Tag Archives: New Zealand Wines


    Beyond Marlborough Sauvignon

    Since the first commercial wines were released in the 1980s, New Zealand’s pungent, herbaceous, tangy, tropical-fruited style of sauvignon blanc has proven to be a smash hit, now accounting for three-quarters of NZ wine production and around 85% of wine exports - with the most famous and productive region, Marlborough, leading the charge.

    However, New Zealand is 1000 miles long with a latitude equivalent of Bordeaux to southern Spain, a diverse geography and geology (mountains, coast and volcanic plateaus), and a wide selection of grape varieties - so there’s plenty more here to be discovered.

    Central Otago is located in the south of south island. It’s the world’s most southerly wine region, plus New Zealand's highest altitude and most Continental (no vineyard here is more than 80 miles from the sea). Spectacularly beautiful - adorned with dramatic snow-capped mountains and blue lakes, this is also one of the world’s top spots for Pinot Noir, which thrives here. Relatively warm daytimes with high UV levels bestow the grapes with plenty of ripeness and flavour, which is locked in place by cool night temperatures - producing characterful wines full of vibrant ripe fruit flavours, depth and balancing acidity.

    I like the Mohua Pinot Noir 2014 from Peregrine wines, with lovely floral and fruity aromas and a juicy, quite rich, yet smooth palate where cherry and black fruit flavours combine with a savoury edge and a touch of spice - just the ticket for early summer drinking.

    'Central' also produces world-class chardonnay, and Carrick Chardonnay 2015 is a splendid example. Complex, elegant and fine. Deliciously ripe tropical fruit flavours and a lemon-like acidity are complemented by creamy, nutty notes and a lick of spice from fermentation and ageing in French oak. Classy and very much worth the money, it'll keep and develop in bottle over a couple of years, too.

    Around the art-deco Mecca of Napier in north-island is NZ’s oldest and second largest wine region, Hawke’s Bay. A relatively large and diverse area, but perhaps best known for its age-worthy red blends made with classic Bordeaux grapes. The Crossroads Winemaker’s Selection Cabernet/Merlot 2011 uses top fruit from the acclaimed Gimblett Gravels sub-region. Yes, it’s big and pretty concentrated - but not heavy. Juicy blackcurrants and plums supported by a toasty complexity from French oak barrels. This would be perfect with roast lamb/beef or a juicy steak.

    The superb Man ‘O’ War Dreadnought Syrah 2013 hails from another large and diverse wine region surrounding NZ’s largest city, Auckland. It’s a warm and relatively humid here, but Dreadnought is produced a short boat ride away from the mainland on the winemaking island of Waiheke, where the climate is drier and the warmth is tempered by the cooling effects of the sea. This stellar Rhone-style syrah had me at first sip. Concentrated and rich, yet elegant, fine and balanced with a mineral touch. The seductive smoky and meaty/savoury characters mingle with blueberries, blackberries and black pepper spice. Awesome and age-worthy - if you can keep your hands off it.

    Tristan is hosting a NZ tasting on 14th June at Great Western Wine - tickets £15: Click here to book now >

    - By Tristan Darby - Bath Magazine -

  • The Team's Tasting Selections

    It's that time of the week again when the team at Great Western Wine make a selection of delectable fine wines from around the world for you to taste for free.

    Come on by the Bath shop to sample these beauties from our New Zealand promotion >

