JB’s Wine Reviews 2024

Wines Tasted During 2024

Here is a list of all the wines I’ve tasted and reviewed in 2024 – feel free to browse and if there are any you’d like to try, just click the link for each wine to visit the producer’s website. All my wine tasting notes are posted to the NZ Wine Directory Social Media too.

Wines listed in order of tasting with the latest first. Cheers, JB

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February 2024

Outside the Box ‘Clay Pot Potion Number IV’ Pinot Noir Rosé 2022 Marlborough NZ
This is interesting – Pinot Noir fermented & aged in Ceramic Clavers, but with oak from old bourbon & rum barrels. Medium salmon pink in colour with copper hues, slight oily viscosity. A pretty floral nose with aromas of red berries, stone-fruit, plum & spice. Juicy, ripe berry & plum flavours on the palate, fine acidity, lots of texture & mouthfeel from time on lees and slightly grippy tannins on the finish. A new approach to tasty Pinot Rose wine. Recommend you try this! RRP:$32.00 https://outsidetheboxwines.co.nz/

Outside the Box ‘Clay Pot Potion Number III’ Pinot Noir 2021, Marlborough NZ
Bright ruby to cherry red in colour to the rim, medium bodied wine. A pretty floral nose has aromas of summer berries, blackberry, raspberry & cherry notes. The palate is quite lush with fruit flavours reflecting the nose, juicy berries & firm / chalky tannins, there’s a slight green-stalk acidity but that’s rounded out by layers of complexity & texture – a long bone-dry finish with the focus on the fruit flavours & 14% adding warmth. Marlborough Pinot Noir with no oak you say? Try it, you may like it – I do. RRP: $32.00 https://outsidetheboxwines.co.nz/

Outside the Box ‘Clay Pot Potion Number II’ Chardonnay 2021, Marlborough NZ
Whole bunch Mendoza, fermented and aged in a Ceramic Clayver, this wine is pale lemon in colour, slightly hazy with fine residual solids in the bottle. Quite a subtle nose with stone-fruit & lemon aromas predominant then light yeasty / nutty notes follow. A creamy rounded palate has sweet peach / stone-fruit & lemon citrus flavours, nicely textured from 8 months maturation with lees stirring in the Clavers. Medium length finish, with complexity and a wee citrus bite – juicy & fruity, not oakey & buttery with the focus on the fruit characters. Very nice & very drinkable. RRP$32.00 https://outsidetheboxwines.co.nz/

‘Clay Pot Potion Number I’ Sauvignon Blanc 2021, Marlborough NZ
Fermented and aged in Ceramic Clayvers, this wine is shiny pale straw in colour with bright lemon hues. The fragrant nose has tropical fruit, pineapple, guava & ripe citrus notes leading into a vibrant fruit-driven palate with juicy grape-fruit & lime flavours. There’s this wonderful crisp acid backbone & layers of texture from a ‘high solids’ ferment & eight months maturing on lees in the Clayvers, all culminating in a long concentrated grippy finish – a very tasty, crunchy & delicious savvy. RRP:$32.00 https://outsidetheboxwines.co.nz/

Joy de Vivre Wines (JDV) Summer Rosé 2020, Hawke’s Bay, NZ
Merlot predominant, medium pink in colour with copper hues, bright & clear. Aromas of apple, stone-fruit, sweet berries & spice notes in the nose. Softer berry-fruit flavoured palate with a gentle grape-fruit acidity – medium sweet berry finish. Still drinking nicely but has lost a little of the JDV! Made by Mills Reef Wine-maker Cam Duke. No longer made or available unfortunately.

