A couple of nights ago I opened a New Zealand Riesling that lacked the acidity but definitely had all the flavours a good Riesling should have. The Forrest Estate 2007 Riesling ($19.70) thankfully has both. Then there’s the Lawsons Dry Hills 2006 Gewürztraminer ($19.60) with its spicy-sweet floral nose and spicy-peppery-floral-rosy palate … very nice, very refreshing, very Gewurzt-like – which is good, if you’re a Gewürztraminer. Kim Crawford’s “Pansy Rosé” has always been a favourite, and the 2007 version is no different, with its neon pink colour and refreshing raspberry-strawberry nose and taste. This one’s made entirely from Merlot.
High-End Treasures …
Sure it’s $35.15 – which seems pretty high for a Sauvignon Blanc, but Brancott has been a favourite of mine at the low-end level for quite a while, so their Brancott B 2007 Sauvignon Blanc is an easy step up for those special occasions … and those flavours are even more pop-pop-bang in your mouth that the $15 bottle.
Looking for a Pinot to impress? The Craggy Range Te Muna Road 2006 Pinot Noir ($46.95) should do the trick nicely. Great nose which is followed in the mouth with cherry, raspberry, strawberry and cranberry. Also from Craggy Range comes the 2005 Sophia ($61.95), a blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot with just a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon. This is one of those eviro-friendly big-bottle wines, where after you’ve finished what’s in the bottle you can recycle it as a weapon or a weight to hold open the fire escape door. Nice dark fruit here – leathery, juicy, big tannins, good flavours and some real ageability under the hood – a wine made for the long haul.
Value Treasures …
This is my favourite category of wine – wines that over-deliver for their price point. Coopers Creek 2007 Sauvignon Blanc ($16.95) with lots of gooseberry and grassy smells here, in the mouth it is all grapefruit and citrus which replays on the medium finish.
It’s hard to find a good value in Pinot Noir, but the Shepherds Ridge 2006 Pinot Noir ($24.75) delivers in spades. Dark and dirty on the nose, and though a touch jammy at first on the palate it opens nicely to reveal red fruit and earth with good tannins and acidity.
Finally, in the value treasures, is a Merlot that is simply lovely – Sacred Hill 2006 Basket Press Merlot ($19.95). The nose serves up dark fruit and blackberries; while in the mouth the dark fruit continues along with earthy undertones and rich tannins. It’s big and ballsy with a lingering dryness on the tongue, it truly does fit the bill of over delivery at under twenty-bucks.
All of the above wines will be available in the May 24th Vintages release.