RRP $19.99

Ch. du Vieux Parc ‘L’Heritage’ Corbieres 2015

Blended Red from France – Other

Even ruby-red colour with slight purple hues, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is tightly bound and slender in presentation with good depth of ripe blackberry and dark raspberry fruit unfolding a little nuttiness. Medium-full bodied, the palate is elegantly proportioned with a good core of well-balanced flavours of dark-red and black-berried fruit, unfolding notes of raspberries and lifted dark-red florals with hints of jam. The fruit is supported by light tannin extraction and flows with good linearity, the underlying acidity lending energy. The wine carries to a sweet-fruited, slightly jammy finish with soft, dry textures. This is a well-proportioned Corbieres with a core of raspberry and black fruits along with plum jam on a light-textured linear palate. Match with barbecued and roasted red meats over the next 3 years. A blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan fermented to 13.5% alc., 25% of the wine aged in barrel. 17.0-/20 Aug 2017 RRP $19.99

Ch. Lamothe Vincent Bordeaux 2015

Blended Red from France – Bordeaux

Dark, deep, black-hued red with slight purple hues on the edge, youthful in appearance. The nose is soft and elegantly concentrated with ripe aromas of dark-red and black plum fruit entwined with subtle blackcurrant and herb notes. This has good depth and unfolds lifted florals. Medium-full bodied, the palate is rich, sweet and juicy with up-front, primary fruit flavours of dark-red plums and redcurrants, with red liquorice notes. The fruit forms a rounded, but concentrated heart, and the mouthfeel is enlivened by soft, fresh acidity. Soft-textured, supple tannins underline the fruit and the wine carries to a well-packed, lingering finish. This is an elegantly concentrated, sweet and juicy, primary-fruited Bordeaux red with dark-red and black plum fruit on a supple palate. Serve with lamb and beef over the next 3-4 years. A blend of 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 9 months on lees in stainless-steel vats and oak barrel. 160,000 bottles made. 17.0+/20 Aug 2017 RRP $19.99

Ch. Franc Laporte St Emilion 2014

Blended Red from France – Bordeaux

Full, even, dark ruby-red colour with a little garnet on the rim. The nose is firm with concentrated and intense aromas of fresh red berry fruit and redcurrants, along with fresh herb nuances and a little resinous oak, unfolding suggestions of fruit-cake and tobacco. Medium full-bodied, the fruit is elegant and well-proportioned in presentation, with concentrated, vibrant flavours of plums entwined with dark herbs, earth and tobacco, unfolding a little resinous oak. The fruit is finely extracted and supported by fine-grained tannins with integrated acidity. As the wine flows, the flavours recede leading to a light nuanced, nuanced finish. This is an elegantly proportioned St Emilion with vibrant flavours of red plums and currants, with tobacco and herb notes, along with a little resinous oak, on a fine-grained palate Match with slow-cooked lamb or semi-hard cheeses over the next 3-4 years. A blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged in oak. 16.0+/20 Aug 2017 RRP $24.99
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