Our Best Cellared Wines

Expartius Syrah 2013

Intense colour and concentrated, huge  rises on the nose consisting of raspberries, plum, oak, pepper, and liquorice and spice. On the palate – excellent concentration of fruit flavours, intense and full bodied, complex and of suburb quality. Long length and ripe , nicely balanced tannins. This wine will age fantastically for 20 years.

Felton Road Chardonnay 2008, Central Otago, New Zealand

Chardonnay is such a versitile wine as it is delicatable on its own or with a wide range of foods. Christmas day, we enjoyed this wine with a warm lamb (backstraps) and green bean, avocado and potato salad blended with a oil, mustard and lemon juice dressing. This Chardonnay was beautifully complex, with ripe citrus and white peach flavours and subtle oak. The acid was well integrated and nicely balanced by the fruit. Felton Road has a reputation for quality wine and ensuring the greatest care of its fruit from vineyard to winery. The combination of delicate wine making and careful cellaring have made this a delicious experience. Tasted 25/12/2014

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Ornellaia 1999, Bolgheri, Italy

With 15 years in the cellar, this wine was drinking superbly. The aroma was full, sumptious, and lively. There were excellent fruit rises and maturation characters of toast and coffee - also mixed in there was bit of earthiness and spice. On the palate, this wine was soft and velvety, full bodied with excellent length. It was drinking exceedingly well and was well worth the wait. Ornellaia is one of the super tuscan style wines comprising of a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petite Verdot and is generally regarded as one of Italy's premium Bordeaux style reds. Tasted 25/12/2014.

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Neudorf Moutere Chardonnay 2008, Nelson, New Zealand

This is a tremendous wine, full of all the best characters that you would expect to find in a fabulous Chardonnay. Lots of citrus and stone- fruit characters on the nose mixed with beautifully balanced oak and yeasty aromas. The complexity of this wine was superb with just layer after layer of nuances backed up by body, richness and excellent balance. Neudorf is regarded as one of the best Chardonnays made in New Zealand, and on sampling this beauty, I can see why. This wine has had 6 years in the cellar, but I think it will easily go another 5 years without any problems.

Waipara Valley Riesling 2007, Waipara Valley, New Zealand

This was an excellent Riesling and it really demonstrated the benefits of cellaring a wine like this. What I really enjoyed was an increase in the “kerosene” character which brought it into a new dimension and filled out the mid palate. Read more

Te Mata Bullnose Syrah 2006, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

This New Zealand Syrah has always been one of my favourites as it has been of consistent high quality for a long time (early 1990's). This 2006 wine was a blend of three clones of Syrah and carefully handled in the winery to retain all the elegant fruit flavours (careful destemming, warm-plunged-fermentation, extended maceration and malolatic fermentation).

This wine had all the classic character of Syrah - spicy, white pepper, blackberry and plum and hints of liquorice. The tannins were ripe and nicely integrated to give complexity and a smoothness that only becomes evident with careful cellaring. Overall a delicious aged example of this wine and further evidence that cellaring is highly rewarding.

Tasted July 2014.

Chateau Beaucastel 2010, Chateauneuf-Du-Pape

Deep red and heavily extracted. This wine had huge fruit character with intense blackberry and black plum notes, along with herbs, spice and hints of earthiness and mushrooms. Very complex and high alcohol give it a 'real mouthfill' character. Made from 30% Grenache, 30% Mouvdere, 10% Syrah, 10% Counoise and the balance being a mix of other varietals. There was a sulpury component on opening the wine - but this dissapated with time. It probably also needed another 5-7 years of careful cellaring to really hit its straps. I really enjoyed the opportunity to taste this wine and would put it back on the shopping list for future vintages.

Man O'War Ironclad 2010, Waiheke Island, New Zealand

Deep red and lots of intensity. On the nose there are very good aromas of black fruits, oaky spiciness, and hints of meat, herbs and cloves. Excellent length and ripe tannins give this wine complexity.  

Man O’ War has 45 different vineyard sites dedicated to Bordeaux varietals. Each vineyard is meticulously sorted in the vineyard by hand harvesting and double sorted in the winery by both bunch and berry.

Each vineyard is kept separate from vineyard to barrel with the blend carefully selected from the 45 different parcels in the following year. The ferments are carefully managed with twice daily plunging by hand and fermentation carried out by native yeast.

Dry River Chardonnay 2004 Martinborough, New Zealand

Golden yellow in colour, clear and bright. Ripe citrus and peach and a mix of other stonefruits provide a delightful aroma. There were also well integrated hints of oak and yeastiness which all added to the complexity. The fruit and acid were well balanced and the length strong and persistent. This is a really elegant wine which has become all the better with 9 years of careful cellaring. This wine can be drunk from now through to 2018.

Sacred Hill Sauvage Sauvignon Blanc 1998 Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

What a surprise, a 16 year old Sauvignon Blanc and not a hint of asparagus or canned peas. Still very lively and complex with lots of biscuity characters, but still the acid to provide the backbone. Who says that NZ Sauvignon Blanc can not be cellared.

