Astrolabe

Astrolabe Wrekin Vineyard Chenin Blanc 2017 Marlborough

Fruity and varietal expression of Chenin Blanc with aromas of fresh crunchy red apple, quince and citrus. a light sweet herb note and wet stone mineral suggestions. Dry, crisp and refreshing on the palate with salivating acidity and flavours that reflect the nose. Balanced lengthy finish, varietal and floral too with a touch of honey suckle. Drink now and through 2026.

90 Points

Cameron Douglas
Windrush

Windrush Sauvignon Blanc 2019 Marlborough

This certified Bio-gro example has a lovely bouquet both classic and modern - aromas and flavours of baked bell-pepper, grass, tropical fruit, citrus and peach. Dry on the palate with flavours could be nothing else other than Sauvignon Blanc - reflecting the bouquet with herbs, white spices and ripe fruits. Lengthy, balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2023.

92 Points

Cameron Douglas
Durvillea

Durvillea by Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Marlborough

Fruity, varietal and ripe fruited bouquet of Sauvignon Blanc. Aromas and flavours of grapefruit and gooseberry, honeysuckle and quince, fresh herbs and tropical fruit. Just dry, refreshing and fruity on the palate with flavours that mirror the nose. Well made with a decent finish. Drink now and through 2021.

88 Points

Cameron Douglas
Astrolabe

Astrolabe Awatere Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Marlborough

Savoury, spicy, very fruity and varietal with aromas of sweet hay and gooseberry, passion fruit and fresh herbs. A delicious wine on the palate, spicy and fruity, golden kiwifruit, passion fruit and savoury spice. High acidity, dry finish, a core of fruit and lengthy finish. Balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2024.

92 Points

Cameron Douglas
Urlar

Urlar Select Parcels Sauvignon Blanc 2017 Gladstone, Wairarapa

Fragrant, polished bouquet of Sauvignon Blanc with aromas of sweet lemon grass and tropical fruit, apple, soil and gooseberry moments. Dry, crisp, refreshing and dry on the palate. Quite intense flavours with lemon and grapefruit, gooseberry and tropical fruit. High acidity, crisp textures, a leesy spice note, great balance and length. Drink now and through 2023.

90 Points

Cameron Douglas
Greywacke

Greywacke Botrytis Pinot Gris 2015 Marlborough

Apricots and honey, preserved peaches and quince, apple, button mushroom and marmalade, tropical fruits and roses. Creamy, sweet and delicious, full-bodied, fruity and lengthy. Contrasting acidity and flavours that last for minutes. Drink now and through 2025.

95 Points

Cameron Douglas
Framingham

Framingham F-Series Gewürztraminer 2018 Marlborough

Powerful and perfumed, seductive and floral, a bouquet to immerse yourself in. Pineapple and candied apple, white fleshed orchard fruits, quince and sweet white tea. Creamy, fine and delicious with flavours that mirror the nose, contrasting acidity, spices and juicy fruit gum flavours. Super long finish. A delicious wine to discover. Drink now and through 2024.

97 Points

Cameron Douglas
Misha's Vineyard

Misha’s Vineyard The Starlet Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Central Otago

A precise and powerful bouquet of Sauvignon Blanc - ripe sweet herbs, fresh lemon and grapefruit, white pineapple, sour passion fruit and honeysuckle. A noticeable and distinctive stony mineral core and white florals. Dry, crisp, fruity and salivating on the palate, flavours mirror the nose with high acidity contrasted by the core of fruit and minerality. With a long finish and so much to like about this wine a second glass is an easy call to make.

95 Points

Cameron Douglas
Chard Farm

Chard Farm The Tiger Pinot Noir 2017 Central Otago

Fragrant, fruity and varietal bouquet of Pinot Noir with aromas of red apple and raspberry, red blossom, a gentle savoury complexity and soft wood core. Dry, youthful, tense and lush fruited on the palate. Flavours of red berries and savoury earthy complexity, fine to moderate tannins, plenty of acidity and lengthy finish. Though a lighter weight expression of Pinot Noir this wine punches well above its weight for style, palate feel and delivery. Drink now and through 2025.

