Comments on my notes

(36 comments on 28 notes)

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2015 C.V.N.E. (Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España) Rioja Imperial Reserva Tempranillo
8/28/2020 - Callum's Corkers Likes this wine:
91 points
Bargain. Bought £9.99 on promo at Majestic UK, Aug 2020.

Outstanding value for money Reserva in a commercial style, which means super drinkable, yes, but plenty of personality and some - in fact quite a bit of - complexity too. Not mature but drinking very well at 5 yrs old. mix of fruit, wood, baccy, coffee, a touch of damp forest floor even, some dry leather, mild intensity. tawny edge yet, deep red/black in style, lots happening here: rich black fruit, some semi-sweet wood, smokey, savoury, baccy, long warm flavours, soft furry tannins, wonderfully drinkable, nice tension of acid v fruit. Plenty of cellar potential. A 93/100 wine maybe?

VFM?.....Feels £20.00, costs £9.99, online check says 2015 a good year in Rioja, buy more.
  • Callum's Corkers commented:

    8/30/20, 11:16 PM - Majestic Wines, UK. £9.99. The 2015 Reserva.

2018 Valli Pinot Noir Gibbston Vineyard Central Otago
1/24/2020 - Callum's Corkers wrote:
86 points
brief notes, small pour

N.....very little, disappointing

T....very light body, good fruit, medium-dry style, warm-ish alc, nice enough wine but a bit simple; ''move along, nothing to see here.''

Rec RP £49.99......a joke price, surely? I'd be happy to pay ony £15.00......their 2018 'Bannockburn vineyard' label - the same year as this wine - for the very same money is a much better wine.
  • Callum's Corkers commented:

    8/6/20, 8:03 AM - Willpap21.....yeah, I liked their 2018 Bannockburn. Classy Pinot, and worth the price - or something near it - but this 'Gibbston' vineyard single site one just left me cold.

2017 Giaconda Chardonnay Estate Vineyard Beechworth
2/4/2020 - Callum's Corkers Likes this wine:
91 points
brief notes, tiny pour

N....pongy in a good way; wet wool, barnyard aromas.

T....medium body only, profile seems to be typical of Burgundy (village) style, I think, rather than something I would see as typically Australian, though it lacks an earthy character; a brooding personality here rather than thrusting power; lovely mouth-feel and texture; classy and elegant; this reminded me of a single-site Kumeu River (NZ) chardonnay in a good year; not esp' dry.

Rec RP £98.00.....Hmmm, not sure it's worth that much. Maybe £60.00 ?
  • Callum's Corkers commented:

    4/15/20, 9:03 AM - djn63.....Hi. £98.00 was the recommended retail price for the wine in Wine Australia's tasting notes book at their annual London trade tasting Feb' this year, suggested by the importer/agent to any Retailer, obviously. Yip, seemed too expensive/rubbish VFMoney to me, and the price you mention sounds closer to the mark.

2015 Escarpment Pinot Noir Martinborough
8/4/2019 - Callum's Corkers Likes this wine:
92 points
Bought Majestic Wines, UK

Decanted 1 hr previous

Not especially powerful wine, but drinking v well at 4 yrs old, interesting and nicely balanced. Seems like it will improve in cellar. Impressive VFMoney.

C....clear, light-Med body, alc legs

N....warm alc, wood, not especially intense, spices. Bit boring.

T.....soft and agreeable, floury tannins, nice essence, balanced, not fruit-bomb. Some forest-floor, some herbals, very drinkable at 4 yrs old. Almost 'French' in character for a NZ Pinot; interesting attractive wine. Not mature....maybe 2021? Drinking v well now, why wait?

92/100 but 93 on potential. Finishes off-dry.

VFM?....very good for RRP, buy again. Red Burgundy for this price probably nowhere near this good. This 2015 vintage probably best I've had of this particular label.
  • Callum's Corkers commented:

    4/13/20, 2:18 AM - Cheers, Mac

2016 Craggy Range Syrah Gimblett Gravels Vineyard
P&p. Leathery dark-red fruit and scrubby/Bay Laurel sorts of aromas, with some earthy and savory depth and a general sense of seriousness. Fairly concentrated, but lifted by good acidity. Firm structure, with lingering grippy tannins, yet reasonably open and approachable. Enjoyable and a good value (paid 32 NZD). Comes across as young; seems like drink or hold.
  • Callum's Corkers commented:

    3/15/20, 8:02 AM - Paid $32.00 nz, Beerz? Blimey, a bargain. Where? I’ll dive in next time I’m home.

