Tasted Wines

Dows LBV 1992 (1 litre)
Tasted: July/August 2001
BARGAIN!! This is yummy stuff for these cold winter evenings. Rich powerful packed with ripe currants and christmas cake. We've done a deal, and this 1 litre is cheaper than the 750ml. To make the most of Port, drink within a couple of weeks from opening, but will last for about a few months.

Dr Thanisch Bernkastler Lay Riesling Auslese 1990
Tasted: April 2001
What a joy to drink an aged Mosel wine from one of Germany's best producers. Simply fab! Fragrant, floral with beautiful peach/citrus flavours and a full, very long intense finish. Still very fresh, but no hurry, it'll stay on this plateau for at least 5 years. I love it!

Dry Gully Pinot Noir 2002
Tasted: September 2003
5 stars Cuisine, this is another fabulous wine from the 2002 vintage in Central Otago. Full of black cherries and plums and a lovely touch of spice. Very limited supply.

Drylands (Selaks) Sauvignon Blanc 2001
Tasted: October 2001
Drylands has become a stand-along label within the Selaks range, and in recent vintages has carved out a position at the top range of Marlborough Sav Blancs. While the price has crept up over the year (I did moan at both the rep and the winemaker), I would have to admit that it was intrinsically underpriced, and that the quality of the wine makes this excellent buying. A powerful and complex nose leads on to a creamy textured palate and is certainly one of the standout wines I've tried thus far.

Drylands Dry Riesling 2000
Tasted: September 2002
Another fine offering from the impressive Drylands range. Lovely floral aromas are followed by rich citrus and honeyed flavours. Reasonably dry in style with a good sugar and acid balance.

Drylands Pinot Gris 2001
Tasted: June 2002
Pinot Gris has really come of age this summer and autumn and virtually everything has flown off the shelves. It seems that it has moved from cinderalla variety and into the mainstream. Perhaps it's bright pear and stonefruit aromas and flavours, juicy, almost like biting into fresh fruit, and all of it unencumbered by oak. This wine is a classic example, perhaps it will cellar, but what the hell it's gorgeous now.

Drylands Pinot Gris 2003
Tasted: October 2003
Another cracker from Drylands, this Pinot Gris is every bit as good as the previous vintage. Made in more of an Alsace style with rich apricot and pear fruit flavours and real weighty complexity.

E & E Black Pepper Shiraz 1998
Tasted: August/September 2001
In poetic terms, a big, big bugger! From the ab fab 1998 vintage. Packed with currants and spice with huge sweet gobs of fruit. Drinks deceptively well now but will cellar magnificently.

E & E Black Pepper Shiraz 1998
Tasted: June 2000
This wine reminds me so much of my all time favourite, Eileen Hardy Shiraz, with its smooth- talking oak and full-bodied fruit. Ripe, rich and with intense concentration of flavours. A powerful Barossa Shiraz with great length of flavour and gripping velvety tannins. Once tried never forgotten, as is testament by the number of faithful followers it has. There is only a small quantity of this wine available.

E & E Sparkling Shiraz 1997
Tasted: June 2000
Ripe chocolate and leather characteristics dominate the palate with well integrated vanilla oak nuances adding complexity. The finish is smooth and velvety. Along with the Joseph Sparkling Red, this is without doubt the top of sparkling reds and well worth the money.

E and E Black Pepper Shiraz 1998
Tasted: October 2001
Aromatic, silky and lush; a powerful red wine with finely balanced tannins. Deceptively drinkable now, but a fantastic '91 of this that I opened several months back showed just what this wine could do with time.

EandE Black Pepper Sparkling Shiraz
Tasted: August 2002
Ahhh... Sparkling Shiraz. Gazing into its vibrant purple heart, slipping into its velvety depths, sweet fruit cascading across the palate, prickles of CO2 massaging your tongue. Oops...got carried away there. 6 bottles available in Dunedin, we've got em. Bleeding expensive, bloody marvelous, nothing more to say.

Ebenezer Shiraz 1997
Tasted: June 2000
Traditional Barossa Shiraz. Complex flavours of berryfruit, leather, chocolate and American oak have combined beautifully to produce a big full- bodied wine.

Eden Crest Merlot Cabernet 1996
Tasted: February 2000
Irvine Grand Merlot at about A$80 a bottle has a reputation as being the Chateau Petrus or Le Pin of Australia. Eden Crest is their second label, offering a richly fruited wine at a fraction of the price of the winery flagship label. Hailing from the Barossa Valley, the nose is of plums and spices and leads to a supple palate with further hints of tobacco and leaf and a nice crisp finish. A previously unknown label for me, but a very pleasant surprise package.

Eileen Hardy 1999
Tasted: March 2003
I have to be honest and say that I have not tried this vintage yet, however I can honestly confirm that this is MY FAVORITE wine of all time (from Australia anyway). I have lots of other favourites, and these include anything made by Cape Mentelle, Maxwell's and other smallish boutique wineries that are too numerous to mention. The Hardy's range of wines is consistently good and like Penfold's and Lindeman's is incredibly consistent. That consistency is one of the things that make me buy the Eileen vintage after vintage. I first fell in love with this wine with the 1983 vintage. And have never looked back. You only have to try this once to recognise that it has to be one of THE BEST AUSSI SHIRAZ around. At $78 it doesn't come cheap, but for a lifetime experience, it does. And if the bank calls in your mortgage, you can always sell it and make money on it. Because we love this so much, we have received a further tiny allocation of this wine, so first in, first served.

Eileen Hardy Shiraz 1998
Tasted: October 2001
From a mix of McLaren Vale and Padthaway fruit this is a concentrated wine with layers of flavour and complexity. Brooding at the moment, and built for the long haul. Laurie's favorite, so you'll need to get in quickly before she buys the lot.

Elderton Shiraz 2002
Tasted: March 2004
Trophy winner at the Top 100 last year. We enjoyed this Barossa valley wine with Steve Moffat from Rock and Pillar and Leaning Rock wineries and I loved his description so much that I just had to quote him. "The nose is one of nasturtiums, ying-yangy, violets, magnolia and peach fruit. It is very floral which means an excellent vintage. The palate has very nice saddle and leather flavours with creamy boysenberries. It has everything there with lovely old vines and nice dry tannins .The small berries gives it an intense flavours. It's just a baby! A dream wine which will cellar confidently for 5 years and then will blow your guests away. It and will integrate beautifully over time". This wine has come down in price which makes an extraordinary value for money.

Elderton Tantalus 1997
Tasted: March 2000
The back label suggests that this wine will tantalise you with its flavours of plum spice and with this shiraz/cabernet blend, they seem to have got it right. Soft in the mouth but surprisingly full bodied. It would probably age a little too, but who cares when it's drinking so well now.

Escarpment Pinot Gris 2002
Tasted: March 2004
From Larry McKenna, this Martinborough wine was hand-picked and fermented in seasoned oak barrels. This is very fresh, spicy and floral, the palate is rich and round with beautiful fresh concentrated flavours of pear and spice and a touch of oak. 5 stars Michael Cooper.

Esk Valley Black Label Chardonnay 2000
Tasted: April 2001
Elegant creamy Chardonnay displaying flavours of stonefruit and citrus fruits and complex oak derived from the barrel fermentation. I really enjoy the texture and the creamy oak in this wine. It's the style of Chardonnay that I just love.

Esk Valley Res. Merlot/Cab/Malbec '00
Tasted: June 2002
The Auckland Master of Wine Stephen Bennett rates Esk Valley's 'The Terraces' and the Reserve Mertlot blend as two of the select few NZ wines that can be classed as "Icon" status. Whether you agree with all his choices or not, there is no doubt that this wine has earned its pedigree over very many years. A varying blend, but always Merlot dominant, this wine has regularly been a gold medal and trophy winner at wine shows, and is invariably one of the stars of the vintage. Powerful and full-bodied in its youth, this classic will amply reward time tucked away in the cellar.

Etchart Rio de Plata Malbec 2000
Tasted: March 2003
Peter tried this on me blind one evening recently, knowing that I wouldn't have a clue what it was. My first guess was that it was a wee Tuscan number and valued around $18-20. Wrong on all accounts. The only thing that I got right was that it wasn't a New World wine. It is in fact a wee Malbec from Argentina. Not to be outdone however I did some reading about Argentinean wines, and find they are heavily influenced by the Italians (compared to Chilean wines being influenced by the French), not that Malbec is a commonly grown grape varietal in Italy. This wine has some very good fruit in it and is well balanced with gentle oak and in a typically dry Italian style! It was perfect with our Italian meal!!!

Evans and Tate 'Gnangara' Shiraz 2000$
Tasted: June 2002
4 stars in Cuisine Magazine. Lovely soft flavours, bright and fresh. A bargain from West Australia. Try it with your favourite pasta dish.

Falesco Merlot Umbria 2001
Tasted: Christmas 2002
You will be confused when you try this wine initially. After all it is a merlot and it is from Italy, and quite frankly, the two don't normally go together. But hey, this works...well, very well in fact. Full of fabulously ripe plum flavours and clean new oak. This quite frankly, is one of the finest merlot's I have ever tried. Awesome bouquet with intense perfume of raspberries and new oak. It has extravagant richness of fruit, full body, great depth and remarkable complexity. Lovely complex spice flavours and very rich berry palate with great length, a beauty! Definitely a celebration wine.

