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Welcome to Wine Orbit - a subscription-only publication featuring reviews of New Zealand wines and wines of the world. Its aim is to provide you with extensive and detailed wine reviews, written by a senior wine judge. It's your ultimate New Zealand Wine Review.


Sam's Wine of the Day

Terra Sancta
Estate Pinot Noir 2012

Central Otago
NZ$35.00 (93 points, 5 Stars)

Stylish and soothing, this satisfying pinot shows fragrant aromas of red/black cherry, blueberry, game and spice. The palate is refined and silky, beautifully supported by gorgeous fruit intensity with supple tannins. The wine shows harmony and sophistication, and is immensely appealing already. Grapes were grown on their Terra Sancta vineyard on Felton Road; fermented with about 15% whole clusters. Sub-region: Bannockburn. At its best: now to 2021. $35.00. www.terrasancta.co.nz. July 2014.

Previous Wines of the Day

Te Whare Ra Toru 2013
Marlborough, NZ$26.00 (91 points)
This is irresistible drinking. A wonderful blend of gewurztraminer, riesling and pinot gris, the elegantly perfumed bouquet shows yellow peach, mango, citrus and floral with a touch of mixed spice. The palate shows fabulous harmony and silky texture, backed by plenty of ripe flavours. At its best: now to 2018. $26.00. Widely available. Certified organic. May 2014. www.twrwines.co.nz 
Palliser Estate Riesling 2012
Martinborough, NZ$23.00 (94 points, 5 Stars)
One of the most consistently excellent labels, and one of the best-value rieslings, Palliser Estate's hidden gem is their riesling. This is delightful, charming and immensely appealing. The perfumed bouquet shows white peach, lemon/lime and floral notes. It's ripe and mouth-watering on the palate with subtle sweetness, finishing long and crisp-dry. Stunning balance and poise.  At its best: now to 2020. www.palliser.co.nz
Woollaston  Riesling 2012
Nelson, NZ$23.00 (93 points, 5 Stars)
This is gorgeous. The bouquet shows fabulous aromas of nectarine, ripe citrus and floral. It's beautifully ripe and expressive on the palate  with elegant sweetness and perfectly pitched acidity, leading to an impressively long, succulent finish. An outstanding medium-style riesling. At its best: now to 2020. $23.00. Certified organic.

Woollaston Mahana Riesling 2010
Nelson, NZ$28.00 (94 points, 5 Stars)
It's delightfully perfumed on the nose displaying white peach, mango, citrus and floral characters. The palate is concentrated and succulent with elegant sweetness (45 g/l) and perfectly integrated acidity, finishing beautifully fine and juicy. An irresistibly delicious wine. At its best: now to 2020. $28.00. Certified organic.

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