Craggy Range Vineyard

Craggy Range Vineyard Le Sol Syrah 2016 Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay

Powerful and focused bouquet of pepper, dark berries and currants. Nutty oaky aromas with a roasted walnut and smoky wood scents; a core of black currant and blue berry, pepper, clove, vanilla and smoked violet. A hint of balsamic rounds out the bouquet. Dry, loads of texture from abundant acidity and firm youthful tannins securing the backbone of the wine as significant and an example that is very young indeed. The package of flavours and textures are all present - all this wine needs is time. Decant for service with high protein food. Best from 2022 through 2030.

95 Points

Cameron Douglas
Craggy Range Vineyard

Craggy Range Vineyard Sophia Merlot Cabernets 2016 Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay

Distinctive almost powerful bouquet with an attractive dense, rich plum and black fruits core, plenty of spicy toasty oak, dark baking spices and wood smoke. Dry, bold, oaky and fruity on the palate with significant tannins and equal acidity - a tense and youthful texture package contrasted by ripe berry fruits flavours, sweet oak and loads of complexity. Really lovely wine holding onto its signature of softness from Merlot and an iron-fistd of Cabernet. Lengthy finish - drink now if decanted, best from 2020 through 2030.

94 Points

Cameron Douglas
Craggy Range Vineyard

Craggy Range Vineyard The Quarry 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay

An intense an intriguing bouquet of dark berries, smoked bell-pepper and oak with toasty wood, brown spices and bacon (oak). Blackberry, dark plums, wild forest berries, clove and vanilla; sweet new tobacco, bold, mealy firm textured tannins with acidity to match. Complex, dry lengthy and intense finish. Really pleased to be tasting and enjoying this wine once again from the Craggy stable. Best from 2022 through 2035+

97 Points

Cameron Douglas
Dog Point Vineyard

Dog Point Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016 Marlborough

Intense, youthful, vibrant, varietal and fragrant. Smoky wood tones with baking spice and savoury dried herb aromas. Youthful and firm on the palate with noticeable tannins and acidity with flavours of dark cherry, fresh raspberry and crunchy red apple skin. Firm, dry finish with a layer of charm and intensity defining the DP style and ensuring a promising future. Decant for service and serve with food. Best from 2020 through 2030.

92 Points

Cameron Douglas
Craggy Range

Craggy Range Aroha Te Muna  Pinot Noir 2016 Martinborough

Youthful, intense, varietal and distinctive. Flavours of plum and dark cherry laced with dried herb whole bunch-like savoury flavours. No mistaking the oak influence with baking spice and toasted wood flavours.  Medium to fine tannins and medium+ acidity adding adding weight and texture. Great palate feel overall. Youthful still - decant for service. Best drinking late 2019 through 2027.

93 Points

Cameron Douglas
Archangel Wines

Archangel Wines Pinot Noir Rose 2018 Central Otago

Fragrant and fruity with bright and refreshing light red fruit aromas - strawberry, peach and sweet fruit tea. Floral and with soft mineral scents of stone. Fleshy, fruity and dry on the palate with flavours of sweet strawberry and fresh bing cherry. Plenty of acidity, very fine tannins and cheerful refreshing finish. Drink now and through 2019.

88 Points

Cameron Douglas
Archangel Wines

Archangel Wines Pinot Noir 2015 Central Otago

Vibrant, fruity, youthful and varietal with aromas of fresh dark cherry and baked red berry fruits. New oak aromas stand out with clove, vanilla wood smoke. Flavours of plum, raspberry and strawberry highlight the freshness and youthful energy at the core of this wine. Dry with moderate tannins, medium+ acidity and floral Pinot Noir scents. A young wine still with some cellar time ahead. Serve with food and decant for service. Best from 2019 through 2025.

91 Points

Cameron Douglas
Archangel Wines

Archangel Wines Pinot Gris 2018 Central Otago

Lovely aromatic lift with white spice and floral scents underpinning a core of white fleshed tree fruit - apple, pear then quince. and mineral. Off-dry with a gentle layer of residual sweetness adding weight to the core of fruit, warming alcohol and contrasting acidity.  Balanced, youthful and distinctive with a fairly lengthy finish and youthful phenolic driven texture. Overall balanced and well made.

89 Points

Cameron Douglas
Mt Difficulty

Mt Difficulty SV Long Gully Pinot Noir 2015 Bannockburn Central Otago

Specific and focused bouquet with aromas of wild thyme and red berry fruits, a steely almost haunting minerality against a back-drop of soft and mild toasty oak, quite complex. Dry, youthful firm textures from the tannins and abundant acid line. Flavours of red berries continue with red apple, cranberry and wild red floral notes. Decent length and complexity - a wine that requires decanting and preferably cellar time first. Best from late 2019 through 2027.

95 Points

Cameron Douglas
Anthony Joseph Vidal

Anthony Joseph Vidal Reserve Syrah 2016 Hawkes Bay

Spices and dark berry fruits, pepper and toasty oak, sweet vanilla and clove and a core of bright fresh fruited energy. Dry on the palate with an abundance of red berry fruit flavours, fine to firm tannins and flavours earth, baked mushroom, raspberry and dark cherry. The sweet oak layer is confirmed with vanilla and raw sugar flavours then pepper. All highlighted by the acidity and varietal fruit drive. Balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2024.