Falesco Merlot Umbria 2001
Tasted: November 2002
You will be confused when you try this wine initially. After all it is a merlot and it is from Italy, and quite frankly, the two don't normally go together. But hey, this works...well, very well in fact. Full of fabulously ripe plum flavours and clean new oak. This quite frankly, is one of the finest merlot's I have ever tried. Awesome bouquet with intense perfume of raspberries and new oak. It has extravagant richness of fruit, full body, great depth and remarkable complexity. Lovely complex spice flavours and very rich berry palate with great length, a beauty! Definitely a celebration wine.

Falesco Vitiano 2000$
Tasted: June 2002
Some of you will remember us carrying an earlier vintage of this wine. Hailing from Umbria in Italy, this is an equal parts blend of Merlot, Cabernet and Sangiovese, and quite gorgeous. It marries together a lovely combination of a sweetly fruited nose, with touches of blackberries and licorice, a full-bodied concentrated palate and a seamless finish with that touch of dryness from the Sangiovese. Drinking very well now but has the stuffing to mellow in the cellar for another 3-5 years.

Fattoria d'Manzano IL Bosco Syrah 1999
Tasted: August/September 2001
"The best Syrah in Italy" - Wine Spectator's Top 50 Italian wines "Why buy Guigal anymore?" Wine Spectator.

Felton Road Block 1 Riesling 2002
Tasted: March 2003
My favorite Riesling from the 2002 vintage. A weighty sweet style Riesling (50g/litre) with a touch of acidity to balance the sweetness. Strong citrus flavours predominate backed up with a luscious honeyed character. Not an out and out pudding wine, but would go nicely with fruit salads, cheesecake and other lighter sweets.

Felton Road Pinot Noir 1999
Tasted: May 2000
I liked this better than the Block 3. Jam-packed with flavour, we managed to obtain only a small allocation of this wine, so it's available only to Decanter Club members from the newsletter. I expect it will sell for around the $40 mark.

Felton Road Pinot Noir 2002
Tasted: July 2003
Rich lush Pinot with heaps of rich, ripe fruit, and packed with black cherry and spice flavours. Very silky and seamless integration of fine oak and fruit. One of the best. Very limited supply.

Ferraton Samorens Cotes du Rhone 1999
Tasted: June 2001
Another new label for us. This organically farmed producer in the Rhone is now working in conjunction with Chapoutier, and having their wines made by the Chapoutier team. Cotes du Rhone is generally a Grenache (dominant) and Syrah blend, and this wine is no exception. I tend to think of Cotes du Rhone as a 'style' rather than fruit driven...this is more peppery, leathery and earthy with red berry fruit in the mix.

Fiddlers Green Riesling 2000
Tasted: August/September 2001
This Riesling from the Waipara displays richness and complexity. It is a dry style with citrus and floral notes and a long finish. Could be worth cellaring for 2-3 years.

Floating Mountain Pinot Noir 2001
Tasted: July 2003
Grown in the Mark Rattray vineyard, this has excellent depth and balance, with lifted raspberry and spice aromas, very fresh and vibrant with a long rich finish. Excellent value.

Foradori Teroldego Rotilano 2000
Tasted: August 2002
Bored with cabernet, been there done that with Shiraz and grenache? Find Chianti too passe? How about Teroldego then? Grown in the Rotilano plain in Trentino in Northern Italy, this grape has been likened to a cross between Pinot Noir and Cabernet, combining an aromatic expressive nose, with a rich, fleshy, full-bodied palate. We've been able to source a dozen bottles of this rare and obscure grape variety that should confuse the living daylights out of the wine options set.

Forefathers Sav Blanc 2002
Tasted: Christmas 2002
A new label instore for us this summer, Forefathers is the prodigy of Nick and Yolyn Goldschmidt who now live in California's Sonoma Valley, and produce wines there under that label. They have sourced Marlborough fruit for this label with consultant help from one of NZ's top winemakers to create this classic Marlborough style full of herbaceous gooseberry and capsicum fruit with a touch of 'tom cat'.

Forrest Botrytis Riesling '00 375ml
Tasted: March 2002
Revisited this recently over dinner, and yum yum! This is mouthfilling, lush, and rich with its apricot and citrus notes, and the gorgeous musky complexity bought about by the botrytis. Fabulous length on the finish. A style that John does so well.

Forrest Botrytised Riesling 2002
Tasted: September 2003
Gold medals both here and in Australia. Luscious dessert wine, lemon gold in colour with lovely 'legs'! Very pure Riesling flavours, with lemons, tangelos and apricots with a honeyed plate. Very rich and smooth, never cloying and a palate that goes on and on.

Forrest Chenin Blanc 1998
Tasted: August 2000
Fantastic wine, more like a developed French Vovray, with honeyed peach characters and a lovely touch of sweetness, but enough acid to counter it.

Forrest Chenin Blanc 2001
Tasted: June 2003
John Forrest dropped this in while on a flying visit to Dunedin recently, and when we said that he was missing out on whitebait for dinner he insisted on us drinking his newly released Chenin with the wee fish. And we were impressed, not only did it go superbly with whitebait (and I can imagine with sushi) but the wine was fabulous. Off-dry style with wonderful aromas of peaches and cream, the typical Vovray (French Chenin) style. Will cellar very well I would think. Will be in stock next month.

Forrest Cornerstone Cab. Merlot 98
Tasted: June 2000
One of the finest NZ reds I've tried. Made in a very ripe Bordeaux style the wine is very concentrated and intense. Worth every cent and will definitely cellar well.

Forrest Estate Gewurztraminer 2001
Tasted: October 2001
This is a wee beauty. I have had the opportunity to try this wine on several occasions already and each time it gets better. I first tried it at John's vineyard earlier this year just after it had been bottled and it had already developed those wonderful honeyed characters that gewurzs often get. I'm not usually a huge fan of this style as I often find the perfume and spice just too overpowering. I also have to admit to not being a fan of lychees and mangoes (the flavours often used to describe gewurzs) because to me they are just too strong and rich a flavour for my palate. Well I have changed my mind about this one. It has all those lychee (but not sickly flavour), rose petal and spice that more mature gewurzs get. It's almost Alsation but not quite...maybe it will develop into that more refined style in time. At the moment though, it has massive fruit and that wonderful viscosity or mouth feel that only Gewurztraminers (and Australian Semillon) can get. Try this on its own, with Indian food or perhaps at Yum Char. Guaranteed to cellar for several years.

Forrest Estate Riesling 2000
Tasted: August/September 2001
John believes that Riesling is the regions premium varietal. He believes that the stony riverbed the grapes are grown on is expressed in the wine well with its austerity, concentrated palate and apple and mineral flavours. One for the cellar definitely.

Forrest Gewurztraminer 2002
Tasted: Christmas 2002
A well deserved gold at the Air New Zealand awards confirms John Forrest's ever increasing prowess with this variety. Everything about this wine oozes class; from its fragrant aromatics, through its silky palate, and long, long finish. Liquid seduction in a bottle.

Forrest Gewurztraminer 2002
Tasted: September 2002
John Forrest's wines are going from strength to strength. I thought last years gewurz was the best ever, well it has been surpassed by the 2002 vintage. Full of rose petal, lychee flavours and a full mouthfeel. Bound to be another gold medal winner.

Forrest Sauvignon Blanc 2000
Tasted: April 2002
Year after year, John Forrest makes one of NZ's finest Sauvignon Blancs. A Marlborough classic.

Forrest Sauvignon Blanc 2000
Tasted: Xmas 2000
Cuisine Top Ten. Very intense and concentrated.

Forrest Sauvignon Blanc 2001
Tasted: October 2001
John is well known to many of our Decanter Club members due to his regular visits down this way. I guess that you could say that the Savvy has become his signature wine, almost as big as the man himself. John has held his price for us this year, making the wine a bargain,. and has taken a strong stand against cork taint by bottling this wine under a screw (stelvin) top closure. Picking a variety of vineyard blocks over a series of picking dates has given a wine of great complex flavour and weight.

Forrest Sauvignon Blanc 2002
Tasted: March 2003
Back in stock, our most popular savvy. Made in a very ripe style with lovely citrus and capsicum flavours, zesty and lively.

Forrest Sauvignon Blanc 2002
Tasted: November 2002
A perennial favorite for us, looking fresh and zesty in its screwcap closure. While a lot of other Sav Blancs are creeping up in price, John has worked hard to hold the price of this wine, which is now looking better and better value. With several vineyard blocks to choose from, and a succession of picking dates, he really is building a lot of complexity into this wine with everything from the classical grassy, gooseberry notes, right through to riper passionfruit and tropical fruit.

Forrest Sauvignon Blanc 2003
Tasted: March 2004
As good as it gets. Classic Marlborough sav blanc from a great vintage. Heaps of gooseberry, quince and capsicum flavours with huge mouth-feel and a huge finish. If you like sauvignon blanc, you'll love this.

Forrest sauvignon Blanc 2001
Tasted: March 2002
For the many fans of John Forrest's wines, we've just had another shipment of the savvy after running out last month. We don't really need to tell you about this wine.... It's a complex and classic expression of Marlborough sunshine in a bottle.

Fossit Ridge Riesling 2000
Tasted: June 2003
From the Richmond foothills in Nelson, this 2000 Riesling is made in an off-dry style. It is full-bodied with strong citrus and apple flavours and is now showing a touch of kerosene with a slightly oily texture. Should be a good one to keep for a few years in the cellar.