  • Callum's Corkers commented:

    3/24/20, 5:28 AM - Hi Jon,
    thanks for that tip. Noted.

2016 Millton Pinot Noir La Côte Gisborne
6/30/2018 - grapenomad wrote:
91 points
Fuck me if anyone could get this right on a blind tasting. This is like the 3D printing of wine, an error-free Burgundy prototype on Gisborne soil. Bright fruit in the form of early ripening raspberry, cherry juice and olive with splashes of thyme and red beet. Needs a bit of time to open up, but at the rate we drank it, I felt kinda regretful that I didn't snatch this bottle for myself. Savory in the mouth with that magical touch of oak that never came off as intrusive in the graceful battle between fruit and spice. Interesting find, would unquestionably buy it again just to mess around with a few Bourgogne fanatics.
  • Callum's Corkers commented:

    11/20/18, 8:27 AM - Nice review, like your style.
    C's C

  • Callum's Corkers commented:

    2/29/20, 9:56 AM - I second that: nice review.

    Yip, be interesting to put it up blind in a row of French Pinots to test out just how expert some Burgundian 'experts' really are, though obviously even at the modest end of French Pinot you'd have to fork out twice the money the Millton costs. So annoying good French Pinot is through-the-roof prices. Mind you, there're still some bargains (£50 approx) to be had in white Burgundy.

    Interestingly, Millton's Clos Ste Anne Pinot, at twice the price of their La Cote, didn't seem to me to be 'twice the wine.' La Cote in a good year is a bargain. (sshhhh...)

2010 La Rioja Alta Rioja Gran Reserva 904 Tempranillo Blend, Tempranillo
2/13/2020 - Callum's Corkers Likes this wine:
97 points
Bought High Street retail at Majestic UK approx £40.00 in 2019

Decanted 2 hrs previous.

Wow! Probably the best Rioja I've had: light-medium body yet wonderfully complex and with impressive power, yet elegant too. Not fully mature but is drinking superbly at 10 yrs old, certainly didn't feel I'd opened it too early.

C....fading red, a tawny edge.

N.....Wow, plenty going on here: intense mocha, bitter chocolate, espresso, caramel, grip and oak, whiff of a dusty drought-afflicted stubble-grass field middle of summer, touch of salinity; butter, rich fruit; sweet cinnamon; 'big' and exciting. fruit, butter, mocha, salt, baccy, dry leather, dusty herbals, sustained long warm and gorgeous flavours, utterly charming wine, ends almost dry. Probably will get even better in cellar, there's easy enough power and class here to build on.

VFM?.....worth every penny, even at £40 still a bargain. Will buy again.
  • Callum's Corkers commented:

    2/27/20, 6:26 AM - David J Cooper

    cheers re your comment, David.

2017 Franck Massard Priorat Bellesa Perfecta Red Blend
2/6/2020 - Callum's Corkers Likes this wine:
90 points
Bought online Naked Wines UK with Angel discount

Big juicy red with so much ripe fruit it almost tastes sweet. Floury tannins run right through it. It could do with more acid, I thought. Very drinkable, a very good Quaffer. Inky red, medium+ body.

C....big alc legs on glass ....14.5% !!

T....soft and easy, lush fruit, warm alc, some acid but for me it needed to be more; lacks any earthy character; the floury/furry tannins mean it is fine with red meat, a chewy mouth-feel.

VFM?.....feels worth maybe £20 at most
  • Callum's Corkers commented:

    2/6/20, 10:07 AM - Neecies.....Naked probably not avail' in the US. They use members' money to fund winery start ups, mostly established wine makers who have left a winery to start up biz for themselves. Good wines at value for money prices.

  • Callum's Corkers commented:

    2/13/20, 9:24 AM - Neecies....yeah, I've had some ''ordinary'' ones too, but most of the New Zealand white wines are good-to-very-good for pretty reasonable/cheap prices; Lay of the Land not so great, Small and Small very good, Rod Easthope and Dunnolly pretty decent, I thought.

2019 Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc Taylors Pass Marlborough
1/24/2020 - Callum's Corkers Likes this wine:
90 points
brief notes, tiny pour bottle label detail says "Single Vinyard Taylor's Pass'' Sav Blanc, and is a black coloured label but nowhere does the word ''Reserve'' appear on it.

