PICK OF THE BUNCH
1. Bargain buy VERDE CHARDONNAY PINOT NOIR BRUT NV $18 Verde often pops up in the medals when judging sparkling classes. This bottle-fermented bubbly is crisp, fresh, with flavour and finesse. A bargain!
2. Spicy white 2014 SPY VALLEY MARLBOROUGH GEWURZTRAMINER $20 Gewurz is a variety declining in acreage, dismaying those of us who love its perfumed, spicy Turkish Delight richness and sexy, slippery texture. Thankfully Spy Valley are flying the flag with this award-winning example.
3. Pinot perfection 2013 RIPPON TINKER’S FIELD CENTRAL OTAGO PINOT NOIR $105 From spectacular vineyards overlooking Lake Wanaka owned by one of Central Otago (and NZ’s) oldest producers. Sublime, complex and beguiling, a layered wine that unfolds wonderfully, satisfying you while leaving you wanting more. Worth every cent.
4. Super sav 2015 SACRED HILL ORANGE LABEL MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC $15 Marlborough’s happy alignment of variety/region has created a world-class wine style, so classic that quality remains distinct even at entry level. Crunchy, vivid, rich in passionfruit and grapefruit and just begging to match fresh Sounds’ salmon.
5. Central stunner 2015 MAUDE EAST BLOCK, CENTRAL OTAGO RIESLING $25 Vibrant yet delicate, with aromatic fruit, racy acidity and a finely-tuned off-dry palate. Harvested in tiny quantities from the steep family vineyard in Wanaka, and as characterful as its makers, SK (Sarah-Kate) and Dan Dineen.