Grape Varietals: 33% Pinot Noir, 33% Pinot Meunier, 33% Chardonnay
Growing Region: Epernay, France
Chef de Cave: Dominique Petit

I have been in the wine industry for over 20 years, and this is what we call 'Sophisticated Simplicity' - sound confusing, well once you taste it, all will be revealed. This non-vintage Champagne - possibly the hardest of all Champagnes to craft - is a harmonious assemblage of different 'crus' from several different vintages. Making non-vintage champagne is where a ‘chef-de-cave’ Dominique Petit earns and keeps his reputation.


Grape Varietal: 100% Syrah
Growing Region: Hillside Vineyard, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
Owner / Chief Winemaker: Peter Robertson

This outstanding Syrah grown in a very special site found and planted by Peter; reminds me how young, but how quickly the New Zealand wine industry has matured and developed in such a short time. All captured in a single bottle, or in this case a glass of wine shared with friends and a nicely brazed piece of venison. Or maybe I am showing my age, as I have watched this wine develop from its first vintage, then to beating the Australians in their own competition in 2004, right up to this vintage.


Grape Varieties: 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Malbec, 15% Merlot, 15% Petit Verdot & 5% Cabernet-Franc
Growing Region: Waiheke Island, New Zealand
Owner / Chief Winemaker: Stephen White

This 2007 Stonyridge Larose is only now just starting to relax and settle back into the bottle - so even though it is far from its true potential due to the layers of complexity one associates with wines that Stephen and his team craft.
I thought it was a good time to talk you through the characters that make up this unique wine expression - so you know what to look forward too.


Grape Varieties: A select blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot & Cabernet-Franc
Growing Region: Waiheke Island, New Zealand
Owner / Chief Winemaker: Stephen White

This 2005 Larose is now starting to integrate and develop in bottle - though far from showing its true personality and voice, due to its rich and intense complexity that Stephen and his winemaking team have blended. I find it helpful for many - to open this special wine at this stage in its development and talk through the wine characters - so you are well prepared for what is too come.