Six of the best… different wines for summer

These six wines are all new-ish in New Zealand, thanks to Ric Little and Mark Young, importers who have spent the past year working on finding fresh new styles to offer in this country via their company, Vintners New Zealand.

The Auckland based duo sent these six wines to glean thoughts about them from an independent wine critic, namely, yours truly. It’s a tough job and all that jazz. The word best sprang to mind because these wines offer variety;  the spice of life that wine can offer so much of.


2020 Dune Tirari RRP $26.99

Here’s a deliciously different wine from South Australian brothers Peter and Duncan Lloyd, who were brought up with wine in McLaren Vale, South Australia, which is an experimental hotbed for interesting varieties. Flavours here are all about ripe licorice balanced by soft plummy fruit flavours balanced by firm acidity which adds structure and length to every interestingly quirky sip.

They used five grapes which originate in five different countries to make this interesting new take on Australian red wine. The grapes are Touriga (originally from Portugal), Grenache (French), Negroamaro (Italian), Mourvedre (French/Spanish) and Shiraz (Australia’s stock in trade).


2020 Koerner The Clare Red RRP $48.99

A big bold Aussie classic from another pair of brothers, Damon and Jono Koerner, in this case, who won the 2019 Young Gun of the Wine award and are all about enhancing the place and grape variety rather than pushing ripeness too far. I love the slightly cooler climate expression of Australia in this wine, which is made from grapes grown in the Watervale area of the Clare Valley.


2020 Prosper Maufoux Macon-Villages RRP $29.99

France is the traditional home to the Chardonnay grape and this wine is an affordable expression of it made by the Piffaut family. This wine is medium bodied and refreshing with flavours of rock melon, citrus and white peach. It has a medium finish and offers good value for an insight into Chardonnay from Burgundy’s southernmost outpost. It may have been the bottle that I had, but I found this wine slightly short on the finish, hence my score of high bronze.


2019 Martin Codax Mara Martin Godello RRP $24.99

Godello is one of the most exciting white grapes in Spain today and this one offers depth and freshness without having to cut off a limb for the privilege of enjoying such a zesty flavoursome wine. It’s a great with-seafood drink and equally delish on its own. It’s made by a family which has traditionally specialised in the exceptionally trendy Albarino in Rias Baixas in Galicia.


2019 Nivarius Tempranillo Blanco RRP $22.99

Aromatic dry white made from an extremely characterful tasting grape with flavours of ripe peach, tangelos, mandarin zest and grapefruit. It’s off dry in taste and made by a family focussing entirely on white winemaking in a region devoted to red wines. This is made from Tempranillo Blanco, grown at 800 metres above sea level where local white grapes ripen slowly, retaining acidity and freshness thanks to the cool night time temperatures.


2018 Rocca delle Macie Tenuta Sant Alfonso Chianti Classico RRP $34.99

Good Chianti Classico is one of the great wines of the world. And most Chianti Classico is good. It’s a smaller wine region in Tuscany than Chianti and is governed by its own DOCG board. Mundane details aside (or not to us wine nerds), this is a sensationally full bodied, powerful and dry classic from a great family.

This wine is underpinned with structure thanks to high but balanced acidity which is barely noticeable thanks to its weight, body and long finish.

Lovely style – crazy good value.

Author: Joelle Thomson

I am a wine writer, author and educator... first bitten by a big buttery Chardonnay on a dark and stormy night in the 1980s and there was no turning back... Follow my tastings and join some too on this new site.

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