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Wine Picks May 14, 2019

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Note: This batch of wine reviews is not part of the bi-weekly Vintages Releases. Instead, it's a collection of wines outside the Vintages section in store (general list) or wines sent to me directly from wineries that may not yet be available in liquor stores. Click on the Winery or Wine Agency link to get more info.

Red Wine

Babich Wines Black Label Marlborough Pinot Noir 2018, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: Juicy with black cherry on the nose and palate. Supple, smooth and delicious. Pair with veal. Pinot Noir food pairings: mint and thyme lamb chops, lamb shish kebab, lamb stew. Drink: 2019 - 2024 465963 14% D 750 mL $26.95 Score: 92/100. May 2019. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Babich Wines Winermakers' Reserve Hawke's Bay Merlot, Marlborough, New Zealand: Tart blackberry notes with a full-bodied texture and weight. Pair with grilled pork chops. Drink: 2019 - 2025 712927 14% D 750 mL $29.95 Score: 89/100. May 2019. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Craggy Range Pinot Noir 2018, Martinborough, New Zealand: Juicy, savoury and darn delicious! Aromas of black cherry. Pair with veal. Drink: 2019 - 2026 13% XD 750 mL $27.95 Score: 92/100. May 2019. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Craggy Range Te Kahu Gimblett Gravels 2016, Hawkes Bay, North Island, New Zealand: Mostly Merlot, but also Cab Sauv, Cab Franc, Malbec and Petite Verdot. Savoury and juicy. Aromas of dark fruit. Pair with grilled meats. Food pairings: charcuterie, salads, soft cheeses. Drink: 2019 - 2024 189067 13.5% XD 750 mL $29.95 Score: 92/100. May 2019. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Craggy Range Sophia 2016, Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay, North Island, New Zealand: Tannic grip so give it cellar time then decant 1-2 hours. Loaded with savoury black fruit, smoke and mystery. Pair with a rare steak. Drink: 2019 - 2022 57711 13% XD 750 mL $73.95 Score: 90/100. May 2019. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Craggy Range Le Sol Syrah 2015, Gimblett Gravels, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand: I loved this wine, from the first time we met ;) Velvet and violets - texture and taste. Black pepper and dark plum. Pair with veal chops. Drink: 2019 - 2026 13% XD 750 mL $104.95 Score: 94/100. May 2019. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Luna Estate Pinot Noir 2016, Martinborough, New Zealand: Lovely Pinot made from "younger" vines that are 10-20 years old (that's not really young, and that's good ... deeper concentration). Lovely spicy cherry and savoury depth. Pair with veal chops. Drink: 2019 - 2024 12.5% XD 750 mL $26.95 Score: 90/100. May 2019. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Luna Eclipse Pinot Noir 2016, Martinborough, New Zealand: Great texture! Almost full-bodied. Tart cherry and smoke. Pair with veal. Drink: 2019 - 2024 13% XD 750 mL $50.00 Score: 92/100. May 2019. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Luna Blue Rock Pinot Noir 2016, Martinborough, New Zealand: Lovely dry-farmed Pinot with all the things in place -- breadth, length and depth. Yes, thank-you. Aromas of dark cherry and spice. Pair with grilled chicken. Drink: 2019 - 2024 13% XD 750 mL $50.00 Score: 93/100. May 2019. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Eradus Pinot Noir 2017, Awatere Valley, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: A juicy, savoury NZ Pinot with aromas of tart cherry and earth. Medium-bodied and smooth. pair with veal. Pinot Noir food pairings: veal, Asian chicken salad. Drink: 2019 - 2024 836288 14% XD 750 mL $24.95 Score: 90/100. May 2019. Top Rated Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Rosés

Babich Wines Marlborough Rosé 2018, Marlborough, New Zealand: Lovely small field strawberries on the nose and palate with juicy acidity for seafood. Medium-bodied and dry. Drink: 2019 - 2021 13% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. May 2019. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

The People's Wine Sessions Hawke's Bay Rosé 2018, Hawke's Bay, North Island, New Zealand: Light and freewheeling with just 9% alcohol. Yay! Aromas of small field strawberries. Pair with happiness. Drink: 2019 - 2021 9.5% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 87/100. May 2019. Best Value Rosé Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

