Summer wine

November 30, 2023
1 min read

PHIL PARKER is back with a fab selection of wines to share with your nearest and dearest over the festive season.

Main Divide North Canterbury Sauvignon Blanc 2023 $23
A fresh young thing from this year’s vintage. Very approachable with medium acids, lashings of ripe gooseberry, passionfruit, rock melon and green tomato. Crisp, clean finish with a skerrick of sweetness.

Main Divide North Canterbury Riesling 2022 $22
Bargain. A very easy-drinking fruit-burst style with soft acids and medium sweetness. Lemon squash, honeysuckle, jasmine and rock melon, with a hint of passionfruit.
Available: Pt Chev Organic wines

Main Divide North Canterbury Pinot Gris 2021 $22
A very different style from the Main Divide riesling, as above. Dry and complex with dominant funky, yeasty flavours. Spiced pear, quinine, rock melon and a hint of clover honey.

Millton Te Arai Vineyard Gisborne Chenin Blanc 2021 (vegan/organic)  $35
Biodynamic winemakers, Millton have been famous for chenin blanc and were the first certified organic winery in NZ. Gorgeous wine. Opening up just nudging medium sweet creamy palate of fresh cut pineapple, clover honey, stewed apple, and a soft tangy yeasty finish.
Available: Pt. Chev Organic Wines

Pegasus Bay North Canterbury Bel Canto Dry Riesling 2022 $37
At a deceptive 14% alcohol, an intensely flavoured wine made from low-cropping vineyard management. Citrus blossom, green apple, funky and flinty. Dried apricot, orange peel, and Manuka honey, with a dry finish.
Available: Glengarry, Caro’s

Poppies Martinborough Gewürztraminer 2020 $55
Shayne and Katy ‘Poppy’ Hammond, the viticulturist/winemaker husband and wife team at Dry River, launched their own Poppies label in 2013. This wine is lush, floral and gorgeous. Flavours of lychee, jasmine and Turkish delight in an off-dry style with a crisp citrus finish.

Main Divide North Canterbury Pinot Noir 2021 $26
Very much on the savoury, funky umami pinot spectrum. Truffle, mushroom, and smoky bacon with cigar, vegemite and cassis. Medium bodied.

Parés Baltà Materia Prima Orange (vegan/organic/sulphite-free) Penedès Spain 2022 $39
Copper blush colour. Made with biodynamic indigenous xarel-lo grapes and fermented on gewürztraminer skins. Astringent, tangy and yeasty. Dry and crisp with mandarin citrus, orange marmalade and medium tannins.
Available: Dhall & Nash

Parés Baltà Materia Prima Pét-nat (vegan/organic/sulphite-free) NV Penedès Spain $30
Unlike the Champagne method, where there is a second fermentation in the bottle, a pét-nat is simply bottled before the initial fermentation has ended. This wine is clear, clean, crisp and yeasty. Slightly funky and almost astringently dry, with a hint of apple and clover honey, and fine beaded frothy bubbles. 11.5% alcohol.
Available: Dhall & Nash


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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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