Wine Tasting Notes

We want your recipient to LOVE their gift, and we know that wine tastes can vary.
Which is why we make it easy to change out the wine selection in each gift box to suit personal preferences.
Below are some notes on each of the different wines that we offer to help with your selection. 

WHITE WINE

The Ned Pinot Gris 750ml
The brainchild of winemaker Brent Marris, of Wither Hills fame, the Ned by Marisco vineyards is located at the top of New Zealand's South island in Marlborough. The Ned was a product of Brent Marris' vision to turn a vineyard property into an iconic hub of a future winery, and the brand continues to push the boundaries and get the best out of this variety.

The Ned 2014 Pinot Gris delivers up layers of ginger spice and ripe persimmon flavour, with the persistent floral lift of old fashioned roses. A nose of pear drop, blossom and nectarine leading to a palate that is softer, richer and more tropical in flavour than its European counterpart. Extended skin contact on a selection of the ripest fruit parcels is essential for promoting the signature coral pink colour of The Ned Pinot Gris. Equally important is the positive effect this technique has on enhancing the wine’s overall richness and mouth feel, providing the perfect counterpoint to the fine and slightly drying tannin texture that dominates the long, spicy finish.

A highly versatile food wine, this will taste great alongside all manner of fresh salads and creamy pastas.

The Ned Sauvignon Blanc 750ml
Marisco Vineyards, home of world renowned brands The Ned & The Kings Series, is located in the Waihopai Valley, Marlborough - a location which provides a near perfect environment for producing wines of startling character. Owned and operated by Brent (Chief Winemaker) and Rosemary Marris, Marisco vineyards is a progressive wine company committed to building brands and taking the unique Marlborough wine story to the world.

Vibrant aromatic notes of lemongrass and Kaffir lime zest leap from the glass, leaving you in no doubt, this is classic Waihopai Sauvignon Blanc. The citrus fuelled aromatic thread that dominates the nose, carries through to the palate with concentrated flavours of mandarin and musky pink grapefruit, all threaded beautifully by a pristine, mineral acidity.


Drink now with fresh salads, seafood or oriental food. Try a fresh green salad that contrasts the spicy crunch of watercress with the savoury creaminess of Chevre, or for something a little more substantial, a crayfish risotto with garden fresh peas and asparagus.

Allan Scott Sauvignon Blanc 750ml
One of the very first, back in 1975, to put a spade into stony Marlborough soils and plant grapevines, Allan Scott has very much been there, done that. As head of his eponymous vinous empire, he has over decades forged a reputation for exacting quality and gone on to establish a strongly family-oriented award-winning enterprise.

Big punchy gooseberry and passionfruit aromatics immediately take you to Marlborough. The wine floods onto the palate savouring the rich fruity flavours while filling the mid-palate with seamless ease, finishing dry and exquisite. This wine has excellent balance and excellent drinkability. Crisp, fresh, tasty. All you would expect from a classic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.


This wine is always sensational with fresh Marlborough seafood, or try it paired with West Coast whitebait fritters.

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 3 43 Degrees Sauvignon Blanc 750ml
Saint Clair Family Estate Wines is owned by Neal and Judy Ibbotson, viticulture pioneers in Marlborough since 1978. Grapes were originally supplied to local wine companies; however a desire to extend the quality achieved in the vineyard through to the finished wine led to the establishment of Saint Clair Family Estate Wines. From 1994 when wines from the first vintage all won medals including gold, the name Saint Clair has been synonymous with quality and its award-winning record continues today.

The rows of vines in this vineyard are planted at an unusual angle of 43 degrees north-east to south-west. The effect of the 43 degree angle of these vines is evident in the contrast of tropical fruits and herbaceous aromas. Passionfruit and gooseberry combine with crushed green herbs and a richly lingering finish. Drinking beautifully now and best enjoyed over the next two years.

A perfect companion for seafood, this wine also complements fresh vegetarian cuisine.

Esk Valley Chardonnay 750ml
Situated in the north of Hawkes Bay, Esk Valley Estate could be considered one of the most spectacular winery sites in the country, with stunning views of the ocean and an enviable location –sitting directly off one of the busiest state highways in the country.

This is a full bodied yet elegant style of Hawkes Bay Chardonnay exhibiting aromas of peach and melon intermingled with hints of butter, grapefruit and French oak spice.


This Chardonnay is perfectly suited to rich seafood or white meat dishes.

Lake Chalice Raptor Chardonnay Marlborough 750ml
In 1989 Chris Gambitsis and Phil Binnie, in true kiwi fashion, jumped in the deep end, and set about establishing the notoriously stony Falcon Vineyard. They named their fledgling operation Lake Chalice Wines, after the wilderness lake in the Richmond range bordering the north of the Wairau Plain, and adopted the stunning New Zealand Falcon (Karearea) as their emblem.

A full-bodied, creamily textural Chardonnay awash with peach and nectarine characters on the nose and palate, enhanced by underlying toasty nuances and a touch of spice. Deliciously warm and food-friendly.


