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User Profile for Linda Sorensen


Location: Christchurch
Reviewer rank: #3 (Learn more) (See rankings)
Total reviews written: 84
First reviews written: 47
Helpful votes: 97%
This reviewer is using their real name. Gold Medal Reviewer - Top 10 ranked wine reviewer! Has submitted over 50 reviews! Speedster - Has completed 6 first reviews!

Profile information:
I have a keen interest in food/wine pairing, and like variety in my wines, so many reviews are of wines a bit off the beaten track. I hope you find them helpful, and that you are inspired to try something new!

84 Review(s) written

Whitehaven (Marlborough) 2015 RieslingReview written for Whitehaven (Marlborough) Riesling
(28/11/11)
I would consider this one "off dry" in character - lots of fruit with light acidity and good balance. Really long finish on this one. Enjoy as a sipper or with mildly spicy food; would be perfect with some appetizers next time you're out on the patio with friends enjoying the sun and BBQ. Good value!
2 out of 2 people found these comments helpful

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Michel Torino (Argentina) 2016 ShirazReview written for Michel Torino (Argentina) Shiraz
(29/08/11)
"The palate has flavours of prunes, chocolate and pepper made in a juicy, warm style with supple rounded tannins and a long finish." PRUNES?? Well, yeah, actually. This wine is also just a bit on the smokey side. Good balance, nice structure, not overly fruit forward but fruity enough. I enjoyed it (we had it with pork roast) and would buy it again. Go ahead and drink it now, no need to cellar even though it is a very recent vintage.
1 out of 1 people found these comments helpful

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Beach House (Hawkes Bay) 2017 RieslingReview written for Beach House (Hawkes Bay) Riesling
(03/07/11)
A rather luscious off dry Riesling - let this one sit in the glass a little while so all the flavours and aromas can develop. Good acidity (limes) with great balance. The fruit (ripe apples) came through a lot better when warmed in the glass for a bit. Everyone loved this wine for its full body, long finish, and palate-cleansing acidity. Good with slightly spicy foods, salty cheeses, or just on its own.
3 out of 3 people found these comments helpful

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Whitehaven (Marlborough) 2016 Pinot GrisReview written for Whitehaven (Marlborough) Pinot Gris
(24/06/11)
A bit lighter in character than some of the other Pinot Gris I've had from Winesale recently. Still, good balance and an enjoyable wine overall. Good acidity - works with or without food. Given the minimal price difference between this wine and the Squawking Magpie (also through Winesale) I'd go with the latter as I've really been enjoying some of these rich, almost decadently styled Pinot Gris wines. However, if you're looking for an enjoyable lighter version, this one will suit just fine.
2 out of 2 people found these comments helpful

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Five Oaks (Nelson) 2015 ChardonnayReview written for Five Oaks (Nelson) Chardonnay
(29/03/11)
Definitely good value for money with this one! We felt it was similar in quality to the $20 West Brook (although the WB is a bit more complex). This one has moderate oakiness that is just verging on buttery tones - let this one sit for a couple years and these should really develop. Good drinking now as well. Medium gold in color, oak and citrus on the nose, oak/vanilla/butter tones on the palate. Definitely full-bodied. Crisp refreshing finish. We had with roasted chicken and it was lovely. I've got another bottle we'll let sit for a bit to see where those buttery notes go.
4 out of 4 people found these comments helpful

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Evenwood (Barossa) 2015 ShirazReview written for Evenwood (Barossa) Shiraz
(03/03/11)
These notes refer to the 2008 vintage: Overly fruit-forward Shiraz that screams sweet cherries and blackberries. Very light tannins, just enough acid to keep it from becoming syrupy; but otherwise I'd call it fruit punch. Overall we found it a bit too sweet without a lot of structure; better on the first sip but became a bit dull as we worked through the bottle. Your non-red-wine-drinking friends will probably love this wine, and you'll certainly be able to enjoy on it's own, no problem. I'd go with some peppered steaks off the grill with this one; you'll need some full flavors to match the fruit in this wine. Personally, I'll spend the extra $ and stick with the Temple Bruer or Westend next time. The 2009 vintage is much better balanced and less fruit-forward; almost a little light in character but more enjoyable (to me) than the 08.
5 out of 7 people found these comments helpful

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Beach House (Hawkes Bay) 2014 Cabernet FrancReview written for Beach House (Hawkes Bay) Cabernet Franc
(03/03/11)
We pulled this one out the night of the big quake, so evaluation was done by torchlight. Of course, the cuisine of the evening had to be just about anything cooked up on the barbie. This wine has a lovely ruby red color, with cherries/plums/oak/cedar on the nose. Some rough tannins, but still quaffable on it's own. Taste of cherries with a touch of vanilla. We felt the strongest feature, unfortunately, was that this wine was very alcoholic. We also felt is was a bit weak in the Cab Franc character overall, but thought it would make a very good, well-accepted-by-lots-of-your-buddies BBQ wine.
2 out of 2 people found these comments helpful

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Altimus 2011 by Michel Torino (Argentina)Review written for Michel Torinos Altimus
(18/02/11)
OH MY! What a wine!! If you have invited the wine snobs in your life over for dinner and are convinced the $3/litre plonk you normally drink just won't cut it - THIS ONE is your salvation. Guaranteed to impress even the most intense wine consumers! This wine is an Argentinian blend (Malbec, Cab Sauv, Bonarda, and Tannat), purple with a bit of brickiness. Cherries, spice, cedar, pepper, and cigar box on the nose. Ripe plums, cedar, caramel/chocolate/vanilla on tasting. Mixture of soft and rough tannins with good acid and a very long finish. I honestly don't have enough adjectives to describe this wine adequately other than "fascinating". I have not enjoyed a big red wine nearly so much in ages. I'm planning on stashing a few of these in the cellar to dig out in 3-5 years and see what develops. Worked great with our grilled steaks. If you want a truly memorable wine, definitely grab this one.
4 out of 4 people found these comments helpful

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Don David (Argentina) 2015 Reserve TannatReview written for Don David (Argentina) Reserve Tannat
(18/02/11)
We opened this along with the Altimus (also from Michel Torino, also from Winesale). I've never had Tannat as a varietal, so this was totally new to me. However, the descriptions I found of it left me thinking it would be similar to Petite Sirah (Durif). The color was not disappointing - deep inky purple you couldn't read through. Plums and toasty almonds on the nose, nice ripe blackberries and plums on the taste. Long, lingering finish with some acid. The surprise is that the tannins were quite fine - just enough to give structure without being shocking. I can see the appeal of this very approachable wine; however, we found it quite simple and uninteresting when compared with the Altimus. Of course, the pricing reflects this as well... Overall enjoyable wine and worth checking out - we had it with steaks off the grill and it worked well.
3 out of 4 people found these comments helpful

