People think wine writing is glamorous. My diary today has “worm the cat”, “get dog’s anal glands drained”, “buy school shoes for Jake”, “sort Southern Cross receipts” and “buy new tweezers” written in it. So, yeah. Jealous?

Neudorf Rosie's Block Nelson Chardonnay 2015 $33

Five different clones were hand-harvested, fermented with wild yeasts and blended to create this buttered crumpet-smelling chardonnay, which quickly unveils a backbone of grilled nectarine and grapefruit pith alongside deliciously textural, creamy almond characters in the mid palate. It's a juicy, cheek-puckering style that pretty much makes everything you consume with it positively bounce around in your mouth. Fresh, elegantly structured, all-round niceness from these Nelson pioneers.

Sip with: lemon chicken tagine.
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Linden Estate Reserve Hawke's Bay Syrah 2014 $48

This Esk Valley producer is on its way to completing a radical turnaround of fortunes. From being run into virtual non-existence, it's been rescued and revitalised by sparkie-turned-winemaker Trevor Shepherd, who has a knack for creating quality syrah. Intensely spicy and showing plum, dark berries, cocoa and elegant, elongated tannins and expert handling.


Sip with: spice rubbed lamb rumps.
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Allan Scott Marlborough Riesling 2014 $18

Aromas of green apple, carrot cake spices and musky, honeysuckle and apricot kernel characters all merge together on the palate and crash into a wave of sweetness. There's a soft, grainy texture to the finish of this tangy example that'll appeal to those who prefer a more honeyed style of riesling.

Sip with: spicy jambalaya.
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