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A beautiful single-vineyard expression of Chenin Blanc showing great potential for the variety in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand, which currently only has 4.8 total hectares in the appellation. The Two Terraces Vineyard is in its third year of conversion to organic certification which was planted in 2016 on ancient river terraces. The fruit is fermented fully dry and goes through full malo naturally. On the nose are notes of yellow flower, yellow peach, white pepper, and lime zest. The palate is bright and fresh, but far from teeth-ripping acidity, with a long, textural finish. Michelle DeWyngaert
Hawke's Bay is home to some of the best Syrah vines in New Zealand. This bottling comes from the Ash Ridge Vineyard in the Bridge Pa region in its 2nd year of conversion to organic certification, planted in 2005. 30% whole clusters are used in the fermentation and aging in neutral barrels, which keeps this expression lifted and more aromatic. On the nose are notes of dried herbs, dried violet, purple plum, and blackberry. The palate is much lighter than expected with bright acidity, gentle, powdery tannins, and a distinct umami quality. Easy-drinking, but with plenty going on, a great summertime Syrah! Michelle DeWyngaert
Classically zippy and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough New Zealand! Arona is based only half a mile away from the coast which means their vineyards feel more wind whipping through, keeping the temperature down than anywhere else in the region. This means they can be farmed more sustainably with less disease pressure, and it also makes their wines super fresh and vibrant. The nose brings you to a tropical place with a breeze from the ocean, notes of papaya, lemon and grapefruit pith and freshly cut lemongrass, and on the palate are ripe green and yellow apples, pink grapefruit juice and a tart, slightly bitter finish. Drink this after a long day at work to refresh your palate and spirit, and/or with anything that needs a spritz of citrus like grilled swordfish or a summery salad. Michelle DeWyngaert
Central Otago has been building its reputation for excellent sparkling wine, and this is a perfect example. The stunning Bendigo Estate vineyard is one of only six in the region to receive Demeter certification. Though they are at a high elevation and at the southernmost latitude for viticulture, the Bendigo sub-region is one of the warmest pockets in Central Otago, and their sun-drenched north-facing slopes bring much needed ripeness to the Pinot Noir. The name Quartz Reef refers to the large quartz deposits in Bendigo, which gives this traditional method sparkler a crystalline mineral quality. The wine spends a minimum of 18 months on the lees and is bottled with 3 g/l of residual sugar. Bright, crisp, and elegant are the words that come to mind with notes of just ripe raspberries, strawberries in fresh cream, a touch brioche. Excellent as an aperitif and worked very well with prosciutto and melon. Michelle DeWyngaert
New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most identifiable wines on the planet, but here's one that's a little less predictable. While most vineyards in New Zealand are conventionally farmed, and mainly on flatland to make mechanical harvesting easier, the Supernatural Wine Co. uses fruit from the certified organic Millar Road Vineyard which stretches across a north-facing hillside in Hawke's Bay. The fruit sees six hours of skin-contact before racking and fermenting with native yeasts. Kept on the lees for six months before bottling unfiltered with just a small dose of SO2. This is a distinctive and textural Sauvignon Blanc with notes of ruby grapefruit, lime zest, and touch of smokiness, and on the palate it's juicy and fresh, with a stony, slight grip on the finish. Michelle DeWyngaert