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  1. Bilancia Pinot Gris 2019
    Bilancia Pinot Gris 2019

    Pears and apples mingle with white flowers and a touch of peach. Lovely texture, dry and rich with a sense of glycerol to the overt flavours of bosc pear and red apples. It has Gris weight but also a nice, enlivening juicy feel to the fruit. Finishes with a good degree of crispness to what is otherwise a wine of texture above all. I think the winemaker said "This is how Pinot Gris should be." That's a fair statement, tastes like a textbook description of the variety when it's made well. ROSCOE

    2019
    Pinot Gris
    New Zealand
    403
  2. Palliser Estate Pencarrow Pinot Noir 2018
    Palliser Estate Pencarrow Pinot Noir 2018

    Palliser Estate planted in 1984 is one of the pioneers of the Martinborough region. Martinborough only produces 1% of New Zealands' wine but is now synonymous with growing and making great wine. All the wines are 100% estate grown from six vineyards situated on the revered Martinborough Terrace, 25% of which are under organic management with the aim to take this to 100% by 2025.
    Like so many of the great producers its not just the quality of the wines the produce but the consistency that makes them so impressive which makes Pencarrow, undoubtably, one of the greatest value wines coming out of NZ. PWS

    Martinborough pinot.

    It scratches the pinot itch and then some. Keen buying/drinking to be enjoyed here. Complex, undergrowthy, herb-strewn flavours meet solid, varietally-styled fruit. Dry tannin and plenty of savoury spice note; it’s a winner. CAMPBELL MATTINSON, The Wine Front

    2018
    Pinot noir
    New Zealand
    435
    $26.00
  3. Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay 2020 375ml
    Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay 2020 375ml
    Lightly but not excessively reductive on the nose. Already quite expansive on the nose with beautiful impact on the palate: citrus, blossom and really neat acidity without much astringency. Elegant and racy – almost lightweight on the mid palate and then it is impressively persistent. A thorough delight already. JANCIS ROBINSON

    We love the wines at Kumeu River. This is one of the best 'new world' Chardonnay producers that remains a surprising secret for many a Chardonnay lover. The estate is a blend of several of the sites worked by Kumeu and always has a softer more delicate air then some of the more powerful single vineyard bottlings. The 2020 is another wonderful effort. PWS
    2019
    chardonnay
    New Zealand
    416
  4. Escarpment 'Blanc' Pinot Blanc 2020
    Escarpment 'Blanc' Pinot Blanc 2020
    The surprisingly creamy-textured, medium-bodied (it's labelled at 11.5% alcohol) 2020 Blanc is 100% Pinot Blanc, barrel fermented and aged for 11 months prior to bottling. Tangerine and lime define the fruit parameters, while the oak is measured and barely noticeable, outside of the textural influence. Smooth and silky, it's an easy-drinking white with plenty of appeal. JOE CZERWINSKI, wineadvocate.com
    2019
    Pinot Blanc
    New Zealand
    435
  5. Bilancia Pinot Gris 2020
    Bilancia Pinot Gris 2020
    Pear and lifted floral aromatics and a full, ripe, lush palate. This is how Pinot Gris should be.
    2020 was a spectacular vintage for Hawke’s Bay and this Pinot Gris fruit was harvested in brilliant condition. Pressed and cold settled before racking and transfer to very old barriques for a coolish, slow fermentation. Slow fermentation assists in the retention of the often-subtle varietal fruit characters of Pinot Gris. The barrel fermentation is not meant to add oak character to the wine but rather, assist in texture. Texture is a very important feature in Pinot Gris.

    Aromas of floral, fruit and musk coupled with a rich, textural and full palate, important characters for Pinot Gris, building from great fruit quality and attention to balance during winemaking. The wine is dry, the weight and flavour of the fruit carries the palate. WARREN GIBSON, winemaker
    2020
    Pinot Gris
    New Zealand
    403
  6. Quartz Reef Methode Traditionalle NV
    Quartz Reef Methode Traditionalle NV

    Salzburg-born Rudi Bauer is one of the most respected winemakers in Central Otago, having worked at Mission and Rippon amongst others before forming Quartz Reef in 1996 with Clotilde Chauvet from Champagne and Trevor Scott. They cultivate 15 hectares of Pinot Noir using multifarious rootstock and clone variations upon north-facing slopes of quartz deposits in Bendigo with supplementary fruit sourced from Central Otago. 

