(2021) An arresting nose of pink grapefruit and burstingly-ripe nectarine on this Sauvignon Blanc (with some Riesling and Pinot Gris in the blend I believe) from Steve Smith's Pyramid Valley. There's a preserved lemon suggestion of firmness too, taut and bright. In the mouth so juicy: more nectarine, very ripe melon, just a hint of more exotic fruit and a fat orangey tang. Textured and creamy-rich on the mid-palate, the juicy freshness is maintained by the squeeze of grapefruit acidity and salinity in the finish. Imported into the UK by Louis Latour Agencies. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2021) Though weighing in with 14.5% alcohol, as always with Seven Springs' Syrah there is a European-style elegance here, with a lovely violet and old roses floral lift to the black fruit, touches of spice and cherry too. In the mouth the weight and density of the fruit and that alcohol becomes apparent - not overdone or obvious, but there's a certain sumptuous quality to this as well as firm, fine-grained tannins and pert acidity to balance.
(2021) This Pinot comes from the Awatere Valley, furthest south of Marlborough's wine regions, cool and influenced by the ocean more than the vineyards further north. That suits this delicate style of Pinot that for me is more on the rhubarb and beetroot, more vegetal spectrum which is an authentic expression of this variety. Very pale in colour, the fruit is of small red berries - cranberry and reducurrant - with a gentle influence of older oak barrels accentuating some spicy and vanilla components. Gentle tannins and good acidity. It's a wine in the distinctly cool-climate, red-fruited and savoury style. Watch the video for food-matching ideas and more information.
(2021) From a producer of Central Otago dedicated to Pinot Noir, this is rather beautiful: delicate in colour and fragrance, there's so much floral, raspberry and redcurrant elegance, a fine orange and bright, tart cherry skin tang of acidity shimmering on the palate against some subtle cream and exotic, smoky spice. Imported by Mentzendorff & Co., it's another refined and delightful Pinot from the schist soils of Akitu's higher altitude vineyards.
(2021) A blend of fruit from the Taylor family's vineyards in the Clare Valley and from the Limestone Coast. There's a plummy character on the nose, a little wisp of something herby and lifted too. The full-on sweetness and chocolate density of the wine surprises as it hits the palate, a mocha coffee raft of black fruit flavours, super-ripe and mouth-filling. Plush is the word for this wine, with its creamy and generous tannins and acids, it's for immediate pleasure I'd say, as long as you like that uncompromisingly ripe and large-scaled style.
(2021) The name of this wine translates to 'Stony Hill', the grapes coming from the rockiest slopes on the Banfi estate in Tuscany. Currants and fresh red berries on the nose, little oak influence if any, just a touch of dusty green olive from the Cabernet component. Plenty of cherry-ripe sweetness on the palate, blackberries too, combining some fruit depth with fresher, lightly herbal notes. Plenty of creamy sweetness here with a sour tang of orange to the acidity.
(2021) A really nicely made Viognier this, from Viu Manent's Colchagua estate, 13.5% and well balanced. The nose offers precise pear and light peach fruit aromas, a hint of vanilla in there too. On the palate the fruit is ripe and sweet0edged, more peach and flirting with mango and tropical notes, but very good, dry, slightly salty lemon acidity pushes out the finish. Quite a concentrated style, but well done.
(2021) It's so easy to overlook the very familiar brands, on the basis that by their very nature they are consistent, so tasting vintage after vintage is a bit of a waste of time. Indeed I see from my database that the last vintage I reviewed of the Sauvignon Blanc from Oxford Landing was 2001. I don't recall it having only 10.5% alcohol, so without a doubt the recipe has changed in 20 years. It's a wine with very decent southern hemisphere Sauvignon characteristics, but is basically like quaffing lemonade: very light, passion fruit and tropical notes and a clean finish, but nothing by the way of texture or acidity to disrupt the quaffing picture. Though a very commercially 'constructed' commodity wine, it does a good job and with its low alcohol might just be a useful summer in the garden picnic or party standby. Watch the video for more information.
(2021) A pale peachy-pink, the main advantage Torres wine has over some of the other Spanish attempts at this style are the grapes used: Carignan and Grenache, two of the mainstays of Provence wines too. Very light, very commercially appealing raspberry and rose-hip aromas, a little bit watercolour paintbox, then a palate that has some sweetness and possibly a touch of residual sugar, but plenty of lemony acidity keeps that in check. It is light-bodied and arguably a touch dilute even for a rosé, but flavours and balance are good.
(2021) Massaya is a partnership between the Ghosn family of Lebanon and the Hebrard and Prunier families of Bordeaux and the Rhône Valley respectively. An unusual blend of more or less equal parts Grenache, Cinsault and Tempranillo. Bright creamy crimson, it is moderate in density and offers aromas of pomegranate, spice and pepper. This does not appear to have seen oak. In the mouth there's a savoury, endive and liquorice twist to this. On the mid-palate more sweetness comes through, the wine is medium-bodied despite the 14.5% alcohol, the finish rather dry with a dustiness to the tannins.