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Temple Bruer (Langhourne Creek) Preservative Free 2014 ShirazReview written for Temple Bruer (Langhourne Creek) Preservative Free Shiraz
(10/02/11)
I feel like I need to start off with a confession. When I see "organic" or "preservative free" on a wine label, I usually figure it's a gimmick to market below-average wines. Well, at least in this case, I'm definitely wrong. The mixed aromas of blackberry, cedar, vanilla, a bit of mint and pepper poured out of the glass before I had a chance to swirl. Yes, there's tons of fruit to this Shiraz, as you expect from Australia. But there's so much more - tons of cedar and spice, good tannic structure, super long finish. What a wine! I think this could age nicely over the next couple years as well, but is immensely enjoyable now. Those of you who can't deal with sulfur in your wines - rejoice! PS - this is the only wine I've found that worked well with my chile colorado!
1 out of 1 people found these comments helpful

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* Torresella (Italy) Pinot Grigio 2009Review written for Torresella (Italy) Pinot Grigio (Product not available at this time)
(06/12/13)
A lot of Italian Pinot Grigio is very dry and very light in body and fruit. I rather like the "New World" style with increased fruit and body, usually sold as Pinot Gris. This wine was surprisingly good on fruit content, with a nice dry (but not excessively tart) finish. Full enough to enjoy with our snacks out on the deck on a sunny day and very enjoyable. Certainly recommended.
1 out of 1 people found these comments helpful

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* Hop Kiln (Nelson) Chardonnay 2012Review written for Hop Kiln (Nelson) Chardonnay (Product not available at this time)
(06/12/13)
Surprisingly full bodied for the price. Very well balanced, just enough oaky/buttery tones to make it interesting but not bury the fruit. I really enjoyed this with some stronger cheese/bread/crackers. Normally I'm not keen on chilling the Chardonnays but this one did well with just a bit of fridge time.
1 out of 1 people found these comments helpful

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Review written for Margrain (Martinborough) Chenin Blanc (Product not available at this time)
(25/11/13)
Yet another aromatic winner from the folks over at Margrain. Lovely fruit (peaches, nectarines) with crisp lime acidity, amazingly well-balanced. Seriously, if you're into aromatics, you cannot go wrong with Margrain. Especially at Winesale prices!
2 out of 2 people found these comments helpful

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* Lammastide (Hawkes Bay) Syrah 2012Review written for Lammastide (Hawkes Bay) Syrah (Product not available at this time)
(25/11/13)
FINALLY after the two bottles of less-than-inspiring Y-series Shiraz I got to this bottle (not all in the same day!). A big, peppery, well-balanced wine with lovely fruit and great body. Yes, the Yalumbas are a couple of dollars cheaper, but this wine is at least twice as good so I have to recommend this one! Serve it up at the next BBQ and just wait for the great feedback. You'll be the only one there who will know you paid less than $20 for this bottle :-)
1 out of 1 people found these comments helpful

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Review written for Yalumba Y Series (South Australia) Shiraz Viognier (Product not available at this time)
(25/11/13)
Certainly better than the Y series straight shiraz. This one has more fruit and body - a nice wine overall but still not quite the over-the-top big Aussie wine I was hoping for. Good value however, and versatile enough to go with almost anything on your summer menu.

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* Yalumba Y Series (South Australia) 2012 ShirazReview written for Yalumba Y Series (South Australia) Shiraz (Product not available at this time)
(25/11/13)
Unfortunately about all I can say about this is "meh." My expectation with Aussie shiraz is that the wine will be big and bold, and this one just wasn't. I opened a bottle of the Yalumba shiraz/viognier http://www.winesale.co.nz/wine-categories/wine-detail.php?wine=6323#.UpK4AaP29kg that was the same price and enjoyed it more than this one.

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* Nieto (Argentina) Reserva Malbec 2008Review written for Nieto (Argentina) Reserva Malbec (Product not available at this time)
(06/11/13)
I never know what to expect with Malbec; there were some pretty harsh ones out about 10 or so years ago, but the more recent releases available on winesale have rekindled my interest. Upon opening this bottle my impressions were "smells like wine, any and all flavours are obliterated by tannin." So I let the glass sit for about 20 minutes and tried again. Lovely blueberry/blackberry aromas, good tannic structure, well balanced wine. Serve this with something full and well flavored - after, of course, decanting or letting it breathe.
2 out of 2 people found these comments helpful

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* Yalumba Y Series (South Australia) 2011 MerlotReview written for Yalumba Y Series (South Australia) Merlot (Product not available at this time)
(04/11/13)
A very interesting and surprising Merlot! Blackberries/boysenberries/dark cherries on the nose made me think this was going to be a bit of a flabby fruit bomb, but I was wrong. Surprising acidity in this wine and good tannic structure give this wine lovely balance and body. Will stand up to anything you throw on the BBQ, or drink it with some meaty pasta. I'm giving this 5 stars as my expectations of straight Merlot are pretty low, and this truly surpassed them. At this price, you'd be nuts not to give it a go.
1 out of 1 people found these comments helpful

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Chateau Grand Meynau (France) 2012 Cab/Merlot/Franc/MalbecReview written for Chateau Grand Meynau (France) Cab/Merlot/Franc/Malbec (Product not available at this time)
(12/02/12)
I've had a bit too much Shiraz and Pinot Noir in my wine cabinet lately, and was craving a big, tannic, food-oriented red. This certainly fit the bill. Aromas of spice, sour cherries, violets, with an overall savory trend. Tannins? Check! Acidity? You bet. Balanced? Full-bodied? Yep, both of these as well. Lots of fruit on the palate (stone fruits, dark berries) and savory spiciness. This wine was very nice with our sauteed beef with onions, mushrooms, and potatoes (thank you, Julia Child) and would be great with some steaks off the barbie. Cellaring would take some of the edge off the tannins, but will also reduce the fruit, so you might want to try decanting rather than aging if fruit is your thing.
2 out of 2 people found these comments helpful

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* Lowlands (Marlborough) 2010 Sauvignon BlancReview written for Lowlands (Marlborough) Sauvignon Blanc (Product not available at this time)
(28/11/11)
Full bodied and interesting; not your typical Marlbourough Sauv Blanc. This one has a creaminess to it, but still packs a full punch of acidity to stand up to your meal. I'd serve with appetizers, a cheese platter, or cream based pastas. Great sipping on its own as well. We really enjoyed this wine!
1 out of 1 people found these comments helpful

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West Brook (Waimauku) 2006 Ivicevich ChardonnayReview written for West Brook (Waimauku) Ivicevich Chardonnay (Product not available at this time)
(28/11/11)
We splurged on this one and were not disappointed! Just what I expected given age and price - nicely integrated oakiness lending to mild buttery tones, with a refreshing burst of lime acidity on the finish. Tropical fruits abound. A rich wine worthy of a special meal. Liquid gold.
2 out of 2 people found these comments helpful