    Yealands Estate, Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2015

    Region: Marlborough

    was £15.95 | now £14.50

    Sample price: FREE


    Carrick Chardonnay Central Otago 2015

    Region: Central Otago

    was £16.95 | now £14.95

    Sample price: FREE

    Yealands Estate, Winemaker's Reserve 'Gibbston Valley' Pinot Noir 2014

    Region: Central Otago

    was £18.50 | now £16.00

    Sample price: FREE


    Man O' War Gravestone Sauvignon Semillon 2013

    Region: Waiheke Island

    was £19.50 | now £17.50

    Sample price: FREE

    Peregrine Wines, Pinot Gris 2015

    Region: Central Otago

    was £19.50 | now £17.50

    Sample price: FREE


    Winemakers Collection Syrah, Crossroads Winery 2014

    Region: Hawke's Bay

    was £19.95 | now £17.95

    Sample price: FREE

    Carrick, Estate Pinot Noir, Central Otago 2013

    Region: Central Otago

    was £27.50 | now £24.50

    Sample price: FREE


    Man O' War Dreadnought Syrah 2013

    Region: Waiheke Island

    was £31.50 | now £27.50

    Sample price: FREE

  • Food & wine matching with Yealands wines

    I love to cook; I’m fascinated by scents, flavours, and how they marry together, or clash horrifically. I’m also obsessed with finding just the right wine to go with different styles and flavours of food. Many dismiss this, and don’t reckon it’s that important. They could be right – if you’re not really interested in wine, and just want a glass of something to enjoy, that’s fine.

    However, it’s a fascinating experiment, and when you put food and wine matching to the test, it proves that the wrong combination can ruin either the enjoyment of the wine or the food. I put this into practice this week,  training staff at a top end Indian restaurant. I made them taste wines with a variety of dishes – what worked well with creamy, coconut- based curries, clashed violently with the drier, herbier, tomato-based dishes on the menu; and the same happened in reverse. The reaction of the team was just what I wanted to see, from a smiling agreement to a glorious match, to a shuddering grimace when the combination didn’t work out so well.

    Over the Easter weekend, I decided to experiment with a few new recipes and ideas, most of which had some form of spice, herbs or fruit involved.  Aromatic whites and a juicy red seemed to be the logical matches, so I decided to put some of the lovely Yealands wines to the test.

    I’ve always enjoyed, the fresh, elegant, aromatic styles of wine that Tamra Washington, Yealands, head winemaker, produces. My selection included Yealands Sauvignon blanc, Yealands Riesling, the quirky Yealands PGR, Yealands Estate Pinot Gris, and Yealands Pinot Noir.

    Yealands Estate RieslingFirst up on my culinary weekend fest was a salmon and tuna ceviche, which I’d had marinading for 24 hours,  in the traditional lime juice marinade, spiced up with a chunk of ginger and a  chilli pepper; this was served alongside salmon gravadlax, with a mustard and dill sauce. The Yealands Estate Riesling 2011 was a scintillating, zingingly-fresh match with the ceviche, both bursting with vibrant, tongue-tingling fresh lime flavours, which brought out the very best in each other. The Yealands Estate Sauvignon blanc 2014, was a worthy runner up.

    This year’s Easter Sunday roast, was chicken with a twist – a cheerful, Caribbean twist,  Jerk Roast Chicken. There are a thousand and one variations on the spices and herbs used in Jamaican Jerk seasoning . My version included the ‘must have’ spices that define the dish – Allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon, mixed with brown sugar; add to that a chopped up handful of herbs, cracked black pepper, garlic, shallots and the obligatory chillies, plus some freshly grated ginger.

    Mixed with a splash of rum, and some soy sauce, this then was pasted onto the chicken, and left for 24 hours before  roasting.

    Yealands Estate PGR Pinot Gewurztraminer RieslingThe heady, sweet, savoury, rich aromas and juices, made for a real challenge.   The Riesling, which had worked so perfectly with the ceviche was completely overpowered. Next up was one of my favourites from the range, the baby of the range Yealands Estate PGR 2014 ( a blend of Pinot Gewurztraminer Riesling). I had high hopes for this wine, with its nutmeg and ginger- flecked fruit. However, even this was no match for the dominant presence and pungency of the allspice and cinnamon.   This needed something weightier, fleshier and bolder.

    Yealands Estate Pinot Gris

    Step up Yealands Estate Pinot Gris 2013, in all its richness and glory. It’s natural spice and sweetness, tempered and got the allspice under control and managed to bring out the more subtle flavours and scents of the other elements in the marinade. It was a clear and worthy winner in this particular challenge -  I didn’t have a bottle of the Yealands Estate Gewurztraminer, but I reckon that would have been a great supporting act.

