When the weather is bleak there’s nothing better than a warming bottle of red to boost the spirits. Pinot Noir, Syrah and Shiraz exude finesse and elegance and are a staple on all wine lists and off-premise shelves. This month, we’re showcasing some stellar examples as tasted by New Zealand’s first and only Master Sommelier, Cameron Douglas.

Catalina Sounds Sound of White Single Vineyard Marlborough Pinot Noir 2020
From a producer that always impresses with any wine they produce – youthful, varietal, a core of fruit, dark roses and a plush enticing complexity. Equally enticing on the palate with a core of dark red berry fruit flavours – black currant, dark cherry, some plum then toasty barrel spices of clove, vanilla and a touch of cedarwood. Firm tannins and plenty of acidity provide the foundation for ageing and fruit to rest upon. Lengthy finish and a wine that is very youthful and needs cellar time. Best drinking from late 2022 through 2028+.
Points 94
RRP $45.00

Distributor: Red + White Cellar
Phone: (03) 579 6148
www.catalinasounds.co.nz

Crown Range Cellar China Girl Central Otago Pinot Noir 2017
Complex and complete, savoury and varietal, fruity and layered. Preserved cherry and baking spices, dried herbs and black currant, dried raspberry and tea. Softening tannins, medium+ acidity, barrel spices of clove, vanilla and a whisper of bacon then dark cherry. Length finsih, complex and delicious. Drink from purchase and through 2026.
Points 94
RRP $88.00
Distributor: Crown Range Cellar
Phone: (09) 307 7966

www.crownrangecellar.com

Seifried Nelson Pinot Noir 2020
A captivating bouquet of toasty French barrel smoke with clove and vanilla, then pinosity markers of dark cherry and roses, spicy plum and moments of silty mineral soils. Flavours on the palate reflect the nose with a seam of savoury dried herb adding complexity. Moderate tannins with a gently firm youthful texture, a core of fruit with contrasting acidity, moderate oak level. Balanced and well made and ready to drink from late 2021 or early 2022 and through 2026+.
Points 93
RRP $20.00
Phone: (0508) 4 WINES
Distributor: Seifried Estate
www.seifried.co.nz

Orlando Lawson’s Single Vineyard Padthaway Shiraz 2015
Concentrated, toasty, fruity bouquet with aromas of dark berries and peppery black spices, coconut, clove and bacon oak twists, baked raspberry and black licorice scents. Complex and classic. Equally concentrated on the palate, warm, fresh, toasty, fruity and delicious. Sweet oak, firm fruit and wood tannins still harmonising along with plenty of acidity providing a firm foundation for continued ageing. Inky dark berry fruit flavours stick to the palate adding length and breadth. Balanced and well made, ready to drink or age further. Best drinking from 2022 through 2030+. 
Points 95
RRP $44.99
Distributor: Pernod Ricard Winemakers
Phone: (0800) 655 550
www.orlandowines.com

Orlando Centenary Hill Barossa Valley Shiraz 2015
Black cherry and toasty barrel, raspberry, black currant and vanilla, baking spices, btter chocolate and velvet roses. An earthy dry stone quality layers in some complexity and intrigue. Salivating, tense and dry on the palate. Flavours of dark berries, black currant, red licorice, tart cherry and raspberry. Firm tannins with a fine polish and back bone of acidity add a core structure. Lengthy, fresh and classic. A lovely wine still developing , but offering great drinking from today and through 2030.
Points 94
RRP $64.99
Distributor: Pernod Ricard Winemakers
Phone: (0800) 655 550
www.orlandowines.com

Redmetal Vineyards Bridge Pa Triangle Hawke’s Bay Basket Press Syrah 2019
Powerful fruity bouquet with aromas of fresh raspberries, black currant and red plums, there’s plenty of oak, violets and sun-baked stony soil aromas. Flavours on the palate mirror the bouquet with dark berries and violets, raspberry and spices. Plenty of oak and tannins with a back bone of acidity build a sound structure of mouthfeel and ageing. A lovely wine that will please many red wine drinkers. Best window for enjoyment from purchase and through 2028.
Points 94
RRP $45.00
Distributor: Red + White Cellar
Phone: (09) 376 0760

www.redmetalvineyards.co.nz

The Landing Bay of Islands Syrah 2019
Warm and generous bouquet with aromas of ripe black currant, tart rapsberry, dark plum and wild red flowers. There’s a deep core of rocky, mineral clay soil and forest scents adding complexity. Youthful too with pronounced aromas of oak with a smoke, baking spice and bacon scents. Distinctive on the palate with flavour combinations of dark berries and cocoa powder, barrel spices, smoke and earthy stony flavours. Tannins are bold, acidity noted – both providing foundation and power. A lovely wine that requires time to relax and develop still, but also drinkable upon purchase – best served with food. Ideal drinking from mid to late 2022 through 2028+.
Points 94
RRP $48.00
Distributor: Vintners
Phone: (09) 300 3685
www.thelandingwine.co.nz

Hãhã Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2020
Bold, vibrant and expressive red fruited bouquet with scents of black currant and raspberry, dark cherry, barrel and spices. On the palate – juicy, fleshy, fruity and dry with a core of fruit flavours that reflect the bouquet. Firmish tannins and bright acid line lead to flavours of dark berries, plum and toasty barrel spices. Well made, balanced and ready with best drinking from late 2021 through 2024+.
Points 93
RRP $24.99
Distributor: Hãhã Wine Company Ltd
Phone: (06) 833 7814
www.hahawine.co.nz

Orlando Printz Shed Northern Barossa Shiraz 2018
Concentrated, rich and fruity core of dark berries and spices, black currant and inky black rose  scents. Tense, fruity, weighty, fresh and attention grabbing textures. Flavoures of black currant, plum preserve, clove, vanilla, a moment of coconut, a touch of boot polish and whisper of salt. Firm tannins, plenty of acidity. Balanced and well made, but youthful still and will continue to develop for some time. Best drinking from 2022 through 2028+.
Points 93
RRP $29.99
Distributor: Pernod Ricard Winemakers
Phone: (0800) 655 550
www.orlandowines.com

Redmetal Vineyards Syrah Bridge Pa Triangle 2020 Hawke’s Bay
Youthful and fresh with lifted aromas of raspberries and red currant, some peppery spice and barrel scents of clove and vanilla, fairly toasty and inviting overall. Firm, youthful textures as the wine enters the palate with an abundance of fruit then wood tannins, medium+ acidity and contrasting core of fruit flavours that mirror the nose. There’s a light tartness to the fruit adding tension and length. Well made and ready to enjoy with food. Best drinking from late 2021 through 2026+.
Points 92
RRP $25.00
Distributor: Red + White Cellar
Phone: (09) 376 0760
www.redmetalvineyards.co.nz