Taking time for the road less travelled

Regular readers will know my fondness for tasting and drinking widely so today’s wonderful selection was right up my alley.

Chenin Blanc & Pinot Blanc have been around the scene for years.

Yet still they have been restricted to a dedicated band of wineries.

Grüner Veltliner and Albariño are relative newcomers, with the latter in particular really riding a wave.

Pinot Noir Rosé is not uncommon of course, but this version adds its own twist, while St Laurent is produced by only four, or perhaps five producers. Enjoy the mix!

2020 St Clair Pioneer Block 28 Camp Block Pinot Blanc

Price RRP $33
Rating Excellent
Boldly fragrant, peach, 
stonefruit, smoke, 
perhaps mango and 
salinity too? Sensing 
richness. Powerful 
fruit leads, fat and rich 
in the mouth, before a 
touch of fruit pith adds 
to the texture bringing 
chewiness and 
dryness. Stone fruits 
now, perhaps banana 
skin, a nutty/cashew 
nut element at its core, 
palate weight at its 
heart with the acidity 
and chewiness a foil. 
Rather good.

2022 Forrest Marlborough Chenin Blanc 

Price RRP $28
Rating Very Good to Excellent
Gunflint, stewed apple, 
straw, citrus, lightly 
honeyed. A fascinating 
grainy aspect 
enhances the texture, a 
backdrop to the 
interplay between fruit 
sweetness and zesty 
acidity, while a surge of 
granny smith apple 
frames the close. The 
struck match reduction 
more evident with time, 
the honey on the nose 
joins the finish. With its 
bright acidity a great 
foil for creamy dishes.

2023 Yealands Estate S.V Awatere Valley Albarino

Price RRP $27.95
Rating Excellent to Outstanding
The nose bounds out 
of the glass, peach, 
wood smoke, a 
skerrick of herb, apricot 
later…more about the 
sum of the parts. Nose 
suggests fatness but 
the palate contrasts 
that with a powerful 
core of acidity, lending 
a tingly quality. Stony 
minerals, citrus on a 
backdrop of stonefruits 
with a long, cool racy 
close. Drive and 
vibrancy, an impact 
wine, ready to 
complement food.

2023 Riverby Estate S.V Marlborough Gruner Veltliner

Price RRP $24
Rating Excellent to Outstanding
Beguiling nose, ripe 
peach, rose’s lime 
cordial, pencil lead, 
spice, a peppery 
influence. Delightfully 
creamy palate fills the 
mouth, richness & 
textural impact, all the 
while balanced and 
integrated with crispness 
and chewy touches. 
Searching for specific 
flavours is superfluous 
here, as it charms so 
well as a whole. Full of 
flavour, simply lovely.


2023 Two Paddocks Organic Central Otago Pinot Noir Rosé 

Price RRP $35
Rating Excellent to Outstanding
Deeper colour than the 
current trend. The nose 
swells with fruit jube, 
dried strawberry, cherry 
and an attractive savoury 
quality. The palate takes 
those notes and ramps 
them up, savoury 
aspects evident, adding 
plum and a whisper of 
peppery spice, 
pomegranate & cranberry 
later. Fruit sweetness, 
snapped into line by crisp 
acidity. A crossover into 
light red territory. 

2022 Forrest Marlborough St Laurent

Price RRP $35
Rating Excellent
Deep and dark, 
smoky, savoury 
qualities to the fore, 
darker fruits, a touch 
of bramble, cranberry 
and perfume with air. 
Sweeter fruits in the 
mouth, red fruits and 
raspberry, lead pencil, 
juicy, tangy, lively 
with real freshness on 
the close. The nose 
grows significantly 
with aeration, exuding 
richness, while its 
latent power and fine 
chewy tannins are on 
show. Impressive.