    Yealands Estate, Winemaker's Reserve 'Gibbston Valley' Pinot NoirIt proves, once again , the need to balance the wine, to the most dominant flavor, in this case allspice. In terms of red wine,  I didn’t look beyond  the sumptuous, majestic, multi-award winning Yealands Estate Winemaker’s Reserve ‘Gibbston Valley’ Pinot Noir 2013, whose fleshy, silky, spicy sweet flavours, were intensified by the rich sweetness of the powerful flavours of the jerk chicken – however, the heady sweet allspice, would have overwhelmed a more delicate Pinot Noir.

    Easter Monday saw fish back on the menu for a relaxed Bank Holiday lunch – Salmon roasted in a soy, honey and ginger marinade, with a crunchy little Asian-style sweet and sour salad. Finally, the Yealands Estate PGR came into its own;  this exotic blend mingles the fresh acidity of Riesling, with the richer, peachy Pinot Gris, and is topped off with a dollop of scented, voluptuous Gewurztraminer – the result is a delightfully lively, spiced, yet fresh, aromatic white, with flavours of apricot, nutmeg and ginger.  A wine of different components, yet balance – just like the fish and the salad, which combined sweetness, spice, saltiness, and lots of different textures, from the creamy richness of the salmon, to the crunch of the salad.

    Food and wine matching shouldn’t be taken too seriously – but getting the right match definitely makes a difference; what’s more it’s fun to do, and provokes great conversation. Next time you have guests, be bold, try something out of the ordinary, buy a few bottles of different styles, and work out your own best matches. I never cease to learn!

    By Angela Mount

  • Alan's Wine of the Week: Carrick Unravelled Pinot Noir

    "One of my favourite Pinot Noirs, made by Carrick in Central Otago’s Bannockburn sub-region. Here the reds are juicy yet complex, helped along by the cool climate of this beautiful winemaking area. This is a Burgundian style Pinot at Kiwi prices, full of red berry and black cherry aromas and hints of spice. Try this in the sunshine, with an al fresco lunch of roast duck, chicken or charcuterie." 

    Carrick, Unravelled Pinot Noir, Central Otago 2012

    Was £15.95  Now £14.04

    Prices above are valid from 01.04.15 to 30.04.15

    Free delivery over £100 | 5% off 6 bottles | 10% off 12 bottles

  • Central Otago - The Glittering Gem

    By Angela Mount

    What’s the most Southerly wine producing region in the world? Well, that would be New Zealand’s Central Otago, nestled way down south, in the spectacular beauty of the country’s South Island - a mind-blowing contrast of snow-capped mountains, glittering lakes, wild forests, craggy hills, and wind-stormed oceans.

    This dramatic landscape and climate - short, intense summers; harsh, frosty winters; and the lowest rainfall in the country - has helped bring some truly world class wines to the world. It’s the dream home for Pinot Noir, Sauvignon blanc and Riesling, which all crave cool, European-like conditions. 

    With its now stellar fame and reputation, it’s hard to believe that the first commercial bottlings in Central Otago only happened in 1987, less than 30 years ago. Their rise to fame has been nothing short of spectacular.

    New Zealand is a country, or rather two islands, which are multifaceted, jaw-droppingly beautiful, and home to a fiercely proud and ambitious nation of people. There’s far more to New Zealand wines than Sauvignon Blanc and Marlborough.

    We know about the heritage and history of centuries of winemaking from France and Italy, so it’s sometimes difficult to comprehend that wines from New Zealand only really began to be made seriously in the 1970s.  The speed of the world’s discovery of the magical quality of this country’s wines has been phenomenal.

    There’s over 1400km distance from the tip of the North Island to the end of the South Island, and this makes a huge impact on which grapes are grown where. Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon work well in the warmer climes of the North Island; but I’m taking you south to Central Otago, which is about as far south as you can go in the world in terms of winemaking, and where the gloriously temperamental and maverick Pinot Noir shines in true splendor.

    The grapes

    Central Otago accounts for only 3% of New Zealand’s total wine production, but what it does produce is top notch stuff. It’s pretty brutal in terms of weather and landscape – it has the highest mountains in the country, and the harshest of climates, but it’s an area that just happens to produce wines that angels helped to create, in their glory and sumptuous elegance. It also happens to be a region of breathtaking beauty.

    Pinot Noir, with its temperamental needs, is beautifully suited to this land and accounts for over 60% of plantings. It has catapulted the area to worldwide fame in recent years with the sheer majesty of its wines.

    It’s too cold here to bring other red grape varieties to ripeness, but it’s also a perfect Southern Hemisphere home for the delicate Riesling, Pinot Gris, and Gruner Veltliner, as well as some deliciously fresh Chardonnay.

    A land of contrasts

    Central Otago, with the city of Queenstown at its centre, was first discovered in the 19th century, during the Central Otago gold rush. These days, vines thrive on the mineral-rich soils where gold miners used to dig. It’s a region of extremes, protected from the extreme harshness of the cold, maritime climate by the soaring mountains.

    For a relatively small area there’s lots of variation in styles of wine between the main sub-regions, purely due to the differences in climate, terrain and aspect. In a land of towering mountains, deep ravines, ice-cold lakes, and extreme weather conditions, 6 small areas have brought to the world some truly stellar wines.

    It’s the coldest, yet the driest, region in the country - short, hot summers, cool autumns and harsh, cold winters, with lots of snow and frost; the lowest recorded temperature was -21 c back in 1995.

    The vintage here happens about 6 weeks later than for vineyards in the North Island, due to the colder climate, and the need for a longer growing season. It’s also the reason why the fickle, and high maintenance Pinot noir, whose natural environment is the cold, northern region of Burgundy, thrives so well here, as do other grapes that have traditionally thrived in cold and often mountainous conditions, such as Riesling and the Austrian Gruner Veltliner.

    Vines were first planted in the late 19th century, with some experimental vineyard plantings in the 1950s, but it was only from the 1970s onwards, that the region began to expand as a wine producer. In 1996, there were only 11 wineries, and only 92 hectares of land under vine.

    Nowadays, many of the traditional cherry and apricot fruit orchards have been uprooted, and vines planted, with a rapid increase to  just under 2000 hectares given over to vine growing.The number of wineries has grown in proportion.


    The wines from this area will never be cheap – harsh conditions, small production, temperamental grapes – but they have a glorious purity, and depth of style, and a cool aristocracy.

    It’s difficult not to refer to scenes from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy when talking about the scenic and breathtaking landscape. For those of you who have watched these films over and over, Arrowtown and its surrounding area, close to Queenstown, was the location for the filming of several scenes, including the Gladden Fields. Drive over the mountain range and up to the peaks and from the top of Mount Cardona intrepid climbers are able to view the spectacular and panoramic vistas that Director Peter Jackson filmed to depict Middle Earth.


    Let’s start with one of the best known sub-regions of Central Otago, producing some of the most complex wines, and with a unique story: Bannockburn lies on the south side of the Kawarau River, at the southern end of the Cromwell Basin. This is where the gold miners first found success back in the 1860s, and it’s known as ‘the heart of the desert’, with its glistening soils of loam and silica. One of the glittering gems that has emerged from this old mining area is Carrick, a winery founded by the ebullient and highly-focused Steve Green, and his wife Barbara. Before 1994, the land was covered in wild herbs, flowers and fruit trees; now the winery is one of the most respected in the region.

    I met Steve on his last visit to UK, and his passion for what he is creating is infectious. He not only champions his own wines, he’s a worthy ambassador for Central Otago itself. He is understandably proud of the fact that he is crafting world class wines in the world’s most southerly wine producing region. His range of Pinot Noirs is outstanding, and presents a thoroughbred elegance throughout, with finely tuned layers of beguiling flavours.

    The popular Carrick Unravelled Pinot Noir is a gorgeous example of approachable, affordable, yet very fine, Pinot; bursting with sumptuous red berry fruit and warm spice velvetiness. But there’s far more to Carrick than just Pinot Noir.

    Their stylish Carrick Chardonnay has more than a hint of textured Burgundian style; restrained, yet ample in its complexity. I love their aromatic styles, which range from a lime-streaked, gooseberry- infused Sauvignon Blanc, to the delightful, vibrant, pink grapefruit and honeysuckle-scented Carrick Riesling.


