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New Zealand: Pure, Intense, Diverse

New Zealand is a land like no other. New Zealand wine is an experience like no other. The special combination of soil, climate and water, the innovative pioneering spirit of the good folks who live there and their commitment to quality-- this all comes together to deliver pure, intense and diverse experiences. In every glass of New Zealand Wine is a world of pure discovery.

New Zealand extends (1000 miles) from sub-tropical Northland (36° S) to the world’s most southerly grape growing region Central Otago (47° S). Vineyards benefit from the moderating effect of the maritime climate (no vineyard is more than 80 miles, from the ocean) with long sunshine hours and nights cooled by sea breezes.

When looking at the wines of a region, it is important to learn about the foods they eat. This can give insight into why they make certain wines or why their style of a particular wine is made the way they make it. The cuisine of New Zealand is more varied than many may think-- while the sheep-to-people ratio is down to 7-to-1 (from 20-to-1; there are around 30 million sheep to about 4.5 million people as of 2011), lamb is still very important to the Kiwis.  Seafood, naturally, given their locale, works well, also, and is a major part of their collective national menu as well as an important export.

English cuisine (moreso Scottish) was probably overall  the most influential (for the non-Māori population) on New Zealand until the late 1980s when immigration was opened a bit, seeing more people arrive from East Asia, Southeast Asia and South Asia, bringing their foods and traditions with them. These foods, in time, have been adopted and added to the overall cuisine of the land. And how do they match with the wines?

As Sauvignon Blanc is king, the main grape and wine grown and made in NZ (73% of all white wines grown in NZ are Sauvignon Blanc; they grow more whites than reds by more than a 3-to-1 ratio), the familiar sea foods as well as 'newer'  more Asian-influenced selections pair quite well with the native white wines (Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Riesling follow Sauv Blanc in the grapes grown category). New Zealand is also known for their cheeses, both for consumption and export, as well as excellent fruits and veggies-- with their temperate climate they can grow more than world-class grapes!

For the reds, Pinot Noir is the boss (70% of all NZ reds), followed by Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec/Cab Franc. With all those sheep, you need a bit of Pinot around. New Zealand wine is distinctive for its purity, vibrancy and intensity. The long ripening period - a result of cool temperatures - allows flavor development whilst retaining fresh acidity, a balance for which New Zealand wines are renowned.  While many of these wines are excellent to enjoy solo, by looking at the foods they enjoy with these wines, we find a great blueprint for fantastic future meals. (Oh, by the way, lobster is their top seafood export, mussels not too far behind... see SAUVIGNON BLANC!).

KUMEU RIVER CHARDONNAYS

The Brajkovichs are nationally recognized as a founding family of the New Zealand wine industry who brought wine making knowledge with them from their native Croatia.  The current generation is internationally recognized as producing world-class Chardonnay. They produce a Burgundy-influenced style of Chardonnay that features indigenous yeasts, extended lees aging and malolactic fermentation. The Kumeu River Chardonnay and the Matés Vineyard Chardonnay, are arguably the best in New Zealand and have been named in the Top One Hundred Wines of the world by the Wine Spectator on more than one occasion.   Harvey Steiman of Wine Spectator magazine wrote, “Kumeu makes the best, most long lived Chardonnays in New Zealand.”

 

KUMEU RIVER 2011 VILLAGE CHARDONNAY

Kumeu River Chardonnay is drawn from six different vineyard sites in the Kumeu Region.  The Chardonnay from this vintage is ripe, rich and beautifully concentrated.  Delightful peach, yellow apple and hazelnut aromas along with a silky texture are characteristics of this wine. This wine will pair well with fish and shellfish.

$16.98 750ml [380620] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

 

KUMEU RIVER 2010 CHARDONNAY "MATÉ'S"

The “Maté's” Chardonnay is a rich, complex, full-bodied wine with delicious flavors of citrus, lemon, honey and butter.

WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - “The 2010 Maté’s Vineyard Chardonnay is also a bit closed, displaying a chalky, lemon / lime, orange peel and jasmine  nose with a hint of honeyed toast. It has a tightly knit texture with layers of citrus and mineral flavors, lifted crisp acidity and a long finish. Medium-bodied, it is built for the long haul and should drink from 2014 to 2021+.”