Fox Creek 'Short Row' Shiraz 2000
Tasted: April 2002
Bob Campbell gives this wine 95/5 stars in the latest Cuisine mag, and writes "another blockbuster red from one of Australia's top Shiraz producers. Incredibly deep, dense wine with plum, chocolate, mocha, mulberry and liquorice flavours. Very approachable now for such a big wine, but will reward with ageing".

Fox Creek J.S.M. 1998
Tasted: February 2000
Fabulous wine made of a blend of Shiraz, Cabernet and Cabernet Franc and aged in a super blend of both American and French oak. This wine is simply gorgeous. Juicy plums, cassis and chocolate and made to age.

Fox Creek Reserve Shiraz 1998 $66.95
Tasted: February 2000
Bob Campbell wrote of this wine in Cuisine "Amazing wine! Dense but not heavy. Elegant with power. The wine appears to have so much aging potential it is practically immortal." What more can you say.

Fox Creek Reserve Shiraz
Tasted: Christmas 1999
When only the best quality will do. Believe me when I say that a wine enthusiast would love to find this under the christmas tree! Bob Campbell has rated this 96 in this month's Cuisine issue in best of the bunch.

Foxes Island Pinot Noir 1998
Tasted: July/August 2001
This Pinot Noir from Marlborough spends about 10 months in French oak prior to bottling. Cherry and plum fruit predominate and backed up with pepper and spice and a subtle earthiness. Try it at John Belsham's tasting on the 1st of August.

Framingham Classic Riesling 2000
Tasted: October 2000
One of our favorite restaurateurs was recently telling me that she's into a spring mode at the moment, and the Chardonnays have given way to Rieslings and Sav Blancs. Fittingly, the first of the 2000 wines are filtering on to the shelves now. Framingham has made a name for itself over the last few vintages, and this new wine is just bursting with apple, citrus and honey and a crisp tangy finish. Perfect as the days lengthen and warm up again.

Framingham Dry Riesling 2001
Tasted: June 2002
Framingham has become a benchmark in Marlborough Riesling over the years, and this latest release is right on track. Uncompromisingly dry, but with flavour intensity to match, and with a creamier palate texture than some earlier releases, this is a wine to cellar. Now bottled with stelvin (screw cap) closures, this will live long in the cellar.

Framingham Sav Blanc 2002
Tasted: Christmas 2002
Marvellous producer with a flair for the aromatic varieties, and perhaps best known for their Rieslings. A ripe and weighty style with passionfruit and grapefruit notes and a touch of redcurrant. All balanced by zippy acidity.

Fraser River Pinot Noir 2000
Tasted: August/September 2001
Just arrived, a Central Otago Pinot Noir for under $30!! This wine has spent 11 months in French oak and is displaying some lovely spicy cherry flavours. It is a slightly lighter in style wine compared with some of the Pinot's coming out of the area, but is none the less extremely enjoyable.

Fraters Rise Cabernet Merlot
Tasted: August 2000
Great value, lovely ripe fruit with lots of blackcurrants, made by Lintz Estate from Martinborough.

Frescobaldi Castiglioni Chianti 2002
Tasted: October 2003
New vintage of this impressive Chianti from this famous Tuscan producer. Made from Sangiovese (90%) and Merlot (10%) it is ruby red in colour with aromas of cherries and strawberries. It is a medium bodied wine, which offers ripe cherry fruit on the palate and hints of pepper and spice. It is designed for early drinking and makes for a perfect summer red to be enjoyed with a pasta dish or some cured meat.

Friedrich Wilhelm Gymnasium Riesling Kabinett 1994
Tasted: June 2000
Opens up with that classic German nose; sulphur and minerally, leading on to a honeyed palate with refreshing acidity. Like all Mosel Saar-Ruwer Rieslings there is surprising power given the slender (8%) alcohol level. We have another couple of Germans in stock just now, so if you have a penchant for this style, please enquire.

Fromm Gewurztraminer 2002
Tasted: September 2003
Powerful lush and oily with a pronounced nose of rose petals, and a rich palate of lychees and spice. Leave it a couple of years for added complexity.

Fromm La Strada Chardonnay 2000
Tasted: Christmas 2002
This is the closest to a French White Burgundy I've tried. Very elegant and fruity with wonderful complex flavours. One of my best NZ Chardonnays I've ever tried. A food wine. Try with oysters, whitebait or blue cod.

Fromm Riesling 2002
Tasted: September 2003
Lovely medium style Marlborough Riesling with a touch of class. Honeyed fragrance, with peaches, lemons and limes and a long honeyed finish with a hint of marmalade.

Galah Grenache 1996
Tasted: February 2000
Soft spicy and plummy. Has loads of flavour. A gutsy wine. This wine would be fabulous with the eggplant recipe below.

Gapsted Durif 1998
Tasted: February 2002
Peter and Mark call this 'good grief'! A new winery on the market and a warm welcome it has received. This is massive. Bigger than Texas. Yummy stuff. Serve with elephant!

Garden Gully 1997
Tasted: February 2000
One of the few grenache from Victoria. Dark, deep colour with strong tannins and oak.

Gibbston Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2001
Tasted: Christmas 2001
This is very typical of a cool climate style Sauvignon Blanc. Lemon and lime flavours predominate with hints of tangy, herbaceous notes on the finish. Very invigorating and refreshing.

Giesen Riesling 1999
Tasted: Christmas 1999
Another excellent Riesling from the Giesen brothers in Canterbury. On the dryer side of medium, this is fantastic afternoon drinking.

Giesen Riesling 2000
Tasted: Xmas 2000
Full of ripe fruit. Peach stonefruit flavours. A favourite.

Giesen Riesling 2001
Tasted: Christmas 2001
Gold medal winner and deservedly so. A wonderful combination of citrus and honey, with a hint of botrytis adding extra complexity. Gorgeous.

Giesen Riesling 2001
Tasted: March 2002
Off dry style with concentrated citrus flavours and an impressive finish. One for the cellar.

Giesen Riesling 2001
Tasted: November 2001
A great value Riesling with concentrated ripe citrus fruit and a touch of sherbet. A little bit drier than in previous years and very refreshing. Perfect for those long summer evenings.

Giesen Sauvignon Blanc 2001
Tasted: August/September 2001
If you love Sav Blanc you'll love this. Fresh off the press, this wine is packed with lime and gooseberries with a long zesty juicy finish.

Giesen School Road Chardonnay
Tasted: February 2001
Rated by Halliday as one of the Top 10 in NZ. I well remember when this first came onto the market in the late eighties and feeling that this was a wine that could pave the way for a change of style in NZ Chardonnay with lighter oak and better quality, riper fruit. And so it has remained one of Canterbury's best. It's packed with savoury citrus fruit. We've done a great deal, thus the good price to you.

Glazebrook Merlot 1998
Tasted: May 2000
We had sold out of this wine, but now have one case available. A big chewy Hawkes Bay Merlot from the magnificent 1998 vintage. Lashings of plummy fruit held together with a good tannin backbone.

Glazebrook Merlot Cabernet 2000
Tasted: March 2002
Overseas markets seem to struggle with the pronunciation of Ngatarawa (I can't think why!), so Alwyn Corban has made use of the Glazebrook name in recent years. Many of you will remember the stunning range of '98 Glazebrook reds; this is a worthy successor from a successful vintage in Hawkes Bay, the Merlot provides the plump upfront fruit on the palate, with the Cabernet providing the acid and tannin backbone. Enjoy!

Glenguin Shiraz 1999
Tasted: August/September 2001
We tried this at Steve Bennett's tasting recently and were really impressed by the quality and value of this Hunter Valley wine. Wonderful wine made from 50- year-old vines. Elegant and seamless with incredible flavour and intensity. Excellent value for quality.

Goodtimes Pinot Gris 2002
Tasted: April 2003
This is a little cracker from Canterbury House at a great price. Full of pear, spice and lychee flavours. This is absolutely delicious.

Graffigna Malbec 2002
Tasted: October 2003
Made in Argentina, this wine has won amazing accolades in the international press, for instance it gained the award for Best Buy, Wine Spectator, 2002,which is definitely not to be sneezed at. It's a great robust wine full of very juicy fruit, yet soft and spicy and finishes with a touch of oak. Buy it to enjoy with pasta, or with bruschetta before dinner with friends.

Gran Feudo Rose 2001
Tasted: March 2003
A serious style of Rose, made from grenache grapes. Packed with flavours, just off dry, with a palate of rosehips and strawberries. Great summer wine. Try with chicken.

Grant Burge Mesach 1996
Tasted: October 2001
Sourced from select parcels of fruit from the Burge's Filsell vineyard in the Barossa Valley, and then given the Rolls Royce treatment. Quite unashamedly Burge's tilt at the Grange throne. Now selling in the US for US $135.

Grant Burge Meshach 1996
Tasted: February 2001
Munslow's is offering Decanter Club members the opportunity to pre-order this amazing wine. It will be released in the next few months. En primeur is the traditional way of purchasing most of the finest wines, in particular the French, Italians and now the Australians are offering this for their top wines only. The 1996 has been acclaimed as being the best Meshach to date. Halliday wrote "medium to full red-purple; the bouquet is rich and complex with lots of dark berry fruit and the oak under control. Dark cherry, plum and chocolate flavours on the palate are once again married with well-balanced and integrated oak; finishes with fine tannins. The best Meshach made to date". See Peter before the end of February to assure your purchase of the Meshach. It will cellar for close to 20 years probably and will certainly reach inflated prices in auctions within only a few years.

