Spice up your life
Looking for ways to inject some much-needed spice into your life this weekend? All you need are these three thrillers...
Zonin Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso 2013
"Ripasso" essentially means "re-passed" or "twice" in Italian, and this is a technique whereby regular valpolicella wine (blended from native grapes corvine, rondinella and molinara) is added to the skins and lees leftover from fermented armarone wine. So not only does the valpolicella take on an extra boost of colour, texture and flavour, it also gets an injection of extra alcohol from a second fermentation.
This plush, velvety-textured red is chock-full of cherry and spicy berry flavours and is succulent and smooth on the finish.
Mudbrick Onetangi Valley Syrah 2014
This is a wunderkind from Waiheke Island and it almost seems criminal to drink it so young. The solid fruit core is stitched together with all manner of fragrant spices and there's that classic peppercorn lift that good syrah should have. The hint of smoke on the finish gives it extra complexity and I would love to be more disciplined, because this wine is going to absolutely wow over the coming years.
Greywacke Marlborough Pinot Gris 2013
Pinot gris has proved an unstoppable force in this country, particularly over the last decade.
It's now our fourth most-widely-planted variety and our wine producers are now crushing a whopping 24000 tonnes of the stuff. That's almost 1500 times the quantity they were processing in 2005. Kevin Judd of Greywacke has mastered the art of squeezing in as much luxuriously rich baked stonefruit, quince, apple and nashi notes into his while still maintaining fresh, lean, elegant acidity, a superb spicy lift and a long, quenching finish.
All wines featured are available at bitewine.co.nz.
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