95 Points

Cameron Douglas
Astrolabe

Astrolabe Comelybank Vineyard Pinot Rosé 2018 Marlborough

A salmon brassy apricot appearance with aromas and flavours of peach and tropical fruit, red cherry and red plum, flowers and cold fruit tea. Just dry with a light creamy texture, contrasting acidity and core of fruit. Balanced, well made, ready now and for Summer 2019. Delicious!

90 Points

Cameron Douglas
Greywacke

Greywacke Pinot Noir 2016 Marlborough

This is a great wine - the bouquet is packed with complexity and distinctiveness - aromas of wild red flowers and plum, layers of wood and lees spices, mushroom and white smoke, cherry and baking spices. Equally complex on the palate - even more so - textures of silk are contrasted by chalky tannins, a core of red berry fruits contrasted by acidity, flavours of baking spices and stones, balanced, and well made. A lengthy wine with no need for food. If food is a must then char-grilled blue-cod dusted with porcini powder served with a butter, cream and leek sauce.

97 Points

Cameron Douglas
Astrolabe

Astrolabe Province Pinot Noir 2016 Marlborough

An alluring bouquet of Pinot Noir with aromas and flavours of ripe fruit, oak and bottle integration. Roses and plums, red cherry and vanilla, smoky oak and roasted nut. Dry, still firm with tension from the tannins and poise from the acidity. Flavours of red berry fruits and flowers continue leading to a lengthy, balanced finish. Decant for service as this wine is still developing. Serve with food. Best from late 2020 through 2026.

93 Points

Cameron Douglas
Misha's Vineyard

Misha’s Vineyard Impromptu Pinot Noir 2017 Central Otago

Generous fruity and floral bouquet of Pinot Noir with aromas then flavours of ripe red berry fruits, heirloom red apple skin, soft oak spices and roses. Fleshy, fruity and dry with a core of fruit, fine ripe tannins and acidity to match - all with just enough tension and poise to cause salivation and flavour development throughout the palate. Nice finish, balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2022.

90 Points

Cameron Douglas
Catalina Sounds

Catalina Sounds Sound of White SV Pinot Noir 2017 Marlborough

Ripe and tart red fruited bouquet with aromas of red cherry and cranberry, plum a suggestion of rhubarb. Baking spices of oak suggesting vanilla then a mild toasty wood layer. This all adds up to a lovely Pinot Noir package on the nose. On the palate a youthful wine with a crisp and fresh red berry fruit package of flavours reflective of the nose, firm tannins and acidity to match, oak and stony soil layers begin to emerge after several minutes in glass. This wine needs time in your cellar to calm and integrate. You will be rewarded with this approach. Best drinking from 2021 through 2026.

89 Points

Cameron Douglas
Soma Cellars

Soma Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Napa Valley

Bold and expressive bouquet, masculine, smoky and ripe. Aromas of vanilla and clove, blackberry and dark plum, some black licorice and chocolate moments. Equally bold on the palate - no mistaking the warmth of alcohol, core of blackberry and plum, toasty oak and brown spices. Plenty of tannin and equalising acidity. Overall a well made wine with many classic Napa moments across the nose and palate. Drink now and through 2026.

93 Points

Soma Cellars Cuvee Rive Gauche 2015 France

This is a Cabernet (70%), Merlot (20%) and Cabernet Franc (10%) blend. I really like the complexity and immediate appeal of this wine - a compelling bouquet of blackberry and tobacco, boysenberry and plum, a bold statement of newer oak with kitchen spices and wood-smoke. Very appealing texture with youthful tannins and plenty of acidity. A light VA moment is contrasted by a core of fruit then oak. Overall quite complex, lengthy and well made. Drink now and through 2026.

