Out on a limb but making the world more interesting

Human nature; we love to support the underdog, the "plucky", dogged types that challenge the norm.

There are parallels in wine, with wineries championing little-known varieties. Arguably, if they just planted more sav blanc they would probably have an easier job selling the end result, but then the world would be a far more boring place.

You’ll be unlikely to find these wines at your local super: cellar doors and smaller wine shops are fertile ground for these discoveries.

2021 Riverby Estate Single Vineyard Marlborough Grüner Veltliner

Price RRP $24
Rating Excellent

Flecks of citrus, honey and smoke, tropical fruits, a prickly pepperiness, florality building. Fruit sweetness, honey and beeswax at first, suppleness, yet with snappy, racy acidity that gives this nice vibrancy. Ripe peach, dried pineapple along with the more exotic end of the tropical fruit spectrum. That tangy zestiness grows, giving this lovely freshness.


2019 Burn Cottage Central Otago Riesling/Gruner Veltliner

Price RRP $55
Rating Excellent to outstanding

Powerful nose, spices, preserved lemon, cracked pepper, rose’s lime cordial, tropical notes. Richly textural, creamy, density to this, completely filling the mouth. Again the lime cordial, lemony citrus and tropical fruit aspects on the palate adding a touch of almond. Honeyed notes build but the wine remains dry with crisp acidity to finish. Delicious.


2021 Forrest Marlborough Gruner Veltliner

Price RRP $28

Rating Excellent

Lovely florality, white flowers, spices, a wisp of herb, lime. Sweetly fruited, clover honey, the texture swelling. Lime/lime cordial notes appear along with a little salinity/oyster shell. After the initial sweetness, this evolves into something attractively dry, crisp and racy with a chewiness on the close. A waft of bonfire embers frames the close. Intrigue and interest.


2019 Elephant Hill Sea Hawke’s Bay Viognier

Price  RRP $34
Rating Excellent

Peach & apricot lead, florals, a tangy aspect. Creamy, very rich and textural in the mouth with apricot and apricot kernel to the fore, a little gum later. Quite mouthfilling, low in acidity, a chalky element adding to the grip and texture. A warm glow runs through this while the nose grows into something rather lovely. Viscous, fat, mouthfilling.


2021 Dicey Central Otago Chenin Blanc

Price RRP $26
Rating Excellent

Expressive nose highlighting quince, straw/hay, honey, spices & florality. The palate exudes quince, apple and lashings of honey, yet this is not super sweet adding lemon drops and boiled sweets, while a crisp acid corset keeps the sweetness neatly in check. Lots of flavour intensity, barley sugar and hay as the sweetness becomes more evident. Rather yummy.


2021 Forrest Marlborough Chenin Blanc 11.1.22

Price RRP $28
Rating Very good to excellent

Sliced apple, quince, dry honey, mandarin skin, perfume, rock melon. At first the palate dances in the sweet ‘n’ sour spectrum with a bright tingliness, shifting to tangy freshness. Smoke, tropical fruit and growing apple flavours frame the palate.


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