Earth movers

There’s some se­ri­ous liq­uid ac­tion go­ing on in Can­ter­bury

Weekend Herald - Canvas - - RESTAURANT + WINE - Yvonne Lorkin is co-founder and chief tast­ing of­fi­cer of wine­friend.co.nz and a Wine Writ­ers of NZ mem­ber.

MEL­TON ES­TATE CAN­TER­BURY PINOT GRIS 2013 $23

Twenty min­utes from Christchurch on the West Coast Rd (SH73) is a leafy lo­cale known as West Mel­ton, home to a plucky com­mu­nity of wine­grow­ers in­clud­ing Philip Caunter, a mil­lion-miles-an-hour man who dou­bles as “soft­ware en­tre­pre­neur” and “ar­dent fan of the West Mel­ton RFC”. His vines grow on freedrain­ing, greywacke-lit­tered soils gifted by an­cient braided flows of the Waimakariri River and this gris is de­vel­op­ing into a nashi-scented, com­plex, min­er­aldriven lit­tle num­ber. Light, spicy and gen­tly styled. Sip with: al­mond chicken salad with basil mayo. melton­es­tate.co.nz

ATAAHUA WAIPARA PINOT NOIR 2015 $25

Se­ri­ous clove, star anise and san­dal­wood and all man­ner of crazy ex­otic spices erupt from the glass as you pour this lit­tle Waipara wun­derkind. It grips the gums with mus­cu­lar gusto and fin­ishes with some savoury kapow (tech­ni­cal term there). Stephanie Hen­der­son-Grant and hus­band An­drew have been mak­ing wine here since 1995, so they know how to coax some cham­pion flavours into each bot­tle. Sip with: Moroc­can beef, prune, date and honey tagine. ataahuaw­ine.co.nz

THE BONE LINE RIVERBONE WAIPARA SAU­VI­GNON BLANC 2013 $30

An im­age of an 18-mil­lion-year-old me­ga­lodon tooth found in North Can­ter­bury’s Waipara River adorns the la­bel and it’s to­tally ap­pro­pri­ate be­cause this bar­rel-fer­mented sau­vi­gnon ab­so­lutely pings with bone-dry, fe­ro­ciously funky, lime­stone love­li­ness. Lime and flint flavours wash over clas­sic bruised wa­ter­cress and charred cap­sicum notes in this wine grown by hus­band and wife team Vic Tut­ton and Lind­say Hill from their fos­sil-laden vine­yard on Ram Pad­dock Rd. Sip with: zuc­chini and feta fritters. the­bone­line.co.nz Yvonne Lorkin

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