Neil Ibbotson had wanted to make a classic sparkling wine ever since he first grew grapes back in 1978. In 2012, when his mum, Dawn, was about to turn 100, he finally decided to do it. The result is a biscuity, bottled version of its namesake. Vibrant, slightly nutty and packed with personality, it's a finely-tuned fizz honouring the life of a (now 102-year-old) legendary lady.
Sip with: Mexicali fish tacos.
Maude Central Otago Pinot Noir 2014 $36
If you're a sucker for colour saturation then this will have you ogling. Ultra-bright and boasting incredibly pure aromas of rosehip tea, fresh cherry and raspberry leaf, it's a floral and fabulous pinot. Super-succulent and plumped up with plums, dried herbs and complex, spicy layers, this is a Central Otago stunner.
Sip with: duck a-la-anything.
Beach House Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Malbec 2014 $25
2014 was a slightly cooler in the Gravels than 2013, and that's good for blended reds like this. They're more likely to retain elegance, freshness and that all-important fragrance-factor. There's a lift of dried herb, blackberry and classic sweet tobacco, cocoa and violet notes into the warming, meaty mouthfeel.
Sip with: smoked venison salami.