    The non-vintage Methode Traditionelle Sparkling is sourced from Gibbston and Bendigo, displays a captivating nose of oyster shell, orange-blossom and granite; the palate very well-balanced with good acidity and touches of lemon zest, green apple and just a faint hint of elderflower on the bone-dry finish. I doubt you will find a better non-vintage New Zealand sparkler. NEAL MARTIN

    Biodynamic farming, lees maturation, attention to detail, great vineyard sites. Rudi Bauer of Quartz Reef has many positives in the manifestation of his life work. Beyond that, and so often it’s hard to separate the person who makes the wine from the wine itself, he’s an outstanding human. And hilarious. That being said, it means little when wines are in brown paper bags being tasted. This wine leapt from the pack.

    Incredible intensity, inward concentration, a knife edge of acidity in finely wrapped layers of toastiness, marzipan, brioche with a sleek, lean profile of green apple and citrus. Fine, fine bubbles add dimension and freshness. Aside its precision, it’s gorgeous to drink, refreshing the palate with each sip, leaving lingering detail of the presence of the wine. Insanely good drinking. It’s fine wine personified. Kudos here. MIKE BENNIE, The Wine Front

    NV
    Sparkling Wine
    New Zealand
    373
  7. Bilancia Chardonnay 2017
    Bilancia Chardonnay 2017
    There’s a very intense and juicy feel to this chardonnay that offers such fresh and refined pear and pastry on the nose, leading to similar flavors on the palate with gentle almond milk and a mellow, elegant feel to the finish. Laid-back goodness here. NICK STOCK, jamessuckling.com

    The aromas of grilled white peaches and toasted brioche are enough to set off even jaded salivary glands, but Bilancia's 2017 Chardonnay boasts other charms as well. It's refreshingly medium-bodied, with hints of melon and lime, then finishes bone dry and ultra clean, with just a bit of lingering oak. It should drink well for 4-5 years. JOE CZERWINSKI, The Wine Advocate
    2017
    chardonnay
    New Zealand
    403
  8. Neudorf Tom's Block Pinot Noir 2017
    Neudorf Tom's Block Pinot Noir 2017
    It caresses the mouth with its round, chocolatey tannins that leave you licking your cheeks. If KFC's chicken is finger licking good, Tom's is palate-licking good. This is a pretty freaking delicious and super young wine. REBECCA GIBB MW

    It's been a while between drinks for me and the Finn family of Neudorf but they're always front of mind in upper echelon NZ wine production and a great yardstick for Nelson wines. Tom's Block Pinot Noir is reliably good too.
    It has that hallmark Nelson ripe cherry and salted herb aroma I so often look for in regional pinot noirs. Pretty perfume and a touch savoury, let's say. The palate is slender but packs in dark cherry flavours, more of the salted herbs, a little smokiness and some graphite-like mineral character. It feels sleek and shy, understated and fine. It's a really, really pleasing wine here. MIKE BENNIE

    Neudorf are the undisputed stars of New Zealand's Nelson wine region. And this wine, Tom's Block Pinot Noir, is really hitting the spot in terms of quality, drinkability, and affordability. This is bright and expressive, with sweet ripe black cherry and blackberry fruit with hints of tar and spice. There's a lovely crunchy structure here: it's really fruity and pretty with some cranberry brightness as well as a bit of fruity depth. Great balance to this wine, which is drinking perfectly now. JAMIE GOODE

    This is fresh and lively and has intense red-cherry aromas with dark herbal tones. The palate is deeply flavored with a fresh, crunchy red-cherry core. Neatly proportioned tannins. Good value. JAMES SUCKLING
    2017
    Pinot noir
    New Zealand
    448
  9. Maude Central Otago Pinot Noir 2018
    Maude Central Otago Pinot Noir 2018
    A blend of Poison Creek (Queensberry) 58.8 %  and Mohawk Hill (Lowburn) 41.5 % from one of NZ great underrated Pinot Producers. The operation is under the watchful eye of winemakers Sarah-Kate (SK) and Dan Dineen. After leding there previous winemaking poisitions they have quietly built a winery, a new home, developed the Maude wine label and started a family amidst the stunning back drop of Lake Wanaka in Central Otago, New Zealand.

