Featured Reviews

Negociants N.Z. Global Reach in Wine Distribution

15 October,2018

As part of the Negociants group, part of the global distribution group of companies established by the Hill Smith family of Yalumba fame, Negociants N.Z. imports arguably one of the strongest range of high quality wines into this country. The roll-call of producers in their care is blue-chip and is recognised throughout the world. Most of the producers in the portfolio here are shared by the other Negociants companies. It is easy to find out detail on the winegrowers and the wines. Being well-established, and with a world-wide presence, their marketing and information of their wines is up-to-date and very accessible. Here, I review a selection of imported wines from Negociants N.Z., some from great names such as Guigal of the Rhone Valley, and specialised labels via their association with the likes of the famous Gonzalez Byass Sherry house. www.negociants.com/nzhttp://www.negociants.com/nz


Col de’ Salici Valdobbiandene Prosecco Superiore DOCG Brut 2017

Sparkling Wine from Italy – Veneto


Bright, very pale straw colour with green hues, near colourless on the rim, the bubbles moderately fine and very persistent. The nose is very fresh and intense with finely concentrated aromas of white stonefruits, citrus fruits, apples and florals, along with notes of herbs and minerals. This has very good depth and penetration, and is thirst-quenching. Off-dry to taste and light-medium bodied, the palate has gently luscious fruit flavours of stonefruits, florals and apples, with subtle notes of honeysuckle and mouthwatering minerals. The flavours form a fine, fresh core. The mouthfeel is creamy with refreshing effervescence and the wine flows with very good energy along a fine-textured line with good concentration, leading to a fresh, softly sweet-fruited finish. This is a refined, but fruity and mouthwatering Prosecco with a creamy mouthfeel. Serve as an aperitif, or as an anytime sparkling over the next 2 years. 100% hand-picked Glera from Conegliano, fermented in stainless-steel to 11.5% alc. and up to 12 g/L RS, the wine bottled under pressure by the Charmat process. 18.5/20 Oct 2018 RRP $26.00

Vilarnau Cava Brut Reserva NV

Sparkling Wine from Spain


Bright, light golden-hued yellow colour with some depth, a little lighter on the rim, the bubbles moderately fine and very persistent. The nose is fresh and softly full with voluminous aromas of white and yellow stonefruits melded with nutty notes in an amalgam with subtle bread and yeast nuances. Dryish to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a softly packed heart with subtle flavours of stonefruits, nuts, herbs and hints of bready autolysis. The flavours are up-front and show good richness. The mouthfeel has a fine and firm line with crisp acidity and fresh effervescence, and the flavours vary to an elegant finish. This is an up-front, well-fruited Cava with stonefruit, nutty and herb flavours with subtle yeast, on a fine, firm, refreshing palate. Serve as an aperitif, or as an anytime sparkling over the next 2+ years. A blend of 50% Macabeo, 35% Parellada and 15% Xarello from d’Espiells, Sant Sadurni d’Anoia, fermented to 11.5% alc. and 10 g/L RS, the wine aged over 15 months in bottle. Lot EMB5584-B. 17.5+/20 Oct 2018 RRP $24.95

Vinas del Vero ‘Luces’ Somontano 2017

Blended White from Spain


Bright, straw-yellow colour with lemon-green hues, pale on the rim. The nose is very fresh and vibrant with aromas of white stonefruits entwined with nuances of herbs and nuts, with a layering of thirst-quenching minerals, unfolding a suggestion of waxiness. The aromatics build with aeration. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has a fine, tight core with well-concentrated flavours of white stonefruits melded with herbs and nuts, hints of wax and mineral elements. The mouthfeel has a subtle richness that lends a degree of unctuousness, and the wine flows along a rounded line with fresh, enlivening acidity to balance. The flavours carry to a lingering finish. This is a fresh and vibrant blended white with stonefruit, herb, wax and mineral flavours on a rich palate with fresh acid balance. Serve as a aperitif and with Mediterranean fare over the next 2 years. A blend of Chardonnay, Macabeo and Sauvignon Blanc from vineyards in Salas Bajas and Barbastro, given brief skin contact and cool-fermented to 13.0% alc. and 3.6 g/L RS. 17.0+/20 Oct 2018 RRP $16.95

Finca Constancia ‘Altozano’ Vino de la Tierra de Castilla Tempranillo/Syrah Rosado 2017

