Dream team selection

October 2, 2023
2 mins read
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PHIL PARKER ferrets out some truly impressive, gorgeous wines that’ll put a spring or two in your step. Just don’t fall down the stairs.

From premium South Island producers to an Aussie rosé, four classic French fine wines, and the very first English sparklers that I have ever sampled. I love my job.

Rockburn Central Otago Fumé Blanc 2022 $32
Oak ageing has added softness and complexity to this 100% sauvignon blanc. Gooseberry flavours and roasted red bell pepper. Flinty and mineral with creamy medium acids and a nudge of sweetness on the finish.
Available: Glengarry rockburn.co.nz

Penfolds Adelaide Hills Max’s Rosé 2022 $35
Light and delicate. With watermelon, raspberry, red skin apple and herbaceous passionfruit. Bone-dry.
Available: Liquorland.

Esprit Gassier Southern France Rosé 2021 $24
Very savoury and bone-dry Provence style. A blend of Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault and Rolle grapes. Slightly funky flavours of baked meat, but also cherry, strawberry, mushroom, and truffle.
Available: Dhall & Nash, Fine O Wine, blackmarket.co.nz

Domaine Tetsut Chablis Vielles Vignes 2021 $40
Fab wine. 100% lightly oaked chardonnay from the traditional Chablis region of Burgundy in France. Vielles Vignes translates as ‘old vines.’ Creamy, rich and very approachable as a young wine. Ripe apricot and peach, with a hint of Manuka honey and a mineral, tangy long finish.
Available: Dhall & Nash, Fine O Wine, blackmarket.co.nz

Domaine Tetsut Petit Chablis 2022 $35
Restrained and elegant, compared to the Vielles Vignes. Produced from the Masalles clone of chardonnay. Mineral, crisp and yeasty with lemon citrus, fresh-cut pineapple, and a hint of herbal thyme.
Available: Dhall & Nash, blackmarket.co.nz

Pegasus Bay North Canterbury Pinot Noir 2021 $57
Ripe, gorgeous and inky. Dark berry fruits, with crème de cassis and dark chocolate. Umami soy and truffle/mushroom savoury flavours, with fruitcake spicy lengthy finish.
Available: Pt Chev Organic wines, Fine O Wines, pegasusbay.com

Pegasus Bay North Canterbury Cabernet Franc 2020 $35
Another stunningly good wine from the South Island. Cab franc is normally blended into Bordeaux-style reds, but it is emerging in NZ as a single-variety wine. Spicy, ripe, full-bodied, and generous with plum, savoury umami, blackberry fruits, medium tannins, and a lengthy finish.
Available: vinofino.co.nz  pegasusbay.com

Pegasus Bay North Canterbury Merlot Cabernet 2020 $35
And … another ripper from Pegasus Bay. Ripe, generous, bold and spicy. Earthy mushroom and a hint of truffle. Ripe blackberry, boysenberry, Cuban cigar, raspberry, spicy anise, black olive, and fruitcake.
Available: Fine O Wines, Pt Chev Organic wines, Caro’s blackmarket.co.nz pegasusbay.com

Digby Fine English Vintage Reserve Brut 2013 $98
From southern England. I kid thee not. Frothy mousse of fine bubbles, with delicate melon and straw, crisp lime citrus acidity and a big hit of yeasty brioche, and a creamy dry finish.  Highly recommended. Huzzah!
Available: Dhall & Nash

Charles Le Bel ‘Inspiration 1818’ Champagne NV Brut $84
Delicate and elegant dry style, with a restrained palate of poached apple, yeasty croissant, a hint of rock melon and lemon curd.
Available: Dhall & Nash

Digby Fine English Vintage Leander Pink NV Brut $98
Savoury aromas, with a hint-of-a-tad of smokiness on the palate. Strawberries & cream, and bone-dry with sour cherry, almond and yeasty tangy finish. Jolly good.
Available: Dhall & Nash

Rockburn Central Otago Tigermoth Riesling 2022 $30
A sweet dessert style at 10% alcohol. Flavours of beeswax, ginger in syrup and apricot, with a crisp lemon citrus finish. Creamy medium acids and a lengthy finish.
Available: Glengarry rockburn.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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