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Kirrihill (Clare Valley) Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2008Review written for Kirrihill (Clare Valley) Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Product not available at this time)
(26/09/11)
I don't review a lot of cabernet, mainly because I don't like to drink my cabs young and by the time I've sampled them they are no longer available for review on Winesale. However, Westie raved about this one and he never steers me wrong, so I had to give it a go. This is a lovely wine that has a lot more fruit than most of the cabs I drink, and has (despite its youth) well-integrated fine tannins. Appealed to all of us, even the "old world" wine lover. We had this with peppercorn and dijon crusted grilled steaks and polished off the bottle. Great stuff. Enjoy it now - although I'm sure it will age well you'll probably lose some of the fruit that made it so interesting.
2 out of 2 people found these comments helpful

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* Vintage Lane (Marlborough) 2009 ChardonnayReview written for Vintage Lane (Marlborough) Chardonnay (Product not available at this time)
(26/09/11)
Nice, basic, well-balanced chardonnay with some oak. Unbelievable quality for the price. Will work with anything from the cheese platter to chicken or cream-based pasta. Just enough fruit and acidity to keep it fresh and interesting. Definitely a great buy at this price.
1 out of 1 people found these comments helpful

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Ultimum Reserve (Gladstone) 2006 SangioveseReview written for Ultimum 2006 Sangiovese (Product not available at this time)
(05/09/11)
I have to admit that my curiosity could not resist this wine. "The wine was left to mature for 4 years in French oak vats" - I just had to know how this turned out. Not what I expected. The colour was a shocker - the brightest ruby red I have ever seen in a wine. It was also surprisingly "light" in appearance. Aromas of blueberries, blackberries, and leather. Has a remarkable amount of fruit on the palate - mostly tart cherries. Fairly strong in the acid and tannin department. I knew prior to opening this would probably not be at its best right now - and the wine does need some time to integrate (which will take the edge off the acid as well as smooth out the fruit) - but I just had to know. So, I prepared ahead and have a couple more bottles stashed away. I'm guessing 2(??) years and I'll see where it's at.
3 out of 3 people found these comments helpful

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* Kea Point (HawkeReview written for Kea Point (Hawke's Bay) Pinot Gris (Product not available at this time)
(29/08/11)
Did I really only pay 10.99 for this wine? A well-balanced wine in a slightly drier style (ala Pinot Grigio), this has good acidity as well as some honey tones. I quite enjoyed it on its own, but could easily serve it up with a cheese platter, creamy pasta, or light fish. Not as complex as some of the other Winesale Pinot Gris I've sampled, but very versatile and an absolute bargain at this price.

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* Art Series: Thurston (Martinborough) 2009 Pinot NoirReview written for Art Series: Thurston (Pinot Noir) (Product not available at this time)
(29/08/11)
I've finally managed to give this wine a try now that stocks are running low. Glad I did. I couldn't believe the price when I tasted this one! Light garnet colour, smoky cherries and plums on the nose (along with some earthy leathery stuff). Excellent balance with fine tannins, good acidity, and a long finish. This is a good match for lighter meat dishes (grilled or roasted lamb, for example) and is drinking really well right now. I've stocked up on a few more bottles, so I feel pretty comfortable advising you grab some for yourself before it is gone.
1 out of 1 people found these comments helpful

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The Tohi (Wairarapa) 2009 MerlotReview written for The Tohi (Wairarapa) Merlot (Product not available at this time)
(29/08/11)
Such a bargain - $8.99 - unbelievable! Deep garnet colour, aromas of beetroot (yes, beetroot!) with plums/cherries. Light in style, this is a great sipper on its own. Lovely, even though it is not overly complex. I'd call it a good "basic red" to have in the cabinet as it'll go with just about anything (or nothing at all) and is very well made. Give it a go!

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Westend Cool Climate Tempranillo 2008Review written for Westend Cool Climate Tempranillo (Product not available at this time)
(29/08/11)
This is exactly what I was looking for in a Tempranillo. Lovely deep red color, initial cherries on the nose giving way to cedar and spice. Very well balanced with good acidity and fine tannins; well-integrated fruit. Kept my interest as it keeps developing with subsequent tastes. This is a wine that will compliment just about any simple non-spicy meal - think any sort of meat on the grill or red-sauced pasta. Try to keep the dish simple or you'll bury all the lovely subtle flavors of this wine. I've purchased more of this one!!

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* Temple Bruer Langhorne Creek Preservative Free Shiraz Malbec 2007Review written for Temple Bruer Langhorne Creek Preservative Free Shiraz Malbec (Product not available at this time)
(29/08/11)
Not a wine I had planned on purchasing because of my long-standing prejudice against Malbec (which, by the way, seems to be diminishing greatly with the current stable of Argentinian wines available on WineSale). However, we found this wine quite enjoyable. It is ruby in color with sour cherries, cedar, vanilla, plum and blackberries on the nose. This wine has fairly strong acidity and requests food be served with it for greater enjoyment. Vanilla, spice, ripe plums and cherries on the palate. Lovely long finish. We had this wine with "Bill's unintentionally blackened chicken" (chicken in Frank's hot sauce charred on the BBQ) and it was great! It is easy to see why Malbec and grilled meats are made for each other. This wine carries the fruit of the Shiraz with it as well - definitely give it a go! Having said all that, I have to admit I enjoyed the TB straight Shiraz a bit more - it's a complicated little number and therefore a bit more interesting (but would not have done well with the chicken).

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* Blackridge (Central Otago) 2009 Otago GoldReview written for Blackridge (Central Otago) Otago Gold (Product not available at this time)
(23/08/11)
I just love the occasional "mystery" wine. No listing anywhere on the bottle as to what's in it -just "a medium wine with soft fruity flavours." Pale gold in colour; apricots, honey and lime aromas (had me thinking Pinot Gris). Some peachy/apricot tones on tasting, but mostly green apple (dry Riesling?). A bit more acidity on the finish than expected (Semillon??), but well-balanced. Long finish and medium bodied. Not exactly what I normally have with curries, but it worked. Would also be great with a cheese platter, fish, or cream sauces. Versatile, not too expensive, and just a bit mysterious.
2 out of 2 people found these comments helpful

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*Buller Fine Old MuscatReview written for Buller Fine Old Muscat (Product not available at this time)
(22/08/11)
Olive green hue? Didn't get that from this wine, but the rest of the description is apt. This is a lovely fortified wine, but not your typical port. Those familiar with Muscat will be expecting a lovely fruity and floral nose (yep), and lots of luscious peaches and apricots on the palate (check), with some raisin thrown in. Since this is a fortified Muscat, it's not so overwhelmingly fruity, but is obviously quite sweet. I'll be nursing this bottle along in small sips for quite a while as it is very satisfying in small quantities as an after-dinner treat. Give it a go if you're keen on port but want to try something a little different.
1 out of 1 people found these comments helpful

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Villa Vistarenni (Italy) 2009 Chianti Classico RiservaReview written for Villa Vistareni Chianti riserva (Product not available at this time)
(19/08/11)
Loving this wine. Gorgeous cherries and spice, with good fine tannic structure; develops so beautifully in the glass. I can't imagine this one getting any better with age - it is perfect as it is. So well balanced - best example of Sangiovese from Winesale I've had - even better than the Sassoregale. Hope they have a lot more of this one hidden in the warehouse so I can nab a few more bottles. Highly recommended. Hot tip - aerate this one by decanting if you can.
2 out of 2 people found these comments helpful

