Gems in My Glass . . . April 2015

12:40 pm Gems in MY Glass . . .

Gems in My Glass . . . April 2015

Twomey 2013 Sauvignon Blanc; Napa/Sonoma, California:  A beautiful aromatic expression and the jazzy entry brimming with fruit sets the stage for this well balanced, energetic wine.  Mineral notes entwine with crisp apple, fresh squeezed sweet Meyer lemon and hints of fresh cut grass.  The light touch of oak stays nicely in the background and the finish shines with brightness.  SRP:  $26 www.twomey.com

Twomey 2012 Monument Tree Vineyard Pinot Noir; Anderson Valley, California:  Scents of fresh harvested mushrooms and a bowlful of cherries shout out Pinot Noir on the nose.  Layers of red cherries, raspberries, the essence of forest floor, and subtle oak converge on the palate with bracing acidity supporting the juicy fruit.  This complex wine is focused and precise with a firm structure, elegant tannins and a texture as smooth as satin.  The divine aftertaste lingers forever; simply gorgeous.  SRP:  $68 www.twomey.com

Te Motu 2013 The Strip; Waiheke Island, New Zealand:  The deep hue and irresistible aromas draw you into the glass with this engaging blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot.  Floral notes steer the way to pure raspberry and wild blueberry fruit highlighted by tobacco spice and a pinch of herbs.  Intensely structured and balanced with silky tannins carrying the wine seamlessly through the vibrant finish.  SRP:  $45 www.temotu.co.nz

Te Motu 2005 red blend; Onetangi Valley, Waiheke Island, New Zealand:  Aromas of mixed cherries and berries, and leathery notes rise from the glass.  This brilliantly developed blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Cab Franc is rich and dense in the mouth with flavors of black cherries, blueberries, cassis, dried cranberries, and earthy nuances melding in harmony.  The tannins are refined, and tinges of spiced oak add further dimension as the wine progresses to the memorable finish.  SRP:  $125 www.temotu.co.nz

Te Moto 2012 Kokoro; Waiheke Island, New Zealand:  This red blend composed of 43% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 7% Malbec and 7% Syrah shows off aromas and flavors of red currant, tart huckleberry and tasty cranberry chutney with a thread of earthiness throughout.  It is rustic and full bodied with good balance, and the finish contributes a delightful dash of spice.  SRP:  $75 www.temotu.co.nz

Stonyridge Vineyard 2012 Larose; Waiheke Island, New Zealand:  From the north facing slopes of this low yielding vineyard comes Larose, an exquisite, powerful blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cab Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Carmenere.  This intensely structured wine opens with a heady, floral aroma.  The entry broadcasts flavors of blackberry and savory spice.  The wine broadens on the palate with plum compote, cinnamon, nutmeg, shades of tobacco and well integrated oak skillfully wrapped around a solid backbone of tannins.  Tightly wound now, this wine promises to thrive for decades.  SRP:  $290 www.stonyridge.co.nz

Craggy Range 2013 Te Muna Road Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc; Martinborough, New Zealand:  Whiffs of fresh flowers and tropical fruits on the nose lead to a delectable mouthful of lime zest accented nectarine and passion fruit interlacing with brisk acidity.  The neutral oak aging adds an understated element without taking away from the vibrant fruit.  Clean and refreshing with a bright, buoyant finish.  SRP:  $23.95 www.craggyrange.com

Craggy Range 2012 Te Muna Road Vineyard Pinot Noir; Martinborough, New Zealand:  This well balanced Pinot Noir offers up an enticing aroma that quickly captures your attention. Tobacco and dried cherry nuances join savory spice, hints of sandalwood and warm cherry cobbler flavors mesmerizing the palate.  The texture is silky and the spot on level of acidity lifts the wine steadfastly from entry through the extended finish.  SRP:  $42.95 www.craggyrange.com

