I'm really excited about Albarino and the potential it has to become a great Kiwi incarnation of a classic Spanish white. Mahurangi River's owners Shelley Trotter and Gary Heaven's has become a local favourite thanks to its floral intensity, white peach and lemony flavours and dry, minerally concentration on the finish. I love the chalky whiff of rain on hot stones that sneaks through too. An excellent white to drink with smoked seafood.
Palliser Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015
Brace for a passionfruity punch as soon as you stick your nose in the glass. With grassy intensity, loads of lemon, lime and a burst of crushed basil, this wine represents the best that can be achieved from Martinborough sauvignon when winemaker Allan Johnson gets his hands on it. I love the gum-tingling texture, finely tuned citrus and herb notes that flex alongside its flinty finish. Gorgeous with mussel fritters.
Stanley Estates Reserve Marlborough Chardonnay 2014
Peaches and cream alert! If I had a dollar for every time I get asked, "Where are all the buttery chards at?" I'd have enough to buy a second-hand Suzuki Swift. The aromas of this Awatere Valley-crafted wine lean toward the roasted stonefruit spectrum, reaching out to a buttery, creamy mid-palate and textural finish with nutty notes. Try with tarragon and Dijon mustard chicken.