1. 2013 Villa Maria Merlot
Certified organic and from a challenging vintage for Hawkes Bay, but ironically the drought conditions meant that carefully managed reds performed exceptionally well. Merlot in particular produced a wine with a splendid balance of flavour, tannin, alcohol and acidity. Approachable now and would be excellent with a leg of lamb and traditional mint sauce.
Price: $16 available at heraldwine.co.nz.
2. 2014 Seifried Sauvignon Blanc
Since 1973 Nelson's Seifried Family Estate has been producing quality wines
at most reasonable prices and this sauvignon is no exception. This wine is medium-bodied with hints of melon, green capsicum and lime. A winner with shellfish.
3. 2014 Jules Taylor Rosé
One of the country's smartest winemakers, Jules Taylor, owns no vineyards but knows where to source grapes she wants for her carefully crafted wines. With a nod to spring she has just released her new vintage rosé, with heaps of character and all the bright red fruit flavours you could wish for. Gisborne grapes from a cracker of a vintage and the usual Taylor-made attention to detail. The perfect aperitif to salute (hopefully) the encroaching warmer season.
Price: $25 available at heraldwine.co.nz.