Labour weekend. Time to dust off the barbie (or if you're like me get the oven cleaner and the waterblaster out and spend half a day removing last season's baked on mammalian lipids) and prepare for a long, hot summer. Well, at least for those of us who inhabit the east coast of our currently green and pleasant land it promises to be a long, hot summer. Great for grape growing, but not so much fun if you're a pastoral farmer. Or a cattle beast for that matter. Stark choice between little feed on sunburned pasture or becoming the centre of attention on said barbeque.

However, for the bipedal inhabitants of Godzone, things look significantly more promising. Not least because of the new wines we have just bottled that will go a long way towards making those summer social events both memorable and highly pleasurable. The first, and possibly most surprising, is our first ever Albarino. We've taken ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) to new heights with this slightly off the wall variety that is well known in Europe but has only recently popped up on this side of the world. As a native of Spain, Albarino has a considerable pedigree alongside some pretty tasty cuisine. It has lovely aromatic stonefruit with a hint of citrus, coupled with a rounded palate and a long, fresh finish that pairs very well with seafood dishes. Tiny volume this year, and it is already on the wine list at the highly regarded Phil's Kitchen in Auckland's Mt Eden - 24 hours after bottling.

We have also just bottled the 2015 Syrah, a soft, eminently drinkable number with dark fruit and a touch of black pepper, as well as the 2014 Basket Press Syrah. The latter is in such demand that we had to ship 3 dozen up to the Spencer on Byron in Takapuna for their very smart wine list before we had even completed the bottling run. This wine is a dark fruited beast with the structure to last up to a decade, although I suspect not much of it will be held for that long.

For those who want a classical Merlot style, we still have the staple (every cellar should have a case) 2014 Merlot/Franc as well as some of the outstanding 2013 Basket Press Merlot/Franc and 2013 Resolution. If you're after super ripe fruit, supple tannins and slam dunk drinkability, these reds will hit the spot.

Special prices will start tomorrow and run until the end of October on our website ( for our newsletter / mail order customers, then we will revert to standard pricing. Most of these wines are only available in small quantities and we will be holding some for wine lists, so they may not last that long. Here's looking forward to a great summer with food and wine to match.


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