Hawkshead 2017 Pinot Gris. 2015 Riesling and Bannockburn Pinot Noir, and 2014 ‘First Vines’ Pinot Noir
Smoking Loon, La Crema, McManis and The Crusher Releases
Two Sisters Central Otago Pinot Gris 2016
Clearview Estate 2016 ‘Old Olive Block’, Enigma’ and ‘The Basket Press’
Ceres 2017 ‘Swansong’ Pinot Gris and 2016 ‘Composition’ Pinot Noir
Vicarage Lane Canterbury Pinot Noir 2016
Paddy Borthwick 2017 Riesling and Chardonnay, and 2016 Left Hand and Right Hand Pinot Noirs
Trinity Hill Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016
Villa Maria ‘Ngakirikiri’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Paxton ‘NOW’ Shiraz 2017 and Hogshead Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Kuru Kuru and Tarras Vineyards Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Red Queen Marlborough Pinot Nor Rosé 2017
Waipara Valley Wines Blanc de Blanc, 2016 Sauvignon, and 2016 Pinot Noir
Elephant Hill 2016 Sauvignon Blanc and Reserve Chardonnay
Aix Rosé, A Torres Selection and Lustau Vermut from EuroVintage
Mills Reef 2017 ‘Reserve’ Pinot Gris and Chardonnay
Nevis Bluff ‘Duke of Cromwell’ Pinot Blanc 2017, and 2017 Rosé, 2014 Pinot Gris and 2013 Pinot Noir
Smith and Sheth ‘CRU’ Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Syrah Releases
Palliser Estate Martinborough Pinot Gris 2017
Karikari Estates 2014 ‘Calypso’ and 2015 Chardonnays, 2016 Viognier and 2015 Syrah and Pinotage
Auntsfield 2016 ‘Single Vineyard’ Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
The Crossings ‘Wild’ Awatere Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Pisa Range Estate‘ Black Poplar’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2015
Z Wine ‘Rustica’ ‘Reserve’ Barossa Valley Shiraz 2015
Grava Wines 2016 Martinborough Sauvignon, Rosé, Riesling and Pinot Noir
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Featured Reviews

Alpha Domus ‘First Solo’ Chardonnay 2013

28 April,2015
The Alpha Domus winery in the Bridge Pa Triangle winegrowing district, owned by the Ham family, is arguably best known for its Bordeaux-varietal based red wines, notably ‘The Navigator’ and ‘The Aviator’, the latter wine part of the limited release flagship ‘AD’ range. However, the Ham family can claim to be all-rounders in Hawke’s Bay, as all the wines have proven to be successful. The Chardonnays are possibly the most overlooked, but I find them of equal quality to the other wines. The Alpha Domus Chardonnay style is one of freshness and avoidance of broadness and flabbiness. It will be interesting to see if new winemaker Barry Riwai will introduce new facets to the Chardonnay winemaking, Barry coming from Clearview Estate! Here, I review the 2013 ‘First Solo’ Chardonnay, made by Kate Galloway, Alpha Domus’ winemaker of 10 years.


Alpha Domus ‘First Solo’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2013

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Bright straw-yellow colour with slight golden hues. This has a full, bright and lifted nose with grapefruit and lemon aromas complexed by creamy barrel-ferment layers and subtle flinty lees and refreshing, steely minerally nuances. Medium-full bodied, lively and luscious, ripe citrus fruit flavours are the feature on the palate. This has good depth and richness, revealing nutty and toasty oak detail. The mouthfeel is fresh and lively with underlying lacy acidity. The wine flows smoothly, following a creamy-textured line guided by very fine phenolics. The richness and creaminess builds in concentration, leading to a long, nutty, oaky finish. This is a bright, juicy and creamy-textured, citrussy Chardonnay. Match with grilled seafood, poultry and pork dishes over the next 4-5 years. Clones 6, 15 and Mendoza from the estate winery vineyard, fully barrel-fermented partially with indigenous yeasts to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 12 months in 25% new oak, 90% French and 10% European, undergoing batonnage. 18.0-/20 Apr 2015 RRP $26.00
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