Tantalus

Tantalus 'Cachette' Reserve Chardonnay 2016 Waiheke Island

An almost sweet bouquet with a distinctive aroma of new oak and ripe fruit with white and yellow peach then some baked citrus and brown baking spices. Bold and intense palate with a rich and creamy texture; flavours of burnt butter and vanilla oak laced with wood spice. Full-bodied, youthful and dry with some no holds barred moments. Fruit flavours from the nose return maintaining intensity and drive. A wine needing some cellar time to find its happy place. Best from 2019 through 2026.

90 Points

Cameron Douglas
Pegasus Bay

Pegasus Bay Chardonnay 2016 Waipara North Canterbury

Very attractive bouquet of Chardonnay with aromas and flavours of roasted cashew and brazil nut, baked yellow stone fruits and baking spices. Dry with a decent weighty structure, medium+ yet balanced alcohol, similar level of acidity and a wild honey and citrus layer. Quite complex with a lactic and wild honey bite, tasty and very moreish. Lengthy finish, balanced and well-made. Drinking well now and through 2024.

94 Points

Cameron Douglas
Hawkshead Vineyard

Hawkshead Vineyard 'First Vines' Pinot Noir 2014 Central Otago

Fruity and varietal with a youthful smoky, spiced core laced with dark cherry and a mixed baking spice layers. Dry, very tense and youthful with firm fruit and oak tannins, quite steely in texture too, the wood-smoke ideas remain with dark red berry fruit flavours, twigs and undergrowth, stones and dry clay. A wine that needs a lot more integration time in cellar. Best from 2020 through 2028.

88 Points

Cameron Douglas
Burn Cottage

Burn Cottage Pinot Noir 2016 Central Otago

A complex and youthful bouquet of red berry fruits, earth and wood messages; cherry and plum with some red apple notes, a steely youthful layer with exposed earth, stones and wild flower aromas. Dry, firm, youthful and intense with vibrant tannins showing off some chalky texture, mineral earthy attributes, red berry fruits and wild flowers, a slightly warm moment soon disppears. A lovely example still developing. Drinking best from late 2019 through 2027.

94 Points

Cameron Douglas
Mills Reef Winery

Mills Reef 'Elspeth' Chardonnay 2015 Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay

Bold, rich, expressive, fruity, oaky and appealing with great aromatics. Dry, full-bodied and richly textured Chardonnay with many appealing flavours of roasted yellow stone fruits then vanilla, lees derived textures and wood spices. Complex and flavourful with ripe fruit, fine wood tannins and long finish. Drink now and through 2022.

94 Points

Cameron Douglas
Tantalus

Tantalus  Voile Reserve Syrah 2015 Waiheke Island

Concentrated, spicy, toasty and fruity. Packed with the aromas of dark cherry, black currant, black berry and wood spice. Dry, full-bodied and quite powerful on the palate with flavours of pepper laced blackberry fruits, baked cherry, clove and vanilla wood flavours. No mistaking the tannins and acid line - both bold yet needed to off-set the core of fruit and overall power. Youthful overall and will age well given the chance. Best from 2020 through 2030.

95 Points

Cameron Douglas
Main Divide

Main Divide by The Donaldson Family Chardonnay 2016 Waipara Valley North Canterbury

Distinctive and alluring bouquet of Chardonnay with a spicy barrel and ripe fruit aromas; roasted peach, overripe lemon peel, grapefruit and apple; vanilla and nutty  sweet oak moments. Dry, nutty, creamy and spicy, tasty and delicious. Fine oak tannins and medium+ acidity, vanilla and roasted stone fruit flavours with a fine mineral line squeezed through the middle. What's not to like! Drink now and through 2022.

92 Points

Cameron Douglas
Brick Bay

Brick Bay Pinot Gris 2017 Matakana (Auckland)

Distinctive pure fruited bouquet of Gris with aromas of D'Anjou pear, apple, a hint of quince and gentle pear-skin spice layer; attractive and alluring. Just dry on the palate with a gentle creamy texture from a whisper of residual sugar; the acidity kicks in quickly to add contrast and texture as well as freshness. Flavours reflect the nose with a lush and fleshy tree fruits & some white stone fruit notes. Lengthy finish with a light spice note. 

94 Points

Cameron Douglas
Tantalus

Tantalus 'Ecluse' Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot 2016 Waiheke Island

Big, bold oaky bouquet backed up with dark berry fruits of blackberry and black currant, dark spices of clove and burnt vanilla, cocoa nib and smoky meaty oak. Dry, full-bodied, oaky, smoky and rich in flavour and texture. No missing the tannins with a granular mealy feel, equalising acidity then back to fruit and oak. Long finish - a bold and expressive example. Drink from 2020 through 2030.

92 Points

Cameron Douglas
Mills Reef Winery

Mills Reef 'Elspeth' Merlot Gimblett Gravels 2016 Hawkes Bay

Broody, dark fruited bouquet with dark roasted plum, blue berry and baking spices of oak - clove and vanilla. Bold forward, toasty and very inviting. Dry, fruity, full-bodied and lush with a core of dark red berry fruits led by plum; firm to fine tannins and medium+ acidity. Lengthy finish and well-made. Still integrating and will be happy in a cellar for  a while. Best from 2020 through 2030.

