Crisp Summer Deals From Down Under

I've been without my Canon Rebel for the past week or so, so you're going to have to settle for a few grainy, low-light iPhone shots every now and again. We snuck in a little New Zealand staff tasting this morning to sample the new vintages from our most-beloved direct import producers. Our man Ryan Woodhouse (who as you know from this blog is absolutely killing it at the moment) was on hand to take us through some of the selections. I finally gave up trying to rank my favorites about halfway down the list. "What's the point?" I whispered to my co-worker Joe, "They're all so ridiculous for the money."

If you're in need of some patio pounders, these wines are begging to be refridgerated and consumed immediately:

2014 Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough $16.99 - This is made by the guy who founded Cloudy Bay. It's basically a better version of Cloudy Bay for $10 less a bottle. Nuff said, right? Super crisp, lots of citrus, and all bio-organically farmed.

2014 Alkoomi Estate "Old Vine - Black Label" Riesling Frankland River Western Australia $16.99 - Unbelievably racy with tons of flinty, petrol notes. You would think this is classic German-style trocken, but it's not. It's a crazy deal from Western Australia, a region that lately has been making more good white wine than just about anywhere on the planet. Bone dry. So dry your teeth will hurt.

2014 TWR (Te Whare Ra) "Toru" White Blend Marlborough $18.99- Made from aromatic varietals (predominately Gewurztraminer) this little blend refreshing white will wash away all your troubles. Sauvignon Blanc and Gris round out the backend. We've been waiting for years to build up TWR enough before bringing this in. A staff favorite.

2014 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Chardonnay Marlborough $24.99 - The TWR Sauvignon Blanc has been the best SB we've carried for the last year. Now the 2014 Chardonnay has arrived, and I think it might be the best Chard we now carry. Crisp, with minerality and a bit of richness from oak, it drinks like a fine white Burgundy. Absolutely stunning.

Those are just my four favorites! Then you've got all the reds, too! If I had to choose one it would be the Te Mata "Awatea". It's like a $50 bottle of Bordeaux for $25.

2013 Te Mata "Awatea" Bordeaux Blend Hawkes Bay $24.99 - Lush and soft, like it's already been matured for a few years, with dark-fruited goodness and textures of earth and spice on the mid-palate. If you're going out for steak and you need a well-priced bottle that drinks perfectly right off the bat (no decanting) then this is the guy for you.

You have to try these wines to believe them. It's getting difficult for me to drink anything else than what Ryan Woodhouse tells me to drink. Click on the links and read the press. It's not just us.

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll