On the Road with the Grape Guy

New Zealand Tasting in TO 2022

26 Jan 2023


(May 2022) … It’s the annual New Zealand wine tasting, and it was a free pour event – walk around and pour your own – they even had an app that helped collect notes. So without further ado, I present my edited notes from three-and-a-half star wines up to the four star wines.

Ata Rangi 2016 Pinot Noir - Martinborough    … *** ½+
Pretty floral notes, primarily violet with black raspberry, hints of smoke, a little black licorice; tannins are silky.

Babich Wines 2021 Sauvignon Blanc – Marlborough*** ½
Has the goods for a good price: typical grapefruit pith, lemon and grassy with balancing good acidity.

Te HengaBabich Wines 2021 Te Henga Sauvignon Blanc – Marlborough*** ½+
This is really good value, at 13 95 at the LCBO and  on the general list (readily available). Delivers everything you want it Savvy B. plus it’s refreshing and pretty on both the nose and palate. I don't usually judge on price but this over delivers.

Dry River Wines 2019 Dry River Riesling 'Craighall' – Martinborough*** ½
Notes of floral with nice acidity, hint of grapefruit and talc.

Eradus 2021 Eradus Sauvignon Blanc - Marlborough *** ½+
Grassy, grapefruit, and cat’s pee; all the essentials in New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

Kumeu River Wines 2020 Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay – Auckland*** ½
Generous mouth feel, with bruised apple and peach pit.

Loveblock 2018 Gewürztraminer, Loveblock Estate – Marlborough*** ½+
Very lovely and not over the top notes are floral, lychee and peachy.

Loveblock 2020 Pinot Gris, Loveblock Estate – Marlborough*** ½
A little thick in the mouth, and lacks the acidity I'm looking for, but it does have nice texture and some nice grapefruit / lemon character.

Loveblock 2020 Sauvignon Blanc, Loveblock Estate – Marlborough*** ½+
It's so chalked with texture and very tasty. It's like licking a fresh grapefruit with all of its pulp included; all with just a hint of grassiness.

Luna Estate 2020 Luna Estate Pinot Noir – Martinborough*** ½+
Loaded with red fruit, slightly earthy, gentle smokiness, black raspberry and hints of coffee bean.

Misha's Vineyard Wines 2019 The High Note Pinot Noir - Central Otago*** ½
Decent version of Pinot Noir: sour cherry, cranberry, with good acidity and a little bit of smoke.

Nautilus 2021 Sauvignon Blanc – Marlborough*** ½+
Plenty of grapefruit with some texture on the palate, it comes across as bitterness, almost like lime zest, but it also has a touch of grassiness; could be very refreshing on a hot day.

No.1 Family Estate Cuvee No.1 Chardonnay – Marlborough*** ½
Good acidic bubbly. Crisp, clean, with lemon apple.

Peregrine 2021 Sauvignon Blanc - Central Otago*** ½
Nice yellow grapefruit, along with some lemon, a little grassy, and a great mouth feel.

Rabbit Ranch 2020 Rabbit Ranch Pinot Noir - Central Otago*** ½+
“Nothing wrong with that.” Decent sour and black cherry black raspberry and hint of smoke.

Saint Clair Family Estate 2020 Sauvignon Blanc – Marlborough*** ½
Simple and easy. Nothing too complicated. Lots of grapefruit and lemon with some grassiness.

Seifried Estate 2021 Grüner Veltliner – Nelson*** ½
Pretty bang on, there's some peapod and some green notes, along with decent acidity.

The Hunting Lodge 2019 Seasonal Albarino – Marlborough *** ½+
Nice version of Albarino with it’s lemon, grapefruit and beeswax notes.

The Landing 2020 Chardonnay - Northland*** ½+
Yeasty, apple, peach, and even a slight smokiness.

Wild Rock Estate 2017 Pinot Grigio – Marlborough*** ½
Another wine with good texture, but it lacks acidity; which is made up for through the length of its finish.

Matawhero Wines 2020 Single Vineyard Chardonnay – Gisborne*** ½
Pretty basic Chardonnay apple, pear, peach with other pretty white fruit notes. Slight hint of vanilla on the finish.

Matawhero Wines 2020 Single Vineyard Pinot Gris – Gisborne*** ½
Nice freshness with peach, apple, and lemon.

Auntsfield 2010 Single Vineyard Pinot Noir - Marlborough****
Floral and smoky, black cherry, blackberry, earthy, plenty of cranberry, but also lots of smoky notes.

Burn Cottage 2017 Pinot Noir, Estate Vineyard - Central Otago**** ½ Burn Cottage
Nice oak integration. Good black fruit: black cherry, black raspberry, and a little  smoked-sour-cherry I could drink this all the time. Well-balance, a really good drinking wine.

Ceres Wines 2017 Bannockburn Composition Pinot Noir - Central Otago****
Solid Pinot Noir with smoky-cherry, smoky-cranberry and well-integrated oak. Quite tasty.

Craggy Range 2019 Le Sol Syrah - Hawke's Bay****+
White pepper, smoky cassis, black raspberry, black pepper on the finish and there’s even some cigarette ash and tobacco.

Elephant Hill Winery 2017 Syrah - Hawke's Bay ****
Typically good Elephant Hill syrah: black raspberry, smoked-black pepper. There's a lot going on here.

Felton Road 2019 Calvert Pinot Noir - Central Otago****
Very nice... it’s what I expect from Felton Road: pretty cranberry, red raspberry, black cherry and slightly smoky. Everything is very well integrated.

Felton Road 2018 Chardonnay Bannockburn - Central Otago****
Well-integrated oak. Plenty of white fruit along with a notes of vanilla and burnt butter. There’s also just a touch of popcorn on the mid-palate. Plenty to get excited about here.

Hans Herzog Estate 2016 Hans Family Estate Pinot Noir – Marlborough****+
Lovely version of Pinot. It starts off with lots of fruit, ends with quite a bit of tannin with a nice smoky middle, and black raspberry dominates on the finish.

Mahi 2019 Pinot Noir – Marlborough****
Earthy, smoky and blackberry ... Notes of cassis white pepper and smoky.

Bone LineThe Boneline 2018 Amphitheatre Cabernet Franc - Canterbury / Waipara****+
This is a pretty good Cabernet Franc. Shows a smokiness tobacco, black fruit, cassis black raspberry really tasty. Didn't expect that from New Zealand.

The Elder Pinot 2016 Pinot Noir – Martinborough****+
This wine packs a dark punch with its blackberry, black cherry, and black raspberry. Which leads into vanilla and cinnamon on the finish. Well-aged easy-drinking and very tasty.

Trinity Hill 2020 Syrah - Hawke's Bay****
Smoky white pepper, silky black fruit: cassis and black raspberry. Really easy drinking Syrah.

Villa Maria 2020 Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Sauvignon Blanc – Marlborough****
Lovely smoky-black cherry, earthy, cranberry ... Touched by pepper, but that smokiness really comes through.


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