Dominio De Punctum

Dominio De Punctum Viento Aliseo Tempranillo & Petit Verdot 2017 La Mancha, Spain (Bio-dynamic)

What’s really nice about this wine is the bouquet - it takes you on a different journey from so many of the typical wines we see, buy and enjoy - this wine has aromas of dried raspberry, cherry, fragrant too with baking spices of cinnamon and clove and a new sweet meat moment. Dry, fruity and new with flavours that reflect the nose, and textures of medium+ (ish) acidity, noticeable wood layer and complexity that adds an intrigue and style that will suit many palates looking for am alternative red wine experience. Balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2026+.

89 Points

Cameron Douglas
Muddy Water

Muddy Water Pinot Noir 2017 Waipara, North Canterbury

A Pinot Noir bouquet showing off its floral side first with roses and cherry blossom then red apple skin and brown baking spices of oak; fresh, vibrant, varietal and as the wine opens up a complexity begins to emerge offering some intrigue and mystery - as Pinot Noir should do. Youthful, dry, fruity and firm with chalky, fine tannins, medium+ acidity and fruit flavours of red berries and plum. A wine that needs cellar time to relax and develop its real message, story and character. Best drinking from 2021 through 2027.

89 Points

Cameron Douglas
Mahi Wines

Mahi Single Vineyard Alchemy Chardonnay 2017 Marlborough

Immediate, piercing and attention seeking aromas of oak, fruit, minerality and wood spices of a young and vibrant new release Chardonnay. Wood spices of vanilla and wine-making suggestions of flint and minerality then grapefruit, white peach, lemon, apple and honeyed quince. Weighty, dry, textured and delicious. What’s so appealing about this wine is the tease and tension of texture from acidity and fine wood tannins, familiar flavours, but in combinations that suggest new versions of fruit and spice as well as a completeness and satisfaction. Drinkable now, but better from late 2021 through 2028.

95 Points

Cameron Douglas
Jules Taylor Wines

Jules Taylor Pinot Gris 2018 Marlborough

Vibrant bouquet with aromas of orange and pear, apples and leesy spices of ginger and beer, floral, inviting, fruity and varietal. Just dry on the palate with a core of fruit teasing the taste buds alongside a fresh acid line. Satin texture, fresh and lively fruit flavours with a floral moment adding intrigue and complexity. A balanced and well made wine ready to enjoy. Drink now and through 2022.

89 Points

Cameron Douglas
Pegasus Bay

Pegasus Bay Riesling 2016 Waipara Valley, North Canterbury

Distinctive, intensely varietal and ripe with aromas of lemon and apple, jasmine and blossoms, flinty, stony mineral core and a pure overall expression. Fantastic flavour and impact on the palate with honeysuckle and quince, apple and apricot stone, white peach and lemon peel. Noticeable acidity, light weight, pure and fresh, a citrus peel, spice and floral lift on the finish. Balanced and well made. Drinking well now and through 2026+

96 Points

Cameron Douglas
Pegasus Bay

Pegasus Bay Aged Release Pinot Noir 2009 Waipara Valley North Canterbury

Immediately compelling and inviting bouquet of Pinot Noir with developing aromas of red berry fruits, oak spices of cedar, vanilla and moments of cinnamon; earthy suggestions of mushroom, dry stones, clay and chalk. Even more delicious on the palate with a fine yet detailed package of fruit flavours that reflect the nose, an engaging texture with fine chalky tannins, medium acidity and a complexity that encourages more tasting. Balanced and well made with a long finish. A wine still on its way to its final peak. Drinking well now and through 2025.

96 Points

Cameron Douglas
Jacobs Creek

Jacobs Creek Barossa Signature Shiraz 2017 Barossa South Australia

Many classic aromas including black currant and raspberry, black pepper and olive. A distinctive toasty smoky layer and licorice note. On the palate - fruity, dry, spicy and firm with medium tannins, medium+ acidity and flavours that match the nose. Well made and ready to drink. Best from today and through 2024.

88 Points

Cameron Douglas
Craggy Range

Craggy Range Les Beaux Cailloux Chardonnay 2017 Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay

A complex and interesting bouquet of Chardonnay centering on aromas and flavours of white peach and apple skin, some grapefruit and preserved citrus fruit notes, new oak with a sweet vanilla extract with a gun-flint stony soil layer. Firm, dry, youthful and complex. A young wine still requiring additional cellar time to fully harmonise and reveal its true self. Medium+ weight, fine oak tannins, plenty of acidity and lengthy intriguing finish. Well made, just needs time in your cellar. Best from 2022 through 2032.

