Wine time: 12 autumnal beauts

March 14, 2024
2 mins read

PHIL PARKER has been doing a lot of drinking with one purpose in mind: to find 12 bottles of recommendable wine just for you.

Here’s hoping for a dry and lengthy Indian summer and good vintage, with no deluge surprises.

Vavasour Awatere Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2022 $24
Classic dry and grassy Sav. Bone dry with ripe honeydew melon, black currant, fresh-cut green bell pepper, thyme, and passionfruit. Lengthy herbaceous finish.
Available: Herne Bay Cellars

Whyte  Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2023 $16
Soft and herbal, restrained and elegant. Guava, passionfruit, hint of citrus and feijoa.
Available: Dhall & Nash

Saint Clair Wairau Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2023 $37
Award-winning superb Sav. Full-flavoured and complex, with ripe passionfruit, pink guava, roast bell pepper and cape gooseberry, with a lengthy crisp finish.
Available: Caro’s

Whyte Estate Chardonnay Marlborough 2022 $16
Light style, easy drinking Chardonnay. Minimal oak influence, with a creamy soft palate of poached apricot, with a hint of nougat, and a tangy yeasty finish.
Available: Dhall & Nash

Bohemian The Poet Hawkes Bay Pinot Gris $26
Unctuous and rich, with canned peach, ginger, honeysuckle jasmine and clover honey. A hint of sweetness and a lengthy dry tangy finish.
Available: Dhall & Nash

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 28 ‘Camp Block’ Marlborough Pinot Blanc 2020 $20
Bone dry and elegant and a tad funky, with flavours of quinine, dried apricot, a hint of herbs and wild honey. Very lengthy and tangy, dry finish.
Available: Caro’s and


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Bohemian The Composer Gewürztraminer Alsace  Germany 2022 $22
Just nudging dry but in a lush and voluptuous style. Almost creamy and spicy with poached pear, a hint of lychee and Turkish Delight and a tangy yeasty lengthy finish.
Available: Dhall & Nash

Mt Difficulty Bannockburn Otago Pinot Rosé 2021 $27
Complex, dry and seriously good. Not remotely a quaffing porch pounder. It has a tannic backbone from oak barrel fermentation. Flavours of cranberry, guava, strawberry, and red apple skin with a tangy dry finish. 14% alcohol.

Bohemian The Dancer Hawke’s Bay Rosé 2023 $26
A blush of apricot pink, bone dry and slightly tannic. Restrained and elegant with hints of red summer berry fruit, minerality, yeasty tang, and savoury spice.
Available: Dhall & Nash

Martinborough Vineyard Te Tera Pinot Noir 2021 $31
Soft, silky and ripe. Classic Martinborough Pinot Noir. Spicy, with a hint of manuka chip smoke, dark cherry and red berries, liquorice and cassis.
Available: Widely. Also Caro’s Bottle-O

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 5 Bull Block Marlborough Pinot Noir 2021 $45 approx.
Trophy-winning wine. Seductively smooth and integrated. Predominantly umami savoury flavours of  Cuban cigar, liquorice, roast meat and smoked mushroom. Opens up with cassis, plum and dark cherry. Superb.
Available: and

Santa Ana Eco Cabernet Sauvignon Argentina  (organic) 2021 $24
Ripe and softly generous with a core of earthy flavours. Black Doris plum, cherry nougat, a hint of spicy clove, cassis, liquorice, Cuban cigar. A soft dry finish. Great value.
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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