Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Mar 29, 2017
Vino Fino

From the tastings - USA

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From the tastings:

USA

The wine business in the USA is huge and with total annual consumption of around 3,500,000 litres per year it is the world's largest market and the 4th largest producer (behind France, Italy and Spain). 90% of wine produced in the USA comes from California. 30% of wine consumed is imported and it is New Zealand's single biggest wine export market taking around 21% of our annual production of 300 million litres. New Zealand is now number 3 by value (9.4% share) of all wine imported into USA - Italy 33.5%, France 23% with Australia slipping to number 4 at 8.8%. In 2010 New Zealand wasn't even in the top 6.
Alongside this growth in exports to the USA we have seen more USA labels appearing on our shelves here. These wines are from the more 'commercial' end of the market - New Zealanders may baulk at some of the prices being asked of the top end labels! However, what we do see here are able to compete and contrast with wines such as reds from Australia and locally produced Chardonnays. The oft requested big, golden, buttery $20.00 Chardonnay seems to be more likely to come from California than NZ these days. Tonight we took the chance to have a look at some of these North American wines available on our shelves. 

From the tastings:

USA

The wine business in the USA is huge and with total annual consumption of around 3,500,000 litres per year it is the world's largest market and the 4th largest producer (behind France, Italy and Spain). 90% of wine produced in the USA comes from California. 30% of wine consumed is imported and it is New Zealand's single biggest wine export market taking around 21% of our annual production of 300 million litres. New Zealand is now number 3 by value (9.4% share) of all wine imported into USA - Italy 33.5%, France 23% with Australia slipping to number 4 at 8.8%. In 2010 New Zealand wasn't even in the top 6.
Alongside this growth in exports to the USA we have seen more USA labels appearing on our shelves here. These wines are from the more 'commercial' end of the market - New Zealanders may baulk at some of the prices being asked of the top end labels! However, what we do see here are able to compete and contrast with wines such as reds from Australia and locally produced Chardonnays. The oft requested big, golden, buttery $20.00 Chardonnay seems to be more likely to come from California than NZ these days. Tonight we took the chance to have a look at some of these North American wines available on our shelves. 


Vino Fino

Roederer Estate Anderson Valley Brut
Owned and operated by the famous Champagne House, the Californian Roederer Estate is located in the Anderson Valley 125 miles north of San Francisco near the Mendocino Coast. A blend of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir this is a yeasty, big, rich style with lemony citrus flavours backed by the nutty, spiciness from 2 years aging on lees as well as the addition of reserve barrel aged wines into the blend.                
rrp $46.99   Our price $40.99
 
McManis Family Vineyards Chardonnay 2015
A 5th generation family owned winery located in the River Junction AVA of the Central Valley of Northern California. A real glassful of tropical and citrus fruits – pineapple and melon with some creaminess from 2/3’s malo-lactic with subtle oakiness from aging in older French and American oak. A soft and approachable style.       
rrp $21.99   Our price $18.99
 
Columbia Crest H3 Chardonnay 2013      
From the Horse Heaven Hills region of Columbia Valley in Southern Washington State. About 3 hours inland from Portland, here the area is sheltered by the Cascade Mountain range from the rains off the Pacific. Around 70% of the wine was fermented in new & older French and American oak with the balance in stainless. The result is a wine with noticeable coconut aroma and a smoky, lifted characters. The palate shows more citrus and apple and white fruit flavours with a cooler climate ‘freshness’ feel  to the palate. 
rrp $30.99   Our price $26.99
 
Kendall Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2015
From the makers of USA’s top selling Chardonnay, the Vintners Reserve, this is selected from the top 5% of the Chardonnay blocks in Monterey and Santa Barbara. Fully barrel fermented in around 30% new French oak with the balance older oak (20% American), with 100% malo. A big, powerful, golden, soft, rich, buttery Chardonnay that carries its 14.5% alc. very well. Californian sunshine in a glass.     
$38.99  Our price $31.99
 
La Crema Monterey Pinot Noir 2012
Established in 1979, this is also owned by the Kendall Jackson family. The wine maker is NZer and Lincoln University trained, Craig McAllister. The coastal valley of Monterey is California’s coolest growing region with cool sea breezes and fog moderating the temperatures making it ideal for Pinot Noir. At 4+ years this has some developing characters turning the sweet fruits into more savoury. Juicy with fine tannins, this proved to be a very pleasant surprise on California Pinot Noir. Very enjoyable.     
rrp $45.99   Our price $35.99
 