95 Points

Cameron Douglas
Kumeu River

Kumeu River New Release Tasting August 8th 2019

Kumeu River Ray’s Road Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Hawkes Bay

Regional and vineyard expression - mineral, varietal and complete on the nose with aromas of lemon peel and whispers of lime, white peach and a long lees led finish. While there are some herb notes they are delicate. I suspect this wine will age for sometime to come . Great balance, medium+ length and moderate complexity. Overall a very good example. Drink now and through 2025. 93 Points

Kumeu River Estate Pinot Gris 2018 Auckland

A fine and delicate bouquet with a pure pear, sweet apple, white spice and generous varietal unfurling of flavours. The wine shows off a core of white fleshed fruit with a layer of citrus, the texture has a satin feel with youthful acidity and dry finish. Balanced and ready to enjoy, medium complexity and lengthy finish. Sound, balanced and pure. Drink now and through 2022. 91 Points

Kumeu River Village Chardonnay 2018 - 80% Auckland fruit, 20% Hawkes Bay fruit

A lovely wine, expressive, balanced and varietal showing off all the hallmarks of Kumeu River Chardonnay this wine has a purity of fruit, generous weight, is balanced fresh and well made. With just a whisper of oak the ore of this wine centers on the flavours of pear and peach, a hint of tropical fruit and citrus. Balanced with medium length. Drink now and through 2022. 88 Points

Kumeu River Ray’s Road Chardonnay 2018 Hawkes Bay

An impressive bouquet, palate and texture with aromas and flavours of ripe citrus and orchard stone fruits, layers of fine lees and oak along with ripe acidity and moderate alcohol give this wine the structure it needs to carry the weight and intensity of fruit. A wine with finesse, great texture and length. Balanced with medium+ length and complexity. Drink now and through 2024+. 94 Points

Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay 2018 Auckland

Really quite a delicious wine with a core of white and yellow fleshed fruit flavours, mild calm and balanced use of oak leaving a gentle seam of vanilla and spice in its wake. Clean, ripe, gently creamy texture with contrasting acidity and a light soft saline layer. Love weight an balance, a wine with charm, lengthy finish and medium+ complexity. Drink now and through 2026. 94 Points

Kumeu River Coddington Chardonnay 2018 Auckland

I’ve always loved the bouquet of this wine - the vineyard speaks loudly - this is my NZ Meursault - the wine smells excellent and tastes excellent. Ripe, focused and charming, flavours of white fleshed stone fruits, some citrus then yellow peach and apple. Cashew lees and oak spices combine to add complexity, weight and finish. Medium+ acidity and weight, pure fruit mid-palate and balanced lengthy finish. Young, precise and cellar worthy example. Drinkable now though best from early 2021 through 2028. 95 Points

We also tried the Coddington 2013 Chardonnay. Not only an excellent vinetage this wine was complex and creamy, still fresh , savoury, complex and long - 95 Points

Kumeu River Hunting Hill Chardonnay 2018 Auckland

Complex, feminine, floral, fragrant and alluring bouquet of Chardonnay. Sweet, ripe core of fruit with pear and apple, white peach and gentle oak spice. A saline soil mix along with lees derived spices and cashew nut oak flavours show off this wines prowess, palate presence, complexity and length. Youthful with a firm texture, great balance, long finish and impressive complexity. A delicious wine. Drinkable now, best in cellar for a few years. Best from 2021 through 2029. 96 Points

We also tried the Hunting Hill 2012 Chardonnay - Multi-layered, very complex, focused and fleshy, precise and youthful. Layers of citrus, stone fruits and apple then oak. 96 Points

Kumeu River Mate’s Chardonnay 2018 Auckland

A captivating and attention seeking bouquet of Chardonnay - aromas and flavours of yellow and white fleshed fruits, no mistaking a citrus and light saline moment - combine with textures of acidity and oak, lees and synergies of site and soil to capture this Mate’s vineyard expression. Precise, pure, complex and lengthy finish. If you can find some of this wine to buy - please do. Drinkable now, cellar worthy fir sure. Best from 2021 through 2031. 97 Points