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* Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay 2009Review written for Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay (Product not available at this time)
(17/08/11)
This is a wine that will certainly improve with a bit of age. Deep gold in colour with a very complex nose (oak, toasted nuts, apricot, lime, wet stone, vanilla.... after that I just gave up trying to sort it out). Good acidity, very full-bodied. Overall my label on this one would be "interesting" - all in a good way, of course. While I definitely enjoyed this wine now, I regret opening the bottle as I now realize the great potential it has. If I could afford another bottle, I'd set it aside for 2 years and give it another go.
2 out of 2 people found these comments helpful

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Review written for Ghost Hawk (Gladstone) Pinot Noir (Product not available at this time)
(17/08/11)
An absolute steal at the Winesale price. This wine is garnet in colour; cherry, eucalyptus, and plums on the nose. Good acidity, mild tannins, great balance. Dark stone fruits on the palate with some cedar, spice, and earthiness. Long finish. The fruit in this wine is lovely but not overpowering. These Gladstone region Pinots are unique and worth a try. A couple notes: I think this one will get better with 1-2 years age, and pairs best with simpler foods - roast lamb worked really well.
2 out of 2 people found these comments helpful

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* Long Flat (Australia) Moscato 2010Review written for Long Flat (Australia) Moscato 2010 (Product not available at this time)
(08/08/11)
Muscat is a wine I drink only rarely - typically the power of the flavour (think concentrated Riesling) is best enjoyed sparingly. What I really look forward to with Muscat is immersing myself in the aroma. So, I was a bit disappointed with this one because the nose is, well, elusive compared to other Muscats I've had. This is a much lighter version, and once I got over the lack of gorgeous aroma (don't get me wrong - it has some, just not what I expected) and started getting into the wine, it began to win me over. Light bodied, a bit of spritz, and on the sweeter side (as Muscat is) - this is the perfect wine to take on a picnic with friends who tell you "I don't like wine". They'll like this. It's like drinking soda pop. Easy and refreshing. Serve chilled, as an aperitif.
1 out of 1 people found these comments helpful

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* Kea Point (Martinborough) Riesling 2010Review written for Kea Point (Martinborough) Riesling (Product not available at this time)
(04/07/11)
An interesting Riesling - not much acidity to this one, not overly sweet either. I was quite surprised to find aromas more typical of gewurtztraminer on this wine - roses and lychee. Good with mildly spicy food or (even better) as a pre-meal sipper with some cheese and crackers. This wine is probably the best bargain (great quality for the price) that you'll find on Riesling anywhere.
1 out of 1 people found these comments helpful

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Castillo Varez (Chile) Cabernet SauvignonReview written for Castillo Varez (Chile) Cabernet Sauvignon (Product not available at this time)
(02/07/11)
Pretty much a basic red wine without much true varietal character. Sort of a candied cherry taste with just a touch of tannin. Simple, tolerable, nothing to write home about. Best quality - $10 a bottle. Best food match - whatever you'll enjoy 'cause the meal definitely won't be about the wine.

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* Brightwater (Nelson) Riesling 2009Review written for Brightwater (Nelson) Riesling (Product not available at this time)
(19/06/11)
Not the cheapest Riesling you can get off Winesale, but worth the extra investment. Apples and floral tones on the nose, with lovely ripe apples on tasting. Crisp acidity makes this wine very food friendly, but you could definitely enjoy this lovely number on its own. I'd call it off-dry as it has a touch of sweetness. Well balanced, long finish, and full bodied. We paired this with our Thai takaway and the food really brought out the apple flavours. Can be served at room temperature or slightly chilled without losing any of the character.
1 out of 1 people found these comments helpful

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* Georges Michel (Marlborough) 2008 La Reserve SyrahReview written for Georges Michel (Marlborough) La Reserve Syrah (Product not available at this time)
(19/06/11)
I tried to take Westie Wino's advice and let this one sit for a bit, but just couldn't resist. Glad to have tried it - we really loved this Syrah. Cherries, plums, and PEPPER on the nose and taste, really long finish, well balanced. Worked GREAT with my paprika chicken. I tried desperately to convince the other folks here that they shouldn't even bother trying any and that I would suffer through the rest myself so they wouldn't have to - going as far as to say we couldn't even dump it into the already overwhelmed wastewater system - but they saw through my ruse and the battle was on. Quite drinkable now; you might want to open this one when you don't have to share :)

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* Kirrihill (Clare Valley) Single Vineyard Shiraz 2008Review written for Kirrihill (Clare Valley) Single Vineyard Shiraz (Product not available at this time)
(13/06/11)
Chris seemed rather fond of this wine, so figured we'd give it a go. Really pleased that we did. Deep purple in colour with vanilla, black cherries, cedar, blueberries, and cassis on the nose. Sound complex? You betcha. The taste was not disappointing - drying tannins with a bit of fruit for sweetness, good acid, well-balanced and full-bodied. Cherries on tasting for the most part - pleasant but not overwhelming. I'm really enjoying these Clare Valley wines - they've got a lot more structure to them than some others I've had. Highly recommended if you're on a quest for a more elegant, less fruit dominant, Aussie Shiraz.
1 out of 1 people found these comments helpful

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* Squawking Magpie (Hawkes Bay) 2010 The Chatterer Pinot GrisReview written for Squawking Magpie (Hawkes Bay) The Chatterer Pinot Gris (Product not available at this time)
(13/06/11)
3 prior rankings, but no comments. Probably because this was so nice we were motivated to finish the bottle in one sitting. Gold in colour, with lime/honey/light almonds on the nose. This wine is full-bodied with great well-balanced acidity and just a touch of sweetness. Pink grapefruit and pears on tasting. Really smooth, nice wine. We had it with roast chicken and potatoes; worked great. Also great on its own. We served this at "character house in June" room temperature and believe it would be okay slightly more chilled. Not sure if I can order more of this as I really should not be finishing off the bottle.....
2 out of 2 people found these comments helpful

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* LReview written for L'Acciano (Italy) Montepulciano D'Abruzzo (Product not available at this time)
(07/06/11)
This is a nice change of pace if you're looking for a lighter style red that should appeal to just about anyone. Deep purple/garnet in colour, with vanilla, blackberries, and some spiciness that seemed like cloves/eucalyptus/mint to me on the nose. This wine is light in body, with blueberries and blackberries on tasting. Notable but soft tannins, with light but well-balanced acidity. This one works just fine on its own, but could be paired with any food that is not heavy on either fat or spice. We had it with fish and it worked. The perfect match? Think lightly sauteed zucchini and eggplant with fresh tomatoes and herbs, tossed with pasta. Drink it now, don't cellar.

