Lively aromatic, complex scents of spring flowers, lime, grapefruit and hints of stone fruit. Characteristic varietal apple flavour comes through on the palate with apricot, a trace of lime, distinctive mineral character and deftly balanced acidity. A fine example of Kiwi Pinot Gris.
Intriguingly complex nose encompasses developed dark fruit, sandalwood, cinnamon and cigar-box scent. Rounded dark berry and fine spice flavours are enveloped in velvety tannins with brisk acidity and a splash of dark chocolate. Although quite developed, this wine will integrate more harmoniously over the next 3+ years.
This biodynamic, characterful and challengingly alluring white is mostly high-altitude 75-year-old Verdejo vines from poor, sandy limestone soils. A 10% splash of Chardonnay fills out this naturalist white, one shaped by the extreme continental climate. 50% was aged reductively in clay amphorae with the remainder fermented and aged in old oak barrels, with battonage for 10 months. Oxidative-leaning and salt-licked, this is roasted hazelnuts and almonds, pear skin, light quince, green fig and fennel to a lingering, salted stone finish. This wine shines when it has time open, allowed to warm some and expand.
There is almost a port-like quality with all the overripe plum, blackberry and cherry qualities. Add in the spice, cocoa and earth, as well as a rich texture and great length, and you have one fine bottle of Merlot, which will age gracefully over the next 5 years.
You gotta love Portuguese wines for their pricing. This is a blend of Tempranillo, Mercia and the port grape Touriga Nacional. Grown at altitude, it also has attitude. Dense purple in colour, it has an earthy nose of blueberry, vanilla oak and pencil lead. It’s medium-bodied with sweet fruit that finishes dry on the palate. Well-balanced, it’s easy-drinking and easy on the pocketbook.
The grapes for this Riesling were picked late despite the heat of the vintage, but it is finished with less residual sugar. It shows ripe grapefruit, green apple, floral and mineral notes on the nose. I love the texture in Charles Baker’s Rieslings and even though it’s from a warmer vintage, it still shows classic tension and acidity through the finish. I sense the 2009s and 2008s will outlast the 2010 vintage in the cellar, but this is a beauty for drinking now or two or three years down the road. A must for that CB vertical.