N....big nose, rich fruit, some Marlb Sav Blanc grassy character sits alongside ripe tropicals

T....more settled than I expected a classy 1 yr old Marlb Sav Blanc to be; good solid sustained fruit flavours, some power, ends med-dry at best. Probably better at 2 yrs old but I wouldn't keep it any longer than 4 yrs old.

Rec RP £17.00.....easily worth that.
  • Callum's Corkers commented:

    1/27/20, 7:19 AM - Hi Ben....Ah, okay. Got it. I'm increasingly impressed with the quality-price ratio of their Cellar Selection mid-level stuff, btw.

  • Callum's Corkers commented:

    1/29/20, 7:14 AM - Hi Ben....Villa M Platinum Selection? Hadn't seen it. Will have a look, it's probably up here in the UK.

    I was more impressed with the Esk Valley Reserve reds - same group/Co, as you know. Their Gimblett Gravel reb blend was sensational, and great VFM; and the Esk Valley Terrace red blend, too, was amazing though that one's v pricey.

2018 Lagar de Cervera Albariño Rías Baixas
brief note, Armit at Claridge's

RRP for this is £17.00, but for me on the day it felt worth £10. I've had better Albarino for £8 (Tesco's Finest, in fact).

N....almost nothing.

T.....wet paper (but not in a good way), short flavours, no charm at all. Boring.

  • Callum's Corkers commented:

    1/5/20, 1:20 PM - Hi Joost' ....I expected more from the wine but was disappointed, it was boring. Generally I am impressed with Albarino, I think - in most years - the Tesco's 'Finest' one is very good value for money.

White - Sparkling
2010 Breaky Bottom Cuvée Koizumi Yakumo West Sussex Champagne Blend
2/5/2016 - BuzzzzOff Likes this wine:
90 points
100% Seyval Blanc. Aromas of zesty, fresh and crisp green apples. Palate is muscular with tiny bubbles dancing from side-to-side with lemon, apple and toasted-almonds. Comes across as barely legal at the moment, but with more than sufficient body to lay-down for more than a quite a few years. We are not about ready to walk away from our Frog Blanc de Blancs, but we are keen to continue sipping this luvly bubbly. Very, very well-done. The wine maker is Peter Hall, who apparently is the "master of Seyval Blanc". According to The Wine Pantry website (, this bubble is named after Peter's great-great-uncle the writer Lafcadio Heran, who is also known as Koizumo Yakumo, commemorating his work and marking his death 110 years ago. How do you go from Koizumi Yakumo to Lafcadio Heran to Peter Hall? Have a quick read at A touch too expensive, but we think worthy if not for anything than the change of pace...and recognition of what most people said was impossible...the English make excellent wine!
  • Callum's Corkers commented:

    10/1/19, 2:43 AM - Lovely review. Comprehensive, the off-piste is interesting. I saw Peter Hall on the BBC doco, 'The South Downs: England's Mountains Green', probably avail' on their iPlayer catch-up.

2016 Fattoria Le Pupille (Elisabetta Geppetti) Maremma Toscana Saffredi Red Bordeaux Blend
4/5/2019 - Callum's Corkers Likes this wine:
88 points
brief notes from a London tasting

Interesting wine with plenty of personality, but just an absolute raving bonkers RRPrice of £90. To me on the day £90 seems 50% over-priced. (Not all Fattoria Le Pupille wine's are this silly: their Poggio Argentato Toscana Bianco IGT is genuine value for money, £18 for an outstanding white wine.)

C.....dense red, light body.

N....great fruit, intense.

T....floury soft tannins, good length, lovely ripe fruit balanced with acidity, genuine quality, fins' off-dry. A Foodie style. Drink young, drink now.

VFM.....contemptuous, the £90 RRP a hilarious joke (if it was funny). Lovely wine but drinks like a £40 one.
  • Callum's Corkers commented:

    4/7/19, 9:27 AM - Bam_Man.....ok, got it.

  • Callum's Corkers commented:

    4/7/19, 9:35 AM - il_diavolo.....such a shame the Fattoria Le Pupille 2016 Saffredi Toscana Rosso ITG was so weirdly priced, because on their table on the day they had 5 other wines, all of them excellent, more or less, and all fairly/appropriately priced. WTF? Generally, a quality Producer, I'd have to say.