McManis Family Vineyards Petite Sirah 2015
Located in the Lodi Valley inland from San Fransico, this is a family owned winery established in 1990 and producing their own label since 1997. Petit Sirah (known as Durif in Australia) is well suited to warmer regions and produces big, inky dark wines. This is no exception with big black, concentrated sweetly ripe fruit flavours surrounded by spicy vanillin oak. A ‘fun’ sort of wine, with jubey, pastille, liquorice flavours, soft acidity and an easiness on the palate. "A mouthful of pleasure", someone said.      
rrp $24.99   Our price $19.99
 
Kendall Jackson Vintners Reserve Cab Sauvignon 2012
California has made Cabernet Sauvignon ‘their’ red wine variety and especially in recent years with the reduced interest in the Merlot variety there. This is classic Californian in taste and style. From the Sonoma Valley, 92% Cabernet Sauvignon with the balance other Bordeaux varieties, aged in a mix of French and American oak. Blackcurrant, dried herbs, olive and mocha. Medium weight with fine dusty tannins.  
rrp $45.99   Our price $35.99
 
Artezin Mendocino Zinfandel 2013
This label is based on the fruit source of old vine Zinfandel and other ‘fringe’ varieties grown by individual family growers throughout the Mendocino County. Long considered a ‘workhorse’ variety, Californian Zinfandel is emerging with a new face – less alcohol and more finesse. This is 85% Zinfandel, 10% Petite Sirah and 5 % Carignan. Dark cherry/raspberry chocolate flavours with a hint of the tartness of pomegranate or cranberry on really juicy palate. Much richer and deeper than previous vintages of this label.
rrp $31.99   Our price $25.99
 
Marietta Cellars Old Vine Red Lot No. 64
This is ‘old school’ Californian. A blend of predominately Zinfandel with Petit Sirah, Syrah and a splash of “black Italian varieties” mixed over 4 different vintages  – the Zinfandel is always the youngest with the ‘heavtier’ Petit Sirah and Syrah aged in oak for a longer period - and selected from over 40 different individual wines. This Lot # 64 was released Spring 2016 (each release is uniquely numbered).  This tastes of red fruits, mushrooms, spices that is more than reminiscent of a Chauteauneuf du Papes. A wine to bring out when you just feel like a good glass of red, but not too sure what. This will fit the bill.    
rrp $36.99   Our price $31.99

Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Mar 22, 2017
Vino Fino

From the Tastings - Value

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The term "value' has all sorts of connotations, especially when it comes to wine. Why does the cost vary so much? Is a $50.00 wine worth twice as much as a $25.00 bottle? Is price the only factor?
 
This tasting could never answer these questions but did give us a chance to serve wines of similarity of region and variety in pairs - one approximately twice the price of the other. They were served blind in no particular order and the question was asked - which do you prefer. I also asked which was the most expensive. Obviously the wine ranked as most preferred was thought to be the most expensive. For the first four pairings this was the case. The only exception was the last pairing of the Elephant Hill Le Phant Red and the Ata Rangi Celebre where the Elephant Hill was the preferred wine and also the least expensive. I'd add a caveat that the Ata Rangi is very youthful tasting (see the notes below). This is the effect that occurs in wine shows where often the less expensive wine will win the Gold medal over its higher priced stablemate. For the rest of the pairings the difference was quiet marked and there was no trouble in identifying the more expensive and preferred wine. The two wines of the night were the Pegasus Bay Chardonnay and the Muga Reserva Rioja.  
The term "value' has all sorts of connotations, especially when it comes to wine. Why does the cost vary so much? Is a $50.00 wine worth twice as much as a $25.00 bottle? Is price the only factor?
 
This tasting could never answer these questions but did give us a chance to serve wines of similarity of region and variety in pairs - one approximately twice the price of the other. They were served blind in no particular order and the question was asked - which do you prefer. I also asked which was the most expensive. Obviously the wine ranked as most preferred was thought to be the most expensive. For the first four pairings this was the case. The only exception was the last pairing of the Elephant Hill Le Phant Red and the Ata Rangi Celebre where the Elephant Hill was the preferred wine and also the least expensive. I'd add a caveat that the Ata Rangi is very youthful tasting (see the notes below). This is the effect that occurs in wine shows where often the less expensive wine will win the Gold medal over its higher priced stablemate. For the rest of the pairings the difference was quiet marked and there was no trouble in identifying the more expensive and preferred wine. The two wines of the night were the Pegasus Bay Chardonnay and the Muga Reserva Rioja.  