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* Bishops Selection (France) 2006 Cotes du RhoneReview written for Bishops Selection (France) Cotes du Rhone (Product not available at this time)
(29/05/11)
It took me a while to locate this wine in my collection; lately (due to boxed storage) the sorting factor has been closure type rather than varietal. French wine with a screwcap - who would have thought?? This is a nice example of a Rhone red, a bit lighter than the Delas we compared it with. It has a deep garnet hue, with blackberries and even a touch of apple on the nose. Strongly acidic, this is definitely a food wine. The tannins were smooth and light; fruit was pretty light as well - plums/blackberries. We had this with roast pork and it worked well. I wouldn't put it with food much stronger, as it is a lighter style Rhone than some. Drink it now; any longer in the cellar and the fruit will be lost completely.

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* Delas (France) 2007 St. Esprit Cotes Du RhoneReview written for Delas (France) St. Esprit Cotes Du Rhone (Product not available at this time)
(28/05/11)
Nice example of a Rhone Syrah blend. Deep purple in colour, with aromas of blackberry, sour cherry, and a touch of earthiness. Good acidity, soft/fine tannins. Plums, dark cherries, and blueberries on tasting. We opened this alongside the Bishop's Selection - the Delas is a fuller wine with stronger fruit. This is a very food-friendly wine that won't overpower the meal you serve it with - we had it with roast pork; the acid in the wine helped cut through the fat of the roast and was perfect.

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LReview written for L'Acciano (Italy) Chianti Riserva (Product not available at this time)
(15/05/11)
Really nice Chianti - best I've had from Winesale yet. This wine is perfectly balanced and well-integrated. Garnet in colour with slight brickiness, aromas of cherry and cedar. Cherries and cigar box on the palate with fine drying tannins, good acidity, and a really long finish. It says in the description "suited for white meats and pasta", but ultimately this wine is suited to pretty much any food. Versatile, enjoyable, gorgeous. We will definitely be purchasing more of this one.
1 out of 1 people found these comments helpful

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Ocean View (South Africa) Chenin BlancReview written for Ocean View (South Africa) Chenin Blanc (Product not available at this time)
(14/05/11)
We compared the 2 Chenins from South Africa. This one is pale yellow-green (a bit more colour than the African Sun) and had honey and toasted nuts on the nose but not much else. Tasting shows honey, apples, lime. It's pretty light, short finish, and not overly acidic (off dry). Would do okay with a relatively light cheese board; much more would overwhelm this one. Would also serve well as a pre-meal sipper. This Chenin was a bit fuller than the African Sun, but neither is a great example the varietal's potential. Quaffable, but not really remarkable.

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African Sun (South Africa) Chenin BlancReview written for African Sun (South Africa) Chenin Blanc (Product not available at this time)
(14/05/11)
We compared the 2 Chenins from South Africa. This one was pale yellow-green in colour, with aromas of honey, green apples, grapefruit, and a touch of candle wax. On the palate this wine was incredibly light. A bit of acidity, but less than the Ocean View. I honestly could not identify fruit on the palate. Our overall impression was that this wine tasted incredibly thin despite it being the one with the better aromas, and would be tough to pair with food. Use as a pre-meal sipper; anything else will bury what little taste this Chenin has.
1 out of 1 people found these comments helpful

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Estola (Spain) Crianza 2006Review written for Estola (Spain) Crianza (Product not available at this time)
(01/05/11)
Definitely a food wine as this one has a fair amount of acidity, but smooth and well-integrated. Our bottle may have been a bit more "mature" than some as there was evidence of cork leakage upon opening, but no oxidation detected. Colour is garnet with very slight brick tones along the edges. Dark chocolate and cedar on the nose, possibly blueberries? Smooth tannins, good acidity and complete flavour integration on the palate - this is not a fruit-forward wine. We had it with an assortment of pizzas and it worked really well. The food had some spiciness that brought out some peppery tones in the wine. Great value for the price; drink now, don't cellar. Also worth trying is the Westend Tempranillo, which has a bit more fruit than this one, if that's what you like.

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* Cleanskin (Central Otago) 2009 Pinot NoirReview written for Cleanskin (Central Otago) Pinot Noir (Product not available at this time)
(24/04/11)
Excellent value for the price! This Pinot is a more "old world" style wine than I expect from Central Otago - less fruit forward, good acid structure, fine tannins. Definitely a food wine. Typical Pinot Noir aromas with cherries on the palate. I think I'll be trying this one with some lamb as per Westie Wino's suggestion - should work out great!

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Barinia (Clare Valley) Shiraz 2008Review written for Barinia (Clare Valley) Shiraz (Product not available at this time)
(24/04/11)
A more interesting and multi-dimensional Shiraz that goes well beyond the expected Aussie fruit. Deep, dark purple color. Vanilla, chocolate, and cherries on the nose. Sour cherries, cedar, vanilla, and blackberry on the palate. Great balance, light tannins, good acidity. Of course, would be great with anything from the barbie, but I'm going to pair this one with roasted lamb because I know the fruit won't overpower the dish. Try this for those times you want a more elegant and balanced Shiraz.
1 out of 1 people found these comments helpful

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* Cleanskin (Central Otago) Pinot Gris 2008Review written for Cleanskin (Central Otago) Pinot Gris (Product not available at this time)
(24/04/11)
A lovely Pinot Gris in a Pinot Grigio style. This drier style Pinot Gris has apricot and citrus on the nose and palate. Full bodied wine that will compliment food nicely. Will also do as a pre-meal sipper but really will shine with a bit of an appetizer - cheese (of course), hummus, garlic-based dips should all work well. For meal pairing, try a light to medium cream sauce (think fetuccini) or baked chicken/fish. Worth purchasing at the original price, this wine is a steal at the Winesale price!
1 out of 1 people found these comments helpful

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Crestview Park (California) ZinfandelReview written for Crestview Park (California) Zinfandel (Product not available at this time)
(15/04/11)
A bit about me for starters - I've probably consumed more Zinfandel than anyone in New Zealand, and probably more than most Californians. I'm a Zin-fanatic. Love the stuff. It's not unusual to pay $30-40 for a bottle, and it's worth it. This wine is medium to light intensity purple in color with some brick around the edges. Aromas include boysenberry, plum, blueberry, and a bit of cedar. It has mild tannins, great balance, good fruit flavour, and light acidity. Finish is a bit short. My impression is that this is probably from younger vines with a relatively high yield. It represents everything Zinfandel should be, but is a bit light overall compared with Zins I normally purchase. Of course, it is 1/4 the price... Our overall impression of this wine is that it is GREAT value for the money and will give you an idea of what zinfandel is like. Buy some for your next BBQ as a nice change from Aussie Shiraz. Drink it now, don't cellar. If you enjoy this wine try to find some "old vines" Zin - then you'll really know what the fuss is all about. But for the price, there's no objection from this Zin lover about the quality of this wine. I'll be purchasing more.
3 out of 3 people found these comments helpful

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Ocean View (South Africa) PinotageReview written for Ocean View (South Africa) Pinotage (Product not available at this time)
(14/04/11)
We opened the Ocean View and the African Sun Pinotages for comparison. Pinotage was one of the highlights of our South African tour a couple years ago - it tends to be a simple rustic wine, but can (in the right hands) develop some amazing dark chocolate and coffee tones. This wine is dark purple in color, with aromas of cherries and plums. It is less acidic than the African Sun; we found it quite enjoyable on its own (without food). Tastes of tart cherries, with just a touch of black pepper. Long finish. I would describe this wine as lighter and simpler than the other Pinotage, pleasant but not complex. Would work well as a pre-meal sipper, or as a lighter option to pair with BBQ'd foods. Certainly good value at this price!

