Sinuous and secure, the bearing of a goddess. Delicate lips and sharp tongue, it achieves a balance between grains of salt and white flower petals at the height of their splendour.
Intense notes of freshly baked bread and yeast blended with ripe yellow fruit and sweet flowers. Well-defined, dry and slightly bitter all combined to denote a great harmony.
The Wrekin occupies its own small locality tucked into the foothills of Marlborough’s Southern Valleys. Farmed bio-dynamically it is fast becoming a site of significance on the region’s vineyard landscape. The Wrekin’s clay soils, which are laid over greywacke parent rock, contribute hugely to the singularity of the wines made from this site: depth and texture with a salty twist.
“Imagine it’s Christmas and you’ve cooked a leg of ham and studded it with cloves; this is the first impression of the wine. Then throw in a sprig of rosemary and a bunch of violets, et voilà, you get the impression of this idiosyncratic scent. With its meaty, almost feral, flavors and structured style, it marks a real contrast with Corofin’s delicate and pretty Settlement Vineyard Pinot Noir. It offers a high level of concentration, which is due to low yields – around 30hl/ha. While it has a sense of silken delicacy on the midpalate, the grippy tannins provide a firm but fine, chalky-textured grip. It’s a very good wine with personality plus, but the personality might be more appreciated by those willing to drink left of center. Drink 2022 to 2028.” – Rebecca Gibb MW Accolades: 93/100 – Rebecca Gibb MW (Vinous)
Settlement Vineyard is planted on the slopes of the Omaka Valley in Marlborough. Owned by Dog Point and managed with immense intelligence and insight by viticulturist Nigel Sowman. East Slope lies in a north-north-east orientation and is planted at a density of 4,000 vines per hectare on clay-rich soils. BioGro certified. Their first and the youngest of their grower micro-sites; precious, and as usual radiating its earthy warmth, freshness and red-fruitedness. Quite sleek (vintage) but it gets around. The energy and generosity are to enjoy every time.
“There’s no sense of trying too hard in this wine. Everything is relaxed and silken. The fruit hails from Dog Point’s youngest Pinot block in the Omaka Valley: it’s a low-yielding slope. In the winery, the ferment is composed of whole berries and there’s no new oak, creating a highly aromatic, very pretty style. It’s delightfully scented with red berries and dried herbs – a potpourri of rosemary, thyme and wormwood – plus a bitter-orange-like twist on the finish. Light-bodied and refined with delicate tannins. Drink 2021 to 2026.” – Rebecca Gibb MW Accolades: 95/100 – Bob Campbell MW (2017 vintage) 92/100 – Rebecca Gibb MW (Vinous) 91/100 – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate (2017 vintage)
Striking a perfect balance between youthfulness and maturity, seduction and character, freshness and vinosity, Brut Premier is a champagne that is harmonious and structured, elegant and lively, with a unique exuberancy. Its structured texture, richness, and length are distinctly winey. It is a full, complex wine that is both rich and powerful, whilst remaining a great classic.
Frankly when it comes to value for money, this has to be one of the best Aloxe Corton that you can find. The wine is expressive and balanced displaying floral notes of thyme, wet leaf and hints of lavender. Medium to full body with beautiful texture with softly extracted tannins, balance and just perfectly focused. Wonderful wine and with a little patience another 7-8 years it will be magnificent!
A standard village from Savigny-les-Beaune that again typifies the extent that this Domaine is going to, even in their basic village wines. On the nose it is fresh, floral, perfumed with a touch of spring flowers, hints of lavender followed by a beautiful seamless acidity, perfect texture and medium body. Will be drinking beautifully over the next 5-6 years plus.
The Red Edition, same varieties as The Pink Edition but of course with more Pinot Noir in it but the Pinot Gris and the Pinot Blanc offers beautiful perfume, lovely aromas and gives it an extra lift of freshness and vitality. A lovely Pinot Noir which is light, soft and almost in the style of a Beaujolais for comparisons sake which you can put in the fridge for 20 mins or so and is absolutely stunning! Crisp and refreshing with lovely cherry flavours, excellent on its own or with food. Delicious!
Sourced from 9 different parcels in Volnay with an average vine age of around 40 years, this is what excellent Volnay is all about! Lovely aromas of dark cherry, spring flowers and thyme give way to a soft, caressing middle palate with lovely fresh acidity, structure and composure. Approachable in the next 3-5 years, better in 5 years plus.
