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Gale Force Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Posted: May 1, 2019

Grown in the Awatere Valley, this is an aromatic, strongly herbaceous style, still fresh and lively. Crisp, with punchy, dry, green capsicum-like flavours, it’s ready to roll. Fine value. (From Clark Estate.) $12

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Gale Force Marlborough Pinot Noir 2017

Posted: May 1, 2019

Grown in the Wairau Valley, this red is bargain-priced. Bright ruby, it is full-bodied and vibrantly fruity, with youthful vigour, good depth of fresh, plummy, slightly herbal flavours, and a touch of complexity. Drink now-2020. (From Clark Estate.) $15

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Moutere Hills Nelson Pinot Gris 2018

Posted: May 1, 2019

Fresh, medium-bodied, single-vineyard wine, hand-picked and mostly tank-fermented (10% oak-aged.) Light lemon/green, it has good depth of citrusy, slightly spicy flavours, showing a touch of complexity, lively, balanced acidity and a fully dry finish. $25

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Mount Riley The Bonnie Marlborough Pinot Rosé 2018

Posted: May 1, 2019

Bright pink, this is a blend of pinot noir (62%) and pinot gris (38%). An off-dry style, it has vibrant peach, strawberry and spice flavours, showing good depth, gentle acidity, and a slightly sweet, very smooth finish. $18 (A, UK,…

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Mount Riley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Posted: May 1, 2019

Lively, medium-bodied style, with fresh, tropical fruit flavours and a herbaceous undercurrent. Good depth and delicacy, with a finely balanced, crisp finish. Priced sharply. $16 (A, UK, US)

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Mount Riley Marlborough Pinot Noir 2017

Posted: May 1, 2019

Fresh and lively, with more complexity than you’d expect at its modest price. Matured for nine months in French oak barriques, it is ruby hued, with very good body and depth of ripe cherry, plum and spice flavours, showing some…

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Mount Riley Marlborough Chardonnay 2017

Posted: May 1, 2019

Skilfully balanced for early drinking, this wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks (30%) and French oak barriques (70%). It has a fragrant, slightly buttery bouquet, leading into a full-bodied palate with generous, peachy, citrusy, slightly toasty flavours, balanced acidity…

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Haha Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Posted: May 1, 2019

Fresh, medium-bodied wine, strongly varietal, with good depth of lively passionfruit, green capsicum and lime flavours, crisp and dry. It’s drinking well now. $18 (A)

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Stoneleigh Wild Valley Marlborough Rosé 2018

Posted: May 1, 2019

Delicious now, this vivacious, pinot noir-based rosé was fermented with indigenous yeasts (hence the ‘Wild’ Valley). Bright pink, it is fragrant, with lively strawberry, watermelon and spice flavours and a dryish, smooth, finely balanced finish. Good value. $18

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Stoneleigh Wild Valley Marlborough Pinot Gris 2018

Posted: May 1, 2019

Already drinking well, this fragrant, finely balanced wine was fermented with indigenous (‘wild’) yeasts, and handled with some use of oak fermentation. Bright, light yellow/green, it is an off-dry style, with generous, peachy, spicy flavours, showing a touch of complexity,…

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Renato Nelson Chardonnay 2017

Posted: May 1, 2019

Already drinking well, but worth cellaring, this estate-grown wine was fermented and matured for 10 months in French oak barriques (20% new). Bright, light yellow/green, it is full-bodied, with vigorous, ripe, stonefruit flavours, showing good concentration and complexity, slightly toasty…

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Pask Gimblett Gravels Small Batch Hawke’s Bay Viognier 2018

Posted: May 1, 2019

Well worth cellaring, this youthful wine was cool-fermented in stainless steel tanks and barriques, then matured and lees-stirred in oak puncheons. Pale straw, it is fresh and mouthfilling, with generous, ripe, stonefruit flavours, showing a distinct touch of complexity, and…

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Mount Riley Marlborough Pinot Gris 2018

Posted: May 1, 2019

Fragrant and full-bodied, this is a great buy. Grown in the Wairau and Awatere valleys, and made with a small amount of barrel fermentation, it has excellent varietal character, with strong pear and spice flavours, a touch of complexity, and…

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Mount Riley Limited Release Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Posted: May 1, 2019

