Thursday, 23 April 2009

Craggy Island

Craggy Range is a prestige winery located in Havelock North, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand.
This was not at all far from where we lived last year and I often passed through the vineyard on cycling trips at the weekend!!
It was interesting to try two vintages whilst there.
This bottle is one of the 12 NZ wines that I brought back from my travels so it is very special to me.

2006 Craggy Range The Quarry
Only made in excellent years using the best of the crop, this is a star.
95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot make up the blend.
Immediately standing out with class, there is an elegant perfumed nose of rose with grippy tannins from the graceful oak aging, red fruits of raspberry and plum with full bodied texture and excellent length.
This is seriously like brilliant Bordeaux

Tuesday, 7 April 2009


Its the texture that gets me, I just love Pinot Noir.
This bottle reminds me why it has always been my favourite grape.
Soft and silky in the mouth with a light body, elegant and fragrant but laden with serious flavour and immensely complex. PN is a hard grape to grow, the berries are very small and bunched together which lead them to be prone to disease and hard to harvest. This means that it takes a lot of hard work and skill to bring out the best in Pinot Noir. With such emphasis on the producer, it is a good find when you find one that stands out. This is often although not always reflected in the price which is over a tenner for this bottle (well worth it).
My favourite regions for Pinot Noirs so far.

Burgundy, France
Central Otago, New Zealand,
Victoria, Australia
Oregon, USA

2005 Southbank Estate Pinot Noir
Marlborough, New Zealand.

Super bottle, fresh and light with a raspberry red fruit nose and hint of savouriness from the oak aging and then a wonderful soft texture and tannins. Refreshing acidity that is just right and a long complex aftertaste.
very good stuff!
Penistone Court Wine Cellars

Monday, 6 April 2009

Belgian Chardonnay! Who'd of thunk it

On on of my trips uptown to Lavinia's awesome wine store, i spied this blue bottle with an attractive yellow wax seal in the 'various' section, wines from countries that haven't warranted their own stand.

Interested in it's chardonnay content and age (2002), this Wijnkasteel Blue Chardonnay wasn't badly priced at €9, so I copped it and wheeled it home for later consumption.

Last night we decided to pop it, with some takeaway sushi and a movie that could warrant its own post, Sideways.  Deep golden piss yellow in colour, it's primary aromas were there for all to sense; warm honey and mature cider apples up in there, as they were.  Invigorating the liquid hinted at a spell in the barrel, as a smokey floral hymn was hummed.

Drinking the thing was like viewing a tryptic.  Threee glasses, threee different experiences, takes on the same story.  The first, before the food, was the surprise of the thick liquid filling all corners of the mouth, leaving an acidic finish.  The second, in combination with the sushi, held up well to the power of soy sauce, ginger and wasabi, but was a little sour.  Finally, the post dinner glass savoured whilst watching the film was the best of all, and also the most complex: a little dairy narrator appeared, who could have come from a roquefort or natural yoghurt background.

I have since been back to Lavinia and noticed that the the bottle was mis-priced when I bought it - it should have gone for no less than €16.  Score!

Plonk: 83/100 
Film: 72/100

Reverend Mark P. Dix