The first signs of summer in my house are the increasing number of wine bottles in the top shelf of my fridge. When summer finally arrives in all its sweltering glory the shelf will be jam-packed with white, rosé and sparkling wine.
Chilled white, rosé or fizz is the obvious antidote for summer heat and is more suited to salads and seafood that make up an increasing share of my diet in the warmer months. It’s not a total takeover – a large glass of red wine is an indispensable part of my barbecue kit, along with tongs and a wire brush.
The point is I don’t suddenly stop buying and drinking red wine when summer arrives. To celebrate the diversity of my drinking diet in the months ahead I have chosen my top wine tasted in the past six months over ten different categories. Because only Russian Oligarchs could drink most of these expensive wines on a regular basis I have also chosen a list of my ten top wines at more affordable prices.
Kusuda Riesling, Martinborough 2013 – $36: Brilliant wine made in tiny quantities. Put your name on their mailing list for the 2014 which should be even better. – view on bobcampbell.nz
Dog Point Section 94, Marlborough 2012 – $35: Super-serious Sauvignon with the usual punchy aromas plus a whole lot more. The 2013 is just as good. – view on bobcampbell.nz
Greystone Sand Dollar Pinot Gris, Waipara 2013 – $26.90: Dry Pinot Gris with perfect purity and an ethereal texture. It’s like Pinot Grigio on steroids. – view on bobcampbell.nz
Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay, Martinborough 2013 – $45: Elegant, powerful and deliciously textural Chardonnay that makes it hard to resist a second glass … and a third. – view on bobcampbell.nz
Quartz Reef Methode Traditionnelle, Central Otago 2009 – $45: Fantastic fizz which is high praise when you consider that the 2007 vintage frothed into my computer and ruined it. Open with care. – view on bobcampbell.nz
Gibbston Valley Rosé, Central Otago 2014 – $27: Stunning Rosé that captures the purity and beauty of the region where it was produced. – view on bobcampbell.nz
Craggy Range Aroha, Martinborough 2012 – $105: Complex Pinot Noir with a drop-dead silken texture. Great now, even better with a little bottle age. – view on bobcampbell.nz
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 17 Merlot, Hawke’s Bay 2013 – $37.90: Dense, ripe and very classy Merlot with layers of dark berry and plum flavours. – view on bobcampbell.nz
Cypress “The Cypress” Syrah, Hawke’s Bay 2009 – $90: Big, rich and quite complex Syrah with plum, blackberry, chocolate, liquorice and black pepper flavours. Will age magnificently. – view on bobcampbell.nz
Babich The Patriarch, Hawke’s Bay 2011 – $70: A flagship blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec with elegance and power. Great cellaring potential. – view on bobcampbell.nz
Top Ten Best Buys
Glasnevin Limited Release Riesling, Waipara 2012 – $25: Rich, complex and slightly sweet Riesling that’s great now but will age magnificently. – view on bobcampbell.nz
Mud House Pinot Gris, Marlborough 2014 – $18.99: Delicious Pinot Gris with a hint of sweetness and luscious tree fruit flavours plus a seasoning of spice. – view on bobcampbell.nz
Sacred Hill Halo Chardonnay, Hawke’s Bay 2013 – $24.99: Rich, creamy and complex wine that punches well above its weight.
Te Hana Sparkling Rosé Cuvée NV – $16: This trophy-winning wine is a real bargain. Delicately fruity Rosé with a crisp, dry finish. The taste of summer. – view on bobcampbell.nz
Terra Sancta Rosé, Central Otago 2014 – $26.50: beautifully fragrant, delicate and sublimely pure Rosé – summer in a glass! – view on bobcampbell.nz
Greystone Pinot Noir, Waipara 2013 – $36: The price may not seem to be a bargain but, believe me, for a wine of this quality, it is. Superb Pinot Noir. – view on bobcampbell.nz
Oyster Bay Merlot, Hawke’s Bay 2013 – $16.99: Unbelievably good value red at this price. – view on bobcampbell.nz
Ngatarawa Stables Syrah, Hawke’s Bay 2013 – $19: This is the best Stables Syrah ever made! Deliciously drinkable red that will make all barbecued steak taste even better. – view on bobcampbell.nz
Mission Merlot Cabernet, Hawke’s Bay 2013 – $16.50: Supple, flavoursome red in a very accessible style. Brilliant value at this price. – view on bobcampbell.nz
First published in KiaOra Magazine – Dec 2014.