Vino Fino

Hunters Pinot Gris 2016
Made in a dry style with a portion fermented in older oak. Quite fleshy with pear, spice flavours and a bit of grip on the palate. Very good value.
Retail $17.99       Our price $13.99

Villa Maria Seddon Pinot Gris 2016           
A much more refined example with a quite a fine, pure palate. The wine sees no oak or extended lees time – this is about purity of fruit. An off-dry style with flavours more in the green fruit spectrum. Like ‘essence’ of Pinot Gris. Very good wine seen as the more expensive and the preferred wine.
Retail $32.99       Our price $24.99

Main Divide Chardonnay 2015   
2015 was quite a small vintage in North Canterbury leading to concentrated fruit flavours in the wines. A golden yellow in the glass, this has quite a pronounced reductive ‘funky’ aroma from the natural ferment and extended lees time in barrel. Good weight and richness. If you’re not a fan of the ‘funk’ just give this a bit of time in the bottle and enjoy in a year or so. You will be rewarded.
Retail $22.99       Our price $17.99

Pegasus Bay Chardonnay 2015   
From Pegasus Bay’s own old Mendoza vines, this is about as good as their Chardonnay gets – and there have been some beauties over the years. Great intensity alongside palate richness. Golden, rounded, with some savoury nuttiness and minerality. Almost 100% preferred.
Retail $45.99       Our price $37.99

The Crater Rim Gibbston Valley Pinot Noir 2015 
A mid- ruby red colour that is almost opaque. Crushed cranberry, redcurrant – cherry/berry with some nice spiciness and moderate tannins. Not very complex. Some votes for the preferred wine.
Retail $26.99       Our price $19.99

Wild Earth Pinot Noir 2014          
Darkly coloured with black sweet spiced plum flavours. This has excellent presence on the palate with a svelte, silken seductiveness. This is the kind of wine that makes Central Otago Pinots so popular. Much preferred.
Retail $46.99       Our price $35.99

Palacio de Oriente Tempranillo Rioja 2014            
Grapes sourced from Rioja and produced by the large Navarro Lopez winery. A very commercial style of Rioja that is quite sweet fruited – ripe and juicy with a good hit of savouriness. Mouthfilling and very good for the money
Retail $20.99       Our price $15.99

Muga Reserva Rioja 2012             
70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, 7% Mazuelo and 3% Graciano. It is easy to see why this is such a popular wine.  Perfumed with nuances of sweet American oak. Smokey, black fruits, spice. A modern, approachable style.  Very good and appreciated by the tasters.
Retail $41.99       Our price $35.99

Elephant Hill Le Phant Rouge 2014           
61% Merlot, 26% Syrah & 13% Cabernet Sauvignon​. Quite concentrated – in colour and taste. This is quite a package of wine. An unusual blend that really works. Meaty, spicy, leathery, dark fruits. Moderately weighty and very good value. The preferred wine of the two.
Retail $28.99       Our price $21.99

Ata Rangi Celebré 2014 
55% Merlot, 35% Syrah, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon & 5% Cabernet Franc. A similar blend to the Elephant Hill but much more structured and showed as being quite closed. I took the glassful left in our tasting  bottle home and had it the following evening. It was magnificent. I had forgotten how good this wine can be from a good vintage. A unique style that works very, very well.
Retail $43.99       Our price $38.99

Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Mar 15, 2017
Vino Fino

From the Tastings - Greystone

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The Thomas family purchased the Omihi hillside site in 2000 and set about establishing and planting the various small blocks on these slopes in 2004. The combination of viticulturalist Nick Gill and wine-maker Dom Maxwell has been a fortuitous and happy one, with Greystone being recognised as one of the new stars on the NZ wine scene. The Decanter Trophy for the 2013 Brothers Reserve Pinot Noir really put them on the world stage.
​Tonight Dom showcased current release wines alongside the yet to be released Syrah and two Reserve wines - Erin's Chardonnay and Thomas Reserve Pinot Noir as well as allowing us to taste the unique vineyard fermented Pinot Noir.
At the recent PinotnoirNZ event in Wellington the question was asked 'where is the exciting future of New Zealand Pinot Noir' likely to be and the resounding answer was "North Canterbury". And especially on the limestone based hillside slopes. Already we are seeing some excellent wines from the Eastern slopes from the likes of Mountford, Black Estate and of course Greystone. What is also exciting is the emphasis on sustainable, organic practises and some very innovative winemaking. Dom is the first in the world to carry out full vineyard fermentation, following on from the now oft used vineyard started ferments (using vineyard yeasts to start a ferment in a small container in the vineyard, and then  using this to start the fermentation in the winery.) As the taste notes below indicate, this does seem to bring some different flavours and textures to the wine. 