    Move on east of Queenstown, and discover Gibbston, which  is the highest positioned of Central Otago’s sub-regions, nestled  in a tight valley,alongside the spectacular Kawarau gorge. Here the vintage comes later, and the wines are some of the most delicate in Central Otago.

    Marlborough-based Yealands make a single vineyard wine from Gibbston, with grapes sourced from the Holtzmans Vineyard situated 320 metres above sea level. Winemaker Tamra Kelly-Washington says she’s always had a soft spot for the wines from Gibbston, and was over the moon when she could secure a vineyard in the area. The grapes arrive at their Marlborough winery after an 11 hour journey by refrigerated truck; the perfect amount of time for giving them a pre-fermentation ‘cold soak which has the benefit of extracting extra colour and flavour from the grapes.

    This juicy, cherry and plum flavoured Pinot was recommended by Sunday Express wine columnist Jamie Goode recently:

    "This is such an impressive Gibbston Pinot, showing fresh, meaty, dense, spicy red cherry and berry fruit, with real freshness and a silky texture. It’s just so beautiful, with lots of aromatic interest and real palate presence."

    So, if you have the chance to visit, please do so, and you’ll see for yourselves the magical, spectacular, uncompromising beauty of this southern outpost. But if you can’t just yet, pour yourself a glass of Pinot Noir, and dream.

    By Angela Mount

  • New Zealand - Off the Beaten Track

    We have a new addition to the New Zealand wine list at GWW – and a very welcome one it is too. Crossroads are producers based in the ‘up-and-coming’ region of Hawke’s Bay, one of those areas that has been making great quality reds and whites for decades, but has been hidden in the imposing shadows of Marlborough, and the world’s love affair with Sauvignon Blanc.

    That relationship doesn’t look like it’s about to break up anytime soon - but all that attention has started to benefit one of the unsung heroes of New Zealand - Hawke’s Bay.

    Crossroads’ winemaker Miles Dineen (above) was interviewed in The Drinks Business magazine a few weeks ago, explaining how consumers and investors are starting to stray from Marlborough’s beaten track to discover the treasures of this diverse wine region.

    “We’re kind of like where Marlborough was 15 years ago before Sauvignon Blanc took off,” says Miles, but renewed investment from some of the larger producers has meant that consumer awareness has started to grow, and Miles admits that “it’s a pretty exciting time for Hawke’s Bay.”

    The concentration on Marlborough, and its now classic style of Sauvignon Blanc, has meant that most suitable vineyard space has already been planted in that region. In contrast, Hawke’s Bay is still being discovered, with plantings of grapes suitable to this particular environment the major focus.

    A new style of Sauvignon

    Although Sauvignon Blanc is planted here, it produces a slightly different style of wine to the austere, herbal and gooseberry wines of Marlborough. Here the Sauvignon is “a little more tropical without the herbal thing. It’s not as overtly punchy as Marlborough”, says Miles.

    The development of the area is complementary to, rather than an expansion of the success of Marlborough. Quite rightly, investors like Yealands are not seeking a carbon copy of their existing portfolio, but rather giving wine lovers an even more colourful palette to choose from. At the heart of this expansion is the appreciation of Hawkes Bay’s distinctive landscape, soils and climate.

    Syrah - "the X-factor"

    “On the coast it’s cool, then in the middle of the plains where Gimblett Gravels are you have Cabernet, Syrah and great Bordeaux blends, then you head up the valleys to cooler, aromatic white territory,” explains Miles.

    It’s this diversity of style that has got consumers and winemakers excited. New Zealand has so far concentrated on aromatic varieties like Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc or lighter bodied reds like Pinot Noir. Now the hard work that has gone on behind the scenes over the last few decades in Hawke’s Bay can be fully realised.


    In terms of grapes varieties, the choice is simple and classic – much like the already established benchmark wines of Marlborough (Sauvignon Blanc) and Central Otago (Pinot Noir).

    Chardonnay's back!