Perfect paired with roast pork, lamb, chicken or turkey, served with soft textured vegetables, or seafood chowders and soft, creamy cheeses on crusty bread.

The Ned Pinot Rose 750ml
The brainchild of winemaker Brent Marris, of Wither Hills fame, the Ned by Marisco vineyards is located at the top of New Zealand's South island in Marlborough. The Ned was a product of Brent Marris' vision to turn a vineyard property into an iconic hub of a future winery, and the brand continues to push the boundaries and get the best out of this variety.

The aroma of The Ned Pinot Rose offers up a classic bouquet of red berries and cream, enriched by a broader element of tree-ripened persimmon with high-toned, rose-tinged notes. The palate is neatly rounded, with a fleshy mouthful with that same creamy, summer berry fruits running through its core; all neatly balanced with bright, crisp acidity.


A perfect match for seafood based rice dishes like risotto or paella.

SPARKLING AND CHAMPAGNE

Daniel Le Brun Methode Champenoise NV Brut 750ml
Daniel Le Brun represents best in class New Zealand méthode – the finest Marlborough grapes crafted to the traditional French recipe. Heralding from Marlborough, the pioneering history of Daniel Le Brun is one of hard graft, sheer tenacity and a drive for excellence. The culmination of 12 generations of French champagne-making experience, Daniel Le Brun has an enviable pedigree that combined with its Marlborough provenance (arguably one of the world’s best sparkling wine-growing regions outside of Champagne itself) creates this award-winning New Zealand méthode.

A bright straw colour with a steady bead of small bubbles offers a fine and persistent mousse. The aromatics consist of clean, fresh strawberry, citrus and orange peel balanced with complex biscuit and bread characters. The palate offers fresh and lively acidity showing perfect integration of yeast-derived autolysis and nutty characters accompanied with elegant primary fruit flavours.


Serve as an aperitif or alongside delicately flavoured seafood such as scallops or oysters.

Morton Estate Premium Methode Champenoise NV Brut 750ml

Morton Estates vineyards are concentrated in Hawkes Bay on the East coast of the North Island, and Marlborough on the Northern tip of the South Island, both well-recognised regions for producing outstanding white wines. As an independent, privately owned company, Morton Estate is fiercely committed to wine making as an art, not just as a business.

A complex style with nutty flavours and a foaming creamy texture, it's delicate in its attack yet has lots of body and is persistent in its lingering flavour. Nutty, creamy, lightly floral with a hint of strawberry add subtle sweetness to the finish, offering sophisticated drinking.

Match with seafood or light poultry, or as an aperitif.

Mumm Cordon Rouge Champagne Brut 750ml
G. H. Mumm, situated in Reims in northern France, is one of the largest Champagne producers. Since 1827, the history of G. H. Mumm Champagne details a century and a half of passion. The flagship of the House of G. H. Mumm has long been associated with celebration, refinement, prestige and joie de vivre.

This champagne is a brightly sparkling, light golden yellow liquid with an abundance of fine and elegant bubbles. The nose reveals initial aromas of ripe fresh fruit (white and yellow peaches, apricots) and tropical notes of lychee and pineapple. It then opens up with the fragrance of vanilla before developing notes of milky caramel, breadcrumbs and yeast, culminating in aromas of dried fruit and honey. An explosion of freshness in the mouth, followed by strong persistence. The complex aromas of fresh fruit and caramel perpetuate the intensity.


Enjoy alongside hors d’oeuvres such as savoury puff pastries, canapés and tapas.


RED WINE 

Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet 750ml
Since its first vintage in 1976, Koonunga Hill's reputation has been built upon its affordable price and approachability in its youth, with the potential to develop if carefully cellared. Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet is very much a reflection of the Penfolds winemaking style and philosophy. 

Sourced from premium vineyards across South Australia, the wine is known for its full-flavoured style with excellent Shiraz and Cabernet fruit, firm yet well-rounded structure and balanced oak. Made as a traditional 'Australian blend', the Shiraz component provides fleshy fruit flavour while Cabernet provides a frame of fine grained tannins. Dark sour-cherry, blackberry, rhubarb fruits abound. Aromas of malt/oats/wheat germ with a green olive and pomegranate alert. A white chocolate mousse/creamy dairy chocolate flavour/texture amalgam. On the finish, a charry/smokey impression.

A great barbeque wine, pair this with beef, lamb and spicy foods, as well as mature and hard cheese.

Brancott Estate Terroir Series Pinot Noir 750ml
More than 30 years after this vineyard introduced the world to Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, a wine style unlike anything experienced before, this vineyard continues to craft award-winning wines loved all over the world.

Made from carefully selected blocks in the Awatere Valley, this Pinot Noir is a very elegant wine with lifted berry aromatics and a juicy palate; true to origins, it showcases what the Awatere Valley wines can offer us. This wine is deep, garnet red in colour. The nose presents lifted violets and blueberry aromas complemented by raspberry liquorice with hints of anise. The palate is rich and tangy with juicy forest berries and subtle savoury oak notes finishing with very silky tannins.


