Brancott Merlot Reserve '96--An unpleasant rancid butter aroma spoils an otherwise
very nice wine, with some good spicy oak aromas, vanilla and plum
flavors, and a good tannic structure. Was this a bad bottle?
Brancott Sauvignon Blanc Reserve Marlborough
'97--Candied asparagus on the nose,
along with a bit of citrus. Candied citrus and some asparagus in the
mouth, and a short finish.
Coopers Creek Merlot Hawkes Bay
'98--Plum and spicy oak on the nose. A
bit of spritz, with sweet plum flavors, and a decent finish.
Coopers Creek Pinot Noir Hawkes Bay
'98--Oak on the nose. Oak in the mouth.
Oak on the finish. So where's the fruit?
Coopers Creek Riesling Hawkes Bay
'98--The aromas of peach fit the
variety, but the peppery smell speaks more of New Zealand. Prickles
the tongue, and the peach flavors are fairly generous both in the
mid-palate and on the finish. Interesting, and not your typical
Coopers Creek Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
'97--Green pepper and citrus on the
nose, with enough grassy and grapefruit flavors in the mouth to keep
it interesting. A long citrus finish completes the experience.
Elistree (Highfield) Rhine Riesling
Marlborough '98--Elistree is the
reserve line for Highfield. Leesy nose, with a touch of citrus. Peach
and more yeasty flavors on the palate. A wine with some finesse.
Seems a bit tight at the moment, and could use a little bottle
Elistree (Highfield) Sauvignon Blanc
'98--Definite yeasty aromas, along with
toasty oak. Slightly waxy mouthfeel, with good varietal flavors, but
don't expect lots of grass or cats pee, as this one veers more toward
the citrus. Decent length on the finish.
Highfield Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
'98--Some peachy flavors, and some
peach/citrus on the nose. An ok wine, but nothing outstanding about
Huia Gewurztraminer Marlborough
'98--Amazingly reticent nose for a
Gewurztraminer, just a little simple peach. Better in the mouth
though, with the emergence of some floral character, along with
peaches and a mineral element. Medium length finish. Would be a
higher mark, but I just can't get over the lack of nose; to me, the
smell is half the fun of the variety.
Huia Riesling Marlborough
'98--Semi-sweet style, more reminiscent
of Germany than Alsace. Modest apple and peach flavors, but no nose,
and a short, simple finish.
Huia Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
'98--Shy nose belies the definite
personality in the mouth. A bit of prickle on the tongue leads into
peach and grapefruit flavors. The finish is quite long and
Brian McGuigan's Personal Reserve Tawny
Australia NV--Smooth raisin and rancio
flavors and aromas. Finishes medium-long with more raisins. A bit
simple, but good.
Rosemount Shiraz (Diamond Label)
'97--Not their best effort, but still
not a bad value wine. The nose was very shy, but the lush plum and
black cherry flavors almost made up for it. Little tannin. Seemed a
bit simple and straightforward, but a good everyday wine.
Rosemount Syrah Balmoral Mc Laren Vale
'96--Complex nose, with elements of
toast, oak, plum, leather and dust. The oak is quite pronounced on
the palate, along with generous plum flavors. The plum continues to
the finish, along with cherry, spice and vanilla flavors. I wasn't
quite as enthused by this as some other people, but if you like tons
of oak, you'll like this better than I did.
Te Kairanga Chardonnay Martinborough
'97--Here's one for all you fans of
oaky Chardonnays. Plenty of vanilla, spice and butter here. Fruit?
Te Kairanga Pinot Noir Martinborough
'97--Mossy earth and dark plum nose is
quite inviting, and leads you into a rich plum, black cherry and
earth experience. A nice long finish that includes a bracing hit of
acidity finishes the journey.
Te Kairanga Pinot Noir Reserve Martinborough
'96--More oak in this than the regular
bottling, with smooth plum aromas and flavors, leading to a sour
cherry, plum and spice finish.
Te Kairanga Sauvignon Blanc
yeasty aromas and flavors, along with peaches and just a touch of
grass. Seems very ripe and full in the mouth. A very nice Sauvignon
Blanc, for those who don't need them to be too herbal.
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Copyright 1999 Marcel Lachenmann. All rights reserved.