We also tried the Mate’s 2006 Chardonnay - what a treat….toasty, complex, ready with flavours of baked custard and peach, quite nutty and textured. Though at its peak now this wine shows how Kumeu River the place, great team work in the vineyard and excellent wine making can produce world class wine. 98 Points

Kumeu River Village Pinot Noir 2018 Hawkes Bay

From Ray’s Road - Aromas of light reed fruits led by cherry and yellow plum. Light weight on the palate, but loaded with Pinosity and flavours that mirror the nose. Fine tannins, plenty of acidity, balanced and well made in a drink now style. Best from today and through 2022. 89 Points

Kumeu River Ray’s Road Pinot Noir 2018 Hawkes Bay

A bouquet of Pinosity and a clean, fresh, fruity varietal signature. A steely haunt with a light savoury complexity, flavours of light red fruits - darker cherry, red apple and tea. A layer of earthiness shows off a stony almost white clay soil flavour and a touch of button mushroom. Youthful tannins with a slightly firm grip and acidity to match. Perhaps leave this wine in cellar till late 2020, or decant. Best from late 2020 through 2025. 91 Points

Kumeu River Hunting Hill Pinot Noir 2017 Auckland

My notes are the same for this wine as you discover in the World of Wine Magazine Vol 2. Winter 2019.

https://www.isubscribe.co.nz/world-of-wine-magazine-subscription.cfm

Kumeu River Crémant NV Auckland

Made with 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir - this is a delicious wine. Dry, crisp, textured and layered with a fine almost explosive mousse. Flavours of citrus and white nectarine, leesy and fine, crisp, dry and gently toasty. A great aperitif option. 92 Points

Cameron Douglas
Greywacke

Greywacke Pinot Gris 2017 Marlborough

Vibrant and expressive bouquet with aromas of white spice and pear skin, poached red apple and wild flowers. With some residual sweetness and gently warming alcohol the texture is gently creamy even oily, then fruity. Contrasted by medium+ acidity and weight and flavours that reflect the nose. Balanced and well made with a lengthy finish and immediate enjoyability. Drink now and through 2022.

93 Points

Cameron Douglas
Greywacke

Greywacke Riesling 2018 Marlborough

Complex, pure, fruity, varietal and real. A Riesling with familiar aromas of wild flavours of white rose, Meyer lemon, red apple and honeysuckle, apricot stone and lime-flower. Just a little sweetness on the palate with an immediate flourish of flavours from citrus to flowers, stony soils to fruit spice, an abundance of citrus to apple. Long detailed finish, a lovely wine. Cellar or drink - best from today and through 2026+.

95 Points

Cameron Douglas
Misha's Vineyard

Misha’s Vineyard Limelight Riesling 2016 Central Otago

Totally enticing bouquet of Riesling with captivating aromas of mandarin and lime-flower, green tea and green apple. Additional aromas of white blossoms and white rose, a fine mineral layer with quartz and wet stone suggested. Off-dry on the palate with an immediate sweetness contrasted by high acidity bringing forward flavours of mandarin and pineapple, lime-flower and peach. A delicious wine worthy of your attention and cellar or refrigerator. Enjoy now and through 2026+

96 Points

Cameron Douglas
Misha's Vineyard

Misha’s Vineyard Lyric Riesling 2016 Central Otago

Complex, varietal and focused bouquet of Riesling with aromas of preserved lemon and dried apple, fresh & preserved pear. Very floral with apple blossom and pressed rose. Bursting with flavour and texture on the palate - showing off acidity and citrus flavours, white peach and sweet red apple. Finishing long and dry with with a satin texture. A lovely example with a cellar time option as well as immediate drinkability - you decide. Drink well now and through 2028.

94 Points

Cameron Douglas