Individuality in wine – eight recommendations

PHIL PARKER’s been auditioning some very individual wines and mixing it up between fine drops from both the Aussies with the Kiwis.


First up, a stunning rosé from Matakana’s Heron’s Flight family winery. Then three premium wines from North Canterbury’s Pegasus Bay. Finally, four hearty Australian reds from the Taylors Estate range, grown in Clare Valley and Limestone Coast cool climate regions of south-eastern Australia.

Heron’s Flight Matakana Dolcetto Rosato 2020 $28
Vibrant fuchsia pink colour. Aromas of red summer berries and a palate of sour cherry, pomegranate, watermelon and plum. Rich and vibrant with a hint of sweetness and a crisp slightly spritzy finish. Great match for antipasto and as an aperitif.

Pegasus Bay Virtuoso North Canterbury Chardonnay 2019 $65
If you’re a fan of the ‘reductive’ style of chardonnay, this is the wine for you. It’s as funky as James Brown in a red velvet jumpsuit. The wine sat on yeast residue for 12 months in a 500-litre French barrel before bottling. On the nose, there’s a big hit of struck match. The palate is very dry with flavours of ripe grapefruit, lime zest and yeasty brioche. Good food match for a rich and creamy chicken, seafood, or pasta dish.
Available: Fine Wine Delivery Co.,

Pegasus Bay North Canterbury Chardonnay 2019 $45 
Similarly in the funky style but not quite as punchy as the Virtuoso.  Toasty oak, grapefruit marmalade and nectarine with a long tangy finish. Food matches – as for Virtuoso.

Pegasus Bay North Canterbury Aged Release Riesling 2012 $40
A lovely dessert-style riesling made from late picked grapes with a portion affected by ‘noble rot’. Sweetness is balanced with a complex palate of honey, beeswax, tinned pineapple, and lychee. 12.5% alcohol. Food match – cheese board with dried fruit.
Available: Caro’s,

Taylors Estate Merlot 2020 $16.00
Coming from a cooler climate than adjacent south Australia regions such as the Barossa, these wines clock in at about 14.5% alcohol and are led by fruit flavours rather than the stonkingly high alcohol you would usually associate with Aussie reds. This merlot is soft and has medium tannins, with flavours of cassis, liquorice and blackberry and a hint of black olive. Would be a fab match for a venison casserole or spaghetti puttanesca.
Available: widely

Taylors Estate Tempranillo 2020 $16.00
Softer than the merlot. Spiced plum, black cherry, cassis, liquorice, fruitcake, red berry fruits and medium tannins. Match with beef dishes or spicy tomato-rich lasagne.
Available: widely

Taylors Estate Clare Shiraz 2019 $16.00
Spent 12 months in American oak, medium style with cigar box, mocha, cherry, black pepper and a hint of eucalyptus. Match with beef dishes or spicy ratatouille.
Available: widely

Taylors Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 $16.00
The biggest of the four wines, this has the typical cabernet minty palate, with boysenberry, blueberry, dark chocolate, and hint of dustiness. My food suggestion – Lamb, or a rich tomato vege lasagne
Available: widely


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