(2021) From eighteen-year-old vineyards in Kakheti, this is from one of the bigger producers, the wine quite widely available. It was fermented in and spent five months in qvevri and again has quite a deep yellow-to-amber colour. There's an orange and apricot quality on the nose here, juicy and citrussy, a suggestion of honey and light waxiness too. In the mouth the fruit is significantly sweeter than the Château Mukhrani Qvevri white, again some honey, but then a salty lemon core of acidity pushes on to the bone-dry finish.
(2021) A year when poor weather during the early part of the season resulted in reduced crops, but a fine and warm mid- and late season meant a smaller yeild of very high quality fruit from these Wairau River vineyards. Made primarily in stainless steel, approximately 4% was fermented at warmer temperatures in old French oak barriques and large format oak vats. Quite widely available. A particularly fruity passion fruit and gooseberry opening here, and while there is some elderflower pungency, it sits just behind the punchy fruit. In the mouth there's plenty of fruit sweentess and irresistable nectarine juiciness. It feels like a particularly concentrated vintage of the Sauvignon Blanc, the cool salty and lemony acidity providing good support and thrust. Could well be an example that ages rather well.
(2021) From older vineyards and another season where yileds were reduced by cool spring weather. The juice was racked directly to French oak barrels (8% new) and large wooden casks for fermentation initiated by indigenous yeasts. The wine matured in barrel, on fine lees, for 11 months, before transferring to less oxidative vessels to finish ageing: stainless steel, concrete tanks and large format casks. Creamy, lightly nutty, but definitely Marlborough still,  with some tropical fruit character, lots of citrus and stone fruits, and really lovely, creamy- to almost minty acid quality that fills the mouth along with the sweet, buttery fruit into the finish. Intense and well-balanced.
(2021) Porcupine Ridge is a second label of the excellent Boekenhoutskloof estate, the wines made in big volumes in conjunction with the local cooperative cellar. Note too that there is a straight Sauvignon Blanc in the range on sale in Sainsbury's at less than £7, but untasted by me. This blends some Semillon, though it is the capsicum and gooseberry-touched fruity blast of Sauvignon that comes through most strongly. In the mouth there's a flattering touch of sweetness to offset juicy lime acidity. The fresh flavours across the mid-palate show a bit of fat, lemony character which the Semillon and just a touch of oak influence will be boosting. No aggressive side to this, in an easy-drinking style. Watch the video for more information.
(2021) From the second-oldest, dedicated Champagne house founded in 1730, this is 48% Pinot Noir (mostly from Les Riceys), 39% Chardonnay, the balance Pinot Meunier. Coming from a cool year, but now with seven years under its belt, there is some gold to the colour and an attractively creamy, nutty and bruised apple fruit quality. On the palate the dosage is apparent, giving a sweet attack, but a fat and juicy lemony fruit corew and acidity sweeps through. The finish shows a little salts and minerals, in an easy drinking and stylish vintage Champagne. £24.99 as part of a mixed six at Majestic at time of review.
(2021) From Washington State, high on the US West Coast against the Canadian border, this off-dry Riesling opens with lime and orange, more tropical-tinged citrus aromas, and a touch of waxiness. The sweetness on the palate sits against a little flinty character, with nicely judged limey acidity fir a balanced finish. The mixed six price at Majestic of £9.99 is what makes this attractive
(2021) The 2018 vintage saw a late start to flowering but ended as an extremely good and ripe year. Fermented in concrete tanks with 20% whole bunches, then into French oak barrels for 11 months, 17% new. A pale, transluscent wine from 'down the hill', picked 18 days before their 'up the hill' vineyards. Lots of Pinosity with truffle and some beetroot notes, but there's a creaminess too, an inherent sweetness and hint of fudge. The palate has a fleshiness and sweet ripe fruit lusciousness, the whole bunches adding a little briar and spice, and the finish quite soft and giving, still very good acidity and the tannins tightly packed and quietly controlling the finish.
(2021) A lovely vintage for this estate, and this wine sourced from vineyards across the region. Around 5% whole bunches, this was fermented in open-top ferementers and aged in a blend of small and larger barrels, 10% new, though 15% stayed in steel "to promote a vibrant fruit profile." Medium-pale, some earthiness and farmyard characters here, the fruit is red berries and cherry. Plenty of fruit, this is dry and savoury, very bright acidity at this stage, quite punchy, the picture vibrant and tight with its racy tannins and overall savoury style.
(2021) From the Bridge Pa Triangle, one of the specific terroirs of Hawke's Bay, prized for its deep gravel soils, and the very hot 2018 vintage. It spent five months in oak and has a small percentage of Viognier in the blend. Very attractive floral and cherry lift to the nose here, all bright fruit and freshness, a little green cool streak (12.5% alcohol). On the palate it is relatively lean, firm, tart raspberry and plenty of acditiy keeping it fresh into the finish. £16.99 on a mixed six deal.
(2021) This Brut sparkling wine from Graham Beck is a 50/50 blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, 80% from their home vineyards in Robertson, the rest from coastal vineyards of the Western Cape. There are few more experienced producers of MCC that Graham Beck, and this is lean, linear and lovely. There's a suggestion of bread and biscuit after 18 months on the lees and with around 10% of reserve wines in the blend, but pin-sharp lemon and rosy red apple aromas. On the palate, this has a great zesty length of lemony-fresh fruit, a salty and nutty aspect adding some layering into the finish. Dosage is 9g/l, but with no malolactic it is one of crispest, most refreshing wines in this line-up. Watch the video for more information. On offer at £10 in Waitrose until April 6th 2021, and in Majestic and other retailers too.