Middle Earth Nelson Pinot Noir 2014 $24
Ryan O'Connell did a very clever thing naming his wines after the Tolkien-inspired locale, because now they're a firm favourite with Hobbit fans. The 50-year-old family dairy farm was converted to grape-growing some years back and they contract-grew for big brands until deciding to have a crack at bottling their own. This pinot has forest floor, dark berries and broody spices, soft tannins.
This stony, sun-baked pocket of perfection reveals racy, riotously good riesling. Winemaker Dean Shaw has captured intense lime, grapefruit and mandarin flavours dusted with quartz and flint to create this lip-smacking sip. Owner Denis Marshall is a former Minister of Conservation, Minister of Lands and the Associate Minister of Agriculture, devoted to sustainability.
Sip with: spicy, coriander-laden seafood salad.
Matawhero Church House Gisborne Malbec 2015 $26
A huge lift of berries and cocoa on the nose lead to an abundant and lush impression in the mouth. The Searle family are building quite a reputation for magic malbec with fresh acidity, rosehip, cranberry and pepper flavours and a smooth, incredibly textural spicy finish.
Sip with: rare beef tataki.
Available on Bitewine.co.nz