(2023) Muscat makes up only a tiny percentage of the New Zealand vineyard, but was chosen partly to show that there is more to the twin islands than Sauvignon Blanc. This one has 14g/l of sugar and comes from gravels at 60 metres and vines that are more than 30 years old. Pale to medium lemon colour, Geranium-like floral and leafy, musky aromatics. In the mouth the sweetness is very noticeable making this potentially more of a wine for matching to summer fruit tarts and lighter desserts. The crunch of the acidity is very good, and this has real concentration. There's a bit of phenolic grip and substantial alcohol that also helps anchor this wine. A Muscat with real character. The wines of Pegasus Bay are imported into the UK, but there are no retail stockists listed at time of tasting, possibly because of the 15.4% alcohol which makes UK pricing prohibitive.
(2023) A field blend of 70% Gewurztraminer with Riesling and Pinot Gris, harvested, pressed and vinified together. The nose is dominated by Gewurz aromas, but delicately so, with rose-hip and lychee and plenty of florality. In the mouth there's a lusciousness with 27g/l of sugar, but a lovely sense of finesse and lightness too thanks to crisp acidity from those other varities, and only 13% abv. Distictive and enjoyable.
(2023) From soils with some limestone, this is medium sweet with 14g/l of residual sugar. Candied citrus fruits and lychee on the nose nose, the palate follows with really very sweet fruit, a medium bodied style with good balance in the finish.
(2021) This is late-harvest Chenin from shale soils with quartz on clay and sand. The vines in the Saint-Aubin region of Coteaux du Layon are over 40 years old, and the wine is made in stainless steel tanks. Buttercup yellow, it has a glorious nose, all ripe stone fruits, honey and glycerine, there is surely a little Botrytis present here too. In the mouth luscious and fully sweet, richly textured but shimmering with acidity to balance. A stand-out bargain, but note most retailers have moved to the following vintage at time of review.
(2021) This wine from the Finger Lakes is made in an Auslese style, harvested in late October with a proportion of Botrytis-affected grapes. Pleasing, lightly honeyed nose, fruit of sweet red apples and a touch of barley sugar. The palate has texture and richness, but the dry Botrytis extract balances the juicy fruit sweetness. Acid is good, though perhaps just a touch more zip would have made for an event better wine.
(2021) A relatively unusual style this, a semi-sweet Gewürz, which has the hallmark florals, honeysuckle and a touch of exotic spices, but is not too flamboyant into the Turkish delight spectrum. The definite sweetness on the palate means that for me this does have to be carefully matched to food really, and I think a tarte tatin or apple strudel, maybe something like a peach cobbler, could hit the spot.
(2019) From a vineyard bought by the family in 1353. More tobacco and cherry and floral lift and perfume, that slightly ashy quality. The lovely sweetness of ripe cherry and juicy, plump currants, and a beautifully judged residual sugar, but set against it keen, cherry skin acidity and tight tannins, with an underpinning of violet and bittersweet dark chocolate, a deliciously balanced wine. Around 60g/l residual sugar. Price for 50cl.
(2019) A wine that brought a smile to my face, Cienna is a cross of Summol and Cabernet Sauvignon, here the fermentation stopped at 7.5% alcohol, to leave this deep red wine distinctly sweet and mildly spritzy. Aromas of cola, cherry and chocolate are echoed on the palate, where plenty of sweetness moves this into the dessert wine category for me, though Brown Bros suggest Indian Curry is a good match. Interesting, though I couldn't be a regular drinker of it I confess.
(2017) Made with wild foraged meadowsweet, a herb that grows by river banks. Pale gold in colour, high chamomile and - yes - meadowsweet aromas, quite interesting and inviting a sip: that reveals a medium-sweet mouthful of fairly light-bodied wine, those floral and herbal characters and a hint of bitterness in the finish. The best of the three Cairn O'Mohr wines tasted in my opinion, though wine lovers need not rush to buy.
(2017) 'Goes with Haggis' is the name, and could this get any more cliched Scottish, also with a picture of Rabbie Burns on the label. The colour is light red and the nose has an interesting herbal and nettle touch to berry fruit, certainly adding some interest that's missing in the raspberry wine. In the mouth it is drier than expected, a slightly metallic edge, but also a hint of spices and those dry autumn leaves and berries. Palatable rather than admirable for me.