Garbel Prosecco NV $26
Adriano Adami is part of a three-generation winemaking dynasty in North Italy, where he makes beautifully fresh, dry bubbles (aka prosecco) from grapes grown in the Conegliano and wider Valdobbiadene regions. This is a stunning sparkling wine. Light, fresh and nutty in taste, it’s bone dry and reliably better value than many big-name bubbles today. Available at Sabato in Auckland, New Zealand.
Bosca di Gica $27
Made in Italy, launched in New Zealand this month and utterly refreshing on humid late summer nights, this prosecco is a great all-rounder. A good wine to kick off a party or lead into a meal (pre-red wine drinking), it’s also delicious served chilled at the beach on a hot day.
Available at Sabato in Auckland, New Zealand.
2007 Neudorf Nelson Chardonnay $29
Tim Finn, winemaker rather than musician, has created an exceptional chardonnay from grapes grown on his Moutere vineyards in the Nelson hills. I’d even go so far as to say this wine is hugely more approachable than its big sibling; the overtly more expressive, Neudorf Moutere Chardonnay. For an evening with someone special, this medium bodied chardonnay over delivers on value for money with huge flavour concentration – its flavours defy description, erring in the stone fruit spectrum. Think nectarines, white peaches and the smell of rain on river stones…
2007 Neudorf Tom’s Block Nelson Pinot Noir $29
Its makers boldly declare this red to be a food lover’s idea of excellence, whether they’re eating earthy meaty flavours or robust vegetarian food. It is a pinot noir with more wow factor than most. Made from a small crop of pinot noir grapes picked from their Moutere vineyards and supplemented with grapes from Brightwater in Nelson, this red then spent a year in French oak where it mellowed, gaining spicy flavours and softness. It’s a great pinot noir for its price, eclipsing many that cost twice this amount.
2007 Spy Valley Pinot Noir $29
This big-name Marlborough pinot noir is at the soft, fruity, easy drinking end of the wine shelf. It’s a fruit driven wine with red plum flavours and a drink-me-now flavour that makes it approachable today or tonight; although if you have willpower and patience there is no doubt it’ll improve in the next couple of years.
2004 Luddite Shiraz $53
Luddism can mean many things but here it’s about crafting a product by hand. So says the winemaker for this full-bodied, rich and fruity, modern South African red. Even at five years old now, this wine tastes like a babe in the bottle, hinting that it needs a few more years to mellow. That or a decent decanter and a couple of hours to aerate before you enjoy it with a great meal.
Philippe Viret Solstice VII $25
If you think organics and biodynamics are pushing winemaking boundaries, try cosmoculture. Also known as acupuncture for the earth, cosmoculture works on meridians and active points on the earth, placing standing stones on them. Stonehenge for wine, in other words. Winery owners Philippe et Alain Viret in France’s Rhone Valley have created this soft, bright, fruity red via cosmoculture. It is preservative free.