Felton Road Block 2 Chardonnay 2012, Central Otago, New Zealand

You have got to try this wine as it is a stunner. Ripe and complex fruit with strong acid backbone to give the wine longevity. There are some herbal characters that further add to this wine. With 17 months barrel maturation with a minor new oak influence, the flavour has a wonderful nutty character that will integrate superbly with the fruit.  This is a real cellaring proposition as it will not be at its best for another 5-7 years. Buy it now as it will not last. Posted 13/04/2014.

Fromm Clayvin Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003, Marlborough, New Zeland

Ripe strawberries and cherries with a hint of earthiness, intense and fruity, balanced and aromas of mushrooms. Tannins are very ripe and these add to the ripe plum and savoury characters, slightly cloudy indicating that this wine has not been finned for filtered. Lots of maturation character. This wine is ready for drinking - so get into it if you have some in your cellar. We enjoyed this with our Christmas ham and cranberry relish - the perfect accompaniment. Posted 30/12/13.

Dry River Chardonnay 2005 Martinborough Amaranth Bottle No. 1779

Straw yellow and clear and bright. Aroma of ripe grapefruit and apple with yeasty and toasty characters. There is a hint of wild ferment mixed in with some floral notes - all this adding up to a very complex wine which is drinking superbly. On the palate there is excellent acid balance with just a touch of malo to get a full array of flavours into the wine. This is an excellent example of just how well New Zealand can make Chardonnay wines. This wine can easily go another 5 years in the cellar. Posted 30/12/2013.

Main Divide Pinot Gris 2012, Waipara Valley, North Canterbury, New Zealand

From the moment the screw cap is removed there is an incredible fruity and spicy aroma which intices you in and gets the gastric jucies going.  Pear, and rich peachy and tropical flavours with spice and body.  The length is suburb and it has lots of complexity due to the use of aged oak barrels for aging part of the wine and aging on its natural yeast deposit.  I bought a bottle for $NZ 15.95 which was a great buy.  This wine could easily be aged for 4 to 5 years which will result in an interesting mix of maturation characters. Posted 2/11/2013.

Stonecroft Syrah 2002; Hawkes Bay, New Zealand.

Stonecroft is one of the original growers of Syrah in the Hawkes Bay. Fruit flavours were dark plum and cassis with licorice and peppery spice mixed in. This wine has aged well and is testimony to the longevity of New Zealand Syrah. Posted 27/10/2013

Trinity Hill Homage (Syrah) 2002.

With the vines for this wine having the best of pedigree (the original vines were sourced from La Chapelle) it is no wonder it is a stunning example of New World Syrah.
Intense and complex with cassis and plum with lots of spice, licorice and cedar and enduring length.  Even with 11 years cellaring, it is still drinking relatively young and will easily go another 10 years. This wine sells for around NZ $120 - even at this price it is definitely worth buying. Posted 27/10/2013

Chruch Road Hawke's Bay Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon 2007.

This wine was a real surprise in a vertical of this long time favourite.  The dark berry fruit flavours were quite intense along with spicy, fruitcake aromas and touches of leather indicating the dominance of Merlot.  On the palette there were maturation characters which gave the wine an additional dimension to its complexity.  This was a great wine with 6 years cellaring, but it would still go longer. Posted 13/09/2013

Vidal Gimblett Gravels Syrah Reserve, 2009

Deep red and youthfull in colour.  Excellent aroma of raspberry, black plum and meaty characters.  Spice and pepper flavours all well integrated with balanced oak and tannins, mouthfilling and supple.  I really enjoyed this wine and thought it was a great example of this variety.  I purchased this bottle for $24.99, but it can be purchased for as little as $21.95 (usually retails closer to $30).  Buy it of rthe cellar at these prices - you can not go wrong!

Brancott Estate Hawke's Bay Chardonnay 2012

This wine was a very pleasant surprise, lots of ripe citrusy fruit with hints of tropical pineapple.  The aroma has a buttery and yeasty character and it is nicely balanced with oak.  A little racy acid, but this will diminish with time.  This wine will easily cellar for 5 years, so at $12.99 (when normally it sells for $24.99) - this is a a very good buy and value.  Tasted: 6 September 2013.

Escarpment Pinot Noir 2006

Deep red and highly concentrated with cherry, and lots of blackberry flavours, earthy and mushroom and bit of farmyard. Excellent weight and complexity. Had cellared well but will go another 5 years easily. Tasted 22 August 2013...

Church Road Syrah 2010

Deep red in colour with lots of raspberry on the nose followed by boysenberries and black plum. Very intense on the palate with lots of complexity, well balanced and elegant. This wine scored extremely well 17-18 at wine club. Will go until 2018....

Peter Lehman Black Queen Sparkling Shiraz 2008

Deep dark red and a fine bead. Excellent flavour of dark cherry, cassis, and blackberries followed by a delightful chocolate character. A fantastic sparkling red and well worth a try if you would like something different....