Four parcels totalling about 4.5 acres whose vines average around 50 years go into making this excellent Bourgogne Rouge Vieilles Vignes. Situated below Volnay, for an entry level Bourgogne Rouge, this punches well above its weight. Aromas of thyme, lavender and rose petals give way to a middle to full bodied wine with lovely acidity, excellent middle palate and perfectly balanced. It’s a wine that will reward those that love fresh, clean and poised Pinot Noir but it will also develop for 4-5 years plus.
Typical Cotes du Nuits, full bodied and precise with beautiful acidity, textured and complex. On the nose it is perfumed with hints of lavender, rosemary, forest floor and tarragon. The palate is magnificent, layered, textured, balanced and refined with power. A beautiful expression of Pinot Noir from the Cotes du Nuits, the birthplace of Pinot Noir! Good to go now but better in 3 years.
Saturated, dark crimson, Alma Pinot Noir ’19 has an enticing nose of pomegranate, raspberry and black cherry syrup. Mineral and savoury notes – orange peel, peppercorns and sage – all glide across a serene surface of dark, fine tannin and lush ripe fruit. Alma Pinot Noir ’19 is structural. This is a wine of scope and horizons. Its depths are balanced by a lingering fruit acid tension that gives the wine a balletic level of poise, energy and grace.
“A wine with considerable, deep-set, spicy allure that has aromas of dried roses, blueberries, purple cherries and pot-pourri. The palate delivers a beautifully plush array of fine and seamless tannins, an exceptionally smooth mouthfeel and a long, alluring and convincing finish. Drink now. Screw cap.” 96/100 – James Suckling
Chisa Bize has done a magnificent job with this particular vintage and one of the outstanding 1er Cru from this Domaine Talmettes is perhaps one of the best we have tried in the last 20 odd years. Crunchy, fresh and clean with lively vibrancy, beautiful acidity, balance and equilibrium which is really what you expect from great Burgundy. At the moment it is showing little reduction, a little too much frontal fruit but this will balance out. Be patient with it and give it some time. Outstanding 1er Cru! Drink over the next 10 years.
One of the 1er Cru from Simon Bize close planted with old vines. Situated across the slope with Fournaux and Vergelesses to the North, it has layers of clay, sand and pebbles. The wine is generous in its youth yet poised and concentrated with a fair amount of acidity and tremendous structure. The perfume is an alluring blend of spring flowers, rosemary and lavender almost reminding you of a spring garden in full bloom. Cellar for 7-8 years plus.
This is compared to the Bourgeots, the more bulkier, more masculine and more concentrated wine. Terrific aromas of spring flowers, minerals and lavender but yet elegant, soft and velvety. You’ll need to be a little patient with Simon Bize’s wines because they are built for the long run, they have pedigree, they are focused and they age beautifully. Cellar for 10 years plus.
"There is a light charred oak note present, easily confused with toasted almonds. Flowery scents like cherry blossom, violets and Christmas lilies are combined with plums, boysenberry and liquorice. Immediately the nose reveals this to be a serious wine: very coherent with rapidly expanding boundaries bringing aromatic volume.
The palate, too, has an escalating horizon and an inflating edge; it’s simply delicious, with well-rounded tannins. Initially there is a juicy, plush elegance, with the tannins claiming a more authoritative and luxurious presence, showing off its class and flamboyance. The mid-palate brings the wine back to earth with a grounding acidity that reigns the wine in again without overpowering the fruit weight. It is just enough to bring life again to the floral and lighter fruit aromatics, to highlight the central core and to show the length and smooth finish on the back palate. This is a thought-provoking wine that occupies all spaces and has aroused our excitement tremendously.
We expect this wine to gain further interest over the next ten years."
Beautifully crafted Pinot Noir, low yields, wonderful extraction with a dense dark cherry colour. Complex brooding aromatics of black cherry, plum, rose and wooden spices. An excellent illustration of subtle power across the palate. Beautifully textured ripe fruit flows seamlessly across the palate with sinew and spice from stem and oak influence. The feel is precise, savoury and long.