Piwakawaka Viognier 2020, Gisborne NZ
Bright lemon gold in colour, pale green hues medium viscosity. Fragrant & floral nose, sweet stone-fruit, apricot & nectarine aromas. The palate is clean & fresh still with concentrated stone-fruit / apricot flavours, a hint of honey, soft nicely integrated acidity & fine textural elements in balance – refreshing finish. Grown organically, this is a passion project for Steve and Kristin on their 2 hectare Gisborne vineyard. RRP: $30.00 https://piwakawakawines.co.nz/

Clearview Estate ‘Cape Kidnappers’ Syrah 2021, Hawke’s Bay NZ
From the Cellar / Wine tasting at the 4th Wall Theatre Wine Club with Michelle Fraser last year. Mid red cherry in colour to the rim, slightly translucent med bodied. A floral nose with aromas of dark berry fruit & subtle oak & pepper / spice notes. Lovely smooth palate with flavours of berry, plum, licorice and spices reflecting the nose, soft silky tannins, & a fine mineral / acid backbone, long dry concentrated fruity finish. Nice match with our fillet steaks the other night. Highly Recommended. RRP: $27.00 Current 2022 vintage available at: https://www.clearviewestate.co.nz/

January 2024

Alana Estate Riesling 2019, Martinborough NZ
Another from the cellar – purchased a few vintages of this Riesling a couple of years ago – last of the 2019… Pale straw in colour with green hues, clear and bright, medium bodied, nice viscosity. Lovely floral nose with honeyed stone-fruit, lime & lemon aromas, a whiff of kero! The palate is dry & crisp with an intense & delicious lemon / lime acidity and juicy citrus fruit flavours, nicely textured & aging beautifully. A crisp clean and concentrated finish. Yum! 20 & 21 are the current vintages.
RRP: $16.00 to $18.00 https://alana.co.nz/

October 30 Chardonnay 2019 Matakana NZ
Lemon / gold with pale green hues – nice legs! Apricot, peach & sweet apple aromas in the nose, vanilla & nutty oak notes. The palate is medium weighted, creamy & textured with stone-fruit, citrus & nutty flavours – juicy, grippy acidity & fine oak influence provide body & structure. Nicely balanced / integrated wine with a moreish long finish. A lovely organic chardonnay made with minimal intervention. Delicious! Still drinking beautifully! https://october30.nz/

Floray Wines ‘Sama’ Pinot Noir 2022, Masterton, Wairarapa NZ
Mid red cherry to purple in colour, lighter at the rim, lighter bodied young wine. In the nose there’s ripe plums & dark berry fruit aromas, then a hint of savoury earth. The plum & berry fruit are reflected on the palate with a fresh acidity & soft silky tannins, all supported with a little oak spice, Nicely integrated, concentrated, dry but fruity forward finish! Young but showing promise. A 50-50% blend of 777 & Abel clones, best bunches from vineyard were hand harvested, de-stemmed, whole berry fermented separately on skins 4 weeks, then both batches pressed to blend, aged in old neutral French oak barrels for 18 months, bottled un-fined & unfiltered with a small amount of SO2 to protect the wine during bottling. Unfortunately Floray is no longer producing this but some may still be available at Boutique Connection or contact RRP: $35.00 Floray on Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/floray_wines/

Floray Wines ‘Sama’ Pinot Noir 2021, Masterton Wairarapa NZ
Dark cherry red in colour, translucent wine, lighter at the rim, medium bodied. In the nose aromatic savoury herb gamey notes, dark berries & hints of spice / oak. Fresh black & red berry fruit flavours on the palate, a slighty tart but juicy acidity, gently gripping tannins & subtle oak influence all in harmony. Long dry finish with a wee zing! Hand harvested, 100% whole bunch, full-carbonic, naturally fermented, 30 months in old French oak no SO2 then bottled un-fined un-filtered, subtle SO2 added to protect the wine during bottling. Unfortunately Floray is no longer producing this but some may still be available at Boutique Connection or contact Floray on Instagram. RRP:$38.00 https://www.instagram.com/floray_wines/