94 Points

Cameron Douglas
Urlar

Urlar 'The Mediator' Pinot Noir 2016 Gladstone

Striking bouquet of Pinot Noir with a mineral silty soil core surrounded by ripe dark red cherry fruits and plum, plenty of brown spice layers and toasty wood tones. Dry, spicy, toasty and woody with moderate to fine tannins, medium+ acidity, balanced lengthy finsih. Well made. Drink now and through 2024.

88 Points

Cameron Douglas
Pyramid Valley Vineyard

Pyramid valley Vineyard Growers Collection Calrossie Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016 Marlborough

Varietal and distinctive with a floral, mineral, earthy and spicy bouquet. Dark red berry fruits, baking spices and smoky wood tones and quite complex overall. Dry on the palate with flavours that point towards dark cherry and raspberry fruit. plenty of tannins with a youthful texture, medium+ texture and length. Overall a delicious wine with plenty of cellar time ahead. Still integrating so best from 2019 through 2026.

93 Points

Cameron Douglas
Pegasus Bay

Pegasus Bay 'Maestro' Merlot Cabernet Malbec 2015 Waipara Valley

Complex bouquet of dark red fruits led by Doris plum, blackberry and dark spiced chocolate. Toasty wood spices of clove and baked vanilla, a steely haunt adds complexity and depth. Dry with a contrasting core of red berry fruits, chocolate and wood spice. Firm to fine tannins and warming alcohol. Medium+ acidity and dark fruited core. Coming into balance slowly. Lengthy fine finish. Drink from late 2019 and through 2029.

95 Points

Cameron Douglas
I Am George

I am George Shiraz 2016 Langhorne Creek

Ripe, spicy and distinctive with dark red fruit aromas, baking spice and pepper, plenty of vanilla and wood. Dry, spicy, fruity and rich in flavour. Plum, dark cherry and blueberry. Juicy, fleshy, dry, balanced and well-made. Easy tannins and acidity. Drink now and through 2021.

88 Points

Cameron Douglas
The Prisoner Wine Company

The Prisoner Wine Company 'Saldo' Zinfandel 2016 Oakville California

Enticing, fruity and intense bouquet with dark red berry fruits, wild cherry and spices with a whisper of pepper. Dry, warm and fruity; noticeable alcohol, firm (ish) tannin and medium+ acidity, red flowers, spice and lengthy flavourful finish. Drink now and through 2026.

90 Points

Cameron Douglas
Chard Farm

Chard Farm 'Mata-Au' Pinot Noir 2016 Central Otago

Light, fragrant and almost sweet bouquet of Pinot Noir with cherry blossom, red cherry and red apple. Rose and light baking spice moments. Dry and quite fruity with flavours of red berry fruits and moderate oak moments. Light bodied, fresh and crisp. Very fine tannins, medium+ acidity and long balanced finish. Drink now and through 2022.

89 Points

Cameron Douglas
Pyramid Valley Vineyard

Pyramid Valley Vineyard Growers Collection Howell Family Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2015 Hawkes Bay

Quite perfumed, floral and elegant with sweet violets, sweet cherry and black current and berries of the forest. Dry on the palate with fine grained tannins, medium+ acidity and flavours that reflect the nose; layers of fruit spice and barrel use, a light savoury and dry stone mineral layer, quite complex and elegant yet still youthful. Drink from late 2018 and through 2026.

94 Points

Cameron Douglas
Pyramid Valley Vineyard

Pyramid Valley Vineyard Growers Collection Hutchison Family Vineyard Pinot Gris/Pinot Blanc 2015 Marlborough

Floral, ripe and fruity with a mix of fresh baked white fleshed fruits - pear skin and apple, some Asian pear and wild flowers. Very engaging and aromatic. Dry, spicy and fruity on the palate with a ginger yeasty quality, white fleshed fruit flavours and a long mineral finish. Balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2022.

92 Points

Cameron Douglas
I Am George

I am George Shiraz Cabernet 2016 Barossa Valley, South Australia

Produced by George Wyndham Estate. Aromas and flavours of dark blue and black berry fruits, Doris plums and dark cherry chocolate; pepper and new leather spice, toast, clove and sweet vanilla. Moderate tannins and acidity add weight and texture along with noticeable alcohol. Overall juicy, fleshy, fruity and firm - a well rounded and well presented wine. Will please many who try. Drink now and through 2024.

89 Points

Cameron Douglas
Hawkshead Pinot

Hawkeshead Pinot Noir 2015 Bannockburn, Central Otago

Bold and fruity bouquet with aromas of dark plum and dark cherry, with raspberry and red currant. Noticeable oak with toasty brown spices and newish wood scents. Dry with contrasting red berry fruit and plum flavours, medium to fine tannins - slightly chalky - and medium+ acid presence. Youthful and still developing with decent length. Drink - decanting suggested - and through 2025.

89 Points

Cameron Douglas