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Auckland, North Island, New Zealand
Wine tour operator, wine writer and lapsed physiotherapist. "Nature abhors a vacuum. I personally hate dusting."


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Wines for the Auckland Winter

Okay. It’s winter already. That means that we pathetic wimpy Aucklanders can pretend it’s freezing and we can break out the puffer jackets and Merino/possum blend cool weather apparel.  June and July generally conspire as an alliterative cold weather coalition, to offer us lower temperatures and a bit of a brisk and cool sou’westerly air flow to enable us to delve into the wardrobes and dressers for our warmer clothing.

And what better excuse than to open some great wines as we retreat from our previously welcoming north-facing decks and patios into our heat-pumped open plan living areas and enjoy some hearty food with our besties. Works for me, anyway.

By the way – from now on, I’ll be giving each wine a subjective score out of a potential 20 points.

Villa Maria Marlborough Dry Riesling 2014 $NZ 16.00  18 points
On the nose, lemon squash and mineral. On the palate, a very delicate and elegant wine at the lower end of the alcohol scale at 12%.
A lovely balance of mouth-watering medium acidity beautifully balanced with a hint of sweetness. Just off-dry, with flavours of lemon squash, mineral water and lime juice. Great with panko fried oysters.

Hidden Treasure Marlborough Pink Sauvignon $NZ 17.00  17 points
A nice blend of Sauvignon Blanc with an unnamed red, this one is a softer rosé style with some red berry fruit flavours complimenting the classic gooseberry and passion fruit flavours of our traditional Sav. Good with a tomato based white fish dish.

Columbia Crest (Washington State USA) H3 Chardonnay 2013 $30.00  19 points
Smells like oak and lime citrus. In the mouth, it’s young and lively with flavours of crisp, nashi pear lime and nectarine, with a hint of toast. Similar style to Kumeu River. Match with Bluff oysters.

Pegasus Bay Waipara Aria Late Pick Riesling 2013 $NZ 38.00 20 points.
Yum yum: smells like honey, beeswax and overripe nectarine. The palate is all about marmalade, honey, nectarine and ripe peach. Sweet but not syrupy, medium acid clean finish and lengthy palate. Nice with tangy cheddar

Ngatarawa Hawkes Bay Proprietor’s Reserve Syrah 2013 $NZ 39.00
19 points
This is a dark brooding Mister Darcy,with black pepper, cherry brandy, Black Forest cake. Full and rich palate of spice and dark stone fruits, with soft to medium tannins. Nice with a rich marinated pepper steak and creamy mushroom sauce.

Columbia Crest H3 (Washington State USA) Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 $NZ 30 19 points
Crimson red colour. Smells like cigar box, spice rack, and cellar dust. Tastes of ripe black Doris plums, spice, mocha, black berry fruit,with medium firm tannins. Match with spicy lamb shank.

Craggy Range Sophia Hawke’s Bay 2013 $NZ 75.00 20 points
Stunning wine that reflects a hot dry vintage. This is a Merlot dominant Bordeaux style blend, with aromas of ripe black summer berry fruits and spice. In the mouth it opens up with lovely ripe and luscious black currant, cherry and spice flavours. Medium soft tannins and a lingering finish. Great with a venison slow cooked casserole.

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