Floray Wines ‘Sama’ Pinot Noir Rose 2022, Masterton Wairarapa NZ
Light salmon pink in colour, pale orange hues, medium bodied, light haze & some fine sediment present. Aromas of cherry, plum & spice on the nose – slight leesy notes. On the palate, more cherry & plum fruit, a bright acid backbone & fine, slightly chalky tannins adding depth, Long fresh finish, a juicy crisp Rosé with a bit of weight. 10-5 & 777 clones of Pinot Noir from Maggie’s Vineyard were de-stemmed, macerated for 4 hours, gently pressed & fermented in tanks, aged in old French oak barrels on light lees, bottled unfined & unfiltered. Unfortunately Floray is no longer producing this but some may still be available at Boutique Connection or contact Floray on Instagram. RRP:$32.00 https://www.instagram.com/floray_wines/

Floray Wines ‘Sama’ Pinot Gris Rose (Skin Contact) 2022, Masterton Wairarapa NZ
Bright mid-orange in colour with copper hues, medium bodied, some fine solids remain. Immediate notes of ripe pears & oak spice in the nose, a hint of ginger-beer. On the palate the fruit supported by a grippy pear-skin texture & crunchy acidity all rounded out with subtle oak & a persistent dry finish. Only 11.4% too so quite quaff-able (serve lightly chilled.) Pinot Gris fermented on skins immediately pressed off to old French oak, light lees, no SO2 for 12 month before bottling with minimal sulphur. Sama means ‘time’ in Punjabi – The single most important ingredient in wine. Unfortunately Floray is no longer producing this but some may still be available at Boutique Connection or contact Floray on Instagram. RRP:$28.00 https://www.instagram.com/floray_wines/

Delta Estate Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc 2022, Marlborough NZ
Something a wee bit different but yum tonight – Pale straw with green/gold hues, brief bead with small bubbles. The fresh fruity nose is all about the passion-fruit, with a little stone-fruit & tart citrus aromas following. The fruit forward palate reflects the nose with juicy lemon & tropical fruit flavours, a nice zesty grapefruit acidity, whet stone minerality & a refreshing spritz on the finish. The re-usable ZORK closure was handy too. Great summer sipping! RRP: $25.00 https://www.deltawines.co.nz/

Unison ‘Merlin’s Reserve’ Merlot 2016 Gimblett Gravels, Hawke’s Bay NZ
Inky purple to black cherry in colour, opaque full bodied wine, lighter at the rim. On the Nose aromas of dark juicy plums, a whiff of leather, earth & subtle warm spice notes. On the palate, dark ‘fruitcake’ flavours, stewed plums & spices all supported by a softer acidity & silky tannins. Very smooth, long, dry finish. Only 1,134 bottles produced, Gimblett Gravels fruit, basket pressed, 20 months in oak, drinking nicely after 7+ years. If you like Merlot you this is made for you. RRP:$40.00 https://www.unisonvineyard.co.nz/

Supernatural Wine Co. ‘The Quiet Earth’ 2022 Martinborough NZ.
Medium cherry to ruby red in colour, translucent but a slight haze in the glass. The nose is concentrated & bright with red & dark berry / cherry fruit aromas, a subtle savoury earth / forest floor note too. Vibrant fruit-driven palate reflecting the nose, a zesty acid backbone & chalky tannins provide grip & texture, lighter bodied but with a long dry slightly peppery finish. Made from 93% Pinot Noir (6 different clones) plus 7% Syrah from Cirrus Estate & Cambridge Road vineyards. Indigenous yeasts, full malo, partial carbonic fermentation then 11 months on lees in Stainless with the occasional cap punch down, unfined / unfiltered. No oak was used during production. Fascinating approach but the result is a very drinkable fruit-driven red. 13.0% alc/v RRP: $55.00 More details & purchase here: https://www.supernaturalwine.com/