    It is no surprise to wine industry insiders that their wine, Maude, has become an instant success. But like any supposed 'instant' success there lies an enormous amount of energy, experience and professionalism behind a project, which epitomises this winemaking couple.

    Whole cluster ferment of about 25%, matured 10 months in barrique with no fining / minimal filtration

    Blackcurrant, bramble, dark cherry, plum with hintsof violet and dried pine needles on a forest floor.
    A sophisticated Central Otago Pinot Noir, where precision and detail replace volume and mass.
    2018
    Pinot noir
    New Zealand
    373
  10. Akarua Brut NV
    Akarua Brut NV

    54% Pinot Noir, 46% Chardonnay. The fruit for this sparkling wine is sourced from a variety of Central Otago sub-regions, with varying soil profiles, vine age and aspect. All parcels are hand havested, whole bunch pressed and fermented seperately. 4% will be aged in old oak.  Individual parcels are subsequently blended with 15% reserve wine.

    Aged on lees in bottle following secondary fermentation for 18 months, riddled, disgorged, aged on cork for an additional minimum 3 mths before release.

    LIfted florals, citrus and stonefruit perfume, with freshly baked baguette. Palate is zesty and fresh, with complex autolytic toasted brioche notes and fine persistent bead. Lovely length and mouth filling richness balanced with bright acidity. The perfect aperitif. AKARUA

    NV
    chardonnay, Pinot noir, Sparkling Wine
    New Zealand
  11. Ata Rangi Crimson Pinot Noir 2019
    Ata Rangi Crimson Pinot Noir 2019

    Ata Rangi’s second-label pinot noir made from grapes grown on younger vines than their flagship wine. It is sporting a new label showing a stylised Pohutukawa flower. Seamless, stylish pinot noir with savoury, dried herb, spice, cherry, floral and violet flavours. Deliciously approachable now but should develop well, at least in the medium term. BOB CAMPBELL MW

    Love the wine. The new packaging? Dunno, maybe I just don’t like change.
    More deeply pitched. A plusher and darker fruited Crimson, equally a touch more structured too. The volume has been ramped up a notch but it’s super fresh and the tannins perfectly measured to support the sappy feeling fruit.
    It’s always great but I think it’s a bit more “serious” this year. I want to see it in three or four years. I think it’s got some upward swing.
    Always one of my favourite affordable Pinots, Ata seems to keep finding a little extra each year. Another ripper. ROSCOE

    2018
    Pinot noir
    New Zealand
    435
  12. Escarpment Pinot Noir 2018
    Escarpment Pinot Noir 2018


    Escarpment's aim is simple: to continually produce the very best of tomorrow's definitive New World wines.

    Situated just 5 kilometres east of Martinborough village, Escarpment’s 24 hectares of distinctive alluvial gravel, terraced land stretches out along the banks of the Huangarua River.

    Overlooking the vineyard are the Aorangi Ranges, the very hills made famous by Kupe the great Polynesian voyager who discovered New Zealand, according to Maori legend. Kupe left his three canoes, Nga Waka, on top of the range, giving rise to the now familiar landmark of the district, the “Nga Waka-o-Kupe” or three flat-topped hills on top of the range, which resemble upturned canoes.

     Under Winemaker Larry McKennas leadership since Escarpment’s inception in 1999,  the Escarpment team aims to reward wine lovers with progressive and suggestive wines that encourage them to venture to the edge of wine loving and appreciation.

    Mainly picked between the two serious rains that fell on Martinborough during the vintage, the 2017 Pinot Noir is a medium-bodied, firm wine. Herbal notes accent plum and cherry fruit in a wine that's still structured and concentrated despite the challenges of the year. JOE CZERWINSKI, eRobertParker

    2015
    Pinot noir
    New Zealand
    435
  13. TWR Pinot Noir 2016
    TWR Pinot Noir 2016
    This is produced from estate grown fruit (certified organic) and a grower (will be certified organic in a year or so). Longer skin contact than most.

