Dashwood Pinot Noir Marlborough 2012


Well balanced and easy drinking, a friendly companion at the table or fantastic for sipping on its own.

Winery: The Dashwood brand was created by Vavasour Wines in 1989 in order to produce wines using a blend of grapes from Marlborough’s Wairau and Awatere Valleys.

Philosophy: “Offering great value for money Marlborough wines that are packed full of flavour”.

Winemaking: Crafted by winemaker Glenn Thomas at Vavasour, grapes were sourced from sustainably farmed vineyards in their Awatere vineyard along with grapes from Wairau.

Tasting Notes: Fruity and silky smooth with aromas of dried flowers and earth that harmonize with flavours of cherry, tart red currant and flinty earth, finishing with hints of baking chocolate and savoury herbs.

100% Pinot Noir
New Zealand
Produced and Bottled by Vavasour Wines LTD
13.5% Alcohol
Enjoy now thru 2015

Banfi Fumaio Sauvignon Blanc & Chardonnay 2012


Although a bit too sharp for my personal taste, this is a simple, refreshing blend good with light dishes.

Estate: Castello Banfi is a family-owned estate in the Brunello region of Tuscany, founded in 1978 by Italian-American brothers, John and Harry Mariani. With their dedication to innovation and excellence, they have been recognized around the world for their achievements in winemaking. Perhaps their most commendable award is “First Winery in the World Recognized for Exceptional Environmental, Social & Ethical Responsibility and Leadership in Customer Satisfaction”. They pioneered research on Sangiovese clones and registered the results in order to share the research with neighboring vineyards.

Winemaking: Throughout the 7100 acre estate [including their sister estates in Piedmont], a natural, traditional approach is taken from the vineyard to all processes in the winery. They practice water conservation, erosion control, maintain biodiversity, utilize nitrogen bottling to eliminate the addition of sulfites, and developed hybrid stainless steel and oak fermentation tanks to balance flavours and allow the terrior to shine through.

Philosophy: “Respect for the potential of this territory and the desire to exalt its character”.

Tasting Notes: Green tinted straw yellow in colour with aromas of cut grass, wet slate and the uninviting yet acceptable cat pee. Apple and pineapple layers dashed atop a bright acidity, whilst lemon notes comprised the zesty finish.

50% Sauvignon Blanc, 50% Chardonnay
Toscana IGT
Bottled by Banfi
11.5% Alcohol
Enjoy now

La Maialina Chianti 2011


A phenomenal value sourced from some of the most prestigious estates in Tuscany, this is a friendly, easy going Chianti that pairs with a wide variety of dishes.

Winemaking: La Maialina is the brainchild of noted oenologist Attilio Pagli. Named after an “heirloom breed” of pig indigenous to Tuscany, Pagli purchases surplus juice from some of the best estates in Tuscany to craft La Maialina.

Philosophy: “To preserve the flavor of Tuscany”

Tasting Notes: Garnet in colour with aromas of tart cherry, earth and dried leaves. Fruity with cherry and tart wild berries backed by hints of minerals, finishing with spicy white peppercorn, woodsy elements and hints of chocolate.

Sangiovese [I could not verify varietal percentage]
Bottled for La Maialina by 15632/FI Cerreto Guidi
12.5% Alcohol
Enjoy now thru 2016

Domaine de Mus Pinot Noir 2012


A superb value with a cheerful blend of fresh fruit, earth and spicy herbaceous elements.

Estate: Located near the town of Béziers in the Languedoc region of southern France, it is a family domaine passed from father to son for many generations. It is headed by 4th generation winemaker Bernard Julien who is known for producing high quality wines.

Tasting Notes: Cherry red in colour with bright aromas of cherry and strawberry. Cherry, strawberry and tart rhubarb flavours were supported by earth notes and smooth tannins, whilst white peppercorn and sassafras comprised the cleansing finish.

100% Pinot Noir
Pays d’Oc/IGP
Estate bottled
13% Alcohol
Enjoy now thru 2016

Renato Keber Pinot Grigio Riserva Collio 2010


A lively, distinctive Pinot Grigio.

Estate: Renato Keber’s great grandfather founded the estate in the 1900’s when the area was still under Austrian rule. Located in northeastern Italy near the Slovenia border, today the estate consists of 15 hectares of terraced vineyards.

Philosophy: “The character of our wine is rooted in the tradition of our ancestors, just like our vines, rooted into the soil cultivated by our fathers.”

Winemaking: Grapes are macerated for an entire month in open cement tanks, only wild yeasts are used.

Tasting Notes: Honey, white flowers, fresh herbs and lemon radiate in this wonderfully unordinary Pinot Grigio. Engaging, cheerful flavours of lemon, cantaloupe, grapefruit and clean minerals culminate in a spicy, zesty finish.

Pairing: [From the winery] It harmonizes easily with hors d’oeuvres, light soups, fish, risotto, white meats, fresh cheese.

100% Pinot Grigio
Bottled by Azienda Agricola Renato Keber
14% Alcohol
$25 [average price]
Enjoy now thru 2015