Spe­cial oc­ca­sions

Wine is needed this week. My daugh­ter is learn­ing to drive. In my car. With me. It’s been emo­tional.

Weekend Herald - Canvas - - RESTAURANT + WINE -

DOMINIO DE HEREDIA RIOJA DOC 2015 $19.90

Su­per-smooth and mas­cu­line, like sniff­ing Ge­orge Clooney af­ter a wet shave, it’s all to­bacco, man­sweat, sad­dle leather and desert dust. Wait ... What was I talk­ing about again? The wine. Yes. Tem­pranillo grapes were har­vested, crushed, fer­mented, and aged for 12 months in new French oak bar­rels to bring on the smoky, prune, and pep­per flavours in this bot­tle. A mid-palate burst of cherry, black­cur­rant and co­coa is fol­lowed by chompy tan­nins. Woof. Sip with: minted lamb shanks. posh­slosh.co.nz

SAINT CLAIR PIONEER BLOCK 12 LONE GUM MARLBOROUGH GEWURZTRAMINER 2016 $25.90

As least once a week I must have Thai food and, when I do, I must have a crisp glass of gewurztraminer to soothe its pas­sage. I thought the 2014 vin­tage was un­stop­pable then the 2016 came along. Wow! This musky-spiced style from Chris and Judy Sim­monds’ block on Dog Point Rd is a suc­cu­lent, lus­cious ex­am­ple of ros­es­cented, glossy, oily, ly­chee-laden love­li­ness with a lit­tle kick of heat on the fin­ish. Sip with: black pep­per prawns. saint­clair.co.nz

CHAM­PAGNE JOSEPH DESRUETS BRUT SPE­CIAL CUVEE LES PREMICES NV $150

I love learn­ing of new Cham­pagne houses and Desruets is my new favourite. A 60/40 blend of pinot noir and chardon­nay, it’s so in­cred­i­bly fresh, pil­lowy and pure. I love the lacy cit­rus, cashew, bagel dough and short­bread char­ac­ters on the palate, its har­mo­nious tex­ture, im­pec­ca­ble bal­ance and lift – it’s an ab­so­lute aris­to­crat of a Cham­pagne and one that’s worth ev­ery cent — and more. Sip with: steamed oys­ters and shiso herb salsa. mylit­tle­france.co.nz Yvonne Lorkin

YVONNE LORKIN IS CO-FOUNDER AND CHIEF TAST­ING OF­FI­CER OF WINEFRIEND.CO.NZ AND A WINE WRIT­ERS OF NZ MEM­BER.

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