Craggy Range 2011 Gimblett Gravels Vineyard Syrah; Hawkes Bay, New Zealand:  Scents of white pepper and dark fruit lead to a concentrated palate deliciously full of blackberry, black plum, fresh ground pepper spice, cured meats, and black licorice.  Rich in texture with a pretty backbone of tannins, this Syrah is approachable now, and should continue stimulating the palate as it further evolves with age.  SRP:  $31.95 www.craggyrange.com

Craggy Range 2011 Sophia, Gimblett Gravels Vineyard, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand:  Another beauty from Gimblett Gravels Vineyard, this impressive blend is composed of 60% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.   Concentrated blueberry, plum and boysenberry fruit join hands with tobacco spice, hints of graphite and beautifully integrated oak.  Complex and precisely balanced with firmly structured tannins, I envision decades of aging potential with this gem.  SRP:  $72.95 www.craggyrange.com

Vidal Estate 2014 Riesling; Marlborough, New Zealand:  Vivid aromas of white peach and steely minerality pop from the glass at first whiff.  Melding on the palate are bright flavors of gooseberry, passion fruit, juicy peaches and a squeeze of lime.  Crisp and refreshing with bracing acidity from the first sip through the dazzling finish.  SRP:  $16 www.vidal.co.nz

Vidal Estate 2014 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc; Marlborough, New Zealand:  Citrus laced tropical fruits wow the nose with Vidal’s striking Reserve SB.  Luscious layers of guava, lemon curd and passion fruit interlace with lime zest, fresh chopped herbs and a persistent thread of minerality, enlivening the palate.  This vibrant wine is complex and pure with meticulous balance, and climaxes with a lingering aftertaste.   SRP:  $20 www.vidal.co.nz

Vidal Estate 2012 Reserve Series Gimblett Gravels Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon; Hawkes Bay, New Zealand:  This blend of 50% Merlot, 39% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Malbec is a smoothly textured, easy to quaff wine.   The enticing aromas and flavors of blueberry compote, wild berries, red currant and savory spice interlace with gentle oak nuances, and the wine finishes upbeat and clean.  SRP:  $20 www.vidal.co.nz

Vidal Estate 2010 Legacy Syrah; Gimblett Gravels Vineyard, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand:  Perfumed aromas of violets reel you into this remarkable Syrah.  It is complex, pure and impressively balanced with layers of roasted meat, multicolored peppercorn spice, black plums, boysenberries and just the right touch of oak, all framed by refined tannins.  An elegant, deftly crafted wine that is approachable now, and promises excellent age worthiness, as well.  SRP:  ~$75 www.clearviewestate.co.nz

Clearview Estate Winery 2013 Reserve Chardonnay; Hawkes Bay, New Zealand:  Spiced oak and stone fruit aromas lift from the glass with this intense Chardonnay.  Juicy nectarines, peach skin, spicy baked apples and butterscotch candy coat the mouth in a decadent fashion, while a good level of acidity cuts adroitly through the richness.  Fermented in (primarily new) French oak, this wine finishes with yummy caramel apple notes.  SRP:  $36 www.clearviewestate.co.nz

Clearview Estate Winery 2013 Reserve Cabernet Franc; Hawkes Bay, New Zealand:  The senses are altogether engaged with this focused Cab Franc.  The inviting herbaceous, meaty aroma paves the way to harmonizing flavors of a rosemary/sage rubbed roast, dark berries and succulent purple plums enhanced by graphite and cigar box accents. Well balanced and palate pleasing with hints of campfire smoke peaking through on the persistent finish.  SRP:  $45 www.clearviewestate.co.nz

Clearview Estate Winery 2012 Enigma Merlot; Te Awanga, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand:   This blend of 61% Merlot, 31% Malbec and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in new and seasoned French and American barriques exemplifies a perfect marriage of fruit and earthy components.  Blue and red fruits with fresh herb and eucalyptus highlights leave you wanting more.  It is velvety smooth, fully flavored and firmly structured while at the same time elegant as it floats across the palate to the long-lasting, spicy aftertaste.   SRP:  $55 www.clearviewestate.co.nz

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