  • Callum's Corkers commented:

    8/30/19, 4:36 AM - BostonDoug.....Hi Doug, 88/100 because that's my rating for the wine, though I admit I was probably annoyed/amazed they were asking that weirdo price for it and so maybe - slightly - marked it down a bit.

2016 Mt Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc North Canterbury
5/31/2018 - Joe Kane wrote:
North Canterbury. Region is in between Marlborough and central otego. Not a grapefruit punch, rather melon rind, grass, earth, and more neutrality than cranked up Marlborough. Palate is a touch round, passion fruit and mango all over this guy! Great for price.
  • Callum's Corkers commented:

    4/5/19, 9:31 AM - Heads up/cheers for noting it was the North Canty' label, Joe. Mt B do a Central Otago Sav Blanc, too - a different label, obviously. The distinction is important.

2013 Roagna Barolo Pira Nebbiolo
4/1/2019 - Callum's Corkers Likes this wine:
94 points
brief notes, tasted at a London trade tasting.

Outstanding wine, but not worth its RRP £95. Felt like a £60 wine. Throughout the entire tasting I felt that most Borolo DOCGs were at least 30% over-priced.

C....almost brick., lots of persoanlity, intense fruit and tar, wood, coffee. Seductive.

T.....super drinkable, utterly charming, loads of depth and length, very complex. Maybe not dry enough for my taste: a minor quibble. Silky smooth. Loved it.

VFM?.....No, lovely wine but probably worth £60, not RRP £95. What a conceit!
  • Callum's Corkers commented:

    4/2/19, 5:53 AM - Thesternowl.....Hi, yeah, sure I'll list the value for money Producers here: although I thought/found on the day most Barolo was, say, generally 30-40% over-priced, I did find some exceptions, some value-for-money; producers like Roagna (as you've seen above), Famiglia Anselma, Giacomo Fenocchio, Bruno Giacosa, Punset, Fattoria Le Pupille, Tiberio, Cantele. BUT not every wine I tasted form these producers on the day was good value for money. Some of them were, though, obviously. I've reviewed several of them under the label names on this site, under my tasting notes, obviously you'll know how to search for them. I will write up more in the next few weeks, as I get time to.

2011 Seresin Sauvignon Blanc Reserve Marlborough
4/20/2015 - Zweder wrote:
Special bouquet which is hard to describe, but for me a-typical Sauvignon Blanc. On the palate white fruits and a bit fat. Concentrated wine with ok acidity, but I don’t know what to think. No score. Have to taste again.
  • Callum's Corkers commented:

    1/16/19, 5:15 AM - Hi,
    how do you ship wines to Antarctica (without them freezing)?
    Nice honest notes, btw.

2010 Pasquale Pinot Gris Waitaki Valley
1/11/2016 - Marc wrote:
91 points
Last bottle, best bottle. This is the classiest Pinot Gris that I have drunk from NZ. Very much in a dry Alsatian style - touch of so2, pinpoint acids, generous alcohol, great typicite. Not huge, but so classy and balanced. Dry and mouth filling. Very complex. Will continue to evolve.
  • Callum's Corkers commented:

    11/30/18, 7:58 AM - Agreed, I liked it as much/maybe better as/than my previous fave NZ PGs: Ohau Gravels; Mt Difficulty; Framingham. I was at Pasquale last month, Oct 2018, and loved everything they do except, maybe, found the Pinot Noir a bit too 'natural' for me, too 'wild'. Admittedly, I was tasting in their tasting room, out of ISOs, and didn't have time to let the wine sit in the glass and the funk fade away, so I decided it wasn't for me, and bought the whites instead. Incredible power and concentration, thrilling acidity swirling around all that classy fruit. I'd ignored this winery, even drove past it a couple of times over the yrs. Nevr again, I'll always pop in. What a class act. Took away 4 bottles of the Aromatics, drank them over 5 nights in campsite kitchens - access to ice for ice buckets! - while fishing Otago/McKenzie Country/Sth Canty, what a gorgeous week!