Occasionally for various vintages Nevis Bluff produce their Reserve Pinot Noir. A selection of their best fruit from their oldest vines and given longer elevage, the result is a concentrated, medium to full bodied wine with aromas of Maraschino cherry, thyme and wild game. Lovely balance and intense yet soft and silky as Pinot Noir demands. Beautifully drinking now. Again if you haven’t tried it, this is a must because it is one of the top ones!
One of the classics from Otago going back to the mid 1990’s, Nevis Bluff are producing impeccable wines in particular their Pinot Noir mainly from Single Vineyards, close planted, non-irrigated and the results speak for themselves. A full bodied Pinot Noir with hints of thyme, forrest floor and black cherry, clean with precision and vibrant acidity.
Fournaux is a more elevated site with less top soil which gives way to a slightly leaner structured and higher concentrated wine with enormous middle palate and power yet beautifully balanced, structured and complex. The perfume on the Fournaux apart from the obvious lavender and spring flowers, it also has hints of match stick with floral notes and Asian spice. This is a wine that even though is not always very forthcoming, it is able to age for 10 years plus. Quite beautiful!
It’s youthful and ripe on the nose displaying red/black cherry, blueberry, spice and a hint of game characters. The palate is well-expressed with lovely fruit weight and silky texture, leading to a lingering dry finish backed by polished tannins.
This is a very clear example that Central Otago can make very good Pinot Noir without the exorbitant prices. We like this Pinot Noir because it is dry, well balanced and well structured yet with lovely frontal fruit, juicy and very good handling of the oak. Once you try it, it is a very clear example that you don’t really have to pay top prices to get a superb quality Pinot Noir. This is drinking superbly now however it has lovely structure, concentration and depth and it will also keep for another couple of years or so.
Septima Noche literally translated means Seventh Night. This is a deviation from what you would come to expect from Mendoza in Argentina where Malbec is the king. A robust, concentrated Pinot Noir that is probably more the style of a Burgundy than the Kiwi type, savoury and ripe with ample and rich middle palate, a beautiful expression of its varietal that will also cellar for the next 4-5 years. Something distinctive that you should make a point of trying.
Very much the top property from Simon Bize that typifies what this Grand Cru appellation can do. The 2018 is perhaps a slightly softer, earlier and approachable vintage than 2016 however it still exhibits everything that one would expect from this top clos. Powerful, delineated with an enormous middle palate, very vibrant and incredibly fresh, massive structure but yet always very refined and elegant. Very much in the style of Simon Bize, the wine is not over oaked or over extracted but it has very much a natural balance of acidity, fruit and alcohol with really good focus and beautiful purity. As for cellaring, you can keep it with confidence for 15 years plus.
A completely new Rosé from Champagne Bollinger. The creation of this non-vintage rosé has been long in the making and a dream of the House for over six years. This wine has evolved not as a curiosity, but as with all of the Bollinger cuvées, as a careful assembly of the very finest ingredients by their talented, passionate team. In the meticulous House style, Bollinger Rosé is modelled on the Special Cuvée blend, combining the fruits of previous harvests plus the addition of reserve wines from their cellars in Ay. The final component, which provides colour and delicate aromas of ripe red fruits, is a proportion of still red wine coming exclusively from Bollinger's Grand Cru Vineyards in the Cote d'Ay and Verzenay.
This majestic house situated just across Laurent Perrier, has been our exclusive import for many years, they produce a range of Champagnes from exclusively they own vineyards which is not always the case in Champagne. Their Cuvee Rose is made from Pinot Noir, light pink in colour with a bouquet of great freshness and wild strawberry. On the palate it is full flavoured yet showing lightness and delicate, wonderful refined bubbles, clean acidity and very refreshing.
When it comes to the expression of the terroir, very few wines in the world can do it as well as Burgundy. This particular 1er Cru can be characterized by being quite bold and forward, completely focused yet showing finesse and elegance with a deep ruby purple colour, enormous depth, high acidity and tightly structured. Savoury overtones, game and forrest undergrowth with purity of expression and faith to its terroir. Will cellar for 8 years plus.
A classic Beaune from one of the most classical producers in Burgundy, soft and velvety with lovely acidity and stucture, caressing tannins and slightly floral. Perhaps not at the very high level of his Volnay and Pommard however this is a spectacular Beaune that offers, even in its youth, precision, soft and velvety tannins. Quite approachable now however it will be much better in 5 years plus.