White Wine

Giesen Pure Light Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Marlborough, Wairau Valley, New Zealand: Fresh, tropical NZ SB with just 9.5% alcohol. Yes please! Aromas of guava and pineapple. Pair with sunsets. Drink: 2019 - 2021 647677 9.5% D 750 mL $14.95 Score: 88/100. May 2019. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Loveblock Pinot Gris 2018, Marlborough, New Zealand: Savoury and juicy and so very aromatic with notes of peach freshness. Medium-bodied and mouth-watering. Pair with seafood and poultry. Drink: 2019 - 2021 13% D 750 mL $22.95 Score: 92/100. May 2019. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Awatere Valley, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: Savoury and juicy with citrus aromas -- lovely all the way. Racy acidity for racy movies and seafood. Medium-bodied. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: fresh tomato and basil salad, oysters on the half shell, chicken and sage skewers, pan-fried freshwater fish. Drink: 2019 - 2021 366310 12.5% XD 750 mL $22.95 Score: 92/100. May 2019. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Loveblock Orange Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Marlborough, New Zealand: So weirdly wonderful. Green tea extract and notes of clementine. Medium-bodied and mouth-watering juiciness. Pair with roast chicken. Drink: 2019 - 2020 570266 12.5% D 750 mL $33.95 Score: 91/100. May 2019. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Luna Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Martinborough, Wairarapa, New Zealand: Tropical fruit (pineapple) aromas on the nose and palate. Lovely texture from aging this wine 9 months in seasoned barrels. So lovely. Pair with grilled chicken. Drink: 2019 - 2021 12.5% XD 750 mL $23.95 Score: 92/100. May 2019. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Luna Estate Pinot Gris 2018, Martinborough, New Zealand: Beautifully textured and layered PG that's spicy and juicy. Aged in seasoned barrels. Medium-bodied. Perfect for game birds. Drink: 2019 - 2021 13.5% XD 750 mL $23.95 Score: 91/100. May 2019. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Luna Eclipse Chardonnay 2017, Martinborough, New Zealand: Made from a single block of vines planted in 1993 - wowsers. Loving the wines from this estate. Full-bodied, textured and long in the finish. Golden apple and toast. Sublime with roast chicken. Drink: 2019 - 2021 13.5% XD 750 mL $34.95 Score: 93/100. May 2019. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Stoneleigh Latitude Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: Lovely melon and citrus notes on this premium NZ SB. Round and tasty. Pair with seafood dishes. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: lemon and green herb crusted fried sole, baked sole with gooseberry coulee, pizza with cheese and arugula. Drink: 2019 - 2021 324228 13.5% XD 750 mL $21.95 Score: 92/100. May 2019. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Marlborough, New Zealand: A lovely, zesty NZ SB that delivers vintage after vintage. Aromas of lime citrus and grass. Racy acidity for seafood. Drink: 2019 - 2021 293043 13% XD 750 mL $17.95 Score: 90/100. May 2019. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Stoneleigh Wild Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Marlborough, New Zealand: Fascinating aromas from the wild yeast fermentation from up to 85 strains of yeast. Aromas of white peach. Pair with roast chicken. Drink: 2019 - 2021 13% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. May 2019. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Eradus Ana Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Marlborough, New Zealand: Lovely white pepper and pineapple notes on the nose and palate of this zesty, vibrant NZ Sauvignon Blanc. Medium-bodied. Pair with seafood. Drink: 2019 - 2021 13% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. May 2019. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