2006 Kumeu River Chardonnay Hunting Hill
No notes at the time, but my faith in this producer was confirmed. This had a really goo old-world profile to it that, combined with the increasing price of White Burgundy, makes me want to lay down a few more recent vintages.
  • Callum's Corkers commented:

    2/19/18, 9:44 AM - Hi,
    I went to Lay and Wheeler online, bought some aged KR Hunting Hill single-site Chardonnay 2009. Not cheap but class costs, don't it? I think that vineyard is even better than Mate's and Coddington. I ignored the upper end of KR wines when I lived in NZ because they were so expensive but my first Hunting Hill was a 2007 at the annual NZ Trade Tasting in 2012 - in those days still at Lord's, I think, not yet moved onto Horticultural Hall - and Wow, what a wine. Amazingly, it was on the free-pour table, but didn't last long, you won't be surprised to hear. Was best NZ chardy I'd had to that date. I've had Te Mata Elston, and I've had Villa Maria Reserve Kelton - and other Viila Reserve chardies - but KR seem to be doing NZ's best. I have 2 bots of 2014 Neudorf Motuere but by all accounts it need at least 5 yrs bottle age so I'll stay away from it; Bob Campbell reckons the Neudorf is NZ's best.

2014 Kumeu River Chardonnay Maté's Vineyard
2/4/2018 - Callum's Corkers Likes this wine:
89 points
Screw cap. Tasted at 9 degrees c.

Back label claims, ''pear, citrus aromas, mouth-filling texture, good length, needs 4-6 yrs bottle maturation.'' I buy all that, this is a Burgundian-style chardonnay with a restrained class, though it's less powerful/concentrated that I remember previous vintages being.

C.....pale straw, looks med-H body.

N....maybe too much wood? Some nice vanilla, peach skin, pears and citrus - as they claim - it's seductive and charming.

T.....yes, it's ''mouth-filling.'' Big soft malo impression, some limestone/clay minerals, sound steely core structure, is pretty dry. There's a good essence of flavour at the end. Very 'French' (for a NZ chardonnay). This Mate's Vineyard label doesn't seem to have the power of their Hunting Hill Vineyard chardonnay, though this is still very good wine. Probably more a Food wine than a Glugger. Not yet mature, but drinking very well right now.

VFM? At around £27 it's no bargain, I'd say it's slightly over-priced.
  • Callum's Corkers commented:

    2/7/18, 4:51 AM - Hi S Limes, I do use Lay n Wheeler, online or phone 'em up, I got some older vintages of my fave Loire Chenins (Gaston Huet) and Pouilly-Fume (Ch Baron de L) from them. They ain't cheap, but class costs, and they seem to hold stock from good vintages. BTW, I find these most reliable source of Harvest Reports/Vintage Reports on the net. You get a detailed report of the entire season's conditions, just google, for say 2010, ''harvest report for Italy 2010'' and it'll come up. Type in any country and year you need. Vintage details are so important: you can have a classy winery but in a crap year even a skilled team can't make a silk purse from a sour's ear.

2010 Definition for Majestic Rioja Viña Majestica Tempranillo
2/5/2018 - Callum's Corkers Likes this wine:
90 points
Bought £10.99 Majestic UK. Made for Majestic by highly regarded La Rioja Alta at their Torre de Ona Winery in Rioja Alavesa.
Not decanted.

Very drinkable/gluggable big soft red that at 8 yrs old is drinking perfectly now. No surprise it has class, given who made it for Majestic. Outstanding bargain.

Big and soft but with acid too, some oak, heaps of dark chocolate, and coffee (Mocha). Smooth. Drinking superbly but not yet fully mature, probably going to devel' further complexity. Amazing in a wine for £10.99. Floury tannins. Decent length. Not especially dry.

VFM? Outstanding bargain. Buy with confidence - though research your online vintage/harvest reports; wine is best. Check the small print bottom of back label to ensure it was made by La Rioja Alta, as this might not always be the case in the future.
  • Callum's Corkers commented:

    2/7/18, 4:41 AM - Hi S Limes....yeah, I saw something about where it had been made for Majestic, then realised it was the classy outfit La Rioja Alta, so bought some after reading reviews on here. Outstanding bargain. Have La Rioja Alta continued in vintages after 2010 to make it for Maj UK? Not at all the staff are snapping it up? Whenever I'm in there, first thing I ask them is, ''what are you guys all drinking lately?''

