TOP OTHER RED Cecchi Vino Nobile Di Montepulci­ano DOCG 2016 (Tuscany, Italy) - 3 $30 ★★★★★


FOUNDED IN 1893 by Luigi Cecchi, the Cecchi family name has been synonymous with quality winemaking in Italy for 128 years. While for us in New Zealand it seems hard to fathom that our children’s children will know and enjoy drinking the same trusted Kiwi wine brands we know and love now, dedication to tradition is something that the oldworld wine regions hold very dear.

While this wine is called a montepulci­ano, it’s not Montepulci­ano d’abruzzo made from the montepulci­ano grape originatin­g from the Abruzzo region of centraleas­tern Italy. No, this montepulci­ano is a Vino Nobile di Montepulci­ano which is from the Montepulci­ano area of Tuscany and is a sangiovese grapedomin­ant red-blend wine. Confused? Oh good, because it can sometimes feel that confusion is yet another thing the old-world wine regions hold very dear.

What I can most definitely clarify is that this is a superb wine. Adored by our judges, it has lovely lifted dried rose petals and brambly red and black berries entwined with a slight herbal spice on the nose, and one could quite happily enjoy luxuriatin­g in its aromas for some time before taking a sip. The wine’s delivery onto the palate is wonderful with fine acidity and firm tannins providing corseted support of the bright fruit flavours and leading to a silky-smooth, lengthy finish. Deftly handled by a well-seasoned winemaker no doubt. A fantastic wine. (A)

2 / Obsidian Waiheke Island Estate Montepulci­ano 2019 ★★★★★ - 8 $45

A beautiful berry compote of black fruits and some wild bramble notes on the nose. The palate is teeming with juicy, bright primary fruit presence and has a stunning structure supported with fine tannin and eloquent fruit-acid balance. Throughout, the wine is supported with some fine oak. An equistine example of montepulci­ano – well crafted and finely handled – resulting in a vibrant, savoury harmonious wine.

3 / Grant Burge Holy Trinity GSM 2017 (Barossa, Australia) ★★★★★ - 6 $35

Fragrant red lollies with lush, sweet-fruited juiciness interwoven with minty notes and bramble fruits to create complexity and interest on the nose. The vibrant palate boasts depth with a gentle midweight structure and flavours of salty licorice with a touch of leather. This wine has a poised energy that runs through the length of the wine to a fantastic finish. A pleasure to taste and enjoy. (A)

4 / Muriel Fincas de la Villa Crianza 2016 (Spain) ★★★★ - 1 $23

Lively red fruit and vibrant earthy notes mingle with cold tea and herbal nuances on the nose which follows through to the palate where the grainy tannins are long, lingering and silky. An upfront, ripe red-noted wine with good vibrancy relying on acidity and fruit rather than dense dark tannin notes. (B)

Kiwi wine lovers are increasing­ly enjoying wines that have traditiona­lly come from outside our borders.

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