Wine: 4 Sips for the week

By Yvonne Lorkin

CJ Pask Declaration Syrah 2010, $50

An intensely aromatic example that oozes fruitwood smoke, cracked pepper, rose and violet notes and an underlying earthy character. The tannins have grip and sinew and sit alongside a solid seam of oak, fresh acidity and together create a long, warming finish. It's elegant, understated and has good tension, indicating it has many years of great drinking ahead of it.

Old Mout Passionfruit & Cider 1.25l, $11

I really like this new cider because it's not too sweet. Loads of alcoholic beverages containing passionfruit tend to be overblown and sickly but this cider and passionfruit combination is superb. It's clean and tangy with a hint of spritz and citrus. There's a very pure passionfruit flavour that is nicely balanced with the apple cider note and I reckon this will be an absolute hit come summer. For stockists in your area visit

Invercargill Brewery Pitch Black Imperial Stout 9 per cent 330ml, $8

If you're a fan of their 4.5 per cent Pitch Black stout, you'll no doubt enjoy this reworked, double strength version. They've doubled the original recipe and halved the water and then, after the ferment, they threw it into Central Otago pinot noir barrels for three months. The result has seductive Marmite, roasted hazelnuts and fresh, dark cocoa, prune and treacle notes - stunning stuff.

Hunter's Miru Miru 2008 Reserve, $34

This is hands down one of the best local bubblies I've tasted all year, so it was no surprise to learn it was awarded a gold medal at the New Zealand International Wine Show. Miru miru actually means "bubbles" in Maori, and Hunters have produced a sparkler that smells like hot croissants filled with crushed arrowroot biscuits and lemon zest. It has a deliciously dry, rich, mouthfilling, nutty character and fantastic length of flavour.

- Hamilton News

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