Priced sharply, this is a single-vineyard, Awatere Valley wine. Light lemon/green, it is aromatic, with fresh, pure, ripely herbaceous flavours, showing good intensity, and a crisp, dry, lingering finish. $18 (UK)

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Mount Brown Estates North Canterbury Pinot Gris 2018

Posted: May 1, 2019

Offering great value, this attractively scented wine is mouthfilling and softly textured, with strong peach and pear flavours, slightly spicy notes, gentle acidity and an off-dry finish. A generous, finely balanced wine, it’s already drinking well. $16

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Main Divide North Canterbury Riesling 2016

Posted: May 1, 2019

Enjoyable now, this richly varietal Waipara wine is a distinctly medium style. Bright, light yellow/green, it has generous, citrusy, peachy, slightly spicy flavours, a hint of honey, fresh acidity, and excellent immediacy and harmony. (From Pegasus Bay). $21 (A, UK)

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Jackson Estate Stich Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Posted: May 1, 2019

Fresh, aromatic wine, medium to full-bodied, with excellent depth of ripe passionfruit/lime flavours. Finely balanced, with appetising acidity and a dry, lingering finish. $21

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Domain Road Vineyard Central Otago Bannockburn Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Posted: May 1, 2019

Aromatic, with a slightly grassy bouquet, this punchy wine was estate-grown at two Bannockburn sites. Pale lemon/green, it is mouthfilling, with vibrant, clearly varietal, slightly nettley flavours, a touch of complexity, and a dry, lingering finish. Best drinking 2020+. $23

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Dancing Petrel Paewhenua Island Mangonui Northland Viognier 2018

Posted: May 1, 2019

From a coastal vineyard in the Far North, this freshly scented, light lemon/green wine is full-bodied and vibrantly fruity, with generous, ripe, peachy, slightly spicy flavours and a dry finish. Still youthful, it should be at its best 2020+. $24

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Clark Estate Upper Wairau Marlborough Pinot Noir 2017

Posted: May 1, 2019

Worth cellaring, this single-vineyard red is bright ruby, with good body and depth. It has fresh, youthful, plummy, spicy flavours, with savoury notes adding complexity, and a fairly firm finish. Open 2020+. $24 (UK)

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Clark Estate Upper Awatere Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Posted: May 1, 2019

Full of youthful impact, this is a vibrant, punchy wine with incisive, freshly herbaceous flavours and a dry, appetisingly crisp finish. Already very expressive, it should be at its best now-2020. $19 (UK)

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Clark Estate Classic Marlborough Riesling 2018

Posted: May 1, 2019

Delicious young, this attractively scented wine was grown in the upper Awatere Valley. Pale straw, it is fresh, medium-bodied and crisp, with a gentle splash of sweetness and generous, ripe, peachy flavours, showing good vigour and length. Balanced for easy…

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Clark Estate Blackbirch Marlborough Pinot Gris 2018

Posted: May 1, 2019

Lively, youthful, Awatere Valley wine. Invitingly scented, it is mouthfilling, with ripe, stonefruit flavours, showing good vigour and intensity, fresh acidity and a dryish, finely balanced finish. Best drinking 2020+. $19 (UK)

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Brancott Estate Letter Series ‘T’ Marlborough Pinot Noir 2017

Posted: May 1, 2019

Still youthful, this savoury wine was barrel-aged for nine months. Ruby hued, it is fragrant and full-bodied, with ripe, plummy, spicy flavours, showing good complexity, and a fairly firm finish. Best drinking mid-2020+. $25 (A, US)

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Pegasus Bay North Canterbury Pinot Noir 2016

Posted: May 1, 2019

Estate-grown at Waipara, this fragrant, deep ruby wine is full-bodied and rich. It has deep cherry and plum flavours, with hints of herbs and spices, fresh acidity, and a very harmonious finish. Already delicious, it should be at its best…

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Pask Declaration Gimblett Gravels Methode Traditionnelle 2010

Posted: May 1, 2019

This nine year-old Hawke’s Bay bubbly is mature, but still extremely lively. Closed with a crown seal, it is a blend of barrel-fermented chardonnay (80%) and pinot noir (20%), disgorged after seven years on its yeast lees. Blended in early…

