I did a tasting at a wine bar recently and this was the opener- a classic Sauvignon Blanc from NZ. Pale lemon colored with heady aromas of cut grass, gooseberry, cat pee (yes, it’s a thing), tangerine, lemon rind, melon and Passion fruit. High acidity and a medium body were to be expected and this varietally true wine delivered! It runs $13 and gets 90 points from me making it a 5 star effort to drink soon. Salut….
We drank this Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc at my WSET wine course and I recognized the name and bottle. Looking it up I realize that Moxie and I had drunk some of the 2012 Spy Valley on a Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong to Bali back in 2013.
This one is medium lemon colored with pronounced aromas of cut grass, asparagus, passion fruit, lemon, blossom and grapefruit. It is still youthful. Dry with high acidity I got medium (+) flavors of this medium bodied wine. Medium alcohol and a long finish with a juicy ending. Rating it 92 points and 5 stars cause you can grab some for $15. Drink with a crisp salad, a light pasta or even grilled trout. I would enjoy this wine till 2025. Salut….
In our wine tasting group (virtual), there are many of us who enjoy Pinot. I ventured to New Zealand for this tasting of the varietal. New World without a doubt, this wine was 70% opaque and dark purple in the glass. On the nose, the tasters got rich strawberry, deli meat, tobacco, black tea, straw and some subtle barnyard notes. On the palate we tasted cherry, oak, funk, black pepper and Macha Green tea. Overall I thought it was a little too extracted for my taste but others really enjoyed it. 89 points from me and at $20 it gets 4 stars. The pros went 92 on this steal for Pinot. If you like the style, go for it! Drink till 2030 as this baby packs some well integrated tannins, balanced by some decent acidity. Salut….
I’m slow-roasting some Pork Belly and it needs an acidic, lighter style wine that can cut through the fat yet not overpower the delicate white meat. Cool climate Pinot Noir came to mind and this bottle happens to be on my tasting bench.
See-through and ruby red. At 12.5% ABV I’m not expecting to see much in the way of legs in the glass. The nose is very interesting to me- ripe strawberry, raspberry, cloves and leather (yes, like fresh cut leather). The palate is definitely New World. Red raspberry driven with bakers spice and a good dose of acidity make for a delightful taste. The wine is off-dry and offers a touch of tannic dryness. The acidity is on pointe and exactly what I was hoping for. Red fruit and juiciness make for a long finish that I am enjoying, albeit my jaw is aching from the acidity at this point- I can’t wait for the meat to cut it down some. I really like this wine and think it’s a good value for $16 ’cause it gets 90 points and 5 stars from me. Drink till 2025. Salut….
This Kiwi Sav Blanc is a really pretty shade of pale gold. The nose just blew me away. Passion fruit, peach, lime verbena and a hint of you know what. The palate is well formed with loads of flavor from those fruits minus the cat pee. I do also get gooseberries- that somewhat sweet-yet-sour at the same time fruit. Delicious. The acidity is en pointe, not cutting- it sharpens the flavors and lets them be the focus. The wine finishes with a decent length tail of citrus and pineapple that lasts a good long while. I picked this wine tonight as I am in an arm cast and it’s my son’s turn to cook. He is blackening some Sous Vide Chicken with Cajun spices which should work well with this 93 pointer. The pros went 94/95 on this $20 monster. I will be stocking up for sure, it will pair with pretty much any seafood, chicken dishes, salads and cheese boards. 5 stars, if only I could give 6. Stunner to drink till 2025. Salut….
When I cook spicy Asian foods I am looking for crisp, fruity wines to offset the heat and allow the flavors to shine through. Typically Riesling is a good choice but I am leaning on Sauvignon Blanc now as I find it more versatile with the myriad of spices that are used in Korean, Indian and Thai cuisine. This particular Kiwi version is a very pale gold in the glass. The nose is very interesting- cut grass, lemon peel, apricot and kumquat. The palate is delicious with tropical fruits galore and a medium jolt of acidity. I’m still getting kumquats, but now I also taste star fruit and pineapple. The mid palate had a nice cut to it and the finish is decent in length with the tropical fruit theme continuing. This is a delicious wine folks and at 12.5% alcohol, it’s easy to drink. The structure makes for an easy drop without being too acidic yet it has a decent bite, important for spicy dishes. I think I picked right for this pairing but I would also put it up against a hearty charcuterie board, grilled Garlic Prawns, Salmon on the grill- you get the idea. At $13 this is a buy-by-the case wine that gets 89 points and 5 stars from me. Drink till 2024. Salut….
Very, very pale gold in the glass. Grapefruit and cat pee on the nose with some cut grass. The palate gives me lime zest, green apple and vibrant acidity. It’s very refreshing and light. The mid palate is very bright with citrus and more apple. The finish gets back to the cut grass motif with really juicy acidity stemming from the lemon and lime notes. I picked this wine to pair with Spanikopita- it’s a treat. Drink till 2023. 89 points from me. 12.5% alcohol makes it a great quaffer, especially on a hot summers eve. Delicious and decent value at $21. 4 stars. Salut….
Our second Sav Blanc of Thanksgiving was another Kiwi wine. Pale yellow in the glass with a somewhat muted nose of tangerine and pomelo. On the palate it is refreshing with that orange citrus flavor along with grated ginger and capsicum. There is a hint of wood accent on the mid palate and a touch of acidity. It’s a fuller mouthfeel but is a bit shallower on the flavor profiles. 89 points and 4 stars for this $11 quaffer to drink till 2022. Salut….
Light yellow in the glass. Pineapple, apricot and lemon on the nose. The palate is semi sweet with lemon zest, green apple, cut grass and a touch of honeysuckle. Delicious with mid grade acidity that balances the sweetness perfectly. A hint of effervescence was noted by some but I’m getting a touch of green pepper instead. It’s a really delicious white wine that has finally gotten a thumbs up from my buddy Dusty. He is a red drinker but this one broke through for him. 91 points and 5 stars for this $15 wine. Drink till 2024. Salut….
This wine kicked off our 4th Virtual Wine Tasting. As in the past, I had all the attendees reserve half the bottle at room temperature and the other half chilled. My brief notes include a very nice shade of light gold in the glass. The nose was very floral and included grapefruit, citrus, green apple and pear. The palate was very much in line with the nose and had a modicum of tangy acidity, citrus and floral notes with a decent length finish. The room temperature version offered a much fuller nose, more emphasis on the flowers while the chilled version focused on the citrus and acidic components. Both were delicious but I preferred the cold version whilst scoring the room temp slightly higher using my own 20 point scale. Interestingly, the nose of this wine did not exhibit the telltale cat pee aromas that I usually note in Kiwi Sav-Blancs. I don’t necessarily miss it, but I was hoping to showcase it as a prominent feature of the varietal from this region. The wine did display some nice minerality that is reminiscent of a French Sancerre. I am going with 90 points and 5 stars for this $14 deal. Try and stock up for the hot summer and pair it with steamed shrimp, grilled fish or chicken breast and salad. Drink till 2024. Salut….