As with the Aux Guettes, Aux Vergelesses is the top 1er Cru from Simon Bize. The 2018 vintage that can be characterized almost as a blend of 2003 and 2015 vintage wise, yet Vergelesses due to its magnificent soils, close planting and old vines, it offers freshness, power, depth and concentration. The perfume is typical spring flowers yet a little bit more gamey than what we have found in some of the other 1er Cru, more dense, more emphatic. No doubt this is one for the cellar. The primary fruit and flavours will give way to savoury gamey and truffle characteristics. Magnificent! Drink over the next 10-15 years.
One of the best 1er Cru in Volnay, Voillot is able to capture the true essence of its terroir, deep, concentrated with great depth and structure, vibrant acidity, very focused and precise. This is what a great Volnay should be like. Interesting to try now but far better in another 6-7 years.
One of Bize's top 1er Crus that has made outstanding even magnificent wine. The wine is a deep dark purple colour infused with dry herbs, truffle and forest undergrowth, high acidity, perfectly balanced with tannins and alcohol giving way to an immense tight and lean wine which will develop for 10-15 years with a great degree of purity and outstanding pedigree.
2009 was an outstanding vintage by Champagne standards made from a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, it displays superb depth, concentration but all together refined and elegant with outstanding persistent bubbles. This is the sort of Champagne that does not spend a quarter of its budget on advertising and marketing. They are straight Champagne growers that have been making Champagne for the last 2 centuries. If you want a magnificent Champagne equal to any other vintage, try this! It’s as good, if not better, at a fraction of the price.
The latest release from Mt. Edward that from humble beginnings has become one of the benchmark producers in Central Otago. The 2018 together with 2013, 2007 and 2009 are perhaps the best vintages since its insertion in 1997, founded by Alan Brady one of the pioneers in the area, the wine has been improving year on year which is not always the case for many other vineyards. This is one for the cellar, lots of ripe cherries, thyme and ripe berry fruits, but it is not all about just fruit, what I like about this wine is the lovely soft and velvety tannins that you come to expect from Pinot noir, ample middle palate with focus and balance. Medium body and expressive, no doubt one of the top not just from Otago but in the country. Cellar for another 5-6 years.
It's good to see that finally Pinot Noir winemakers in this country are waking up to the fact that not everybody wishes to spend $40-$50 to get a decent Pinot Noir. We were quite taken back by the quality of this wine, frankly we thought it would be between $40-$50 until we knew the price. It is a soft savoury and plumy Pinot Noir, in other words what Pinot Noir should be like. The 2018 vintage even though it was a good one, is ready for drinking now. Lovely cherry and soft plumy flavours, slightly savoury, well balanced oak and wonderful forrest floor characters. Having tried this alongside other Pinot Noirs at $30 let me tell you, it delivers! All of this at the price of $19.99.
Cristal, created in 1876 for Tsar Alexander II in Russia is one of the most unique Champagnes in the world. It is in fact the only one with a flat bottom bottle which was requested by the late Tsar because he thought it was being short measured. This is champagne at its finest, as inspired today as it has always been, the embodiment of elegance and purity. Cristal is made according to the strictest criteria, based on a dramatic selection process which applies to the vintage, cru, blends and finally the wines. Only Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes from the House's 10 most celebrated crus are used in the production of this legendary cuvée.
The wine presents a medley of aromas on the nose: tree-ripened plums, mulberry, exotic five spice and liquorice. It has a gorgeous entry, opening smoothly into a full mid-palate. Flavours of rosehip entwine with a fine and savoury tannin structure that persists as an elegant, classic feature of Ata Rangi Pinot Noir. Drinking beautifully now but will cellar for a further 10-15 years.
Most of you will know this producer by now as one of the top ten producers in Burgundy and indeed the world. All the fruit for this wine comes from his vineyards. The wine has a purple brick red colour, wonderful perfume of truffle, cepes and dried mushrooms. The palate is rich, concentrated and very gamy with hints of dark berry fruit, yet elegant and full. Being 100% Pinot Noir, the wine also displays forest undergrowth, but still remaining silky and velvety. This is what classic Pinot Noir should be, mushroomy, earthy, silky yet full and intense.
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