Charles Sparr Mambourg Gewurztraminer 2011

Clear and bright straw colour. Intensely scented with lycee, fruit salad, and tropical fruit characters integrated with floral and spicy hints. All beautifully balanced in a sweet syrup. A full flavour explosion and a wine that will age really well...

Francois Chidaine Les Argiles Vouvray 2011

Clear and bright golden yellow, full of fruity character - peachy pear and hints of citrus with that characteristic caramel/lanolin nuisance. Excellent value for money....

Dry River Pinot Gris 2003, Bottle No. 1439, Martinborough, New Zealand

Light straw colour - pear, peachy and spice aromas all integrated and combined with great body and length. At 10 years old - well aged. Could hold old for a further 3 years....

Te Mata Elston Chardonnay 1991, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Deep golden in colour indicating age - on the nose ripe and mature citrus - with hints of marmalade, marmite yeastiness, and a bit of honey. Excellent acid keeping the wine tasting fresh and vibrant and a length that hung on for ages....

Ata Rangi Pinot Noir 1995, Martinborough, New Zealand

Testimony to the age-ability of New Zealand Pinot Noir.Super ripe cheery,plum, and mushroom with almost a perfect balance of ripe tannin, acid and fruit. Enduring length and complex. This wine will last another 5 years in well cellared conditions. 

I have just tried this wine again, and it was very bit as good as sampled last time, more complex and the earthy characters had deepened. We had it with "twice  cooked pork belly, Irish cabbage and marinated beetroot. The wine food combination was perfect. What a way to celebrate Easter 2014. Posted 25/04/2014.

Martinborough Vineyards Gewurztraminer 1994, Martinborough, New Zealand

What a classic aged Gewurztraminer - intense floral and fruit character with excellent length and spice flavours. After aging for 19 years this wine was complex, balanced and a rich body and mouth feel.What a magnificent wine and well worth the wait...

Neudorf Moutere Riesling 2008, Nelson, New Zealand

Very light in colour, but lots of aroma of lemons, apples and spice. On the palate quite sweet (47g/L residual sugar), lots of body and balanced. Low alcohol at 9%, but excellent length. Needs another 5-7 years in the cellar to hit its peak....

Kumeu River Pinot Gris 2007, Auckland, New Zealand

Typically made with indigenous yeast and lees maturation. Really ripe fruit with aromas of peach, floral, spice and pear. Malo gives the wine an oily finish which enhances mouth feel and length. Complex and balanced. Will cellar for another 3-5 years...

Dry River Pinot Gris Amaranth 2002 Bottle No. 1501, Martinborough, NewZealand

Light golden in colour and huge aroma of spice, pears, apricots, all integrated into an excellently balanced wine.10 years in the cellar has allow this wine to create complexity, length and intense body. Could cellar for another 5 years....

Dry River Arapoff Syrah 2001, Martinborough, New Zealand

Intensely coloured deep red with hints of purple. A huge aroma of plum, spice and pepper and raspberry flavours in the background. Ripe tannins, excellent length, still young leave for another 5 years minimum....

Craggy Range Syrah Block 14 Gimblett Gravels 2006, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Intense red and highly fragrant with lots of black berry fruit aroma, spices and pepper. On the palate plum and mixed with soft ripe tannins, gave perfect balance. Huge length and complexity. An excellent example of a New Zealand Syrah....

Neudorf Moutere Pinot Noir 2002, Nelson, New Zealand

Light in colour, but intense in fruit flavours, ripe cherry, plum, raspberry and strawberry with streaks of earthiness and mushrooms. Excellent balance and length and a complexity developed through cellaring. At 10 years old a superb wine....

Ata Rangi Pinot Noir 1996, Martinborough, New Zealand

A wine full of intense maturation character, ripe red fruits and cherry, balanced by an earthiness that gave the wine real complexity. This is a stunning wine to cellar - if you still have some keep for another 5 years....

Chateau Gaudrelle Vouvray 1995

Mature but still quite fruity, ripe peach and tropical fruit. Excellent acid and balanced, elegant and complex. Would recommend drinking this wine now....

Esk Valley Terraces, 1992, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Absolutely luscious after opening up in the glass, full of ripe berry fruit, black berries, plums and cherry integrated nicely with oak. Great length and a real surprise after 20 years in the cellar. Probably worth drinking now, though it will go longer....

Bell Hill Chardonnay 2006, Canterbury, New Zealand

Intense stonefruit, with floral hints and nutty oak character, huge fruit richness but balanced by the acid, yielding a complex, fragrant wine worthy of its impeccable pedigree. This wine is one to watch and ideal for long term cellaring....

Giaconda Estate Chardonnay 2004, Victoria, Australia

Citrus, marmalade, and ripe white peach with a little spiciness were the dominant characters on the nose. Beautifully balanced, intense and full of delicious flavours. Excellent length and well integrated. Well worth the experience....

Neudorf Moutere Chardonnay 2006, Nelson, New Zealand

Citrusy and white stone fruit characters on the nose, hints of marmalade, yeasty and beautiful balance of oak. The fruit weight is huge and complex, great length and full intensity. This is a magnificent example of New Zealand Chardonnay....