2016 Bodegas Borsao Campo de Borja Joven Selección Grenache Blend, Grenache
Bodegas Borsao tinto joven 2016, Campo de Borja, Spain. 13,5%vol. A cheap and cheerful young red wine from the denomination of Campo de Borja, which is about 200 miles from Spain's capital Madrid but only a 55 minute drive from the Rioja wine-making area. The town of Borja made world headlines a few years ago due to the "Ecco Homo" portrait scandal. The coupage is tempranillo, garnacha and cabernet sauvignon. No such dodginess surrounding this wine - it's well-made, clean, fruity and soft. Lovely fun for an investment of €1,79 !
  • Callum's Corkers commented:

    1/10/18, 2:00 AM - Yip, supermarketsin the Uk do a similar thing, 'own' labels actually have Higher and Lower levels within that too, ie Tesco's 'Finest' is better - and a higher price - than their ordinary 'bottled for' Tesco's. I am consistently buying/drinking Tesco's Finest wines, they're a bargain - though not the outstanding bargain you detail from the Spanish supermarkets. Amazing - and in good vintages can be good-to-very-good wines, my fave probably being the Western Australian Riesling made by Howard Parks vineyards under the lable 'Tingleup' Tesco's Finest WA Riesling. You gotta watch your vintages, research vintage reports on Wine Spectator online, and buy only the good years, but when it' good it's great, a bargain....

2013 G.D. Vajra Langhe Nebbiolo Langhe DOC
9/21/2017 - Callum's Corkers Likes this wine:
90 points
Bought Majestic UK, approx £20

Getting better, I couldn't resist opening one more of my dwindling stash of the 2013s. Very good exmple of basic/cheap-ish Langhe DOC.

Light-Med body only but an inky power and essence of flavour profile: coffee, cedar, long warm spices, cinnamon, tar, liqourice. Not anywhere near mature but drinking very well, the acid balancing good fruit. Floury tannins. Not a wine with great finnesse, a little rustic, but charming enough.Pretty dry finish. Enjoyed it more than previous bottles, which bodes well for remaining 2013s in cellar.

VFM? Improvement in bottle makes it better value. Defo buy again (in good your research online! Spectator Vintage Reports probably most reliable)
  • Callum's Corkers commented:

    1/7/18, 8:47 AM - Blimey, 7.00 euros and less for very good Rioja and other Spanish red is a bargain. Which supermarkets, and where?

2011 Delas Frères Condrieu La Galopine Viognier
1/11/2014 - forceberry wrote:
91 points
Rather pale yellow-green color that veers more towards yellow than green. Quite ripe and aromatic nose with notes of dried peach, candied pear, star fruit, some ginger juice and a hint of perfumed florals, that mask away a slightly chemical touch of acetone that felt rather dominant upon opening the bottle. On the palate the wine is dominated by that rich, exotic fruit character typical of Viognier: there are flavors of papaya, mango, cantaloupe and yellow stone fruits, both fresh and dried. Underneath, faint notes of floral notes not unlike Muscat with a touch of coarse middle eastern spice character. The mouthfeel is full-bodied, oily and richly textured, yet not flabby due to balanced (although not high) acidity that gives the wine decent structure. Next day the acetone note has invaded the taste with more pronounced spiciness suggesting light oak notes, perhaps? In the aftertaste the taste loses its intensity quite quickly and the exotic fruit character fades away rapidly, but a nuanced aftertaste of ripe pear, white flowers, exotic spice and terpene complexity linger on for a long period of time.

I can understand why Condrieu is held in such high esteem - this is easily one of the most impressive and complex Viogniers I have tasted. Furthermore, this wine does not suffer from some of the typical pitfalls of Viognier wines: fat, flabby body; excessive alcohol; or dominant, coarse terpene character. This wine shows surprisingly classy combination of richness, structure and complexity. However, I really wouldn't say that this wine is still worth its price. Although this is a surprisingly impressive for a Viognier, I can find almost as good Viogniers for half the price. So, even though this is an impressive Viognier, I wouldn't say this wine is worth its price at 32,48e.
  • Callum's Corkers commented:

    9/29/17, 6:31 AM - Comprehensive Review, and I esp' liked the Value For Money comment at the's important!

2014 Millton Chenin Blanc Te Arai Vineyard Gisborne
1/17/2017 - Callum's Corkers Likes this wine:
92 points
Screw Cap. Well chilled.