Perfect for dinner parties, this wine will be a great match for delicate meat dishes, field mushrooms risottos and roasted root vegetable salads.

Vidal Estate Reserve Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Hawkes Bay 750ml
In 1888 Anthony Joseph Vidal arrived in New Zealand and was one of the first winemakers to appreciate the natural potential of Hawkes Bay. He established Vidal Estate in 1905 and his commitment to crafting classic, elegant wines remains an inspiration to this day, producing well balanced and understated wines.

The nose is refined in presentation and elegantly concentrated with rich, ripe aromas of spicy black plums and liquorice notes, along with ripe blackcurrant and cassis elements. The fruit is lifted by spicy, toasty oak. Medium-full bodied and elegantly proportioned, this has a tightly bound core of succulent and sweetly ripe black plum and blackberry fruit, along with liquorice and lifted spicy, toasty new oak. The tannins are refined and provide a smooth-flowing, fine-textured structure and line, carrying the wine to a long, lingering finish of plums, spices and oak. This is a very elegant and refined, succulent Merlot/Cabernet blend with sweet and spicy fruit and oak.


Match with lamb, beef and venison over the next 6-8 years.

Selaks Reserve Syrah 750ml
Selaks wines, honouring a long and lasting family tradition, are dedicated to producing carefully crafted wines offering a pure expression of classic New Zealand varietal styles. Founded on an emphasis of careful, consistent winemaking that brings families together, which continues to this day.

Fruit for this wine was grown in the Stewart and Selaks Home vineyards in the red metal soils of the Hawkes Bay. These vineyards have produced excellent quality grapes with exceptional flavours and firm tannins. A lifted blackberry nose with appealing oak notes and signature black pepper. A soft, mouth-filling wine with immediate appeal and drinkability. Sweet blackberry flavours on the mid palate with soft, ripe, dusty tannins. A medium length with a long, satisfying finish.


Match with pot roast beef, a rich game casserole or the darker meat of roast birds such as turkey or goose.

Esk Valley Gimlet Gravels Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec
Situated in the north of New Zealand’s picturesque Hawkes Bay, at Bay View is the Esk Valley Estate winery. A boutique winery, unique in that many of the techniques used to craft its award-winning wines are dictated by the winery itself. The old concrete vats, the layout of the buildings, and the absence of modern technology mean the people at Esk Valley make wine in a simple, honest, hands-on way.

This is a full bodied and rich Hawkes Bay blend, densely coloured and exhibiting a bouquet of plums, red fruits, dried herbs and hints of oak. The palate is soft and generous in nature, making it easy to enjoy as a young wine; however well-ripened tannins suggest it has the potential to age exceptionally well.

Enjoy with most meat and game dishes, but especially lamb.

The Ned Pinot Noir 750ml
Marisco Vineyards, home of world renowned brands The Ned & The Kings Series, is located in the Waihopai Valley, Marlborough - a location which provides a near perfect environment for producing wines of startling character. Owned and operated by Brent (Chief Winemaker) and Rosemary Marris, Marisco vineyards is a progressive wine company committed to building brands and taking the unique Marlborough wine story to the world.

Another fantastically warm Marlborough growing season has yielded a ripe, dense fruit-based bouquet reminiscent of mixed summer berry fruits, underpinned by darker, more savoury elements of leaf mulch and smoke. As with the aroma, the palate is very much centred on a core of dense, ripe berry fruit flavour wrapped up in this super supple, silken tannin texture that harbours just enough acid freshness to keep things bright and lively. Whilst dangerously drinkable on release this wine will become deeper, rounder and more complex with careful cellaring over the next five to seven years.


A food match is the most classic of Kiwi wine and food combo’s; herb encrusted lamb racks served with hasselback potatoes and your favourite new season green vegetables.

Scott Base Pinot Noir 2015 750ml
Scott Base wines are made with all the experience and enthusiasm that comes with many years of winemaking. Single vineyard wines produced in Central Otago, they are made only in small quantities, carefully crafted to give full expression to their regional characters.

The Scott Base Pinot Noir exhibits classic Central Otago aromatics of ripe cherries, raspberries and wild thyme. The palate is full of primary fruits and finishes with smooth tannins and oak sweetness. Light ruby-red colour with purple hues and some depth at the heart, lighter edged. The nose is softly concentrated with harmoniously interwoven aromas of dark red cherry fruit with delicate nuances of thyme herbs and spices, and aromatic red floral elements. This is a fresh, vibrant, fruit-focussed Pinot Noir with flavours of red cherries and a lively, supple mouthfeel.


Ideal with patés and salami, this wine matches beautifully with beef and lamb dishes, and try also pairing with game. Don’t be afraid to serve with a dark chocolate mousse either.

Drink now or cellar for up to 5 years.

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