It is not only Pinot Noir that is exciting at Greystone. There is quality across the range. The new Erin's Reserve Chardonnay is one of the best I've tasted in quite a while. The word formidable was noted.
 
Greystone is a local winery we can all be justly proud to have at our doorstep.

 

The Thomas family purchased the Omihi hillside site in 2000 and set about establishing and planting the various small blocks on these slopes in 2004. The combination of viticulturalist Nick Gill and wine-maker Dom Maxwell has been a fortuitous and happy one, with Greystone being recognised as one of the new stars on the NZ wine scene. The Decanter Trophy for the 2013 Brothers Reserve Pinot Noir really put them on the world stage.
​Tonight Dom showcased current release wines alongside the yet to be released Syrah and two Reserve wines - Erin's Chardonnay and Thomas Reserve Pinot Noir as well as allowing us to taste the unique vineyard fermented Pinot Noir.
At the recent PinotnoirNZ event in Wellington the question was asked 'where is the exciting future of New Zealand Pinot Noir' likely to be and the resounding answer was "North Canterbury". And especially on the limestone based hillside slopes. Already we are seeing some excellent wines from the Eastern slopes from the likes of Mountford, Black Estate and of course Greystone. What is also exciting is the emphasis on sustainable, organic practises and some very innovative winemaking. Dom is the first in the world to carry out full vineyard fermentation, following on from the now oft used vineyard started ferments (using vineyard yeasts to start a ferment in a small container in the vineyard, and then  using this to start the fermentation in the winery.) As the taste notes below indicate, this does seem to bring some different flavours and textures to the wine. 

It is not only Pinot Noir that is exciting at Greystone. There is quality across the range. The new Erin's Reserve Chardonnay is one of the best I've tasted in quite a while. The word formidable was noted.
 
Greystone is a local winery we can all be justly proud to have at our doorstep.

 


Vino Fino

Greystone Sauvignon Blanc 2015              
Wild yeast fermented in older oak with some malo-lactic and time on lees makes this more an 'alternative' style of Sauvignon Blanc. There is a whiff of smokiness with tropical fruits - pineapple, golden kiwifruit. There is also plenty of mouthfeel/texture and a firm streak of acidity. A very good Sauvignon Blanc, that would match many different foods.
Retail $24.99   Our Price $19.99

Greystone Sea Star Riesling 2016              
The drier of the two styles of Riesling Greystone produce (3 gms rs).The clay based soils give weight and texture and this is quite a fleshy style. Flavours are in the citrus/lime and apple zone.  

Retail $26.99   Our Price $19.99

Greystone Pinot Gris 2015   
Michael Cooper describes this as, "one of the finest Pinot Gris in the country." Around half the wine is fermented in older oak with plenty of lees stirring. Dom wants to get plenty of texture in the wine. This is rounded, slightly oily, lanolin-like with just a hint of sweetness (10gms rs) with Autumnal fruits - peach/pear flavours.

Retail  $26.99   Our Price $19.99

Greystone Chardonnay 2015
We were so excited by this wine on its release late last year that we awarded this our "Chardonnay of the Year". Hand-picked whole bunch-pressed w
ith 5% foot-crushed; wild yeast ferment, followed by 100% malo-lactic and aged 11 months in 27% new small barriques. Gorgeous aromas of nuts, fig, citrus, subtle 5 spice. Any smokiness is well integrated. The palate is generous, luscious even, with savoury notes emerging. There is great length on this that really lingers. Still love it!          
Retail  $38.99  Our Price $32.99

Greystone Erin’s Reserve Chardonnay 2015
The third vintage release for this label. This comes from the Mendoza clone Chardonnay vines planted on the limestone soils of the "Brothers Block' on the higher part of the hillside. This is a very impressive wine that just fills the palate and the flavour lingers long. You can taste the limestone chalkiness, along with sizzled corn, savoury notes, white peach.. the list goes on; and then there is the weight, intensity, solidity and power on the palate.The wine builds on the palate then just lasts and lasts. A very limited production of just 3 barrels (44 cases) means this formidable wine will be very sought after.
This is due for release early April. We are taking pre-release orders.        