Grant Burge Miamba Shiraz 2000
Tasted: November 2002
The Grant Burge Filsell Shiraz made the Top Ten in Cuisine. This is the 'little brother' (though there's nothing at all little about this wine), and is a perfect example of what the Barossa Valley does so well. This is a big, powerful red, with sweet ripe fruit, touches of eucalypt, and lots of spicy oak on the finish. As a special bonus, we are offering a free magnum of this wine with every case ordered.

Grant Burge Miamba Shiraz 2001
Tasted: September 2003
Very ripe sweet plum and berry aromas. Savoury, gamey flavours come through on the palate. Still quite youthful and will benefit form cellaring for a few years, however it is drinking well now. Should go well with most red meat dishes.

Grant Burge Shiraz 2002
Tasted: February 2004
A very good Barossa shiraz at this price. This vintage is the best yet from the Burge house. Full of American oak and chocolate, cherry fruit.

Greenhaugh Hope Chardonnay 1998
Tasted: June 2000
One of my absolute favourites. Nelson grapes producing a rich complex, very intense flavoured wine. Packed with flavour. Superb.

Greenhough Hope Pinot Noir 1999
Tasted: February 2001
Made by Andrew Greenhough, this follows on from the very good 1998 and is possibly even better. Complex berry and forest floor flavours and a palate that goes on and on. My pick of the Pinots currently available. Nelson Pinot at its finest.

Greenhough Pinot Noir 2001
Tasted: June 2002
This is a little gem from Nelson, warm cherry flavours with lots of fruit and flavours of plums, and nuts and vanilla oak. Good value.

Greiner Gewurztraminer 2000
Tasted: Christmas 2002
Another gold medal winner (in the Top 100) and justifiably so. Showing it's Alsatian origins, this is a tighter, fine-grained style, with wonderful perfume, minerally hints on the palate, and a long intense finish. Drier than the Forrest, this is a great food wine.

Greiner Gewurztraminer 2000
Tasted: February 2004
When you are looking for something completely different, then look no further. I realise that this is getting up in price for a Gewurztraminer, but it is worth every cent. This is what NZ gewurz producers are trying to achieve. Classic Alsatian style. Fantastic with food, but great on it's own.

Greiner Tokay Pinot Gris 1998
Tasted: June 2001
Very stylish Alsatian wine. Smoky, rich deep flavoured, with lovely overtones and great persistence on the palate. A real treat. Would be fabulous with scallops or maybe a French Onion Tart.

Gymnasium Mehringer Zenerberg Riesling Kabinett 1994
Tasted: September 2003
I love old German Rieslings and this is a beauty. It's rare to be able to offer a wine that is almost 10 years old, however this is still very fresh. With the ageing it is that marvellous honey characteristic that just isn't there with youngsters. This wine will improve over the next 4-5 years. Yum!

Hamilton Sturt Shiraz/Cabernet 2002
Tasted: July 2003
A beauty from the Barossa, the Hamilton family has been making wines since 1837. I'm not always a fan of these blends, but this works a treat. Huge, dense and very rich and powerful, packed with spice, cassis and plums. Great value winter wine.

Hardy's Crest Cabernet Shiraz Merlot '99
Tasted: September 2002
A new label for us, though an old established company. A classic example of what Australia does so well, a ripe, richly flavoured red at excellent cost. Moreover, this is not just sweet and simple we were impressed by its complexity, and the structure of the wine. All in all, a wine that performs well above its price point.

Hardy's Sauvignon Blanc
Tasted: Xmas 2000
How do the Aussie's do it at this price? Great value.

Hardy's Shiraz Cabernet 1998
Tasted: Christmas 1999
Great for bbq's and parties.

Hawkdun Rise Pinot Noir 2000
Tasted: August/September 2001
Another very good Central Otago Pinot. Lots of Black Dawson cherry flavours with good tannins and classy oak. Perfect with duck.

Hawkesbridge Sauvignon Blanc 1999
Tasted: November 1999
Gold medal wine with full fruitiness of perfectly ripe fruit. Full mid palate and a lingering aftertaste. An excellent Marlborough wine.

Hawkesbridge Sauvignon Blanc 1999
Tasted: Christmas 1999
This went gold at the Air New Zealand show, which is not easy to obtain. It is worth every point awarded to it. Great fruit and acid balance.

Hayes Lake Pinot Gris 2001
Tasted: February 2002
The first Pinot Gris release from Hayes Lake winery and a great first up effort. The central winemakers are really getting the feel for this variety, and this version is a real fruit burst with pear and stonefruit and is as fresh as a daisy. Drink young and enjoy that beautiful fruit.

Hayes Lake Sauvignon Blanc 2001
Tasted: February 2002
A Top 10 result in Cuisine Magazine is another excellent award for this stylish Central Otago label. A regular on our shelves over the last few years, this vintage is classically bright fresh grassy and crisp. Great for gurgling on a hot summers day, or team it with some shellfish!

Hays Lake Pinot Noir 1999
Tasted: March 2000
Gold medal awarded at last weeks Easter Show. This Pinot is at the savoury mushroom end of the spectrum, which often does not stand out in competitions. Good on the judges for rewarding this very Burgundian style Central Otago wine. Congratulations to Hays Lake for continuing to provide us with a superb Pinot.

Henry Lawson Cabernet Sauvignon 1998
Tasted: June 2003
We tried this wine from the fabulous '98 vintage at Wine Club last week and most people were in agreement with that it was one of the stand-out wines. Full of rich, ripe chocolate and berry flavours, with complexity and a long palate.

Henry Lawson Shiraz 1998
Tasted: March 2003
Mudgee wine from the wonderful '98 vintage. Very generous palate with blackberry, cherry and lovely toasty spicy oak. It's beautifully developed now, but still has plenty of time to go. A real bargain. This wine really rocks and rolls for me As a food wine it is divine, and would match Laurie's Italian roast lamb just fine indeed. Must admit that you just have to buy lamb from a reputable butcher, and NOT from the supermarket if you want to make this dish, because going to that little more trouble to get the best cut, is worth it...just like going to a reputable wine merchant.

Henry's Drive Cabernet 1998
Tasted: March 2000
A new winery for Munslow's and a treat is in store for those who are willing to try something new, concentrated aromas of fruit and berries. The palate has ripe rich blackberry and chocolate flavours, balanced with sweet vanilla oak. Fab wine.

Henry's Drive Shiraz 1998
Tasted: March 2000
This blockbuster of a wine received 5 * in Winestate magazine, and gold medals at the Melbourne and Adelaide wine shows, both of which are very reputable shows. Has amazing liquorice and plum flavours and is an absolute delight to drink. Has great cellaring potential of at least 5 years or so.

Henschke Cyril Henschke Cabernet Sauvignon 1996
Tasted: August 2000
A long history and a great track record has turned Henschke into one of Australia's wine icons; performing consistently well in tastings, and as a star in the auction market. We have minute quantities of the latest Henschke releases in store now (sorry, no Hill of Grace), so devotees of this label should get in quickly.

Highland Park 12 year old Malt 1 Litre
Tasted: Christmas 2002
Same price as the 750ml! One of the great Malt Whiskeys. Succulent and smokey with flavours of heather and honey. Absolutely delicious.

Highland Park Malt 12 year old
Tasted: June 2000
One of the great malts at the price of a 750ml. Succulent and smoky with honey sweetness and great maltiness. (Michael Jackson, Malt Whiskey)

Houghton Wildflower Ridge Chardonnay 1998
Tasted: February 2001
Ripe melon and peach with toasty oak characteristics. This is an excellent value quaffer

Houghton's White Burgundy 2001
Tasted: Christmas 2002
An historic West Australian the HWB has been produced since 1937. A tropical fruit salad of grape varieties but who cares. Bright perfumed nose, super ripe fruit and a nice crisp finish. Buy a case and put half away for five years. You'll be in for a real treat.

Houghton's White Burgundy 2001
Tasted: November 2002
Once tried, you will be convinced that this is a serious wine and one to put in your mixed cases. I think maybe it's been bastardised over the years as a cheap, poor quality, junk wine. But who cares what others think. I love it. It's great drinking. If you are a sauvignon blanc or a riesling fan, you'll love this fruit-bound wine.

Houghton's Wild flower Chardonnay 1998
Tasted: May 2001
Toasty oak with sweet melon and peach flavours. A great value wine from Western Australia

Huntaway Reserve Gewurztraminer 1998
Tasted: November 1999
Traditional bouquet of rose petals and lychees, balanced with a rich full-bodied palate of honey spice and tropical fruit. A classic, very much in the French Alsation style. If you are into gewurt's you have to try this. Recommended cellaring 2-3 years.

Hunters Riesling 2002
Tasted: March 2003
Hunters took the world (well, the U.K) by storm in the '80s with a string of remarkable Sav Blancs which were at the forefront of NZ winemaking, yet perhaps because they have been round for such a long time, I have overlooked them a little. That's a shame, because under the talented and longstanding winemaker Gary Duke, the Hunters wines are always stylish and exemplary expressions of what Marlborough does so well. The merest whisper of honey is balanced by a fine cut of acidity with fantastic fruit expression and great length on the palate.