    Spicy as! Clove, cinnamon, spiced cherries, with some raspberry/red berry fruitiness in tow. The palate is quite sinewy, hemmed with good-dusty tannins, quite restrained, leaner and dusty-savoury fruit profile, tightly wound and finishes long and squeaky. Structured, serious expression here. (92)
    WINEFRONT
    2016
    Pinot noir
    New Zealand
    434
  14. Luna Martinborough Blue Rock  Pinot Noir 2018
    Luna Martinborough Blue Rock Pinot Noir 2018

    A relatively new label, the foundations of Luna Estate are two excellent vineyard sites – Eclipse, on the famed Martinborough Terraces, and Blue Rock, on Dry River Road, south of the Martinborough village. Martinborough is a region which excites us as New Zealand’s best for complex and varietal Pinot Noir, also raising excellent Chardonnay and Pinot Gris.

    Luna’s ethos is sustainable vineyard practices, and as minimal handling in the winery as possible, under the guidance of chief winemaker Joel Watson, whose previous work has included several vintages with the highly esteemed Curly Flat in Victoria’s Macedon Ranges.

    Presently with 25 hectares producing, a significant replanting program to bring 80% of production to Pinot Noir will eventually see the estate sitting around 44 hectares between the two sites. The single vineyard wines show the sites’ contrasts beautifully. PWS

    Dried rose and orange peel, a bit of truffle and spice, cherry and strawberry. Medium-bodied, fine chalky grip, all the strawberries dusted with spice lends a bit of prettiness, though there’s bass here too, the finish autumnal, savoury and spicy. It’s sure of itself, and will likely roll out with more time in bottle. GARY WALSH, The Wine Front

    2018
    Pinot noir
    New Zealand
    435
  15. Kumeu River Rays Rd Chardonnay 2020
    Kumeu River Rays Rd Chardonnay 2020
     I adore Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay and I  can certainly see why these coolish climate kings have chosen to seek more fruit and also  more challenges in this part of Kiwiland. I love Rays road. Classy, layered and complete this  is a very different take on this grape from the remainder of the portfolio, given that the rest  come from Kumeu (north of Auckland). There is a distinct beginning, middle and end here, which is often a challenge in a new wine and particularly I love the acid line and elegance on the finish. (18/20) MATHEW JUKES
    2020
    chardonnay
    New Zealand
    416
  16. Novum Chardonnay 2019
    Novum Chardonnay 2019
    A limpid pale yellow augurs restraint. Very savoury. Chalky and oyster shell-saline, with the fruit a flashback rather than primary focus. Riffs on oatmeal biscuit, apricot pith, barley sugar, nashi pear and raw cashew are reeled across a spool of tensile acidity, punctuated with a gentle pucker. A high-wire act, this is balletic in its elegance and confident in the way it moves across the mouth. Some sexy oak nestled in there somewhere as an adjunct rather than a scream. Nothing jangly or coarse. Just strident, persuasive and extremely fine of length and feel. Drink now and through 2029.
    (95), NED GOODWIN, MW Australia
    2019
    chardonnay
    New Zealand
    434
  17. Novum Pinot Noir 2019
    Novum Pinot Noir 2019
    I like this. A lot! Atypically NZ in its structural meld of fineboned tannins, sandy latticework of acidity and something, salty and moreish. The structure is the totem, sure, but the core of subtle fruit creeps up: damson plum, bloodstone, bing cherry, orange zest and a cinnamon twirl of oak. There is nothing too sweet, cloying or overly exuberant about this. The
    voice is one of measured, mid-weighted refinement. A benchmark for the region. (94), NED GOODWIN, MW Australia

    Bright, fresh and fruity pinot noir with plum, cherry and berry flavours, together with a suggestion of dried herbs and
    spicy oak characters. The wine has a pleasingly smooth texture and gentle, fruity acidity that helps drive a lengthy finish. A distinctive, stylish pinot noir. (94) BOB CAMPBELL, MW New Zealand
    2019
    Pinot noir
    New Zealand
    434
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