Retail $103.00   Our Price $93.00

Greystone Syrah 2015
Waipara is at the edges of where Syrah can grow. This is from a small north facing block on limestone and harvested in late May. Quite dark and savoury, earthy rich, with blackcurrant, violets, fennel, smooth tannins. - Release 1st April          
Retail $45.99  
Our Price $39.99

Greystone Pinot Noir 2015
Pinot Noir is the most planted variety at Greystone (45% of the total plantings) and where they obviously "hang their hat".  The vineyards for this are mainly from the clay soils of the lower slopes giving the wines texture and weight with some portions of limestone laced soils adding precision and minerality. A darkly coloured wine with aromas of cherry, plum, truffle and earth. There is a great balance between the palate suppleness of sweet plummy fruits and the tension of minerality and fine tannins.  

Retail $42.99   Our Price $34.99

Greystone Vineyard Fermented Pinot Noir 2015
For the first time, Greystone have made a special single bottling of the vineyard fermented Pinot Noir. A technique developed by Greystone where the wine is fermented in vats in the vineyard. The source and type of ambient (wild) fermenting yeasts is the subject of much conjecture and now research. It seems that vineyards may have their own unique yeasts. In an effort to be as true to the vineyard site as possible in a world first, Dom has been experimenting with not just starting a ferment in the vineyard, but actually doing the whole ferment in a vat, in the vineyard; exposed to the natural elements and variable temperatures. Previous vintages have all been blended into the Estate Pinot Noir. This is the first time that Greystone have made a separate bottling, albeit on a very small scale .. only 36 bottles, so this was a rare and special treat to taste this wine. Although this is about having just the natural vineyard yeasts perform the fermentation, there is much more to it. The fermentation also reflects what is actually happening in the vineyard during that time especially with temperature fluctuations as well as being fermented fully on skins. The wine tastes quite different to the Estate bottling and the Brothers Reserve. There is  a real earthiness, chewy but fine tannins and plenty of complexity. The term 'grounded' easily came to mind. Sorry none available for sale.

Greystone Thomas Reserve Pinot Noir 2015
Like the Reserve Chardonnay, this is also from the highest block high on the vineyard where the grapes were hand selected on the vine and at the winery fully de-stemmed. 25% of the wine was fermented in the vineyard. The wine was aged in 70% new French oak for 15 months before being  bottled naturally with no fining, filtration or stabilisation. This is a big mouthful of 'everything' - a wonderful expression of Pinot Noir with finesse, power, layers of complexity. More lifted and less earthy than the vineyard ferment only wine, but still more savoury than fruity. Although weighty and structured, there is a smooth flow through the palate. A very special wine with a very small amount produced. 

Retail $103.00    Our Price $93.00 - Release 1st April, pre-orders taken

Wednesday, March 08, 2017
Mar 08, 2017
Vino Fino

From the tastings:- Te Mata Showcase 2017

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Again a packed house attended the annual Te Mata Showcase tasting at the George Hotel. It was great to have the 'retired' John Buck return to present the wines, accompanied by his teenaged Grand-daughter Zara - preparing the next generation? The format was slightly different this time around, featuring the estate reds as part of the formal tasting. Of course the anticipated highlight is always the Coleraine and this year is the 35th vintage release, so to celebrate this was served at the end along with a special "Coleraine" chocolate mud cake.

The focus was on the 2015 reds - "the fabulous 15's". It was a smaller crop vintage with volumes down on 2013 and 2014 (our Coleraine allocation is down around 20%). The upside of the smaller vintage is the concentration of flavour and this combined with warm weather over the ripening period has given fleshy, accessible but potentially very long lived wines. Even the Estate reds offer a level of concentration not usually seen at this level. But don't forget the whites - the Elston 2015 is superb as is the Cape Crest.

Te Mata are a winery very much on top of their game with a range of wines that can be called 'classic'. No vintage comparisons in the tasting this year. These wines stood on their own.  

 


Again a packed house attended the annual Te Mata Showcase tasting at the George Hotel. It was great to have the 'retired' John Buck return to present the wines, accompanied by his teenaged Grand-daughter Zara - preparing the next generation? The format was slightly different this time around, featuring the estate reds as part of the formal tasting. Of course the anticipated highlight is always the Coleraine and this year is the 35th vintage release, so to celebrate this was served at the end along with a special "Coleraine" chocolate mud cake.