Rose from Spain


Bright peach-pink colour with some depth, lighter on the edge. The nose is gently full with aromas of nutty yellow stonefruits melded with quince along with lifted red florals, unfolding nuances of spice and lanolin. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate hasa softly textured and gently full palate of quince, stonefruits and savoury red fruits and florals, along with lanolin-like elements. The palate heart is rounded, and carries along a light phenolic line with light acidity, leading to a thirst-quenching textured finish with moderate length. This is a soft-textured dry rosé with quince and stonefruit flavours on a rounded core with light acidity. Serve with antipasto and tapas over the next 2 years. A blend of 50% each Tempranillo and Syrah, given limited skin contact and fermented to 13.0% alc. and 3.7 g/L RS. 16.0/20 Oct 2018 RRP $14.95

Finca Constancia ‘Altozano’ Vino de la Tierra de Castilla Tempranillo 2016

Tempranillo from Spain


Dark, deep, black-hued ruby-red with slight purple hues, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is elegantly presented with bright and aromatic dark-red berry fruit with plum notes, lifted florals and a little jam and confectionary from whole berry fermentation. This is up-front and fruit-focussed. Medium-bodied, the palate has rich and juicy, lusciously ripe sweet-red berry fruit and plum flavours. The flavours are bold and up-front with some savoury jam notes of whole berry fermentation, and the fruit is underlined by grainy tannin structure and grip. The sweet fruit carries with integrated acidity and some underling drive to a long, fruity, textured finish. This is an up-front, sweetly fruited, ripe Tempranillo with red berry, plum and jammy element on a grainy-textured palate. Serve with barbecued fare over the next 2-3 years. 100% Tempranillo from Castilla La Mancha, fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 3 months in French and American oak. 16.5+/20 Oct 2018 RRP $14.95

Alamos Mendoza Malbec 2017

Malbec from Argentina


Dark, deep ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is a little restrained in expression, but reveals an elegant core of dark-red berry fruit with notes of boysenberries, mulberries, spices, fruit-cake, and notes of fresh herbs with peppery elements. This is fresh and shows some cooler-spectrum notes. Medium-bodied, the palate has a sweet core of moderately concentrated flavours of dark-red berry with nuances of boysenberries and spiced plums, along with herbs and pepper. The fruit is underlined by light, supple tannin extraction lending mouthfeel and texture, with soft, integrated acidity. The flavours carry to a light, lingering finish. This is a moderately concentrated, lightly extracted, accessible Malbec with slightly cool notes of herbs and pepper to the boysenberry and plum fruit. Serve with pasta, pizza and barbecued fare over the next 2-3 years. A blend of 85% Malbec, 10% Syrah and 5% Bonarda from the Cantena family vineyards in Mendoza, fermented to 12.5% alc. 16.5-/20 Oct 2018 RRP $24.00

Guigal Cotes du Rhone Rosé 2017

Rose from France – Rhone


Bright, light salmon-pink colour, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is very fresh and delicate in expression with aromas of subtle red berry fruits and fragrant red florals with nuances of herbs, mouthwatering minerals and a suggestion of spice. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has a fine and firmly concentrated, elegant palate with a core of soft red berry fruits and lifted red florals and a little spice. The fruit flows along a fine-textured phenolic line with some underlying drive, and light, thirst-quenching acidity, leading to a fresh, lightly-nuanced finish. This is a fine and firmly concentrated dryish rosé with light soft-red berry fruit and floral notes and spice elements on a mouth-watering palate with crisp acidity. Serve as an aperitif, with canapés and antipasto over the next 2 years. A blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Cinsault and 10% Syrah, vines 25 y.o., given brief skin contact and cool-fermented in stainless-steel to 13.5% alc. Approx. 30,000 dozen made. 17.5/20 Oct 2018 RRP $26.00

Guigal Cotes du Rhone 2015

Blended Red from France – Rhone


Full, even dark, deep ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is gently full and voluminous with subtly interwoven aromas of dark-red berry fruits and savoury and earthy plums, nuances of dried herbs and a little game-like detail. This has a finely bound core of moderate concentration. Medium-full bodied, the palate has rich and lively flavours with a complex array of red berry fruits along with savoury plums, with earthy nuances and some dried herb and game elements. The flavours are mouthfilling and supported by grainy tannin extraction and structure with integrated, balanced acidity. The palate has good weight and presence, carrying to a rich, savoury finish. This is a rich, mouthfilling Cotes du Rhone with an array of flavours with sweet and savoury red berry, plum, herb and earthy gamy fruit on a palate with structure and presence. Match with roasted red meat dishes over the next 4+ years. A blend of 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache and 10% Mourvedre, vines 35 y.o., fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine spending considerable time on skins and aged 18 months in oak foudres. 335,000 dozen made. 17.5+/20 Oct 2018 RRP $26.00

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