INTERNATIONAL WINE CELLAR 92 POINTS - “Pale, bright straw-yellow.  Musky pear, apricot, apple, lemon oil and a hint of smoky minerality on the nose.  Juicy, smoky and dry, with lovely citrus lift giving the middle palate a perfumed quality.  Silky-smooth, broad and very concentrated.  Finishes ripe and long, with a firm spine of citrus fruits and minerals.  This showed more structure and acidity with 24 hours in the recorked bottle, along with an intriguing saline complexity.  A terrific New Zealand chardonnay.”

$39.98 750ml [378862] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button


Tiki Estate Wines

Tiki is a relatively new boutique producer making estate wines with vineyards in Marlborough and Waipara. Tiki’s estate vineyards are all farmed sustainably with the wines strongly reflecting the varietal character of the grapes.

 

TIKI 2011 PINOT GRIS, SINGLE VINEYARD

100% of the fruit for this wine was sourced from Tiki’s Rewa Vineyard in the Upper Wairau Valley in Marlborough.  Aromas of honeysuckle, melon and quince meld together to create the nose of this wine which is further enhanced by a lovely, perfumed bouquet.  Essence of pear and quince reward taste buds that are further tantalized by the wonderful weight and structure of this wine.  Full flavored and rich, the palate delivers a fantastic combination of ripe fruit flavors with delightfully balanced acidity and hint of residual sweetness which enhances the length.

$18.95 750ml [382997] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

 

TIKI 2013 SAUVIGNON BLANC

Ideal weather led to an excellent harvest with ripe, fresh fruit.  The cool night temperatures helped maintain refreshing acidity and maximize the flavors of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.  On the nose, ripe tropical and passion fruit aromas interact with gooseberry and herbaceous notes.  The palate displays a refreshing, zingy wine with fine acidity, which complements the aromatics and leads to a mouthwatering finish.  This wine would pair well with seafood, shellfish and goat cheese.

$14.95 750ml [382928] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

 

LOVEBLOCK 2013 SAUVIGNON BLANC

Loveblock is the project of Kim Crawford who helped transform the New Zealand wine industry and make Sauvignon Blanc a household name around the world.  Kim Crawford’s Sauvignon Blanc continues to be a huge hit with our customers.  For his new Loveblock wine, Kim Crawford purchased land and planted vineyards on the hilltops overlooking Marlborough’s Awatere Valley. His aim is to create the best wine to express this extraordinary place. New Zealand’s signature varietal tends to be bold and big with pungent aromatics. The Loveblock wine focuses more on texture and finesse, while retaining nice acidity.  It has beautiful aromatics of white peach, melon and subtle herbaceous notes. On the palate, the mouth feel is generous with nice lift, refinement and minerality. Hints of stone fruit and citrus linger on the long finish. This wine is complex and subtle. Think of it as Kim Crawford dressed up for a night on the town.

$19.98 750ml [383090] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

 

THE NED 2013 WAIHOPAI RIVER SAUVIGNON BLANC MARLBOROUGH

Named after one of the peaks near the vineyard where The Ned's grapes come from, this is a personal project for Marlborough native Brent Marris, proprietor and winemaker, that showcases the Waihopai Valley and fresh, clean flavors that made NZ Sauv Blancs famous. The nose  reveals passionfruit, lemon grass, lime citrus  and a note of plantain/banana.  The palate is viscous and full but streaked through with ample acidity as flavors echo and build upon the scents: citrus, saline minerality, lime blossom, pear, chalk. Enjoy this with fresh fish, chips, lemon wedges. Even better? Do so at your favorite beach.

$12.95 750ml [381001] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

 

THE NED 2011 SOUTHERN VALLEY PINOT NOIR

The Ned's Pinot Noir vines are planted in the deep clay loams of the Southern Valley, regarded as the finest Pinot Noir terroir in Marlborough. The vines are cane pruned and meticulously tended to achieve a naturally balanced crop of intensely flavored fruit. Sourced from the renowned Benmorven and Slopes vineyards, the 2013 vintage was naturally low yielding, with a long ripening period that has ensured optimal fruit expression and tannin ripeness. The nose is a pleasant mix of red fruits and brown spices, ripe cherry and strawberry with sarsparilla and earth. Cherry and cranberry fruits, a mixture of foward sweetness and ample acidity, merge with darker red fruits and a hint of peppery spice, black tea, leading to a nicely resolved, fruit-filled finish.