Hunters Sauvignon Blanc 2001
Tasted: November 2001
Classic style Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc with intense gooseberry and tropical fruit flavours. Consistently one of the best of its kind around.

Hunters Sauvignon Blanc 2003
Tasted: February 2004
This is the style of wine that put NZ on the world wine map. Typically herbaceous Marlborough sav blanc full of gooseberry, passionfruit and tropical flavours. One of the best!

Huntington Estate Shiraz 1994
Tasted: March 2000
A friend who had spent a year working for a company in Sydney introduced me to Huntington Estate wines many years ago and he was keen to try the local wines. Coming from the then rural backwater of Mudgee, their wines were still (and still are) very highly rated by the Aussi wine press. Now Mudgee is one of the latest buzz areas for wine growing in Australia. It's nice to have a wine on the shelves, with a little age on it, and while the palate has the softness and richness of age, I was surprised by the lashings of sweet fruit on the initial taste. I think it will cellar for a while.

Ingoldby Cabernet Sauvignon
Tasted: March 2004
I love McLaren vale reds, and this is good. The colour is deep and youthful and the palate is full of lush sweet fruit with high quality oak treatment and a long finish.

Ingoldby Shiraz 2000
Tasted: September 2002
A McLaren Vale label that has been a regular feature on our shelves. Like many of the McLaren Vale wines, this has that lushness and suppleness on the palate, but without being over heavy or over jammy. Nicely complex and spicy with lifted currant and berryfruit notes, and great breadth of flavour on the palate. The balance means that you look forward to a second glass. Yum.

Irvine Zinfandel 2001
Tasted: February 2004
The vanillin oak is the first thing that strikes you when trying this wine. This is soon followed by the spice and pepper and share power from the fruit

Isabel Dry Riesling 2001
Tasted: March 2002
Peter and Mark differ in their Riesling likes. Peter prefers them off dry, while Mark tends to the drier style. Mark tried this at the Marlborough wine and Food Festival and managed to source the last case from the suppliers. Absolutely stunning and with a purity of fruit rarely encountered. Bone dry and needing food if drinking now. Sure to be a star in the cellar.

Isabel Dry Riesling 2002
Tasted: November 2002
Isabel Estate has been carving out quite a reputation for themselves both locally and internationally, with quite a swish range of wines. They can now certainly be looked upon as one of the 'star performers' in Marlborough. The Riesling is a personal favourite with its marvellous aromatics, intensity of flavour, and a long flavoursome finish. Certain to cellar very well, but was great with a curry the other week.

Jacob Creek Ltd. Release 25th Anniversary Cabernet Sauvignon 1998
Tasted: September 2002
This special bottling is to mark 25 years of Jacobs Creek. From the exceptional 1998 vintage this Cabernet displays all the hallmarks of the classic Barossa style. Plum, dark berries and chocolate aromas are followed up by concentrated blackberry fruit flavours with a touch of cedary oak and well- structured tannins. Could be one to put away for a rainy day.

Jamieson's Run Cab Sauvignon '01
Tasted: July 2003
A cool climate cab from Coonawarra with lots of plum and blueberry flavours. The spicy oak characteristics complement well. Fantastic for this price.

Jamieson's Run Cabernet Sauvignon '01
Tasted: April 2003
Gold medal in Sydney, Australia's toughest wine show. Classic Coonawarra wine, with strong savoury/earthy blackcurrant, cabernet fruit flavours and a long and complex finish. Very good value from this region.

Jamieson's Run Pinot Noir 1998
Tasted: February 2001
One of our staff opened a bottle of this recently and it came as a very pleasant surprise to see how well it had developed. With a wee bit of age under it's belt, it now shows some of those lovely secondary characters that Pinots can get. Quite savoury, almost hinting of hung game with that inviting mushroomy forest floor characters. a mature pinot at a great price.

Jamieson's Run Reserve 1995
Tasted: February 2000
Big brother to the more famous Coonawarra Jamieson's Run. This is a very stylish Bordeaux type wine. The spice and berry aromas are enticing followed by blackberry and plum fruit backed by expensive oak. Very impressive wine that will cellar well for at least 8 years.

Jenke Cabernet Sauvignon 1999
Tasted: June 2001
A big soft cuddly Barossa Cabernet. Chock full of blackcurrant fruit, chocolate, and a touch of eucalypt, with soft tannins. Perhaps not as complex as the Shiraz and mouvedre, but a classy wine nevertheless.

Jenke Grenache 1999
Tasted: June 2001
Lashings of fruit with savory, earthy and porty notes. I sometimes find the sweetness in Aussie Grenache just a bit too much, but like the Mouvedre this wine manages the intensity of fruit without excessive sweetness.

Jenke Mouvedre 1999
Tasted: June 2001
One of the southern Rhone red trio, and most often seen blended with its stablemates grenache and Syrah (Shiraz) in wines such as Rosemount's G.S.M., Charles Melton None Popes, Penfolds Old Vine and of course Chateauneuf du Papes itself. This wine is outrageously perfumed with hung game, violets and blackberries, while the palate is richly spicy and manages the fine balance between depth of flavour, without excessive sweetness.

Jenke Shiraz 1998
Tasted: June 2001
The vinous equivalent of taking a Daimler for a drive; cocooned in plush leather upholstery, surrounded by fine wood paneling and oh so smooth a ride! This wine has it all; sumptuous fruit, finely balanced oak, and a silk palate leading to a long finish. Fabulous!

Johanneshof Gewurztraminer 2003
Tasted: March 2004
Everyone's favourite at last week's gewurt tasting, this has it all. Rich and honeyed it explodes on the palate. Classic rose petal aromas and a long lingering finish. Trophy winner and we picked this when we tried it earlier this year!

Josef Haupt St Michael Riesling Spatlese 2001
Tasted: February 2004
I love German Rieslings and this is a steal! Lovely ripe peachy flavours in a medium style and, as with most German wines, is balanced by great acidity. Great lunch wine with low alcohol.

Joseph Haupt St. Michael Kabinett 2001
Tasted: June 2003
Terrific value, slightly off-dry German Riesling. Honey and peach flavours, and with alc.vol. as low as 8% it makes this an ideal wine for lunch or BBQs. Great on it's own.

Kaikoura Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc 00
Tasted: July/August 2001
Those of you who have been up past Kaikoura recently will have noticed the signage for this winery on a bluff just south of Kaikoura town. The grapes in this silver medal winner are from Marlborough, and are in the riper end of the flavour spectrum; showing gooseberry- passionfruit and a nicely textured palate.

Kawarau Chardonnay 2000
Tasted: October 2000
Crisp and refreshing wine lightly oaked just enough to give it those delectable creamy stonefruit flavours.

Kawarau Estate Pinot Noir 2002
Tasted: February 2004
2 gold medals to its name. A gorgeous wine packed with dark plum and berry fruit that explodes on the palate with very fine oak tannins. 20% whole cluster and 50% whole berry fermentation, with 10 months in oak.

Kawarau Pinot Noir 2002
Tasted: July 2003
From Central this has got to be the best value Pinot from the area. The fruit is succulent, warm and full of distinctive cherry flavours that are the hallmark of Pinot's from Central.

Kawarau Reserve Chardonnay 99
Tasted: October 2000
Finely structured wine with rich toasty oak. 10 months in fine French oak has added a creamy complexity to the delicate citrus notes and warm toasty nose.

Kawarau Reserve Pinot Noir 2000
Tasted: June 2001
Wow, fabulous Central Otago Pinot! What a colour. This is a beauty. Very complex and powerful with cherry and spice and a touch of smoky oak. Deep rich and firm

Kawarau Reserve Pinot Noir 2001
Tasted: August 2002
Each vintage gets better and better and this is a fabulous drop. Lovely rich cherry flavours typical of the best central fruit, bursts onto the palate with a hint of spicy vanillin oak, unlike a lot of other Pinots this is reasonably prices. Great with duck.

Kawarau Reserve Pinot Noir 99
Tasted: October 2000
A complex tightly structured wine aged for 11 months in fine French Burgundy oak. It has good balance between tanin and fruit weight. You'll find hints of chocolate and spice and great sweetness of fruit. 4 stars Winestate Magazine.

Kawarau Sauvignon Blanc 2000
Tasted: October 2000
This will blow you away with a blast of pure passionfruit on the nose and conjure up a treat for your palate with tropical fruits, gooseberry and nettle flavours. Silver Medal Top 100.

Kemblefield Chardonnay 2000
Tasted: November 2001
The previous vintage of this wine made the top ten in Cuisine magazine, and this release shows all the right ingredients too. Peach and tropical fruit elements marry well with the nutty and spicy oak, while the creamy palate leads on to a long finish. Stylish wine from the Hawkes Bay producer.

Kim Crawford 'Boyszone' Pinot Gris 2003
Tasted: October 2003
From Marlborough comes this stunning new release Pinot Gris. Intense aromatic pear and apricot aromas lead to a rich palate with lychees, honey and spice. This is a weighty off-dry style with great complexity and a long, lingering finish.

Kim Crawford Riesling Dry 2001
Tasted: October 2001
Stunningly packaged with its eye-catching blue stelvin closure, the wine inside the bottle is also a stunner. Citrus blossom on the nose flows through the lemony citrus notes on the palate with a touch of honey on the finish. Wonderful purity and balance, a fine young Riesling with good aging potential.