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Jackson Estate Vintage Widow Marlborough Pinot Noir 2015

Posted: May 1, 2019

Offering good value, this red was hand-picked at two sites in the Southern Valleys and matured for 10 months in French oak barriques. Fragrant and full-coloured, it is mouthfilling, sweet-fruited, savoury and supple, with cherry, plum and spice flavours, showing…

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Domain Road Road The Water Race Central Otago Bannockburn Dry Riesling 2017

Posted: May 1, 2019

Highly scented, this vigorous, youthful wine is dryish, rather than bone-dry. Bright, light lemon/green, it is medium-bodied, with penetrating, vibrant, citrusy flavours, firm acid spine and obvious potential; open 2021+. $25

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Domain Road Road Duffers Creek Central Otago Bannockburn Riesling 2017

Posted: May 1, 2019

Approachable now, this is a medium style, hand-picked at two sites. Bright, light lemon/green, it is invitingly scented, with strong, vibrant. citrusy, slightly appley flavours, a gentle splash of sweetness, appetising acidity, and a long finish. Full of youthful vigour,…

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Domain Road Road Defiance Vineyard Central Otago Chardonnay 2017

Posted: May 1, 2019

Well worth cellaring, this Bannockburn wine was fermented and lees-stirred for 10 months in French oak barriques (35% new). Light lemon/green, it has a fresh, citrusy, slightly smoky bouquet, showing good complexity. An elegant, youthful wine, it is tightly structured,…

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Domain Road Central Otago Bannockburn Pinot Noir 2016

Posted: May 1, 2019

Estate-grown at two sites, this is a very ageworthy red. Deep ruby, with a fragrant, savoury bouquet, it is full-bodied and sweet-fruited, with youthful cherry, plum, spice and nut flavours, showing excellent complexity and length. Best drinking 2021+. $40

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Clericus Wild Marlborough Pinot Noir 2017

Posted: May 1, 2019

Still unfolding, this Wairau Valley red is deep ruby, with a fragrant, savoury, slightly herbal bouquet. Full-bodied, it has concentrated plum, herb and spice flavours, complex and savoury, fine-grained tannins and a lengthy finish. Best drinking mid-2020+. (From Clark Estate.)…

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Clericus Wild Pinot Gris 2016

Posted: May 1, 2019

Showing plenty of personality, this Awatere Valley wine was made with use of indigenous yeasts and oak. Light yellow/green, it is medium to full-bodied, with concentrated stonefruit and spice flavours, hints of ginger and honey, good complexity, and a gently…

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Clark Estate Block 8 Marlborough Riesling 2017

Posted: May 1, 2019

This elegant, Mosel-like wine offers good value. Grown in the upper Awatere Valley, it is fresh, light (8% alc/vol) and lively, with strong, citrusy, slightly appley flavours, a distinct splash of sweetness, firm acid spine, and obvious cellaring potential. Tangy,…

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Church Road McDonald Series Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2017

Posted: May 1, 2019

This ageworthy, intensely varietal red was grown in the Gimblett Gravels and Bridge Pa Triangle. Deeply coloured, with a highly fragrant, fresh, spicy bouquet, it is mouthfilling, with strong, youthful, plum and black pepper flavours, showing good complexity, and a…

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Church Road McDonald Series Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2017

Posted: May 1, 2019

Still youthful, this refined wine was hand-picked and barrel-fermented with indigenous yeasts. Bright, light yellow/green, it is mouthfilling, with a slightly toasty bouquet, strong, vibrant, peachy flavours, showing good complexity, and fresh acidity keeping things lively. Open 2020+. $25 (A)

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Church Road McDonald Series Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Posted: May 1, 2019

This is a powerful, bold style of cabernet sauvignon, with dense, still purple-flushed colour. Grown in the Bridge Pa Triangle, it is robust (14.5% alc/vol), with concentrated, well-ripened blackcurrant, red berry and spice flavours, rich and smooth. Approachable now, but…

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Church Road Gwen Hawke’s Bay Rosé 2018

Posted: May 1, 2019

Made in a fully dry style, this is a merlot-based rosé, with splashes of tempranillo and malbec. Very pale pink, it is vibrantly fruity, with strong, yet delicate peach, strawberry and spice flavours, fresh acidity, and a long finish. $27

