2007 Stonecroft Zinfandel $55
Cool vintage, but hot wine. Zinfandel is best known for its bigger-than-Texas style as a dark coloured, high alcohol, huge big spicy red number from California. New Zealand winemaker Alan Limmer is one of only two Kiwi winemakers currently making a “zin”, and his wine more than lives up to its reputation as huge in every way from its colour, aroma and alcohol level to its flavour and length. If you’re a zin fan, buy and keep it for a few years as it will improve with time.
2007 Babich Gimblett Gravels Gewurztraminer $20
Gone from our minds but not forgotten, gewürztraminers like this are utterly delicious every season. Love its spicy, floral flavours and the just off-dry finish. Chill lightly and kick off a late lazy afternoon with this wine.
2007 Babich Winemakers’ Reserve Marlborough Pinot Noir $30
Even though it is only two years old, this lovely mature, spicy Marlborough pinot noir tastes exceptionally soft and smooth. If you’re looking for a broad shouldered, but soft red wine with plenty of flavour to drink mid-winter, check this out.
2008 Goldridge Estate Premium Reserve Chardonnay $20
Like many New Zealand wineries Goldridge Estate in Matakana north of Auckland sources grapes from further afield for many of its wines. This big-bodied, buttery tasting chardonnay is a good example; made with grapes grown in Matakana and Hawkes Bay. Enjoy it with fresh fish or shellfish.
2008 Goldridge Estate Premium Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc $20
A fresh new sauvignon blanc straight out of Marlborough (albeit made by Matakana-based winery, Goldridge). This is a bright young thing made to drink lightly chilled while the wine is young.
2005 Wishart Hawkes Bay Reserve Chardonnay $25
It’s refreshing to see a wine labeled “reserve” at less than $30, especially one as delicious as this full-bodied, creamy yet subtle big white. It’s another stunner from Hawkes Bay from a little known winery – which deserves to be checked out.
2007 Tinpot Hut Hawkes Bay Syrah $28
This lovely Hawkes Bay syrah arrived on the tasting bench in perfect time for the southerly winter onslaught this week. It’s spicy, fresh but fruit driven all the way from its lovely soft smooth aroma to the rich plum flavours that last through to a lingering finish. Lovely red.