Pick of the bunch

By Michael Cooper In Wine

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20th December, 2012 Leave a Comment
Pick of the bunch


The “fun” part of my working day is just before lunch, when I taste 5-10 wines. Many are young, recently bottled and still a bit raw, but others – like these – are ready to roll.

Astrolabe Taihoa Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2011
From Kekerengu, in southeast Marlborough, this is a distinctive and complex wine, fermented in old oak casks. Far from the regional norm, it is sturdy and rich, rather than crisp and herbaceous, with gentle acidity and a strong surge of ripe melon, lime and nut flavours. $37 5/5

Blind River Tekau Barrel Fermented Sauvignon Blanc 2011
This memorable Marlborough wine celebrates the first decade (tekau is Maori for 10) at Blind River in the Awatere Valley. Barrel-aged for 10 months, it is fleshy and sweet-fruited, deliciously mouthfilling, rich and rounded. $40 5/5

Brown Brothers Patricia Shiraz 2008
This Victorian red is understated compared with many Australian wines – but it’s very classy. Dark and muscular, it has lovely depth of blackcurrant, plum, spice and nut flavours, complex and savoury, and fine, supple tannins giving real drinkability. $56 5/5

Goldie Esslin Merlot 2010
From Waiheke Island’s former Goldwater vineyard, now owned by the University of Auckland, this is a Bordeaux-like red – plummy, spicy and nutty, with impressive complexity and lovely depth and harmony. $60 5/5

Hans Herzog Marlborough Viognier 2010
This outstanding wine is powerful and creamy-textured, with peachy, slightly buttery flavours, a subtle seasoning of oak, notable richness and loads of personality. Certified organic. $44 5/5

Millton Gisborne Chardonnay Opou Vineyard 2010
From an excellent vintage, this is a stylish, youthful wine with peachy, citrusy, slightly buttery flavours, good complexity and lovely freshness, poise and depth. Move fast; stocks are low. Fine value at $27. 4.5/5

Marsovin La Valette 2011
Looking for something totally different? From Malta, this attractive blend of chardonnay, pinot blanc, trebbiano and muscat offers lots of peachy, faintly honeyed flavour, fresh and smooth. (From La Cantina, in Auckland – www.lacantina.co.nz) $19.95 3.5/5


Brookfields Burnfoot Merlot 2011
Drinking well already, this Hawke’s Bay red is mouthfilling, with plummy, spicy, slightly earthy flavours, strong, ripe and firm. Priced sharply at $19.95. 4/5

20th December, 2012 Leave a Comment

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