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Ceres Swansong Central Otago Bannockburn Pinot Gris 2018

Posted: May 1, 2019

Invitingly scented, single-vineyard wine, full-bodied and fleshy. Concentrated, ripe stonefruit flavours, with gentle spicy notes and an off-dry, creamy-textured finish. Already enjoyable, but well worth cellaring. $28 (UK) (US)

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Brancott Estate Letter Series ‘O’ Marlborough Chardonnay 2017

Posted: May 1, 2019

Made in an upfront style, this wine was hand-picked, fermented with indigenous yeasts in French oak barriques (38% new), and given a full, softening malolactic fermentation. Bright, light yellow/green, it has a fragrant, smoky bouquet, mouthfilling body and strong, ripe,…

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Wild Earth Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016

Posted: May 1, 2019

This lovely young red is a single-vineyard Bannockburn wine, estate-grown and matured for 11 months in French oak barriques (22% new). Deep ruby, it is finely perfumed, mouthfilling and supple, with strong, vibrant cherry, plum and spice flavours, excellent complexity,…

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Pegasus Bay Bel Canto Dry Riesling 2017

Posted: May 1, 2019

This distinctive Waipara, North Canterbury wine is from the estate’s oldest, ungrafted vines, picked late with ‘a good portion of noble botrytis’. A very powerful, weighty wine (14.5% alc/vol), it is bright, light yellow/green, with concentrated, peachy flavours, hints of…

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Moutere Hills Sarau Reserve Nelson Chardonnay 2016

Posted: May 1, 2019

Classy, sweet-fruited young wine, hand-picked at Upper Moutere and barrel-fermented. Rich, grapefruit and peach flavours, with a strong sense of youthful drive, mealy, savoury notes adding complexity, and a long, very harmonious finish. Distinctive, refined wine, still unfolding. Open 2020+….

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Jackson Estate Somerset Block 2 Single Vineyard Waihopai Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Posted: May 1, 2019

Probably at its peak, this is an intensely varietal, high impact style. Full-bodied, it has fresh, penetrating, tropical fruit flavours, good acid spine, just a hint of bottle-aged toastiness, and a crisp, dry, lasting finish. $29

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Greystone Waipara Valley North Canterbury Pinot Gris 2018

Posted: May 1, 2019

Already delicious, this powerful, robust, single-vineyard wine was mostly handled in tanks, with a small amount of barrel fermentation. Pale straw, it is concentrated, with rich stonefruit and spice flavours, a vague hint of honey (from a small amount of…

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Greystone Waipara Valley North Canterbury Chardonnay 2017

Posted: May 1, 2019

This richly fragrant, weighty wine was barrel-fermented with indigenous yeasts. Bright yellow/green, it is powerful, deep and complex, with lush, vibrant, peachy, gently toasty flavours, balanced acidity, and a long, very harmonious finish. Best drinking 2021+. $39

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Domain Road Paradise Single Vineyard Bannockburn Pinot Noir 2013

Posted: May 1, 2019

Set for a long life, this full-bodied, dense red was matured for over a year in French oak casks (33% new). Still moderately youthful in colour, it has concentrated cherry, plum, spice and nut flavours, showing excellent complexity, and a…

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Clericus Wild Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Posted: May 1, 2019

Maturing gracefully, this distinctive wine was grown in the Awatere Valley and made with indigenous yeasts and ‘intelligent use of oak’. Bright, light yellow/green, it is full-bodied, with deep, still lively, tropical fruit flavours, some herbal notes, finely integrated oak,…

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Church Road Grand Reserve Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2016

Posted: May 1, 2019

Lovely already, but full of potential, this Gimblett Gravels red was matured for 17 months in French oak barriques. It has bold, youthful colour, with a spicy, highly fragrant bouquet. Very rich and supple, it is packed with blackcurrant, plum…

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Church Road Grand Reserve Hawke’s Bay Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Posted: May 1, 2019

This powerful, classy, fragrant red was blended from merlot (86%) and cabernet sauvignon (14%), grown in the Bridge Pa Triangle and Gimblett Gravels, and was French oak-aged for 20 months. The colour is dark and youthful; the palate robust and…

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