Waipara Hills Waipara Pinot Gris 2016
Having just scooped the trophy for Champion Pinot Gris in the 2017 Royal Easter Show Wine Awards, this bottle now sports more bling on its grill than Tyga the rapper. This wine now brings so much heavy metal to the trophy cabinet in the pool room, it needs to be earthquake-strengthened. Prepare for pear, quince, hints of nutty nougat, apple and powerfully textural layers of flavour on the finish.
Sip with Five-spice slow-roasted pork belly.
Stoneleigh Marlborough Riesling 2016
How this highly evocative, intensely vibrant, citrus-forward example can rock in for under $20 is beyond me. I adore the cleansing apple, lime and honeysuckle layers and it's beautifully constructed, with balance, texture and beautiful persistence of flavour. It's a sensational value-for-money wine, a lipsmackingly lovely example indeed.
Sip with crayfish and avocado salad with chilli citrus dressing.
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Rivera Salento IGT Primitivo 2015
Primitivo is in its element down in the southern Italian area of Salento and, if you're keen on light, juicy, ultra-spicy reds, then this will completely crumble your cookies. I love the lift of dried herbs, red rose, dark plum and boysenberry on the nose, along with warm, woolly tannins that have just the right amount of chew-factor. Extra for experts: Primitivo is the Italian name for another grape that American's call zinfandel.
Sip with baked lamb and rosemary cannelloni.
Yvonne Lorkin is co-founder and chief tasting officer of winefriend.co.nz and a Wine Writers of NZ member.