    According to Miles, “most winemakers’ main white is Chardonnay, then they have Bordeaux blends and Syrah. For red wine it’s probably going to be Merlot-based blends, but Syrah is coming through too – it’s the darling of Hawke’s Bay that’s got the most press. Merlot is much bigger in volume terms, but perhaps Syrah has the X-factor.”

    These are grapes that most wine lovers are already familiar with - a head start when introducing a new region. But what makes them stand apart is the freshness and sheer vibrancy we’ve come to expect, and appreciate, from New Zealand wines.

    Check out our selection of Crossroads wines right here

    By Chris Penwarden

  • Alan's Wine of the Week: Yealands Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2014

    "Perfect for drinking in the spring sunshine, this refreshing, zesty Sauvignon Blanc has an aromatipalate of passionfruit, blackcurrant leaf and gooseberry alongside some herby top notes of thyme, basil and dill. The lemony acidity and terrific length make this a great match with seafood starters and chargrilled chicken with piri piri." 

    Yealands Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2014

    Was £11.95  Now £10.52

    Prices above are valid from 01.04.15 to 30.04.15

    Free delivery over £100 | 5% off 6 bottles | 10% off 12 bottles

  • Tried & Tested - Duck Noodles and Yealands Pinot Noir

    As I've never cooked duck before I thought it best to check out a few different recipes on the internet before I planned what I was going to buy. I usually opt for BBC Food recipes as they are very reliable and can be gathered into an online folder, or clipped to a program like Evernote - this makes for easy reference while walking ‘round the supermarket to buy ingredients.

    But with a little more time on my hands over the long Easter weekend, and with old cooking books gathering dust on the shelf, I thought it was about time I did the old fashioned thing and actually take something from a recipe book.

    Ching-He Huang’s Ching's Chinese Food in Minutes has been hanging around in the kitchen for a while now, so I thought I’d give one of her recipes a try. However, while her duck recipe called for rice, I had a craving for noodles.

    I decided to combine her delicious looking marinade with a cooking method borrowed from Gordon Ramsay, while the noodles were the result of a little bit of inspiration on my part. What followed was a taste sensation!

    Wine Match

    The wine I chose was the Yealands Estate, Reserve Pinot Noir 2013  - a classic combo with duck. While an 'old world' Pinot might struggle with the bold flavours of garlic, chilli and soy, this juicy, fragrant red has all the right ingredients to cope: There's refreshing acidity to cut through the fatty duck, spicy red fruits to match with the five spice and enough body to hold its own with the deep sauce.

    Ching’s Cantonese style duck  - marinade


    Serves 2 

    • 2 duck breasts
    • 2 tablespoon oyster sauce
    • 1 tablespoon Chinese five spice
    • 1 tablespoon groundnut oil
    • 2 tablespoon light soy
    • 2 tablespoon Shaohsing rice wine


    Combine all ingredients and marinade duck for 20 mins - turning halfway through


    Duck Method - borrowed from Gordon Ramsay

    Pre heat oven to 200°C

    Wipe off marinade and score skin of duck. Dry fry the duck skin side down in an oven proof frying pan on a very low heat for approx 10 mins - this renders the fat but does not cook the flesh.

    Once brown, turn and cook for a further minute to seal. Pour off excess fat - reserve and store for roast potatoes another time -  and put the pan in the oven for 8 mins.

    Rest on a warmed plate for 10 mins.

    Noodles and Pak Choi

    You’ll need:

    • Egg noodle nests x2
    • Garlic clove x1
    • Red chilli x
    • Spring onions x2
    • Pak choi x2
    • Splash light soy
    • Sprinkle white pepper
    • Few drops of sesame oil


    While cooking/resting the duck, cook egg noodles for 4 mins in boiling water, drain - reserving the hot water for steaming below - then refresh the noodles in cold water and drain.

    Steam pak choi over the noodle water - when cooked, dress with sesame oil, light soy and white pepper

    Heat the reserved marinade in a pan on a low heat until warmed through - add a splash of water if too concentrated in flavour and thicken slightly with a teaspoon of cornflour mixed with water

    Stir fry the sliced chilli and spring onions, together with a thinly sliced garlic clove.