96 Points

Cameron Douglas
Stonecroft Wines

Stonecroft Wines Reserve Syrah 2016 Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay

Smoky, peppery, dark red berries, raspberry and black currant, brown spices, toasty wood and smoked meats. There’s a layer of gravelly dry stone earthy qualities and baked field mushroom. Dry, weighty, fruity and complex. Also quite youthful with a firm structure of tannin and acidity, newish oak then a core of fruit reflecting the aromas package. Decant for service with best drinking from late 2020 through 2026.

95 Points

Cameron Douglas
X Wines

X Wines Basket Pressed Syrah 2018 Marlborough

Fresh, vibrant and fruit centric bouquet of Syrah. Aromas of fresh raspberry, red cherry, some red apple skin, sweet violet and sweet meat. No mistaking the red peppercorn and spice layer. Equally fresh and vibrant on the palate with flavours that mirror the nose. Plenty of acidity and firm, youthful and ripe tannins and moderate oak. Quite plush and fresh on the finish. Well made, quite lengthy and immediately drinkable. Best drinking from mid to late 2020 through 2026.

91 Points

Cameron Douglas
Cable Bay

Cable Bay Syrah 2017 Waiheke Island, Auckland

Distinctive yet forward bouquet of Syrah with an immediate varietal signature of raspberry and peppercorn. Some toasty oak and wood smoke, clove and vanilla add complexity and depth. Floral moments of violet and a little rose. These aromas repeat as flavours on the palate with firm chalky tannins and medium+ acidity. Flavours of red cherry and raspberry then oak - quite persistent with moderate oak and weight. A very nice wine, immediately enjoyable on its own or with food. Best from today and through 2024.

94 Points

Cameron Douglas
Pegasus Bay

Pegasus Bay Pinot Noir 2016 Waipara Valley, North Canterbury

Intense, vibrant, fruity and varietal bouquet of Pinot Noir. Aromas of toasty wood and spices, plum, dark cherry and some forest berry notes. A distinctive clay, gravel and dry stone mineral layer adding complexity and depth. Fleshy, fruity and dry on the palate with some youthful tannins and acidity to match. Fruit and earth flavours mirror the nose especially the cherry and plum. A light savoury dried herb layer on the finish adds to the length and concentration. A well made wine ready to enjoy. Decant for service with best drinking late 2020 through 2026.

93 Points

Cameron Douglas
Anthony Joseph Vidal of Hawkes Bay

Vidal Reserve Chardonnay 2018 Hawkes Bay

A very inviting bouquet of Chardonnay with aromas of vanilla baked custard, peaches and ripe apple. Some toasty wood scents and a little dry stone earth qualities. Equally appealing on the palate with a creamy texture, very fine tannins, nice acid line and flavours of yellow orchard fruits and a little citrus. Balanced, well made and ready to enjoy. Drink well now and through 2023.

90 Points

Cameron Douglas
Hancock and Sons

Hancock & Sons Lillies Rosé 2018 Hawkes Bay

A fresh and lively bouquet with aromas of rose and saffron, peach and red apple with a light core of dry stone minerality. Just dry on the palate with a whisper of sweetness, but also very fruity; crisp and refreshing with flavours that mirror the nose. Balanced and well made with a fine mealy texture and moderate finish. Drink now and through 2020.

88 Points

In 1861 the sailing ship ‘Lillies’ left St Austell in Cornwall bound for Adelaide. Aboard were the great-great-grandparents of John Hancock - the architect and senior winemaker for Hancock & Sons.

Cameron Douglas
Anthony Joseph Vidal of Hawkes Bay

Vidal Reserve Syrah 2017 Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay

Immediately appealing bouquet of Syrah with aromas of raspberry and dark cherry, peppercorn and vanilla oak spice, a violet and plum layer and fresh youthful vibrancy. Dry, peppery, fruity and tasty. A wine with firm(ish) tannins, plenty of acidity and a core of red stone fruit and raspberry. Well made, balanced and ready to enjoy. Drink now and through 2022.

90 Points

Cameron Douglas
Cable Bay

Cable Bay Pinot Noir 2017 Awatere Valley, Marlborough

The Cable Bay team have sourced some really nice fruit from Marlborough to produce this wine. With aromas of cranberry, red cherry, plum and rose; a mild core of savoury dried herb and spice and light to moderate oak. The bouquet has a fresh and youthful appeal. On the palate the wine is as expected - varietal and dry with a youthful grip of tannins and acidity contrasted with flavours of red berry fruits, some baking spice, dried herb and stony minerality. Overall a nice wine, perhaps best with food while bottle development continues. Best drinking without food from late 2020 through 2024.

