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….
Pale ruby with perhaps a touch of garnet. The nose has got just what I looking for- pronounced aromas of earth, forest floor, red cherry, baking spice, black currant leaf, red plum, clove- very complex, almost Burgundian. On the palate it is stunning- dry with very juicy acidity and medium tannins this wine has an upfront push of sour cherry followed by the earthy, forest floor component alongside other red fruits. Baking spice hits on the mid palate and I get oak nuance from the get go. This is quite full bodied and rich with flavor that finishes nicely with a sour note from cherries and cranberry. The overall length of the finish is medium. The balance of this wine is en pointe and the composure makes me want to keep sipping. This $45 Pinot Noir got some pretty monster scores- I have to agree and go with 93 points. I will be drinking the other three bottles over a 5 year period and watching the evolution. Pairings could consist of Duck l’Orange, Filet Mignon with Au Gratin or even Grilled white meats. 5 stars for this beauty. Salut….
Pale gold in the glass. Strong aromas of lemon zest, lime, cut grass, cat pee, passion fruit and green apple. A very predictable nose and exactly what I was looking for. The palate is dry, crisp and tangy. Citrus, grass, green apple and passion fruit flavors- thank god there’s no pee on the palate. I find this wine to be light bodied and refreshing. The finish is quite long and mouthwatering. Good stuff to go with our Chinese takeaway. 89 points for this $15 Kiwi makes it a 4 star effort. Serve chilled and drink by 2023. 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….