The Supernatural Paranormal 2022, Gisborne NZ
Darker red cherry in colour, lighter at the rim, semi opaque lighter bodied wine. Fragrant savoury nose with aromas of tomato stalk, ripe dark cherry, white pepper & a whiff of smoke? Lighter weight, crisp & juicy palate with flavours of dark cherries & berries, a hint of green tomato, a crunchy tart acidity, light grippy tannins & subtle oak influence adding texture & interest. Very different but tasty wine. Grapes from 3 Millton vineyards, Syrah 65% & Malbec 35% had indigenous carbonic ferments, full malo, 8 months on lees in a mix of french oak, unfined & unfiltered on bottling. Biodynamic Demeter & just 10.5% alc/v RRP: $45.00 More details & purchase here: https://www.supernaturalwine.com/

The Supernatural ‘Green Glow’ 2022, Gisborne NZ
Mid yellow gold in colour, slight orange hue with a slight haziness, medium viscosity. Fascinating nose of sweet grapes, (almost dessert wine like) then mandarin / tangelo citrus & green apple aromas, notes of spice & yeast. Bright orange citrus & apple fruit flavours on the palate, softer than expected acidity – little spritz, nicely integrated with subtle oak spice & full malo / lees treatment adding a slightly creamy mouthfeel. Juicy, delicious & most interesting, long finish! Grapes from the Millton Opou Vineyard. 63% Muscat 33% Marsanne 4% Chenin Blanc – Indigenous ferment, in S/S and old oak barrels, full malo, lees stirring unfined, coarse filtration on bottling. Biodynamic with Demeter. 10.0% alc/v RRP:$40.00 More details & purchase here: https://www.supernaturalwine.com/

The Supernatural Sauvignon Blanc 2022, Hawke’s Bay NZ
Medium lemon – gold in colour, lighter bodied wine. The nose is a little smoky with a hint of dried herb at first then fresh tropical & lemon rind fruit aromas follow. On the palate juicy lemon pith & green apple flavours, a crunchy acidity & salty notes balanced by a rich creamy / leesy mouthfeel. The finish is dry, textured & refreshing with the zing of ‘preserved lemons.’ Millar Road Estate grapes, indigenous yeast / ferment, full malo, lees stirring, zero fining & course filtration on bottling. Excellent – Fully BioGro Organic. RRP: $35.00 (11.5% alc/v) Find out more & purchase this wine here: https://www.supernaturalwine.com/

Lake Chalice ‘Plume’ Chardonnay 2020, Marlborough NZ
Mid straw in colour with golden hues, ample bodied wine. Immediate waft of flint, gun-smoke on the nose then butterscotch, caramel popcorn, toasted nuts & spicy oak… Nice citrus acidity, ripe peach & nectarine fruit flavours, rounded out with layers of complexity from whole bunch, wild ferment, oak, lees and full malo treatment. This is a ‘big’ full flavoured weighty chardonnay, not for the ABC folk. I love this style – Excellent! Champion Chardonnay as well as White Wine of the Show at the Global Fine Wine Challenge RRP: $51.00 https://www.lakechalice.com/

Lake Chalice ‘The Falcon’ Rosé 2020 Marlborough / Hawke’s Bay NZ
Pale Salmon pink in colour with a slight oily viscosity. Bright florals then raspberry & strawberry aromas on the nose with a wee hint of spice. Flavours of peach, juicy red berries & melon on the palate, a crisp acidity & fine tannins, a pear skin textural element & spice notes adding interest. Long dry, nicely balanced finish. A delicious summer sip. Runner Up to the Champion Rosé at the 2023 Global Fine Wine Challenge. RRP: $22.00 https://www.lakechalice.com/

Terrace Edge Pinot Noir 2019, Waipara NZ
Deep cherry red in colour slightly translucent, medium bodied. On the nose, savoury earthy notes at first then cherry, dark berry & toasty oak spice aromas follow. Nicely textured palate with bright fruit flavours reflecting the bouquet, cherries & berries, nicely integrated tannins & acidity combine with oak spice to add depth & textural complexity. Long dry finish. An elegant, excellent Waipara Pinot. RRP:$32.00 https://terraceedge.co.nz/

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