The focus was on the 2015 reds - "the fabulous 15's". It was a smaller crop vintage with volumes down on 2013 and 2014 (our Coleraine allocation is down around 20%). The upside of the smaller vintage is the concentration of flavour and this combined with warm weather over the ripening period has given fleshy, accessible but potentially very long lived wines. Even the Estate reds offer a level of concentration not usually seen at this level. But don't forget the whites - the Elston 2015 is superb as is the Cape Crest.

Te Mata are a winery very much on top of their game with a range of wines that can be called 'classic'. No vintage comparisons in the tasting this year. These wines stood on their own.  

 


Vino Fino

Te Mata Estate Chardonnay 2016
A very good vintage in Hawkes Bay equals high quality fruit. Align this with knowledgable winemaking - nothing too clever, letting the fruit shine through with subtle touches of Barrel ferment and Malolactic- and the result is this fresh, fleshly Chardonnay full of Hawkes Bay summer fruit flavours with a hint of lemon curd. 

Retail $22.99       Our Price $18.99

Te Mata Zara Viognier 2016 
        
John Buck was accompanied this year by his grand-daughter Zara.. yes the wine was named for her. Te Mata have over 20 years experience with this variety and almost 'own' the category here in New Zealand. Dry, savoury, just some apricot, but more citrus and hints of spring flowers and a creaminess from 100% malo-lactic and savouriness from 100% barrel ferment.   

Retail $32.99       Our Price $25.99

Te Mata Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc 2015

Barrel fermented Sauvignon Blanc (85%) with a touch of Sauvignon Gris (11%) and Semillon (4%). This is a NZ benchmark for the Bordeaux white style of barrel fermented Sauvignon Blanc. The 2015 is right on song - fleshy, ripe, juicy.. think nectarines with hints of spice, tropical fruits. A stunning rendition. Age worthy - 10+ years cellaring is possible but reaching its best at around 5+ years. 
Retail $32.99       Our Price $25.99

Te Mata Elston Chardonnay 2015          
Classic is how I'd best describe this wine. No smoky, funky notes here. Golden fruits, lemon, creme brulee; bold in style, yet restrained by fine acidity. The 2014 was very good; this is even better. Elston Chardonnay holds firm in its place as a top example of Hakes Bay Chardonnay 

Retail $38.99       Our Price $33.99

Te Mata Estate Merlot Cabernets 2015        
     

52% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Cabernet Franc and 4% Petit Verdot. This tastes ripe and flavoursome, with black and red fruits, hints of chocolate, some nice tannins and enough acidity to balance. More density than usual, this is excellent value.

Retail $22.99       Our Price $18.99

Te Mata Estate Syrah 2015

Co-fermented 98% Syrah and 2% Viognier, with the fruit from the ‘Woodthorpe Terraces’ vineyard and Bridge Pa Triangle. Like the Estate Merlot Cabernets, this is a very good vintage release. Reasonably dense, with black fruits, baking spices and a soft rounded mouthfeel. 

Retail $22.99       Our Price $18.99

Te Mata Bullnose Syrah 2015

This 2015 is quite broodish yet sumptuous. I have tried this on several occasions now, for some reason at this tasting it seemed comparatively 'closed'. It happens. 100% Syrah. Dense, ripe, with a malange of flavours from gamey to sweet. Give this  a year or so before enjoying over the next 6+. 
 
Retail $52.99       Our Price $44.99

Te Mata Awatea 2015   
      
46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Franc, aged 16 months in 30% new French oak.2015 was a smaller vintage, with the fruit concentration very evident here. 
 I love Toby Buck's tasting note - ".. a black tuxedo of wine. Exquisitely tailored, with never a stitch out of place". There is a lot of fine detail in the wine; a little of this and a little of that, adding up to plenty. This is a very, very good Awatea that will bring pleasure over many years. 
Retail $38.99       Our Price $33.99

Te Mata Coleraine 2015 
     
The third great Coleraine in the years. We have been spoilt. This vintage a blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. Of course everyone asks which is best.. 2013, 2014 or this 2015? I seriously couldn't answer that. Maybe in the next 10-20 years one may emerge as being longer living, but in the meantime I'd refer to Gary Walsh in the winefront.com.au "
Coleraine (2015) is a beautiful wine, and I’d venture that it’s New Zealand’s Grange equivalent, only it comes from one place, is much cheaper, and to my tastes, is significantly better and more interesting... How wonderful and good is this wine? In short, very. 96+/100"
Retail $136.99       Our Price $115.00