$17.98 750ml [381029] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

 

SAINT CLAIR 2013 PIONEER BLOCK 18 "SNAP BLOCK" SAUVIGNON
BLANC MARLBOROUGH

Saint Clair Family Estate is owned by Neal and Judy Ibbotson, viticulture pioneers in Marlborough since 1978. Grapes were originally supplied to local wine companies; however a desire to extend the quality achieved in the vineyard through to the finished wine led to the establishment of Saint Clair Family Estate in 1994. Their Pioneer Block wines are made from small parcels of outstanding fruit from specialist vineyard sites prized for their individual terroir characteristics.  "Snap Block" or "Block 18" was originally an apple orchard growing the Snap variety on the fertile and free-draining soils of this site-- which produce extremely healthy vines.  With their maritime climate, this is a cooler area with a longer ripening season. The nose is rife with citrus, gooseberry, minerality, herbs and a drop of cream.  It's brash, bold and beautiful.  The palate leaps with fresh fruit and vibrant acidity, citrus, hints of herbaceous grass and mixed tropical fruits, whipped clover honey and another hint of cream, all within a lush framework kept aloft by the intense, intrinsic acidity.  This will easily cut through and pair with shellfish quite well.

$21.98 750ml [378281] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

 

PRESSING MATTERS 2012 RIESLING R9 TASMANIA

Greg Melick wasn’t sure which was worse: his Mum finding out that as a young lad he’d gambled and won at Werribee race course or – that he’d subsequently spent his winnings on wine…  and so began Greg’s love affair with wine.  Greg and Francis Douglas had been interested in acquiring or establishing a vineyard for many years. In 2002 Greg finally found the ideal site, in the cooler southern Tasmania, which consisted of approximately 14 hectares of grazing land on well-drained north east facing slopes, with cracking clay over a calciferous base. The site was also frost free.  Robert Drew was contracted to establish the original vineyard for planting – which has now been planted with 2.9 hectares of Riesling and 3.8 hectares of Pinot Noir. The nose on this Tasmanian Riesling is lush and inviting, an attractive blend of ‘Mosel meets Down Under’, with notes of mixed stone fruits intertwined with streaks of mineral and a hint of camphor/diesel. The palate counters rich viscosity and a touch of sweetness (R9 references the just-under 9 grams per liter of sugar) with scintillating acidity and minerality: superb balance. Flavors combine spring florals and white peach with  tropical lime and river rock.
Note: We know Tasmania is not part of New Zealand-- but this wine is too good not to include whilst our eyes are focused down that way...

$34.95 750ml [381630]

 

MT. DIFFICULTY ROARING MEG 2012 CENTRAL OTAGO PINOT NOIR

It all began in the early 1990s, when the owners of five newly-planted vineyards in Bannockburn, Central Otago, shook hands and decided to work together to produce wine under one label, Mt. Difficulty. The handshake bound the owners of Molyneux, Mansons Farm, Verboeket Estate and Full Circle until 2004 when Mt. Difficulty Wines Ltd was formed, and the majority of the individual vineyards passed into the ownership of the company. As a result, Mt. Difficulty Wines Ltd now owns some of the oldest vineyards in the Bannockburn sub-region of Central Otago in New Zealand's rugged South Island. The vine age gives these wines, particularly the Pinot Noirs, extra complexity and concentration. The Bannockburn area is internationally recognised as one of the few places in the world outside Burgundy where the pernickety Pinot Noir variety has found a home. Parts of New Zealand and cooler areas on the western seaboard of the United States are the only other regions where Pinot Noir seems to truly flourish.
The nose is filled with bright fruit, sweet cherries and mixed red fruits, light spice, leather and a background floral perfume.  The bright red cherry fruits are tempered nicely on the palate with excellent acidity and richer flavors: pomegranate, cherry tobacco, black tea, dark spices and plums.  Very drinkable, enjoyable Pinot.

