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Wine tour operator, wine writer and lapsed physiotherapist. "Nature abhors a vacuum. I personally hate dusting."

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Ten Top New Zealand Whites. Or – what I drank in the holidays


Over the last few months of warmer weather, white wines have dominated our drinking at home.
Here's a lineup of some NZ great whites.


Domain Road Defiance Central Otago Pinot Gris 2016 $20.95
A light and fruity refreshing wine, ideal for warm weather. Smells a bit like lemon squash and nectarines. Best served a tad chilled – maybe 30 min in the fridge. Flavours of Rose’s Lime Juice, with a hint of pineapple, nectarine and juniper.

Soljans Estate Marlborough Riesling 2016 $19.00
This one should please hard-core Riesling fans. Pale gold colour, with aromas of beeswax, honey and nectarine. Crisp and just off-dry, it has flavours of guava, honeysuckle and clover honey with a dry and tangy crisp finish.

Toi Toi Reserve Marlborough Riesling 2014 $22.00
Classic beeswax and citrus aromas and a nice green gold colour in the glass.
Just nudging off-dry at 12% alcohol, in the mouth it’s crisp and fruity with flavours of sultana, mandarin and apricot. Lengthy aftertaste. A great NZ Riesling that has garnered many awards.

Fairhall Downs Single Vineyard Marlborough Pinot Gris 2016 $24
Stone fruit and floral aromas. Opens up in the glass with Nashi pear, nectarine, nice and mouth-fulling with a hint of oak.

Gladstone Vineyard Viognier 2016 $25.00
Hailing from Carterton. Smells like blond tobacco and honey. In the mouth, it’s rich and slightly oily with a good hit of 14% alcohol. Flavours of ripe peach, pineapple, lime and orange peel. Dry lengthy finish.

Matawhero Church House Gisborne Chenin Blanc 2016 $25.00
Fresh, crisp and zingy - this one has aromas of lime and lemon with a hint of nectarine. On the palate, it has crisp mouth-watering acidity and flavours of Nashi pear, lime citrus and honeysuckle.

Ngatarawa Stables Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2016 $16.00
Aromas of toffee apple, lemon zest and lime squash. Easy drinking style. Very creamy palate with ripe pineapple and raw cashew, with a tad of pineapple and a soft acid finish.

Dry River Martinborough Chardonnay 2015 $55.00
A lean, classy and elegant style (imagine … Gwyneth Paltrow in a white designer dress, with an enigmatic smile) similar to Kumeu River Mate’s Vineyard premium chard. Smells like hay, clover honey, tonic water and vanilla pod. In the mouth, it is crisp and dry with a lengthy aftertaste. Flavours of quince, fresh cut pineapple, almond nougat and a hint of clover honey.

Domain Road Defiance Central Otago Chardonnay 2015 $28.00
Very classy Chard from Central. On the nose, it’s hazel nuts, stone fruit and citrus. Swished around in the mouth it opens up with crisp fruit, minerality and a dry finish. Flavours of toasty vanilla oak, peach and a hint of herbs.  Dry and lengthy finish.

Pegasus Bay Waipara Gewürztraminer  2016 $28.00
Even as a youngster, this wine has a huge amount of depth and complexity. Aged in old oak barrels and using some Botrytised fruit, it has a gold colour in the glass and aromas of honey and crystallised ginger. In the mouth, it is oily, ripe, rich and mouth-filling. A symphony of canned peach, nectarine, Manuka honey, ginger in syrup, and lemon zest with a surprisingly dry finish.


For local availability – I highly recommend searching http://www.wine-searcher.com/

Phil runs the Best Golly Gosh Darned Wine Tours in New Zealand 

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