Kim Crawford Unoaked Chardonnay '03
Tasted: October 2003
Made from 100% Marlborough fruit, this unoaked Chardonnay is suprisingly full and rich, having undergone malolactic fermentation. It displays luscious butterscotch and ripe tropical fruit flavours with plenty of depth and complexity.

Kingston Cabernet 2000
Tasted: November 2002
No relationship to either Jamaica or 'the Flyer', unless you count the depth of colour in the wine, or the touches of smokey oak. The Shiraz stablemate to this wine has just gone silver in the Top 100 Show, and at this price, the Cabernet is a steal. The lifted blackcurrant fruit is overlaid on chocolate and liquorice notes, finishing with soft tannins. Great BBQ red for the days and weeks ahead.

Kirrihill Companion Shiraz 2001
Tasted: July 2003
Originating from the Clare Valley in South Australia, this is a new winery on our shelves. One of the things that first struck me about this wine is its name. Silly really, but it seems to me that one of the pure pleasures of drinking wine is sharing a good bottle with friends and companions. So aesthetically it gets the thumbs up for me. However what's in the bottle MUST count for something, and it seems to me that this is a wine of good quality fit to share with the odd companion or two. The grapes are sourced from three different areas of SA so no distinct style is perceivable. The fruit is superb though, with fabulous vibrant, berry and plum flavours. The palate is dominated by clean, berry fruit and vanillin oak balancing it well.

Kirrihill Shiraz 2001
Tasted: July 2003
I tried this first at the Indian restaurant after Rob Hay's fabulous tasting. It's a big brut of a fellow which supports the acclaim and several awards it, and the previous vintage have achieved (trophy at the Sydney Wine Show). Sourced purely from the Clare Valley it is definitely an excellent example of a wine from the slightly cooler climate with very complex and elegant fruit. The white pepper and spice of the oak beautifully balance the ripe berry and plum flavours. It's a beauty and will only develop with time in the cellar.

Konrad and Conrad Noble 2001
Tasted: March 2003
Last opportunity to buy this fantastic sweetie at this price. The new vintage is going up by about 20 percent, or so I have been told. Really is fantastic and I have no doubt it will only get better with age. I wouldn't waste cooking my nectarines in this quality, but I wouldn't hesitate to drink this with poached nectarines in dessert wine.

Konrad and Conrad Noble Riesling 2001
Tasted: Christmas 2002
Yum yum pigs...! Mouthfilling, intense fruit, picked at 40 brix (hugely sweet). This is a true Trokenbeerenauslese style. As good a NZ dessert wine as you can get. Try with blue cheese.

Konrad and Conrad Sigrun Noble Riesling 375ml
Tasted: November 2002
The Konrad wines are being made by Brent Marris (of Wither Hills fame) and are already showing their class. The grapes for this wine were picked at 40 Brix, which puts them into the Trokenbeerenauslese level, and it is indeed a sumptuous wine on the palate. It doesn't quite ooze out of the glass, but is thick and mouthfulling and the sweetness is balanced by good acidity. Try this with some good blue cheeses.

Konrad and Konrad Noble Riesling '02 (375 ml)
Tasted: March 2004
Ravishingly beautiful and intense wine with an oily richness, lovely ripe nectarine flavours. It is superbly balanced with crisp acidity. Top gold medal standard.

Konrad and Konrad Noble Riesling 2000
Tasted: October 2001
A new label from Marlborough with Brent Marris from Wither Hills making the wine for them. A poised and balanced sticky, carries the 120gm residual sugar with ease, and is well balanced by good acidity. Botrytis and citrus notes on the nose lead one to the mandarin and honeyed palate.

Kumeu Dry White 1999
Tasted: June 2000
A refreshing blend from the Master of Wine, Michael Brajkovich. Don't be fooled by the price, this chardonnay predominant wine has a lovely melon palate and is one of the best quality wines in this price range I have tried.

Kumeu River Chardonnay 1999
Tasted: June 2000
It was a pleasure to have Paul and Melba Brajkovich down for Decanter Club recently, and the pleasure was returned when they poured this wine. Long established as one of NZ's classic wines, this is more French in style with its savoury complexity and mealy texture and mouthfeel. Intense and lovely.

L'Arbiola Barbera 1999
Tasted: November 2002
This is the perfect pasta wine. Full of ripe berry flavours and fresh currants, this is what the Italians so really well. Try with portobello mushrooms and fettuccine or pizza.

L'Arbiolin 1999
Tasted: August 2002
Ruby coloured with touches of woody, forest floor notes and sweet fruit. The nose (reminiscent of Pinot) hints of cherry and bramble on the palate with a touch of balancing astringency. Silky and slippery smooth over the palate, with good length and finish

L.A.Cetto Petite Sirah 1997
Tasted: July/August 2001
Another wines with a strong following amongst our Decanter Club members. This Mexican has a savoury spiciness very similar to Southern Rhone wines, and is drinking really well now.

LA Cetto Petite Syrah 1999
Tasted: Christmas 2001
A favourite of ours over the last couple of years, and one for the jaded palate. Inky coloured, powerful and meaty; this is a 'no holds barred' wine.

La Carlotta Barbera D'Asti 1999
Tasted: August 2002
A step up the ladder with greater depth of colour and aromatics. This wine is a delight. It is medium-full in body, savoury and extremely flavoursome, with cherry and almond flavours and soft tannins. Extra fruit sweetness on the palate with added concentration and complexity.

La Cetto Petite Syrah & Cabernet
Tasted: Xmas 2000
See Mark's Editorial on wines from Mexico.

La Romilda Barbera D'Asti 1999
Tasted: August 2002
This wine has a long line of international awards, including 'top wine of the Year' in the Decanter Magazine, for the 1996 vintage (an exceptional vintage). The 1999 vintage throughout Italy has received reviews suggesting that it is exceptional, so it was with pleasure that we tried this wine recently. It's a big wine, taking no prisoners. The fruit is ripe, berryfruit.

Lanson Black Label Champagne
Tasted: February 2000
The only gold medal non-vintage champagne at the International wine Challenge. Great fizzes. I'm overstocked, so out it goes at this great price!

Lanson Champagne
Tasted: August 2000
Still the best value French Champagne in the shop. Powerful, ripe with lovely yeast flavours.

Lanson Champagne
Tasted: March 2000
Over Christmas and New Year I had the opportunity to try quite a few bottles of Champagne all of which were pretty good, but when it comes to cost the Champagne which I felt offered the most at it's price was Lanson. Lanson is a well established Champagne house, founded in 1760 and like Veuve Clicquot and Moet is a member of the Syndicat de Grandes Marques de Champagne. The Black Label Brut NV has a full fragrant fruity nose, (the house style does not use malolactic fermentation), a persistent fine mousse and good body. At the special price of $53.95 I can thoroughly recommend it. (I've bought a case for a significant birthday later this year). For a few dollars more the 1993 Vintage Brut at $69.95 has got to be one of the cheapest vintage Grande Marques and well worth a try. Like the non-vintage it has the distinct fragrant nose but is a little deeper in colour and fuller on the palate. If you intend having Champagne for a special occasion this year why not get a bottle or two now, while the special price is available, like petrol it will go back up in price!

Lanson NV
Tasted: Christmas 1999
Another buttery yeasty Champagne. From an excellent house, and a very good value bubbly.

Lanvin Champagne
Tasted: Xmas 2000
If you want real champagne at a great price, look no further. The real deal!

Lawson's Dry Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2001
Tasted: March 2002
A consistently excellent Sauvignon with real class. Made ion the classic Marlborough style, it is both mouthfilling and powerful with impressive depth of melon and passionfruit flavours backed up with a pungent and aromatic feel.

Lawson's Dry Hills Sav Blanc '02
Tasted: September 2002
Another wee beauty from Marlborough. This wine has received all the ras since it appeared in the early 90's. Good lime tropical and grass flavours and good acid levels. A wine that will appreciate time in the bottle.

Lawson's Dry Hills Sav Blanc 2002
Tasted: Christmas 2002
A Marlborough winery that has built up an impressive track record over the years, particularly for their Sav Blanc and Gewurztraminer. A rich and complex style with passionfruit and tropical notes with hints of 'sweat'. A portion of the blend underwent barrel fermentation and malolactic, adding extra complexity to the finished wine.

Lawsons Dry Hills Riesling 2003
Tasted: October 2003
New release of this Riesling from Marlborough. The fruit was sourced from vineyards in the Wairau and Waihopai Valleys and has produced a dry style Riesling. There are aromas of melon and peach, which lead to citrus dominant characters and a clean, fresh finish.

Le Brun Methode Non Vintage
Tasted: Christmas 1999
Was $30.95 now $26.95 plus Decanter Club discount. This makes an icon very reasonably priced indeed.

Le Vieux Donjon Chateauneuf du Papes'00
Tasted: November 2002
Made by the Michel family, in quite traditional style. This is a wine that could do with a few years of cellaring before broaching. Dark ruby red, it has a liqueur-like nose of cherry, redcurrants, roasted meats and spice cake. Dense and sweet in the mouth it finishes with pepper and chocolate notes and a fine lick of tannin.

Leaning Rock Barrel Fermented Gewurztraminer 1999
Tasted: April 2002
Fermented in French oak, this has produced a powerful and rich Gewurztraminer. Orange peel and rose petal aromas predominate with a luscious lychee and spice finish. Quite an unusual style. Drinking nicely now.

