Saturday, 10 June 2017


Selaks 'The Taste Collection Buttery' Chardonnay 2016 Hawkes Bay
Big, bold and fruity bouquet with fresh and roasted peach then vanilla laced oak and whipped cream aromas, yes and a little buttery as well. On the palate - nutty, toasty, creamy and oaky; flavours reflect the nose with yellow stone fruits and red apple, plenty of vanilla spice and chunky oak, some tobacco and Brazil nut, fine tannins and contrasting acidity, balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2020.
88 Points

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Mills Reef Winery

Mills Reef Winery reserve Chardonnay 2016 Hawkes Bay
A bouquet with shape and form - creamy, lush and rounded then fruity with baked peach and other stone fruits, a hint of raw brown sugar and butterscotch, a whisper of clove and vanilla with a toasty oak edge. On the palate - a core of fruit and oak with concentration as well as spice and oak tones, creamy texture, a citrus edginess and lengthy finish. Balanced, drink now or best from 2018 through 2026.
92 Points

Squawking Magpie

Squawking Magpie 'The Chatterer' Chardonnay 2016 Hawkes Bay
Classic and inviting bouquet of Hawkes Bay Chardonnay with a core ripe peach and red apple, a hint of white floral, some grapefruit and all laced with French oak vanilla spice; a light toasty layer adds complexity. On the palate - fruity, crisp, youthful and dry with flavours that reflect the nose showing off vanilla, spice, peaches and red apples, a light bite of wood tannin then grapefruit adds tension and length. Balanced and well made in a drink now style, but will also reward if cellared. Best drinking 2018 through 2022.
90 Points

Monday, 5 June 2017


Neudorf 'Tom's Block' Pinot Noir 2015 Nelson
Probably the most complex bouquet from a Tom's Block Pinot - aromas of ripe red and dark red berry fruits laced with scents of soil, oak and spices; a dark rose and sweet fruit tea layer, a mid-sniff concentration that suggests a little mystery and charm. On the palate - smooth silky tannins with an edginess that only a natural fermentation can deliver, concentrated and flavourful with messages of dark berries, oak, oak spice and balance, acid level is pretty much spot on, lengthy finish. Drink now and through 2025.
95 Points

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Moss Wood

Moss Wood Wilyabrup Semillon 2016 Margaret River, WA.
Alluring bouquet of citrus, peach and  hay with a dried grass layer, a gentle waxy edge, youthful, fresh and varietal. on the palate - crisp, fresh, varietal, fruity with a distinctive texture and palate appeal; loads of acidity accentuate the varietal signature and adds to the length - which is long and consistent. Great balance - drinking well now and through 2030.94 Points

Moss Wood Wilyabrup Chardonnay  2015 Margaret River, WA.
After a few minutes in glass the bouquet begins to unfurl aromas of fresh and baked yellow stone fruits, gentle yet distinctive oak spices, vanilla, brazil and cashew nut, quite complex overall. On the palate - almost full-bodied, creamy, rich and dry; flavours reflects the bouquet with a stronger citrus layer, the nut layer returns as do the oak spices, a leesy note adds texture and length. Overall a lovely wine, still very youthful and developing. Drink now if decanted and through 2026.93 Points

Moss Wood Wilyabrup Merlot 2014 Margaret River, WA.
Lightly spiced ripe dark plum led bouquet with black cherry and toasty oak, complexity builds as the wine relaxes in the glass. On the palate - firm with youthful textures from tannins and acidity then flavours of red plum and dark cherry return, plenty of oak spices with cloves and vanilla tones, medium+ weight, dry finish. Decant for service through 2018, best drinking 2019 through 2028.90 Points

Moss Wood Wilyabrup Cabernet Sauvignon Ribbon Vale Vineyard 2014 Margaret River, WA.
Attractive and masculine bouquet of ripe Cabernet fruit - blackberry and dark plum aromas; dark kitchen spices and a mix of cigar box and toasty oak. On the palate - full bodied, spicy, woody and fruity; a wine beginning a slow development with power and finesse underlying the core of ripe fruit and dry textures. Decant for service through 2019, best drinking from 2024 through 2035.94 Points

Moss Wood Amy's  Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot 2016 Margaret River, WA.
Vibrant, ripe, alluring and enticing bouquet of black berry fruits, dark plum, blue fruits, chocolate and loads of oak; dark clove and vanilla. On the palate - concentrated, fruity, plenty of texture from firm tannins with a course silk texture, plenty of contrasting acidity, great concentration, balance and length.  Overall a fine wine that will shows its best from 2025 through 2040.95 Points

Steve Bird Winery and Vineyards Ltd

Steve Bird Winery 'Big Barrel' Pinot Noir 2015 Marlborough
Vibrant, fresh and fruity bouquet with aromas of raspberry and dark cherry, a juicy and fleshy texture surrounds these ideas, moderate oak impact with vanilla and spice moments. On the palate - also very fruity with flavours that reflect the nose - dark cherry and raspberry tones, medium+ acidity, silky fine tannins, some vanilla oak spice and mild toasty quality, balanced and well made. Drink now and through 2022.90 Points


Mahi 'Twin Valleys Vineyard' Chardonnay 2015 Marlborough
Complex and enticing bouquet with aromas of soil, earth, white fleshed stone fruits, grapefruit and lemon custard/Brulee; plenty of oak with layers of spice and cashew. On the palate -  flavours of apple, citrus some stone fruit and oak, spices and lees inspired complexity, plenty of length in a medium+ weighted expression. A lovely example, drink now and through 2025.
93 Points