90 Points

Cameron Douglas
Mt Difficulty

Mt Difficulty Packspur Lowburn Valley Pinot Noir 2016 Central Otago

Youthful bouquet - fresh, fruity, dried herb and tea. Flavours of dark cherries and forest berries, firm tannins and plentiful acidity. Spicy tannin & rich oak needs time to settle and integrate with the core of red berry fruits. Dry lengthy finish with some emerging complexities and charm. Decant for service, this wine will develop some great bottle affects flavours over time. Best from 2020 through 2028.

92 Points

Cameron Douglas
Anthony Joseph Vidal

Anthony Joseph Vidal Reserve Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 Hawkes Bay

Loads of ripe berry fruits with plums and blackberries then suggestions of olive, tobacco and toasty French Oak. Dry and almost full-bodied on the palate with flavours of dark berries and plums. Plenty of firm textured youthful tannins and acidity to match. These will easy with food and time. A nicely packed and tasty example. Best from late 2019 (unless decanted and served with food) through to 2028+.

91 Points

Cameron Douglas
Mt Difficulty

Mt Difficulty Ghost Town Pinot Noir 2016 Bendigo Central Otago

Familiar and welcoming scents of Otago Pinot Noir with red and dark cherry fruit, dried raspberry and plum. A layer of dried herb and undergrowth and for this example a clay/rock mineral layer. Dry, fruity and fleshy on the palate with flavours reflective of the nose, plenty of acidity and finer tannins finishing with a layer of wood smoke and spice. Best from mid 2019 through 2024.

92 Points

Cameron Douglas
Anthony Joseph Vidal

Anthony Joseph Vidal Reserve Chardonnay 2017 Hawkes Bay

Toasty, creamy and fruity scents of Chardonnay with vanilla and baking spice layers from oak, a soft, burnt butter creamy note and baked yellow fleshed stone fruit aromas. Dry, fruity, fleshy and creamy with decent weight and acidity, flavours of oak and fruit, a soft wood tannin layer with vanilla, peach and apple. Balanced, well-made and ready to enjoy. Best from today and through 2022.

90 Points

Cameron Douglas
The Delta Wine Company

The Delta Wine Company Merlot 2017 Hawkes Bay

Inviting bouquet of Merlot loaded with aromas of freshly crushed Doris plums, some blackberry notes and toasty wood. Dry, fruity and youthfully firm on the palate. Flavours reflect the nose with lashings of plums and dark berries. No mistaking the oak with medium tannins and medium+ acidity. All in balance and ready to enjoy.  Best from mid 2019 through 2022.

88 Points

Cameron Douglas
Mt Difficulty

Mt Difficulty Ghost Town Syrah 2016 Bendigo Central Otago

Youthful, forward and masculine bouquet of Syrah with a mix of dark berries, spices and smoky toasty oak. Lovely wine on the palate with toasty, broody and fruit centric flavours; and loaded with texture. Firm tannins with an abundance of alcohol (15%) & acidity level add weight and power to a core of fruit. Lengthy finish, dry and slightly dusty. Overall an intriguing wine. Best enjoyed with protein rich food to absorb the youthful energy and a little of the alcohol.

89 Points

Cameron Douglas
Ataahua Wines

Ataahua Wines Pinot Noir 2011 Waipara North Canterbury

Integrating and developing bouquet with messages of fresh and drying red berry fruits, barrel spices and dried herbs. A layer of oxidation is evident in the bouquet signalling the time to decant and enjoy. Dry, firm and quite youthful still on the palate with firm textures from oak, tannins and acidity. Fruit flavours are constant with red berries and plum. Best enjoyed with food. Still cellar worthy with a drinking window from late 2020 through 2028.

90 Points

Cameron Douglas
Ataahua Wines

Ataahua Wines Pinot Noir 2015 Waipara North Canterbury

Earthy, mineral, dusty and gently smoky bouquet. Dry, tense and youthful on the palate with firm tannins and acidity to match. A core of red berry fruit adds contrast to the youthful textures - cherry, plum and cranberry notes. Moderate+ ish length, persistent and consistent flavours and textures. Needs food for the moment, cellar time preferred. Best from 2020 through 2025.

88 Points

Cameron Douglas
The Delta Wine Company

Delta Hatters Hill Pinot Noir 2017 Marlborough

Dark cherry, plum, baked  raspberry and brown baking spices of oak lead the bouquet. Dry with a firm youthful texture from abundant fine tannins , medium+ acidity and flavours of oak then red fruits of plum, dark cherry and raspberry. Balanced and well made, immediately enjoyable, totally drinkable. Best from today and through 2024.

90 Points

Cameron Douglas
Mt Difficulty

Mt Difficulty Growers Series Packspur Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015 Lowburn Central Oatgo

Youthful, focused red berry fruits, stony soil and sweet scented oak bouquet. Juicy, fleshy and ripe on the palate with flavours of dark cherry, dried raspberry and plum. Plenty of mineral and softly spoken oak flavours, vanilla and mild toasty wood. Dry with fine to moderate tannins and nice long finish with moderate+ complexity. Decant for service if opened today. best from 2019 through 2026.

94 Points

Cameron Douglas