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African Sun (South Africa) PinotageReview written for African Sun (South Africa) Pinotage (Product not available at this time)
(14/04/11)
We opened the African Sun and the Ocean View Pinotages for comparison. Pinotage was one of the highlights of our South African tour a couple years ago - it tends to be a simple rustic wine, but can (in the right hands) develop some amazing dark chocolate and coffee tones. This wine is dark purple in color, with aromas of plums, blackberries, coffee and chocolate. It is quite acidic, and therefore well-suited for food (think BBQ). Tastes of sour cherries, plums, blueberries, cedar, and dark chocolate. Long finish. Of the two Pinotages, I preferred this one as it had more of the complexity I look for in Pinotage. Give it a try - at this price you just can't go wrong.
1 out of 1 people found these comments helpful

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* Ancora Montepulciano DReview written for Ancora Montepulciano D' Abruzzo (Product not available at this time)
(26/03/11)
Deep purple in color, with cherries, plums, and pepper on the nose. This wine is definitely tannic and works best with food rather than on its own. We had it with pasta and it worked pretty well. Good value for the price, but nothing overly unique about this wine. Basically a good red food wine.
1 out of 1 people found these comments helpful

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* Hop Kiln (Nelson)  Gewurztraminer 2010Review written for Hop Kiln ( Nelson) Gewurztraminer (Product not available at this time)
(26/03/11)
Nice example of Gewurtz. Pale yellow in colour with a touch of green; lychee, peach, pear, and lemon on the nose. Great balance with nice acidity, better when just a bit chilled rather than room temperature. Mostly pear, apple, lime on tasting but has a hint of ginger and pepper. We had this with Indian curries and it worked well. I prefer a wee bit more fruit in my Gewurtz, but this is a good wine, reasonably priced.
2 out of 2 people found these comments helpful

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Dows (Portugal) Fine Tawny PortReview written for Dows (Portugal) Fine Tawny Port (Product not available at this time)
(03/03/11)
Really this is everything you'd expect from quality Port maker Dow's. Nicely balanced without too much syrupy sweetness; just enough acid to keep it fresh and crisp on the palate. It's still got a bit of ruby tint to it in normal light, but if all you have are torches (as we did when this bottle was opened) it looks pretty darn tawny. Lovely after dinner sipper.
1 out of 1 people found these comments helpful

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* West Brook (Marlborough) Barrique Ferment Chardonnay 2009Review written for West Brook (Marlborough) Barrique Ferment Chardonnay (Product not available at this time)
(20/02/11)
Nice well-balanced wine with a bit more oak influence than some. Medium gold in color, with oak, peach, pear, and caramel on the nose. Creamy full mouthfeel. Tastes slightly of citrus but mostly apricot/peach and some mineral. Long finish. I had hoped for some more buttery tones given the Barrique Ferment label, but I'm still pretty pleased with this Chardonnay. Give this one a bit of time in the glass to reveal all the subtle spiciness. Good full-bodied wine. Went really well with my chicken/cheese pasta dish (really much better than it sounds!) - should work with any food that has a bit of weight and not too much spice. Will definitely age well, and will probably pick up those buttery tones over time.
1 out of 1 people found these comments helpful

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Review written for Westend Cool Climate Riesling Hilltops (Product not available at this time)
(18/02/11)
Riesling in a dry-ish style (not mouth-puckering dry, but definitely not sweet). Very pale yellow in colour, toasted nuts (almonds?) on the nose, not much fruit. Tart green apples on the taste, with some lime. Overall very "crisp". The acid is well-balanced with the rest of the wine. We felt that this wine is on the lighter side. We served it at room temperature; it worked well with our appetizer of goat feta + sundried tomato + basil crostini.

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Emergo (Wairarapa) Rose 2009Review written for Emergo (Wairarapa) Rose (Product not available at this time)
(18/02/11)
STRAWBERRIES. In liquid form. This rose has an interesting orangy-pink color, great acidity, just a touch of sweetness, and a moderately long finish. We described it overall as "crisp". Strawberries on the nose and taste. Pair with anything smoked or salty (parmesan cheese?), or just enjoy on its own.
2 out of 3 people found these comments helpful

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* Telmo Rodriquez 2007 105 VinaReview written for Telmo Rodriquez 105 Vina (Product not available at this time)
(18/02/11)
Allow this one a bit of time in the glass (or decanter) if you want to drink it now, or better yet, allow it another 6+ years in the cellar to develop into something spectacular. This red blend (unspecified but we guessed cabernet/tempranillo/grenache) is a lovely deep purple in colour, with a nose of dusty ripe plums/cherries and a touch of pepper. The tannins are potent, drying, and rough, but diminished given some aeration. Blackberries and cherries on the taste, great balance, excellent with our steaks off the grill. This one really grew on us during the tasting process.

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* Destinations (Coonawarra) 2008 Cabernet SauvignonReview written for Destinations (Coonawarra) Cabernet Sauvignon (Product not available at this time)
(14/02/11)
Still quite young, and will benefit with some aging. However, for those of you who just can't wait, this wine is balanced enough that the tannins are not overly harsh and certainly can be enjoyed now. Deep purple/red in color with dusty aromas of berries, vanilla, and chocolate. Excellent acidity and tannic structure with lots of prolonged fruit on the finish. Just a hint of mint, and a slight alcoholic heat with this one. Great with grilled meats/pasta as it is now; I'll keep the next bottle for a couple years (probably not the 6-8 listed in the description) to see what it becomes.
1 out of 1 people found these comments helpful

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* Richland (New South Wales) 2009 ViognierReview written for Richland (New South Wales) Viognier (Product not available at this time)
(09/02/11)
Nicely balanced example of Viognier at an affordable price. Medium yellow in color with just a bit of greenish tint. It has floral aromas and roasted nuts, with a bit of apricot. There is a fair amount of acid to this wine, so it's better with food. The corn/cream soup and feta I had with it made it a totally different wine. Also, the acid is a bit overwhelming at cooler temperatures, so drink this one at room temperature for the best fruit flavor and balance. We still had the Georges Michel Viognier (also from Winesale) open, so we did a bit of comparison. The Georges Michel is much more aromatic, has a lot more fruit, and is fuller-bodied. We felt that the GM Viognier would be a more versatile food wine, even extending to fruit or custard desserts. It is worth the extra cash to grab a bottle of Georges Michel and try it; however the Richland is still a great wine for the price.