The People's Wine Sessions Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Marlborough, New Zealand: A delightfully fresh and vibrant NZ SB at just 9.5% alcohol. Bring it! Aromas of passionfruit, melon and orange. Pair with seafood. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: sea, sunset and mussels, scallops. Drink: 2019 - 2021 647461 9.5% D 750 mL $15.95 Score: 88/100. May 2019. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Craggy Range Chardonnay 2017, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand, New Zealand: Buttery and full-bodied with golden apple notes. Pair with roast chicken. Drink: 2019 - 2021 189059 13.7% D 750 mL $28.95 Score: 90/100. May 2019. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Eradus Pinot Gris 2017, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: Savoury with dried herbs - this NZ Pinot Gris delivers. Medium-bodied and juicy. Pair with seafood. Pinot Gris food pairings: pork tenderloin, roast turkey , seafood, pasta with cream sauce. Drink: 2019 - 2022 439000 13.5% D 750 mL $19.95 Score: 90/100. May 2019. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Babich Wines Black Label Hawke's Bay Chardonnay 2017, Hawke's Bay, North Island, New Zealand: Butterscotch and golden apple aromas - rich but not heavy. Balanced and round. Pair with roast chicken. Chardonnay food pairings: grilled fish, crab cakes and aioli sauce, smoked salmon on baguette. Drink: 2019 - 2022 630558 13% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 92/100. May 2019. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: Crisp, clean New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with aromas of fresh lime and lemongrass. Pair with shellfish or seafood. Medium-bodied and mouth-watering. Drink: 2019 - 2021 308288 13% D 750 mL $19.05 Score: 90/100. May 2019. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kim Crawford Pinot Gris 2018, Marlborough, South Island, New Zealand: From well-known producer, Kim Crawford, a dry Alsatian style Pinot Gris made in New Zealand. Rich and creamy with ripe apple, pear, soft spice and honeyed flavours on the palate with a lingering spicy finish and mineral notes. Vibrant acidity for food, pair with salads and shellfish. Pinot Gris food pairings: grilled lobster tail in butter, stir-fried shrimp, grilled salmon. Drink: 2019 - 2021 369850 13.5% XD 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. May 2019. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Babich Wines Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Marlborough, New Zealand: Juicy and mouth-watering with aromas of citrus and nettle. Pair with seafood. Great price. Drink: 2019 - 2021 620054 13% D 750 mL $19.50 Score: 90/100. May 2019. Best Value White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Villa Maria Keltern Chardonnay 2017, Gisborne, North Island, New Zealand: Rick hazelnut and golden apple on the nose and palate of this luscious, divinely textured Chardonnay. Full-bodied with a long finish. Beautiful! Pair with roast chicken or turkey. Drink: 2019 - 2022 332429 13% D 750 mL $49.00 Score: 94/100. May 2019. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Te Awanga Estate Mister Chardonnay 2017, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand: Full-bodied Chardonnay with notes of apple and smoke. Pair with roast chicken. Drink: 2019 - 2021 13.5% D 750 mL $22.00 Score: 88/100. May 2019. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Pegasus Bay Virtuoso Chardonnay 2016, Waipara Valley, North Canterbury, South Island, New Zealand: Hazelnut richness on the nose and palate of this full-bodied Chard. Round and buttery. Pair with roast chicken. Drink: 2019 - 2022 13% D 750 mL $43.00 Score: 92/100. May 2019. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Palliser Estate Wines Chardonnay 2017, Martinborough, New Zealand: Rich, round and buttery NZ Chardonnay. Aromas of golden apple and toasty oak. Pair with roast turkey. Drink: 2019 - 2022 13% D 750 mL $42.00 Score: 91/100. May 2019. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay 2017, Kumeu, Auckland, North Island, New Zealand: Aged 11 months in neutral oak, this fresh NZ Chardonnay delivers. Aromas of green apple. Pair with roast chicken. Drink: 2019 - 2022 640383 13.5% XD 750 mL $32.00 Score: 89/100. May 2019. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Aronui Chardonnay 2017, Nelson, South Island, New Zealand: Full-bodied with toasty oak and apple aromas. Pair with roast chicken. Chardonnay food pairings: butter chicken, seafood pot pie, lemon buttered lobster. Drink: 2019 - 2021 13% XD 750 mL $25.00 Score: 89/100. May 2019. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Auntsfield Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand: Balanced and full-bodied with lovely aromas of toasty oak and golden apple. Pair with roast chicken. Drink: 2019 - 2021 14% D 750 mL $38.00 Score: 90/100. May 2019. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Forrest Wines Tatty Bogler Waitaki Chardonnay 2017, Waitaki Valley, North Otago, South Island, New Zealand: Great balance and juicy acidity for roast chicken. Toasty with hazelnut aromas. Drink: 2019 - 2021 13% XD 750 mL $30.00 Score: 91/100. May 2019. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Greywacke Chardonnay 2015, Marlborough, New Zealand: Love the toasted almond on the nose, with hazelnut on the palate from oak aging. Full-bodied and delicious. Pair with roast chicken. Drink: 2019 - 2022 409524 14.5% XD 750 mL $44.00 Score: 92/100. May 2019. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Carrick Cairnmuir Terraces EBM Chardonnay 2011, Central Otago, New Zealand: Tropical fruit and smoke on the nose of this full-bodied NZ Chard. Pair with roast chicken. Drink: 2019 - 2021 332502 14% XD 750 mL $47.00 Score: 92/100. May 2019. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Felton Road Bannockburn Chardonnay 2010, Central Otago, New Zealand: Balanced, full-bodied and lovely on every dimension. Aromas of smoke and golden apple. Pair with roast chicken. Drink: 2019 - 2022 288027 14% D 750 mL $59.00 Score: 92/100. May 2019. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart

Craggy Range Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Martinborough, North Island, New Zealand: Grassy-great! Fresh, crisp and mouth-watering. Medium-bodied. Pair with seafood. Sauvignon Blanc food pairings: grilled calamari, salads topped with herbed goat cheese, fish tacos. Drink: 2019 - 2010 749589 13% XD 750 mL $27.95 Score: 91/100. May 2019. Top Rated White Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart


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