    Add noodles and stir fry to warm through, then add a splash or two of the marinade for flavour.

    Divide the noodles between two bowls, add sliced duck on top and lay the steamed pak choi to the side of the bowl.

    Pour warmed marinade sauce over the duck and serve.

    By Chris Penwarden

  • Top 10 Kiwi Wines

    To kick start our spring New Zealand promotion, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite Kiwi wines. We all know the distinctive Sauvignon Blancs of Marlborough, but New Zealand is certainly no one trick pony - this country is beginning to create a buzz around its other wine styles, including bright, fragrant Gruner Veltliners and ‘old world’ style Syrahs…

    Now that Sauvignon Blanc has become, quite possibly, the world’s most famous grape, it has become harder and harder to find the good stuff. But that’s why we’re here: to help you sort the wheat from the chaff.

    Mansion House Bay Sauvignon BlancThe Frost Pocket Sauvignon Blanc 2014
     is a consistent customer favourite here at GWW, and, at under £9, it’s an absolute bargain. Luxuriate in the lime, gooseberry and tropical fruit flavours while throwing a couple of marinated prawns on an early season BBQ.

    Mansion House Bay is another cracking Sauvignon from husband and wife team, Greg and Sue White. This brilliantly made, boutique-style Marlborough Sauvignon is generously fruity, with uplifting scents of gooseberry, redcurrant and citrus: One to keep to yourself, if you can hide a bottle or two away.

    Carrick Chardonnay Central OtagoCarrick Winery, based in Central Otago, have really pulled out all the stops with this one: Their Chardonnay was chosen as Alan’s Wine of the Week, and rightly so. It’s a terrific, crisp style of wine, with hints of pineapple and vanilla – one to give the winemakers of Burgundy a run for their money.

    If crisp, delicious and aromatic is your thing - and you fancy a change from all that Sauvignon Blanc - then look no further that Yealands’ amazing Gruner Veltliner. Yes, its one of those grapes that people struggle to pronounce, but as soon as the wine washes over your tongue, you’ll be mouthing the words ‘refreshing’ and ‘inviting’, just like a pro.

    Milestone Series Gewurztraminer, Crossroads WineryCrossroads are a new addition to the GWW list, a winery that is putting the old region of Hawkes Bay back on the map. Their single vineyard Gewurztraminer is almost designed with spicy Asian cuisine in mind: the aromas of lychee, lemon, ginger and rose petals are a treat with fiery Thai curries and tom yum.

    Always on the lookout for new ideas, Yealands winemaker Tamra Kelly-Washington took three aromatic grapes from Alsace - Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer and Riesling – and created a brand new taste sensation that has proved a winning formula for customers and critics alike - we defy you not to fall for her gorgeously proportioned blend, PGR.

    Yealands Estate, Reserve Pinot NoirThe red equivalent of the success story of Sauvignon Blanc would have to be Pinot Noir, and the Kiwis have become pastmasters at producing this medium bodied, cherry and spice scented style. Urlar’s Scottish winemakers farm their grapes organically, producing richly flavoured berries that create a savoury, plummy Pinot with hints herb and porcini.

    It’s hard to stray too far from Yealands’ door when it comes to choosing top reds too - their Gibbstone Valley Pinot Noir has been an absolute hit across the board, with the critics rushing to salute the aromatic spice, redcurrant and dark cherry flavours of this excellent medium bodied red.

    Winemakers Collection Cabernet Franc, Crossroads WineryThis month we are proud to unveil our new range of reds from the Crossroads winery. Their delightful Syrah is a classically styled Hawkes Bay wine, with its complex flavours of dark berries and plum, alongside hints of violets, cracked pepper and a whiff of smoke.

    Bordeaux varieties are also a speciality of the region, and their Cabernet Franc supplies all the cassis and green capsicum flavours you expect from a Cab Sauv, along with some toasty, spicy oak aromas and a smooth, silky texture. Both wines are ready now but can be kept for a couple of years to see further savoury flavours developing.

    To see the full Top 10 list, with prices and how to order, click here - Enjoy!

    By Chris Penwarden

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