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* Babich (Hawkes Bay) 2008 Merlot CabernetReview written for Babich (Hawkes Bay) Merlot Cabernet (Product not available at this time)
(08/02/11)
Definitely in the Merlot style with light fine tannins, plenty of fruit (berries, plums, dark cherries), and a bit of vanilla. This wine is nice enough on its own, and should partner well with pasta or just about anything off the BBQ. We had it with some baked herb/paprika chicken and it didn't do much for this particular food item (the Westend Cool Climate Shiraz 2008 was a better match - try some!). Lovely well-balanced basic fruity red. Recommended - great value for money!
1 out of 1 people found these comments helpful

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* Gumfields (Marlborough) 2007 ChardonnayReview written for Gumfields (Marlborough) Chardonnay (Product not available at this time)
(07/02/11)
This is a decent wine for the price. It is well-crafted (good balance, nice crisp acidity), but honestly not that interesting (to me). Very light on the nose, light on the palate. Would be fine for sipping on a warm day, or with mild fish/shellfish. Nothing wrong with it, just not as full-bodied as I like my Chards. PS - it was better the next day :)
2 out of 2 people found these comments helpful

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* Westend Cool Climate Shiraz 2008Review written for Westend Cool Climate Shiraz (Product not available at this time)
(06/02/11)
What a lovely Shiraz this is! This wine is great on its own, but also serves as a wonderful companion to food. Aussie Shiraz tends to be very fruit-forward, sometimes to the extent that it detracts from the meal. This wine has the fruit (cherries, plums) but is well-balanced with fine, smooth tannins and good acid. It has a nice long finish. We had it with a venison stir-fry and it was perfect. I could see this wine being a great partner to any grilled meat, or even roasted lamb or pasta. This is a very food friendly wine. Incredibly great value for the price.

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* Georges Michel (Marlborough) La Reserve Viognier 2009Review written for Georges Michel (Marlborough) La Reserve Viognier (Product not available at this time)
(06/02/11)
A really interesting wine. Light gold colour, a big dose of toasted almonds in the nose (along with apricot). Great balance, apricot on the taste, and a bit of acid on the lovely long finish. I felt this wine worked better with food than it did by itself, and would recommend foods with more mild flavours and perhaps a bit of a creamy texture as the acid works well with this. We had it with corn and it was lovely. A nice change from the usual fare of Chardonnay or Sauv Blanc. Highly recommended. Addendum: this wine was fantastic with herb/onion/paprika spiced chicken - amazing! We also compared it with the Richland Viognier (also from Winesale) - see other review.

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* Hunters (Marlborough) Pinot Gris 2010Review written for Hunters (Marlborough) Pinot Gris (Product not available at this time)
(06/02/11)
Okay, 36 degrees outside and we needed something to kick off the BBQ. All of us LOVED this wine. It has a lovely gold colour with just a hint of pink, smells of citrus and apricot. Great balance with a bit of acid on the finish, full-bodied. Tastes of pink grapefruit and apricots, with an enjoyable bit of sweetness developing in the glass. Great long finish. This wine was smashingly good on its own, but went really nice with the bread/veggies/hummus dip we had as an entree. I believe it says a lot about how much I love our friends as I was (reluctantly) willing to leave the last bit with them to finish off. I'll have to buy another bottle.... Great value!!!! Best Pinot Gris I've had in ages!
2 out of 2 people found these comments helpful

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* Secret Stone (Marlborough) Chardonnay 2009Review written for Secret Stone Chardonnay (Product not available at this time)
(03/02/11)
Disclaimer - I'm not keen on either un-oaked or over-oaked Chardonnay. This one strikes a pretty good balance. Surprisingly light in color, this wine still carries a nice medium-bodied character and lots of lovely fruit, as well as a long finish. Aromas of toasty oak, nuts, and tropical fruits; light oak on the taste, along with citrus and tropical/ripe fruit. This is an incredibly smooth wine. The crisp acidity in the finish will serve as a great compliment to light cream sauces, heavier fish, or herbed baked chicken. This wine would also be enjoyable lightly chilled (too cold and you'll lose the delicate oakiness) with cheese, appetizers, or just good company.
2 out of 2 people found these comments helpful

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* Sassoregale (Italy) Sangiovese 2008Review written for Sassoregale (Italy) Sangiovese (Product not available at this time)
(02/02/11)
Ah, the new vintage Sassoregale. Yes, it has a screwcap. Yes, it is still a great wine. Purple/red in color, with chocolate/caramel (along with plums and cherries) on the nose. Good tannic structure and excellent balance. This vintage is not as "fruit-forward" as the 2007 - that's probably the biggest difference here. Overall still a great wine. Serve with grilled meats or pasta and enjoy! Addendum: if you're going to have a bottle of wine shatter during an earthquake, this is an excellent choice - the fragrance of cedar and spice was quite lovely as far as spilled wine goes. Can't say much in favor of the stain on the carpet, though....
7 out of 7 people found these comments helpful

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Review written for Lammastide Gisborne Gewurztraminer (Product not available at this time)
(02/02/11)
All of us sampling this wine would call it "Gewurtztraminer Light". While it expresses all the standard characteristics of Gewurtz (lychee and tropical fruit on the nose and taste, lovely gold color) with hints of lime/citrus, we felt it tasted thin overall. This wine is well balanced with a long finish; a well-constructed example of Gewurtz but lacking the full-on punch of some of the other wines available. An EXCELLENT wine for introducing a newbie to Gewurtz, but if you're already a fan spend a bit extra and go for the Beach House (or a bit more extra and dive into the 2009 West Brook while it lasts!)
6 out of 6 people found these comments helpful

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* Villa Vistarenni (Italy) 2010 ChiantiReview written for Villa Vistarenni (Italy) Chianti DOCG (Product not available at this time)
(01/02/11)
Reading some of the reviews previously posted, I had pretty low expectations for this wine. However, I found it to be a really nice and affordable example of Sangiovese in the Chianti style. This wine is brick in color, with cherries, olives, and cedar on the nose. The tannins are quite fine and smooth. I think the problem is that we have become used to extreme fruit-forward wines (Aussie Shiraz, even Central Otago Pinot Noir) and this wine is not meant to be the star of the show. It is a food wine with extremely good balance and great tannic structure. If you are a fan of big fruity Aussie Shiraz, then get the Sassoregale Sangiovese. You'll love it. If, however, you are keen on Rhone Syrah, you will definitely enjoy this wine. The only foods you would not really want to pair this with would be Thai, Indian, or Mexican. Everything else should suit it well.
7 out of 7 people found these comments helpful

