Empty Nester Part 4

December 7, 2021
3 mins read

Witchdoctor Wine guru PHIL PARKER copes with his daughter having flown the nest with a veritable tsunami of free grog.

You may recall that last month, I was languishing and self-medicating with wine in order to cope with my 19-year-old daughter’s unscheduled lockdown visit in Level 3.

Well, I’m pleased to report that she flew back to Victoria when granted a 24-hour window to fly the coop. She gleefully calls us from Traffic Light Orange Wellington, where for months she has been attending plays, eating out and treating herself to cocktail bars. Grrr.


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Anyway, a lot of wines this month. There has been a veritable tsunami of trade samples couriered to my abode. Whoo-hoo and off we go…


Saint Clair Pioneer Block 1 Foundation Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2021 $21
If like me – you find some savs a bit too assertive, this is a very approachable style with softer acids. Generous palate of blackcurrant, cape gooseberry and green tomato. Match with smoked salmon or mussels.
Available: Widely. Also, Fine Wine Delivery Co., and saintclair.co.nz

Saint Clair Wairau Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2021 $35
More traditional style this time. Herbal, crisp and dry with gooseberry, passionfruit and blackcurrant. Match with freshly shucked oysters or steamed mussels.
Available: Widely. Also, Glengarry, Caro’s and saintclair.co.nz

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 10 Twin Hills Marlborough Chardonnay 2020 $35
In the slightly reductive style with a nudge of funkiness on the nose and palate. Just the same, it has a creamy, unctuous profile with hazelnut, grapefruit and mandarin citrus finish. Match with chicken and pine nut salad, or creamy pasta.
Available: Widely and saintclair.co.nz

Johanneshof Marlborough Gewürztraminer 2020 $30
From a consistent producer of fantastic wines. A voluptuous and full-bodied aromatic wine. Typical gewürzt aromas of Turkish delight, with a hint of mandarin citrus and a lengthy tangy yeasty finish. Lovely unctuous and rich palate. Great with Vietnamese or Malaysian cuisine.
Available: widely.

Mission Hawkes Bay Gewürztraminer 2021 $13
Great value. Rich and perfumed, with Turkish delight, ripe mandarin, and a hint of toffee. Lengthy finish. Fab with a cheese board, pork dishes and mildly spicy Asian foods.
Available: Widely

Pegasus Bay North Canterbury Bel Canto Dry Riesling 2020 $40
Crisp, dry and full flavoured. Aromas of grapefruit marmalade and orange peel. Rich and unctuous, with flavours of beeswax, ripe grapefruit, and apricot. Match with a cheese board, rich seafood dishes, or Pad Thai.
Available: pegasusbay.com, Fine Wine Delivery Co.

Old Coach Road Nelson Riesling 2018 $14.59
Just nudging off-dry at 13% alcohol, this wine is produced by Seifred Estate wines. Another bargain. Herbaceous and crisp, with flavours of grapefruit citrus and a typical riesling beeswax character. Match with Asian foods, scallops, or slow-cooked rich pork dishes.
Available: Widely

Domaine Rene Muré Les Iris Alsace Pinot Blanc 2018 $24
From an Alsatian family winery dating back to 1650, this is a taut and crisp take on pinot blanc. Aromas of resin and grape skins. Clean and bone-dry palate of dried fruit and lime citrus. Great with light pasta dishes.
Available: www.advintage.co.nz, Peter Maud Fine Wines www.pmfw.co.nz

Domaine Rene Muré Les Iris Alsace Pinot Gris 2018 $24
Softer than the pinot blanc, this wine is off-dry with flavours of apple juice, clover honey and canned peach. Match with white fish dishes.
Available: www.advintage.co.nz, Peter Maud Fine Wines www.pmfw.co.nz

Trentham Estate 52 and Cloudy Victoria Australia Field Blend 2021 $AUD 25
An intriguing ‘field blend’ of 52 grape varieties from Trentham Estate’s display vineyard. A trade sample was kindly sent to me from Australia under our level 4 lockdown. Unfiltered and fermented with skin contact using wild yeasts. Cloudy in the glass. Bone-dry and crunchy with medium tannins. Flavours of cherry, plum and wine gums, with a yeasty tangy crisp finish. Great with a BBQ or hearty tomato pasta dish.
Available: trenthamestate.com.au

La Stoppa Trebbiolo Rosso Emilia IGT 2019 $27.50
A biodynamic organic wine from Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy. Youthful, ripe and sweetly voluptuous with a dash of rustic earthiness. Think young, pouty Gina Lollobrigida in a peasant frock. Cherry and plum flavours with medium acids and grippy tannins. A great BBQ wine or match with rich ratatouille.
Available: Start Superette, K Road.

Domaine des Pothiers Eclipse Methode Ancestrale 2019 $28
Eclipse is a biodynamic organic ‘methode ancestral’ (aka Pet Nat) sparkling gamay noir rosé from the northern Loire Valley. Medium off-dry with red berry fruit flavours and a strawberries and cream palate. Delightfully fizzy with fine beaded bubbles and hint of savoury umami. Lovely aperitif or with light spring salads.
Available: Fine O Wine, Pt. Chev Organic Wines, bythebottle.co.nz

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Originally a physiotherapist, Phil's fascination with the fermented grape juice led to the launch of his wine tour company Auckland Fine Wine & Food Tours at the turn of the century. A seasoned and well-respected wine writer, Phil's oenophilia led to the publication of his wine region guide to New Zealand, The Mad Keen Wine Buff's Road Trip (Random House).

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