That’s Not Tokaji

Torley Gruner
Oh FFS!  Another middle of the road, boring white wine.  Still it was only a fiver so I shouldn’t expect mermaids, unicorns and leprechauns offering me pots of gold should I?

I bought this because a man in a wine shop told me I’d probably like the Grüner that the Hungarians are making, and because I’m a sucker for anything Hungarian since my parents lived there for 9 years.  And yes, I have stood atop Gellért Hill and been to tühe grotto chapel they talk about on the back label.

If you like your white wine a bit softer in acid, a bit more mellow in flavour, and a bit more rounded on the palate than a Marlborough Sav this will be right up your street.  It’s just not my street.  Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this wine.  But as I said, “Not my street. Not my thing.”

Gellért Hill Grüner Veltliner by Törley is available in the UK in Tesco.

Villa Maria Sav, More of a Romance than a Wine


The Wither Hills

Marlborough, New Zealand – Home to Villa Maria’s Private Bin Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc (and a lot of grape vines).

I’m sorry Villa Maria, I tried.  I really truly tried.  Tried to remember all those descriptors I learned about Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.  Tried to find something amazing to say about this wine.  Sadly, the truth is… it bored the pants off of me.

Let me be honest.  Marlborough Sav is not my wine of choice.  I have always struggled with the cat’s pee on a gooseberry bush, the capsicum juice, the aspara-poo-grass, and the searing acidity that could melt gold at 20 paces.  This wine had none of those attributes and initially I thought this was a good thing.  But no.

This wine is very definitely a product of its upbringing.  Born in a ripe year it is remarkably fruity; passionfruit is the most dominant flavour.  It has the acid the style is known for but not in the bucket loads you’ll get in a cooler vintage.  It also has a hint of lime and a hint of herbs (No… not the sort some people like to bake on a Sunday afternoon).  But that’s kind of it.

So why did I buy it if I know I’m not a fan?  Because I believe you never really know.  Because every wine deserves to be revisited from time to time.  Because I know a lot of people who truly love this wine (all mad obviously) and buy it by the case load, and I keep wondering if perhaps I’m missing something.  And because I love the Marlborough Region. Go there if you get the opportunity.  Not in the heart of winter though  – it will be probably be closed.

Villa Maria Private Bin Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017 – loved by millions but not by me.

Available in the UK in most supermarkets, off licences, garages, corner shops, and pretty much anywhere else you can think of.  In short, it’s a bit of a slapper.

Stunning Kiwi Wine Gets The Ball Rolling

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Iconically New Zealand

Holy shit!  This little beauty blew my mind…

I don’t know what I was expecting but it wasn’t this.  This was something else.  This was like drinking… well, it was like drinking wine because that’s what it is.

Yes it’s all berries and cherries and vanilla and chocolate.  Yes the tannins are so fine it’s like stroking your cheek with a silk handkerchief.  Yes it’s as beautifully balanced as a ping pong ball on a stripper’s nipple.  And yes, I could blah on about it for a very long time – like I swallowed a wine wank dictionary.  But that’s not my thing.

Why did I like this wine?  I liked it because it surprised me.  I liked it because it highlights just how good the Bordeaux blends from Hawke’s Bay can be.  I liked it because I got to share it with friends.  And I liked it because it’s got a pretty good VFM rating on the Dozza Scale.  Not bad for a bottle of wine that I only bought because I once spent a summer working on one of Craggy’s vineyards.

Try it.  Have it with friends.  Have it with food, or not.  Enjoy it.  But please, for the love of God, don’t sit around analysing every mouthful and then wanking on about it for half an hour.

Te Kahu by Craggy Range is available in the UK from Majestic Wines.