$19.98 750ml [377999] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

 

PEREGRINE 2009 CENTRAL OTAGO PINOT NOIR

Set majestically in the rugged mountainous beauty of Central Otago in the South Island of New Zealand, this privately owned producer is committed to enhancing the environment with both their organically certified estates and winery and their ‘hands on‘ involvement in the conservation of New Zealand’s native birds, the Saddleback and Mohua. Passionate wine producers and estate owners, Lindsay McLachlan and Greg Hay, have a philosophy of producing wine that is truly representative of the Central Otago region, drawing only the very best hand-picked fruit from 11 sites around the Lowburn, Bendigo and Gibbston sub regions.  In its short history it has been an impressive high achiever, with its wines winning numerous prestigious awards and trophies around the world. Kiwi Burgundy. The nose is filled with smoky plum, cherry reduction, a touch of bramble wood, grilled fig, cola berry. In the mouth, raspberry, strawberry, pomegranate fruits lead the charge. Touches of fig, dried spice and cigar box fill the corners as uplifting acidity and silky tannins bind and complete the wine. Complex yet approachable, balanced and extremely tasty, share this and be the hero.

$28.99 750ml [303907]


2009 Brunello Di Montalcino:
Partake and Enjoy!

Weather was a key factor for this Brunello di Montalcino vintage, the summer heat in particular, as we saw similar conditions across most of Europe.  While too much heat can be problematic and affect the wines negatively, there are many postives that can work with what nature gives you: vine age and winery practices (i.e. organic/biodynamic farming, gentle extractions) being the most obvious.  Having an experienced winemaker and team are the other key factors to making great wine, regardless of conditions (within reason).

So, overall, many of the 2009 Brunellos are very approachable now and will drink well over the next couple of years, perhaps while waiting on the fantastic 2010s (as well as the powerful 2006s and 2007s) to mature.  They are rich in fruit, fleshy, with soft tannins.  For those who are not into cellaring wines, this is your vintage.  Partake and enjoy!

 

VALDICAVA 2009 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO

WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - “Vincenzo Abbruzzese’s 2009 Brunello di Montalcino is a dense and full-bodied rendition that delivers an enormously floral bouquet of crushed rose petal and dried potpourri with background tones of cinnamon stick, root beer and caramelized brown sugar. Past vintages of this wine have shown great power and structure in the mouth, but the 2009 vintage is veiled and nuanced instead. There’s a silky and tight quality to the tannin backed by a long, polished feel. The wine never feels bulky or dense. It will be interesting to see how it evolves, but if you don’t want to wait, it can also be consumed in the near-term. Drink: 2016-2024.”

$89.95 750ml [301488] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

 

CASANOVA DI NERI TENUTA NUOVA 2009 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO

WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - “From vineyards in the southern part of the appellation, the 2009 Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova does show some of the hallmarks of the warm vintage. Compared to the base Brunello, the aromas here are slightly less delineated and you do get whiffs of overtly ripe raspberry and blackberry that intermingle with exotic tones of Asian spice, licorice and incense. In the mouth, the wine’s fabric is lush and rich with sweet tannins and opulent consistency. It needs a few more years to flesh out. Drink: 2016-2025.”

$64.99 750ml [381823] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

 

EREDI FULIGNI 2009 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO

ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - “An open, resonant wine, the 2009 Brunello di Montalcino impresses for its supple personality and gorgeous overall balance. Sweet tobacco, dried flowers, red cherries and menthol wrap around the palate in a deep, fleshy wine loaded with character. Readers will find plenty of near and medium term appeal here. The 2009 finishes with striking aromatics, sweet red fruit and gorgeous, subtle herbal overtones.”

$59.98 750ml [301611] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

 

COSTANTI 2009 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO

WINE ADVOCATE 92+ POINTS - “From the Colle al Matrichese location east of Montalcino’s city walls, the 2009 Brunello di Montalcino shows a rich fabric that is woven tight with evident strands of black fruit, mesquite smoke, crushed black pepper, licorice, rosemary oil and root beer. The wine leans away from the sweet side of Brunello to the savory side and that is ultimately what makes it so attractive. It is put together thanks to masculine and muscular touches with evocative shadings of smoke and mineral that shift and change as the wine opens in the glass. This bouquet is a moving target that keeps your fixed attention for as long as you have the wine in front of you. And, considering the general quality here compared to many of its peers, that won’t be very long at all. The mouthfeel feels a bit shorter than past vintages and that’s why this wine didn’t score higher.”