Leaning Rock Pinot Noir 2000
Tasted: June 2003
Nice to find a gold medal Pinot with a bit of age that is drinking superbly now, and at a very good price. Very fleshy with ripe raspberry, cherry and spice flavours. Considerable complexity and along firmly structured finish.

Leasingham Bastian Shiraz Cab. 1998
Tasted: August 2000
Another great buy. When we tried this wine blind, we thought it would retail at above $20.00 so are thrilled to be able to offer our clients a really good quality red at such a good price. Full of rich blackberry fruit, full bodied. Will cellar for about 5 years or so.

Leasingham Bastian Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon 1998
Tasted: June 2000
Robust and rich with intense spicy aromas and ripe cherry and blackberry fruit. Great now or cellar for up to 5 years. When we tried this blind we put it into the $20-30 range; what a steal!

Leasingham Bastion Riesling 2002
Tasted: March 2004
This is the first release of this wine under the Bastion label. Using Riesling grapes sourced entirely from the Clare Valley, it has fresh citrus aromas. The palate is intense with concentrated flavours of lemon and lime, with a crisp minerally finish.

Leasingham Bastion Shiraz Cab 1998
Tasted: May 2001
Still haven't found anything better value at this price! Spicy nose, rich ripe persistent blackberry fruit on the palate with approachable fine tannins. Full bodied bold style wine.

Leasingham Bastion Shiraz Cab' 1999
Tasted: March 2002
The baby brother (or sister) of the Bin 16 and a wine which has become a firm favourite for us in recent months. We've just finished the '99 vintage, and a recent sample bottle went down rather well (yes I know it's a tough job hunting out all these nice wines for you) with its combination of spicy Shiraz and blackcurrant cabernet flavours. Excellent value.

Leasingham Bastion Shiraz Cabernet 1998
Tasted: July/August 2001
We have mentioned this wine before, but it deserves to be mentioned again. In the vinous boxing ring, this wine is fighting well above its weight. It combines a lovely drinkablity, yet has that bit of structure and grip that marks it down as something more serious. Lifted spice and berryfruit notes marry well with the bit of backbone given by the Cabernet.

Leasingham Bastion Shiraz Cabernet 2000
Tasted: Christmas 2002
This Clare Valley producer has an excellent reputation for its red, and trying this, you'll understand why. It marries the spiciness of Shiraz, with the plum blackcurrant of the Cabernet. Continuing to improve in the bottle, this is drinking marvellously now, but has some cellaring potential built in.

Leasingham Bastion Shiraz/Cab '01
Tasted: September 2003
The new vintage of this ever popular remarkable Aussie red blend. Fresh aromas are backed up with warm berry fruit flavours, and a touch of oak on the finish. A serious wine at a silly price.

Leasingham Bin 61 Shiraz 1997
Tasted: March 2000
Rich soft spicy and vanilla oak flavours. Another classic from the Barossa. We have had several bottles of this at various occasions and it really is great.

Leasingham Bin 61 Shiraz 1998
Tasted: August/September 2001
Opulent and full-bodied with plum and berry fruit complemented with finely integrated oak and vanilla. Drink now or stick it away for a few years.

Leasingham Bin 61 Shiraz 1999
Tasted: March 2002
Consistency is one of the hallmarks of this wine that we have enjoyed over several vintages. The Bin 61 has a little more 'structure' than some other shiraz; that bit of tannin making it an excellent food wine in its youth, while the opulent plummy fruit, touch of Clare Valley eucalypt, and vanillin oak will see it proudly through many, many years in the bottle.

Leasingham Bin 61 Shiraz
Tasted: Xmas 2000
Very intense and concentrated. Voted as the wine of The Year by Winestate Magazine - say no more!

Leeuwin Riesling 2001
Tasted: September 2002
One of Western Australia's best Rieslings, this vineyard has a huge following for it's Chardonnay and Riesling. Superb, one of our favs and one for the cellar. Packed with citrus fruit, oily, already with a hint of Australian kero. Like most Aussi Rieslings, this will develop beautifully and promises to cellar for 15 years. Old Aussi rieslings are a true treat.

Les Cailloux Ch. Neuf du Pape 1996
Tasted: Xmas 2000
Rated 92 by Guru Robert Parker. Cellar or drink. Complex cassis and black pepper flavours. You'll be hearing more from us about this I'm sure. Was $49.95.

Les Salices Pinot Noir 2001
Tasted: June 2003
The best value Pinot I've found. Lots of aromatics, oozing juicy richness from very low yielding vines. Aged for 6 months in French oak barrels, this comes from the highest and coolest part of the Les Salices Estate in the Languedoc area in Southern France and cooled by Mediterranean breezes. If you can't go there yourself, then try this instead and enjoy with something French like Onion soup.

Les Salices Syrah 2001
Tasted: September 2003
Another fabulous red from the south of France. Elegant and rich, with a lovely hint of white pepper and a firm plummy finish.

Lindeman's Bin 65 Chardonnay 1999
Tasted: November 1999
Probably one of the world's most consistent wine, or so the American's would have us believe. It is one of the only wines that has been included in Decanter Magazine's Top 100 wines. We love it, I'm sure will you too.

Lindeman's Bin 65 Chardonnay 2000
Tasted: June 2001
The biggest selling Chardonnay in the USA and no wonder. Voted wine 'buy of the year' too many times to keep count. Incredibly soft and smooth, it fills the mouth with ripe melon and fig fruit. Say no more!

Lindeman's Prem. Selection Riesling
Tasted: September 2002
This wine is only available for functions and unfortunately can not be sold direct from the shelves, but if you have a party/function and want a really good wine to impress then this will fit the bill. It is fantastic quality for this price. Or buy it by the case for the summer.

Lindeman's South Australia Res Shiraz '01
Tasted: April 2003
From one of the bigger wine companies in Australia, this shiraz is extremely impressive at this price. Grapes are sourced from various sites in South Australia, producing a wine of great style and elegance. Deep purple in colour with spicy berry flavours and a touch of American oak.

Lindemans Premier Selection Riesling '03
Tasted: March 2004
One of the best buys in the shop and the new vintage is a cracker! Just off-dry with lovely citrus flavours. Laurie and I often serve this at bbq's and it goes down a treat.

Logan Weemala Merlot 2001
Tasted: April 2003
In New Zealand, our market has changed somewhat over the last 5 years, away from sauvignon and chards to riesling and pinot gris. Equally, the Australian market is moving by introducing some better priced reds as a result of the price hike in shiraz which has come about by the International market seeking big Aussi shiraz's. The result of this is an introduction of merlot as a single grape varietal, so expect to see more merlots at good prices from Australia. This is one of the best value ones I've tried. Chock full of plum flavours and a layer of seductive vanillin oak.

Logan Weemala Shiraz 1999
Tasted: March 2004
A spicy earthy shiraz sourced from McLaren Vale of the NSW Central Ranges. Hints of pepper on the nose and plum on the palate. Not a normal Aussi shiraz, but very good none the less.

Loyers 2001
Tasted: March 2004
Maranges is a relatively new appellation having been given this status in 1989. It lies just to the west of Santenay and produces well structured wines with great depth of colour and ripe savoury fruit characters. This wine has these attributes, it is very well balanced, has good grip and could be one to hide away in the cellar for a few years.

Lurton "Les Salices" Syrah 1999
Tasted: June 2001
The 'Old World' fights back again! After years of losing market share to 'New World' reds with their sweet fruit, appealing oak, and sheer drinkablity, the French are heading south to Provence and the Languedoc to produce stylish wines at competitive prices. With supple texture, berryfruit and wild herb notes, this remains a very French expression of Syrah, and a nice comparison/contrast to Australian Shiraz.

Lurton GSC 2001
Tasted: March 2004
I really love this highly original blend of grenache, shiraz and cabernet from the south of France. Lots of spicy pepper flavours from the shiraz, sweet berry flavours from the grenache and hints of eucalyptus and blackcurrants from the cabernet which all adds up to make this a supple, rich and well balanced mouthful. A lovely change.

Lurton Les Bateaux Merlot Vins de Pays 2000
Tasted: February 2002
The wine is made from a number of old, non-irrigates vineyards around Carasonne in Southern France. The wine has a complex smoky aroma of dark fruit. The mouth is round and soft with ripe tannins and a fine texture for a wine of this price. To be enjoyed now with most everyday meat and cheese dishes.

Lurton Les Bateaux Syrah Vins de Pays 2000
Tasted: February 2002
"The world's greatest wine bargains: Blackberry and cherry aromas are accompanied by a light to medium-bodied, supple-textured wine filled with licorice, blackberries and raspberries. It is amazing that in 2001, a Syrah with so much character can be purchased for US$6 (NZ$16)" 86/100 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate.

Lustau Emilin Moscatel and Lustau Pedro Ximinez
Tasted: June 2002
It's no secret that I've long been a fan of Australian liqueur Muscats and Tokays, and it's easy to think that they are a uniquely Australian style. Not so! Lustau are Spanish masters of Sherries and other fortified wine styles. The Moscatel is the equal of the more serious Australian muscats; hugely complex on both the nose and the palate and wonderfully unctious on the palate. The Pedro is another beast again; liquid treacle in a bottle, it virtually oozes into the glass, and believe it or not is divine on ice cream. These are in a class of their own, and inherently underpriced.