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Wairau River (Marlborough) Riesling 2008Review written for Wairau River (Marlborough) Riesling (Product not available at this time)
(25/01/11)
Believe the description when it says "off dry" in character. Medium yellow/green in color, just a bit of spritz present. Nose was a bit lacking at first but developed given time in the glass to reveal pears and peaches. Again, fruit takes time to develop in the glass with tasting - initial taste was pretty much tart apples. There's a fair amount of acid - I didn't feel this was well-balanced with the rest of the wine initially but it did work well with food. I agree with the impression that this will do well with some aging. There are Rieslings I enjoyed more than this one (see reviews) as it is now. I would recommend something with a bit of cream/fat food-wise to balance the acid; we tried this with some spicy food and it did not work at all. This wine also would be great as a pre-meal sipper with some cheese and crackers.
3 out of 3 people found these comments helpful

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* West Brook (Marlborough) Gewurztraminer 2009Review written for West Brook (Marlborough) Gewurztraminer (Product not available at this time)
(23/01/11)
We tried the 2010 alongside this wine for comparison. We definitely enjoyed the 2009 more on the initial pour - rich light gold color, great nose (ripe tropical fruit, honey). Lovely balance, medium dry character, just a bit of spritz. Honey, peaches, pears in the taste, long finish. Went well with all our Indian curries. The 2010 definitely developed (dramatically!) in the glass, but overall the 2009 is a much fuller wine.
3 out of 3 people found these comments helpful

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* West Brook (Marlborough) 2010 GewurztraminerReview written for West Brook (Marlborough) Gewurztraminer (Product not available at this time)
(23/01/11)
We tried this along with the 2009 (see other review) to compare and contrast. The 2010 is lighter in color with less fruit on the nose initially (roses and mineral dominated), but developed beautifully in the glass to release honeyed fruit and lychee. Very well balanced, long finish. We enjoyed the 2009 a bit more but still think this wine has great potential. Let it stand for a bit after pouring and you'll be rewarded. Also, don't chill this one - we served it at room temperature and it still needed time to open out fully. Worked well with 3 of the 4 Indian curries we had - the 4th was a bit too sweet and made the wine taste sour.
3 out of 3 people found these comments helpful

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* Mud house (Waipara) Swan Home Block Pinot Gris 2010Review written for Mudhouse (Waipara) Swan Home Block Pinot Gris (Product not available at this time)
(21/01/11)
A very interesting Pinot Gris. This wine is beautifully fragrant with lots of ripe fruit (peaches/pears/tropical?) in the nose. Based on aroma, I thought this wine was going to be on the sweet side, but would label it as medium dry - overall incredibly well-balanced with slight sweetness and just the right amount of acidity. This is a surprisingly full-bodied wine for a Pinot Gris. Think Pinot Gris with character of Viognier. Great on its own as a pre-meal sipping wine; we had it with poached fish (herbs and Pinot Gris for the poaching liquid) and it was perfect. Avoid heavy spice or fats as the subtlety of the wine will be lost.
4 out of 4 people found these comments helpful

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* Kirrihill (Clare Valley) Cabernet Sauvignon 2008Review written for Kirrihill (Clare Valley) Cabernet Sauvignon (Product not available at this time)
(19/01/11)
Well-balanced Cabernet with good tannic structure - could benefit from age but quite quaffable now for us impatient winos. Enjoy with peppered steak or BBQ chicken.
3 out of 3 people found these comments helpful

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* Estola (Spain) Reserva 2004Review written for Estola (Spain) Reserva (Product not available at this time)
(15/01/11)
We had this wine with steaks off the grill. It worked well with the food; definitely a food wine, not a sipping wine. Lots of fine tannins, not much fruit. Overall I believe the cabernet in this blend takes over the tempranillo, so it wasn't quite what I was expecting. Good with strongly flavored foods or with a bit of fat to level out the tannins.
4 out of 4 people found these comments helpful

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* Blackridge  (Central Otago) 2008 Old Vine GewurztraminerReview written for Blackridge (Central Otago) Old Vine Gewurztraminer (Product not available at this time)
(15/01/11)
Lovely full gewurtz - dark in color, on the sweeter side. Lots of spice to this one and goes great with spicy food. This wine is in the higher end of my price range, but still felt it was really good value for the money. I'll keep a bottle on hand for special occasions as I enjoyed it so much.
4 out of 4 people found these comments helpful

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Review written for Sassaregale (Italy) Sangiovese (Product not available at this time)
(20/12/10)
I love Sangiovese. I really love this wine. An outstanding example of everything it should be. Tannins are present but soft and fine. Great fruit on the nose and in the taste. Has worked well with a variety of meals from grilled steak to pasta to baked onion/paprika-seasoned chicken. I almost didn't post this review as I was concerned that the supply might run out and there would be no more for me, but I'll just order more immediately and hope other wine nuts get the chance to try some too.
3 out of 3 people found these comments helpful

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* Blackridge (Central Otago) 2007 Old Vine RieslingReview written for Blackridge (Central Otago) Old Vine Riesling (Product not available at this time)
(20/12/10)
Gorgeous wine that worked well with some heavy spice in our meal. Deep gold in color, rich ripe fruit on the nose, excellent balance in sweetness and acidity.
3 out of 3 people found these comments helpful

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* Beach House (Hawkes Bay) Gewurztraminer 2009Review written for Beach House (Hawkes Bay) Gewruztraminer (Product not available at this time)
(20/12/10)
Had everything I wanted in a Gewurtz, with a great price. Floral and lychee on the nose, full of fruit and spice. We enjoyed this with Indian curries and it stood up to them very well. Well-balanced sweetness (medium dry) with acidity. Will definitely purchase again.
5 out of 5 people found these comments helpful

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Review written for Temple Bruer Langhorne Creek Preservative Free Shiraz Malbec (Product not available at this time)
(08/05/11)
Not a wine I had planned on purchasing because of my long-standing prejudice against Malbec (which, by the way, seems to be diminishing greatly with the current stable of Argentinian wines available on WineSale). However, we found this wine quite enjoyable. It is ruby in color with sour cherries, cedar, vanilla, plum and blackberries on the nose. This wine has fairly strong acidity and requests food be served with it for greater enjoyment. Vanilla, spice, ripe plums and cherries on the palate. Lovely long finish. We had this wine with "Bill's unintentionally blackened chicken" (chicken in Frank's hot sauce charred on the BBQ) and it was great! It is easy to see why Malbec and grilled meats are made for each other. This wine carries the fruit of the Shiraz with it as well - definitely give it a go! Having said all that, I have to admit I enjoyed the TB straight Shiraz a bit more - it's a complicated little number and therefore a bit more interesting (but would not have done well with the chicken).

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Review written for Westend Cool Climate Tempranillo (Product not available at this time)
(19/01/11)
This is exactly what I was looking for in a Tempranillo. Lovely deep red color, initial cherries on the nose giving way to cedar and spice. Very well balanced with good acidity and fine tannins; well-integrated fruit. Kept my interest as it keeps developing with subsequent tastes. This is a wine that will compliment just about any simple non-spicy meal - think any sort of meat on the grill or red-sauced pasta. Try to keep the dish simple or you'll bury all the lovely subtle flavors of this wine. Good enough to rank as my current favorite Winesale wine!
4 out of 4 people found these comments helpful

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