89 Points

Cameron Douglas
Stonecroft

Stonecroft Chardonnay 2018 Hawkes Bay

Lots of toasty smoky aromas laced with yellow stone fruits of peach, apple and apricot, sweet oak spices and a decent complexity. Dry on the palate, just touching the full-bodied marker. A tense and youthful core of flavours led by grapefruit, stone fruits and apple. Brazil nut, smoked butter and vanilla follow - so no mistaking the impact of oak. This will settle and integrate if you allow time in cellar. Medium+ acidity and alcohol. Overall a lovely wine, well made and immediately enjoyable. Best drinking from early 2020 through 2024+.

89 Points

Cameron Douglas
Te Mata Estate

Te Mata Estate Pinot Noir 2018 Hawkes Bay

Immediately varietal, tense and focused bouquet of Pinot Noir. Dark cherry and a host of light red berry fruits, savoury note and fresh baking spices. Dry, tense and youthful on the palate with a core of fruit and savoury spice power. Firm tannins and acidity plus there’s no mistaking the oak even at 15% new – it’s spice and sweetness alongside the savoury whole bunch layer adds complexity. Nice medium weight and lengthy finish. A wine with lots of energy still needing some cellar time to settle in. Decant for service with best drinking from late 2020 through 2024. 93 Points

 

Te Mata Estate Alma Pinot Noir 2018 Hawkes Bay

A very expressive velvet-textured bouquet showing lots of youthful power and energy as well as a core of fruit, oak and savoury complexity. Perfectly weighted on the palate, dry, savoury and fruity with a plum, cherry and spice flavour package. Whispers of dark rose and stony minerality. There’s no mistaking the impact of oak and whole bunch approach, but there’s enough weight and fruit to carry this aspect.  Tannins and acidity are abundant. Overall a very nice wine, very young with an inherent complexity that should carry it well into the bottle developed phase. Best decanted for service with ideal drinking 2021 through 2026. 94 Points

Cameron Douglas
X Wines

X Wines The Sunday Paddock Pinot Noir 2018 Marlborough

A very young wine on the nose with crisp, tart red fruit aromas of red cherry and raspberry. A mix of minerality and oak spices then a light rose scent. Dry, crisp, youthful and tart with red berries as described, plenty of acidity and firm youthful yet fine and ripe tannins. Great texture and with a light savoury core and decent length this wine needs some bottle development time, but should reward. Decant for service and serve with food. Best drinking from late 2020 through 2026.

89 Points

Cameron Douglas
Church Road Tom Release 2019

Church Road Tom Chardonnay 2016 Hawkes Bay

From 100% Tuki Tuki Vineyard fruit - The bouquet of this Chardonnay is impressive beginning with an elegant, flinty, leesy note, quite complex with sweet spices of oak, then lemon, grapefruit and white peach. A complete wine on the palate with fruit and oak flavours that mirror the nose. Fine wood tannins, medium+ acidity, creamy texture and long dry finish. With 43% New French Oak and whole bunch press being used adds to a youthful structure overall. The flinty note returns adding complexity and charm. Balanced and well made, great with food. Drinking well now and through 2024. 95 Points

This Chardonnay is actually the best and most modern expression I’ve had from the TOM range.

Winemaker Chris Scott suggests this wine has five to six years ageing and maturation potential ahead. He for sure knows his wine best. I wholly agree, but with great cellar conditions this wine can easily mature through 2026.

Church Road Tom Syrah 2015 Hawkes Bay

Crafted using concrete fermenters and an old Cuve, 33 days on skins, 42% New French Oak and 22 Months Barrel ageing.

A complex and very appealing bouquet of Syrah with aromas of violets and red flowers, dark berries, an abundance oak wood aromas and pepper. Complex on the palate with mealy tannins, loads of acidity, flavours of dark berries, clove and a little chocolate. A youthful wine still with tension and concentration. The tannins become a little finer as the wine opens up glass (Zalto perfect for this wine). Lengthy finish, a wine that will age well through 2025. Store properly and this wine will reward. 95.5 Points

Church Road Tom Cabernet Merlot 2015 Hawkes Bay

This really is the foundation of Tom McDonald’s vision - a full-bodied Hawkes Bay red wine based on Cabernet. If he were with us today I’m sure he’d be very proud of the work winemaker Chris Scott has done.

A bouquet of a very young wine still with dark berry fruits, spics and new leather. Violets and plums, dark spices and tobacco, bell-pepper and smoky wood. Dry on the palate with youthful, quite powerful tannins, matched with acidity and a core of fruit. Flavours of dark berries, sweet oak and violets, plenty of youthful tension and quite Bordeaux like. After 30 minutes in glass (Zalto perfect for this wine) the wine begins to show what it may be like in five years from now. A lovely example, very young, great potential. Best from 2022 through 2032. 95 Points

Cameron Douglas