Still love this NZ Chenin. This bottle the acidity a little fresher, which I liked. So, some variation within same vintage? Loads of white/yellow fruits, a little honey mid way through, lovely acid lilt to finish. Clean. Heaps of super drinkability. Perfect with roast duck. Med-H body.

VFM...v good, compared to a Vouvray of similar class.
  • Callum's Corkers commented:

    3/4/17, 1:19 PM - Pretty good value for money, Oregonative, the organic Millton's. Probably my all time fave' Chenin is Gaston Huet from Vouvray AC, but it is about £40 a bottle. Had this week a Marc Bredif 'Classic' Vouvray 2015 for around $NZ 29.00. Good-very good wine but not in Huet's class.

2014 Ohau Gravels Woven Stone Wairarapa Rosé Blend
10/11/2016 - Callum's Corkers Likes this wine:
92 points
Ohau Gravels Rose' (Woven Stone label) 2014
Bought £7.50 promo price Sustainable Wines UK October 2016

Brilliant. Everything I want in a Rose': finishes dry after shed loads of fruit, beyond pink, solid medium-bodied, v good with food as well as natural quaffer, being well chilled doesn't dull its flavour. Fun.

C....beyond Pink, no insipid south of France/Provence AC rubbish here.

N....heaps of charming strawberry, plums, raspberry.

T....tons of fruit but balanced with cleansing acidity. Perfect picnic wine - if you can keep it chilled. I'm amazed it's still this fresh and exciting at 2 yrs old. Best Rose' I've had in ages, even a little better than the excellent Villa Maria's Private Bin Hawke's Bay 2015 Rose (£8.00 Tesco's).

VFM? Bargain at £7.50 promo price. Worth twice that. Kicks over-priced tasteless Provence AC Rose into the ditch.
  • Callum's Corkers commented:

    10/13/16, 10:26 AM - Cheers.

2013 Craggy Range Sauvignon Blanc Single Vineyard Te Muna Road Vineyard Martinborough
6/18/2015 - GrantGieseler Likes this wine:
91 points
There is nothing better than drinking a crisp Sauvignon Blanc in the summer sun. This wine has a great citrus, green apple, and stone fruit nose, with some grassy notes with a hint of bell pepper and jalapeño as well. Cloudy Bay Te Koko is still my favorite, but this is a top 3. Great wine for the price. It's rare to spend $30 on a bottle of Sauv Blanc but this wine is worth it. Give it a shot, it won't let you down. I debated between buying the '13 or '14 and from what I've read, the '14 is drinking better right now too. Looking forward to trying it. Please tell me your thoughts.
  • Callum's Corkers commented:

    5/21/16, 2:09 PM - Agreed, Grant. Probably my fave NZ Sav Blanc, certainly the best Value For Money. I like Te Mata Estate Cape Crest 2013, too, and Astrolabe 2014 (an Awatere Valley/Marlborough wine), and Clear View (another North Island one), but Craggy Range is classy

2013 Craggy Range Sauvignon Blanc Avery Vineyard Marlborough
10/25/2014 - JerM wrote:
92 points
(Pre-Road-Trip Brunner) Passionfruit, gooseberries. Sweet with white fruits. Stemmy asparagus and lifted lemons and kaffir lime, edging on bubblegum. Bright crisp acidity leading to an admirable mineral finish.
  • Callum's Corkers commented:

    2/16/16, 4:27 AM - Hi
    ''pre-road trip, Brunner'' Lake Brunner, West Coast NZ? You another fly fisherman/Angler who drinks/loves wine?
    So are we.

  • Callum's Corkers commented:

    2/16/16, 4:54 AM - Oh, ok I get it. Enjoy your wine.

2014 Rod Easthope Pinot Gris Hawke's Bay
1/31/2015 - Callum's Corkers Likes this wine:
93 points
Hawkes Bay fruit. This guy used to make wine for Craggy Range. Slight onion skin colour, attractive. Hints of lychees on the nose, but it is not intense or complex. Simple, clean, correct Pinot Gris fruit: 'does what it says on the tin.' In the mouth it is medium body, clean simple wine, well made, nice fresh acid, lively, a nice acid lick at end. Off dry. Nice lemons and fruit, no almond complexity or fullness like, say, Mt Difficulty, it isn't in that class but neither is it in that price range, it is half the price at approx £9.00 British sterling. So, a bargain. Great value-for-money. Drink it now while it is fresh, it hasn't the complexity to develop hugely in the cellar, so why wait? It's good now. Will be buying again.
  • Callum's Corkers commented:

    7/6/15, 11:35 AM - Cheers, Doggerel. I'm a fan of Easthope. I have his '13 Pinot Noir, but as yet - of course - haven't gone near it. A few yrs back he made a Gatecrasher HB Sav Blanc; incredible intensity and power (for a Savvy outside/north of Marlborough). It got my attention, and once he joined/was funded by Naked Wines UK I have been following him since. Naked Wines - now part of Majestic, but with no apparent plummet in class - are producing some amazing winemakers: Small & Small's 2014 Sylvia Reserve Awatere Valley Sav Blanc won a Gold and a trophy at Decanter Wine Awards 2015. Not bad for a £10 wine.

2013 Millton Chardonnay Clos de Ste. Anne Naboth's Vineyard Gisborne
4/8/2015 - HowardNZ Likes this wine:
90 points
Dinner with Nick and Wayne: There is a lot of hype around this vintage of this Chardonnay so it was good to try it alongside the Bell Hill and a top quality Côte de Beaune 1er. The wine's nose is 'soft', with pineapple, passionfruit and other aromas of tropical and orchard fruit. On palate, the impression is similar. This Chardonnay has dense fruit weight and is relatively rounded with its flavours mainly in the tropical fruit spectrum. However, in addition to serious structure, this wine does have sufficient definition and acids to prevent it from being blowsy. Also, the oak is relatively well integrated and in proportion to the fruit. The wine has good length. I'd give it 2-3 years for optimal drinking. From vines planted on the hillside Naboth's Vineyard in 1981, only produced in exceptional years.
  • Callum's Corkers commented:

    5/15/15, 1:17 AM - Hi. Sound review. Pleasure to read. Comprehensive. How did the (notoriously expensive) Bell Hill compare? Same vintage, 2013? And the white Burgundy (again, probably expensive)?
    2013 in NZ.....because of the gushing PR press releases I can't help being sceptical. But, I have to say, the North Island whites have been v good, at least so far. Dunno, though, about the cellar potential for some of these whites from 2013, from such a 'ripe' year. I have bought some of the reds, but obviously ain't touched them yet. I haven't even seen many of the '13 reds at the annual NZ tasting in London. Next year, no doubt.
    Vintage Reports are important, I think. 'Reports' better than quick-ref Chardts. Probably best detailed Vintage Report on net I have found is Wine Spectator's annual Vintage Report. It is still free access, for now. They do all of Europe plus USA and all Sth Hemisphere regions in SA, NZ and Oz and Chile etc. It is annoying when I look at Parker's Vintage Chart, say, and he gives a score of, say, 90 for the vintage in NZ, but no details of how Otago would have almost certainly entirely diff' weather for the season than Martinborough, or even Canterbury. Yet they give a proper breakdown for France in one year, ie Loire from Burgundy etc etc.
    By the way, at last yr's annual Australia tasting in London my Wine of the Show was Lethbridge Pinot Noir. Stunning. From Victoria. You ever tried it? They have a couple of levels, even the lowest one is superb value-for-money, on the level of pretty good Burgundy for 50% of the money. (But, again, pick your vintages after researching growing season/harvest reports.

  • Callum's Corkers commented:

    5/16/15, 6:56 AM - Yip, I agree what you say about entire regions being given a Vintage Chart rating, yet within the regions are different grape varieties - with diff' ripening schedules. It can rain at the 'end' of a vintage, yet Cabernet or Riesling, say, still isn't picked. Vague ratings hide the truth.

    Agree, too, that Otago in 2013 wasn't as good as their 2012, though much of the remainder of NZ had a pretty ordinary/difficult season in 2012. Detail is important. I hang off buying wines from areas I know - from research - to have had a dodgy/difficult year, even from known/trusted producers. I simply look elsewhere, another country even, follow the good vintages, buy from good/great years. You can get bargains, too: buy an ordinary wine like Cote du Rhone, say, from a 'commercial' producer like Guigal in good/great yrs. It will be very good, yet cheap to buy. (Call me old fashioned, but I'm still excited by Value-For-Money.) They'd have to try very hard to muck it up. I leave off buying the same wine from a dodgy year, even from someone fantastically reliable/classy like Ch de Beaucastel: 'you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.' Even them.

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