$59.98 750ml [302998] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

 

CANALICCHIO DI SOPRA 2009 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO

WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - “The 2009 Brunello di Montalcino is a standout expression with long and polished notes of dried fruit and tobacco presented in a smooth and seamless fashion. It shows good structure and balance but an even prettier nose with ethereal balsam herbs, tar, licorice and pressed violets that emerge as the wine evolves in the glass. The wine hints at a greater evolution to come. Drink: 2017-2022."

$54.98 750ml [303269] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

 

SAN FILIPPO 2009 BRUNELLO “LE LUCERE”

WINE ADVOCATE 93+ POINTS - “The 2009 Brunello di Montalcino Le Lucere is aged in both small barrel and larger oak casks. This combination of wood stands up nicely to the natural density and thickness of San Filippo’s fruit. This is one of the wines of the vintage, not just for its sheer confidence and personality, but moreover for the elegant nuances it offers at the back. As the wine evolves in the glass, it slowly imparts dark cherry, campfire, smoke, licorice, root beer and balsam herb. It shows the powerful side of Brunello with ample inner grace. Drink: 2016-2026”

$52.99 750ml [303484] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

 

GIANNI BRUNELLI LE CHIUSE 2009 BRUNELLO DE MONTALCINO

WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - “The 2009 Brunello di Montalcino is a classic rendition that is layered high with dark fruit, plum, grilled herb, licorice, cola and pressed flowers. The effects of those aromas are long-lasting and persuasive especially as they wrap sensually around the palate. With 30 months in large oak casks, the wine also shows impressive balance for the vintage with a touch of heat that is offset by the brightness of the fruit and a cleansing touch of acidity. It is a good candidate for drinking over the next five to ten years. Drink: 2016-2024."

$47.98 750ml [303520] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

 

ARGIANO 2009 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO

WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - “The 2009 Brunello di Montalcino comes across as lush and concentrated with bold fruit tones that wrap smoothly over the palate. The wine is well-balanced and really doesn’t show overt signs of the hot 2009 vintage. In fact, the bright crispness, backed by sharp aromas of chopped mint and blue flower, show the quality of fruit that comes from this historic estates from one of the southern-most and warmest points of the appellation. This is a beautiful effort that will award those who wait a bit longer. Drink: 2017-2025."

$47.99 750ml [303700] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

 

UCCELLIERA 2009 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO

WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - “The 2009 Brunello di Montalcino is a fleshy and meaty wine that carries its weight and concentration with grace. The wine oozes personality with a long succession of fruit, herbal and dark spice sensations that leave a lasting impression. Fruit is harvested from the Castelnuovo dell’Abate area and is aged in oak for 36 months. Drink: 2016-2025.”

$44.99 750ml [303510] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

 

CAMIGLIANO 2009 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO

We’ve carried Camigliano Brunello for many years—it’s always a terrific value in this category. With the release of the 2009, we got an early taste in February months before the wine arrived—it was truly delicious and the estate seemed to perform in another ear in the sunny and generous 2009 vintage.

INTERNATIONAL WINE REPORT - “The 2009 Camigliano Brunello di Montalcino opens up nicely as it sits in the glass, bringing aromas of cherries and plums followed by earth, leather, dried floral and hints of spice. It has a medium-full body, which is well balanced. The lovely soft, silky texture makes a seamless transition into the clean finish where berry and spice flavors linger. Best 2015-2026.”

$39.98 750ml [302477] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button


Sake

YUKI NO BOSHA  YAMAHAI JUNMAI

Yamahai is a classic style, typically characterized by big, gamey, funky aromas and flavors. This award-winning sake contradicts the classic style by being mellow, well-balanced and low in acidity. It is loose and relaxed on the palate with notes of roasted chestnuts, brown butter and honey. It can be enjoyed at a range of temperatures from gently warmed to slightly chilled. It pairs well with hearty food like steak, stew, pork belly and funky cheese. Yamahai is a traditional way of making the yeast starter for Sake. Instead of taking 7 days, it takes 30 days to develop the yeast starter when using the Yamahai method. Kampai!

$28.99 720ml [365810] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

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