A white Christmas down under

Attending end-of-year events recently was a stark reminder of how fortunate we are to be living in New Zealand with social interaction the norm, while outside our border many countries are doing it very tough.

It reminded me of the pleasures to be had in our own land, and our need to continue to support local enterprises, as it’s not all roses out there. So in this last selection of wines before year’s end, I am happily embracing New Zealand whites.

Have a lovely Christmas, enjoy a break if you are able to, and luxuriate in some gorgeous wines!

2018 Aurum Organic
Central Otago
chardonnay

Price: $45
Rating: Excellent to
outstanding

Cooler feel to the alluring
nose, peaches and cream,
cool mint with a nutty
undercurrent. Creamy
texture, great flavour
intensity with spices,
nuts and a citrusy core
running through the wine.
Lovely balance here, the
richness countered by
freshness, energy and
vibrancy with good
structure in support.
Drinking superbly now.

www.aurumwines.com

2018 Hunters Offshoot
Marlborough
chardonnay

Price: $34.90
Rating: Excellent

Fragrant, bright nose. Struck
match hints, florals, peach,
citrus, smoke, draws you
back for more. Crisp
vibrancy to the palate
expressed by red apple,
just ripe apricot and
peach, with lemon/lime
citrus flavours powering
the long close which
hangs in the mouth.
This dances in the
mouth and would be
smashing with Friday
night fish ‘n’ chips.

www.hunters.co.nz

2019 Quartz Reef
Bendigo Estate
Single Vineyard pinot gris

Price: $32
Rating: Excellent

A little struck match, comb
honey, savoury nuances, a
tanginess, pear growing
with aeration. Drier palate,
pear, dried herbs, citrus, a
chewiness to the mid
palate and spices on the
finish with a little warm
glow. Understated, dry,
fleshing out really nicely
building lovely texture
and this one quietly
grows on me. Time
pushes me higher on
the score as this swells.

www.quartzreef.co.nz

2020 Rabbit Ranch
Central Otago
pinot gris

Price: $20
Rating: Very good to
excellent

Attractively expressed nose,
stonefruit, spices, nuts,
savoury nuances, wine
gums with time. Texturally
rich, those characters
continuing on the palate,
adding an intriguing
banana skin note along
with a bittersweet
nuance that guides this
to a dry, almost oily
finish. Becomes more
and more tangy and
refreshing as it goes
along.
www.rabbitranch.co.nz

2019 Riverby Estate
Single Vineyard
Marlborough
gruner veltliner

Price: $22
Rating: Excellent

Peach, a peppery hint, ripe
nectarine, a beguiling
fragrance, lime zest and
white flowers with time.
Crisp, zesty acidity
countered by an almost
oily mouthfeel. Flecks of
dry honey, lemony citrus
on the finish. Develops an
attractive fruit pith like
chewiness.
Mouthwatering freshness
and raciness with a long,
fruit-filled finish.
Delightful.
www.riverbyestate.com

2018 Burn Cottage
Central Otago
riesling/gruner veltliner

Price: $55
Rating: Excellent

Fascinating nose with hints of
musk and warm baguette,
shifting to peach, white
pepper, lovely florality and a
darker element. Richly
textural mouthfeel
emphasising spiced
peach, dried herbs and
chamomile, before the
acidity rushes in to keep
this racy. A playful
vibrancy to the palate with
almond and pepper
nuances on the long close.
Delicious.

www.burncottage.com

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