Magliere Shiraz 1998
Tasted: May 2000
I have judged with James Halliday several times and I respect his palate enormously. He's also one of the best writers/commentators on wine in this part of the world. He gives the Magliere vineyard a rating of 4.5 stars and wrote one of the better-kept secrets among the wine cognoscenti. Its dry red wines are invariably generously proportioned and full of character, the Shiraz particularly so--and of the highest quality. This gained 5 stars in Cuisine. It is big, rich and is packed with ripe plums and spice flavours. Great now, but will cellar superbly. We've done a deal with this wine, was $23.95, now $20.95! A steal!

Magliere Vintage Shiraz
Tasted: February 2000
A really yummy fortified Shiraz, perfect for finishing the night with. If you love sparkling shiraz wines then this is the next thing for you to get your head around. Personally I think they are wonderful and this is the best in the style.

Maglieri Merlot 2000
Tasted: March 2004
You don't often think of Merlot and MacLaren Vale in the same breath, but this is a lovely drop of merlot with a rich, earthy regional character. Lots of sweet charm on the nose. Blackberry and raspberry fruit with a hint of christmas pud on the palate, and a long generous finish. Drinking well now.

Main Divide Riesling 2001
Tasted: Christmas 2002
Tried this at the Bigger than Texas tasting, and it is stunning. Low in alcohol (so great as a lunchtime wine) and medium in style. Just a wonderful combination of pure riesling fruit, sweetness, and a lick of acidity to balance it all. Incredibly moreish. Take it up to Central for a mid-afternoon wine with friends.

Main Divide Riesling 2002
Tasted: March 2003
Made by Pegasus winery in Canterbury in the Amberly area. This area is probably one of the premium riesling areas in the country, and is significantly different from other areas. Matt Donaldson is a very gifted winemaker and probably one of the best riesling makers in the country. This is definitely not to be missed, nor will it disappoint.

Main Divide Sauvignon Semillon 2000
Tasted: August/September 2001
I really enjoyed this wine when I tried it recently. I t has a weight and middle palate not found in many straight Sauvignon Blancs. Packed with ripe, fruit flavours and a very long finish.

Marc Bredif Vouvray 1999
Tasted: April 2001
Chenin Blanc is an underestimated and rarely seen grape variety here (off the top of my head, it's hard to think of good New Zealand chenins the exception being Collards), but at its pinnacle in the Loire Valley in France in appellations such as Vouvray. Noted for their incredible age-worthiness due to Chenin's natural acidity, in good years such as this, they combine lovely pear, apple and pineapple hints with a honeyed finish. Drinking well now, but a surprise in store if you cellar them.

Margan Family Cab Sauvignon 01
Tasted: September 2003
From the Hunter in Australia this is wonderfully deep purple in colour, and a fine example of a wine displaying fully ripened characters. Rich berry aromas are followed by cassis and wild berry fruit on the palate and is nicely balanced by the subtle use of oak.

Margan Family Shiraz 2002
Tasted: September 2003
One of the first Aussie reds from the 2002 vintage. This Hunter Valley Shiraz is made in a slightly lighter style compared to some of those Barossa beasties. Plenty of ripe, sweet soft tannins make this wine very drinkable.

Margan Semillon 2002
Tasted: February 2004
If you have been reading about Hunter valley Semillon, and have been too frightened to try them, then this is an excellent wine to start with. Once tried, you'll either be a Hunter Semillon fan and hunt them out, or not! We fit into the former category. It's typical straw colour and pungent nose gives the quality away from the beginning. The palate is viscous, with honey, lemon-lime flavours. Gorgeous stuff.

Marienberg Reserve Shiraz 1998
Tasted: March 2003
We dragged out of the cellar an old huge Aussi shiraz on the weekend to match our hefty Italian roast lamb which was a fantastic food/wine match. We followed up with this beauty. Some $30 less than the Rosemount I expected it to fade in the limelight, but surprisingly it held it's own. From the McLaren vale, the spice and berry fruit is well balanced by the vanillin oak and light tannins. Good value wine.

Martin Laurent Champagne
Tasted: February 2004
Excellent value for the real deal! Very similar to Pol roger with a lovely yeasty finish.

Martinborough Vineyards Chard. 2000$
Tasted: June 2002
We had a real mix of wines at the recent Cuisine Top 10 Chardonnay tasting, which as always led to quite a divergence of opinion amongst the tasters. Our favorite was the Martinborough wine, which had marvelous complexity, with some of that Burgundian earthiness and a lovely mealy, textured mouthfeel. All in all a finely balanced wine, with real palate interest.

Martius Rose
Tasted: Christmas 2002
I love a good Rose and this is good, serious stuff! A blend of grenache and syrah, this Spanish wine is packed with flavour. Lovely on it's own, or great with lamb racks or pasta. Don't be confused with the name by looking for Mateus Rose

Matariki Reserve Syrah 2000
Tasted: March 2002
Leaning definitely towards the Rhone (two bottles of this and you'll be leaning too) with it's cracked pepper, mineral and plum notes; these guys are proving to have a dab hand with this variety.

Matariki Syrah 1999
Tasted: May 2001
Matariki is a small Hawkes Bay label that many of you will not have heard of before, yet a gold medal for this wine at the Easter Show suggests that they might be on the right formula! I'm hearing more and more positive mutterings about how good the '99 Syrahs are out of Hawkes Bay, so this is your opportunity to find out. Quite different from the Aussie Shiraz style, expect to find red berry fruit, spice and white pepper.

Matua Cabernet Merlot 2000
Tasted: April 2001
Rich and generous blackcurrant and berryfruit. Ideal with rare beef or a dish with a flavoursome sauce.

Matua Judd Chardonnay 1999
Tasted: February 2001
A slight price increase in this wonderful chardonnay from our super special before Christmas; but still nothing to beat it. The oak is creamy and tastes expensive with medium charring which characterises this wine above others in its price range. The oak is superbly balanced with ripe melon creamy flavours.

Matua Judd Estate Chardonnay 1999
Tasted: April 2001
A reminder of this delicious Gisborne Chardonnay. It has really classy French oak and exhibits intense tropical fruit characters. A favorite of ours at home because of the balance of fruit and oak---it's not one of those heavily oaked Chards that gets too much on the palate after the second glass or so.

Matua Late Harvest Muscat
Tasted: March 2000
Ripe and flavoursome with spicy sweet honeyed finish.

Matua Matheson Chardonnay 1998
Tasted: Christmas 1999
It is one of the best 1998 chardonnays I have tried. Fantastic rolls royce oak, married with wonderful ripe fruit. Gold medal. This has to be the best buy for December. It was $32.95 now $21.95. Fantastic! It has "BUY ME" all over it!

Matua Matheson Chardonnay 1999
Tasted: March 2000
I was so disappointed when we ran out of the '98 vintage of this wine, but on trying the '99, I was delighted to find the currant vintage equally enjoyable. Full-bodied concentration of pure melon and spice flavours with an elegant toasty oak. Delicious and a surprise at 14% alc.vol. Try it with Bill Spence at the Matua tasting if you don't believe me!

Matua Matheson Chardonnay 1999
Tasted: May 2000
We had another opportunity to try this wine at a very enjoyable tasting last week with Matua's Bill Spence. Absolutely my pick of the wine in this price bracket. An elegant chardonnay with ripe fruit and finesse.

Matua Matheson Syrah 2002
Tasted: October 2003
A very good example of Syrah from the Hawkes Bay. It's rich and weighty with plenty of spice, pepper and berry fruit flavours. Full-bodied with soft, ripe tannins.

Matua Matheson Syrah 2002
Tasted: September 2003
Dense wine with lifted pepper flavours, together with attractive oak against a background of plummy ripe fruit flavours.

Matua Methode 1996
Tasted: Xmas 2000
A steal, was $26.95, exclusive to us at this price. Very good.

Matua Nineteen Ninety Six Brut
Tasted: October 2000
A creamy elegant yet complex structure with 70% Pinot and 30% chardonnay. A fine beaded mousse amplifies a toasty complex aroma. An absolute bargain at $19.95, less discount $17.95 - normal price would be $26.95

Matua Nineteen Ninety Six Brut
Tasted: Xmas 2000
A creamy elegant yet complex structure with 70% Pinot and 30% chardonnay. A fine beaded mousse amplifies a toasty complex aroma. An absolute bargain at $19.95, less discount $17.95 - normal price would be $26.95

Matua Pinotage Cabernet 2000
Tasted: May 2001
VALUE PLUS. Ideal for those functions or as a quaffing house wine at home. Soft Pinotage fruit with some nice cabernet to add some fullness on the finish.

Matua Valley Eastern Bays Chardonnay 2000
Tasted: March 2002
This modestly priced Chardonnay is a tropically fruit driven style with fresh, crisp, citrusy characteristics with the merest hint of oak providing good depth. It has an almost silky texture with some nice ripe lemon and pear flavours coming through. Good easy drinking.

Matua Valley Matheson Cabernet Merlot 2001
Tasted: March 2004
Rich, full bodied style red blend from the Hawkes Bay. It displays lifted berry/cassis aromas and ripe berry fruit flavours and a smooth finish. Drinking very nicely at present. Nga Waka Chardonnay 2001 19.75 A lovely rich, weighty Chardonnay with a good balance of tropical fruit and butterscotch flavours with a dollop of toasty oak. A serious Chardonnay at an affordable price.




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