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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

Foxes Island La Lapine 2012
NZ$60.00 (97 points, 5 Stars)

There are many excellent alternative-style sauvignon blancs. This is the best of them all. Made from free-run juice with full solids, fermented in mainly large 400-litre seasoned oak barrels using indigenous yeasts, the wine is symphonic and glorious. Powerful and astonishingly complex, notes of white nectarine, ripe citrus, lime zest and nuances of dried herb and flint lead to a richly flavoured palate that offers outstanding weight and concentration, brilliantly supported by silky texture and firm acidity. A compelling wine of exceptional line and length. At its best: now to 2028. $60.00. www.foxes-island.co.nz. March 2015.


Previous Wines of the Day

Elephant Hill Syrah 2013
Hawke's Bay, NZ$34.00 (94 points, 5 Stars)
Champion Shiraz/Syrah and Champion Wine of the Show at the 2014 Spiegelau Wine Competition, this is a hugely promising syrah. The wine exhibits outstanding fruit purity with elegant complexity - black plum, blueberry, smoke and cedar. It's concentrated and refined on the palate showing gorgeous fruit weight and velvety texture, and finishes superbly long and smooth. Supple tannins provide excellent structure and length. At its best: 2015 to 2023. $34.00.  www.elephanthill.co.nz. June 2014.
Martinborough, NZ$75.00 (96 points, 5 Stars)
This is a quintessential Ata Rangi pinot that we know and love, exhibiting sensuality with seductive power. The bouquet is engaging and most appealing with aromas of dark cherry, plum, dried herb and floral with a touch of almond. It's supremely elegant yet intense and persistent. The wine shows seamless mouthfeel and texture, within a frame of fine/firm tannins. At its best: 2015 to 2025. $75.00. www.atarangi.co.nz. Aug 2014.
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.
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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