Marlborough, Rioja

When most people think of New Zealand wine, the first thing that comes to mind will be Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. This one variety more than any other helped springboard New Zealand on to the world-wine scene.

The region is located on the northern end of the south island, nestled around the town of Blenheim, and for many years was a sheep region. It was Montana wines, who in 1973 planted the first vines in the region “too far south to grow good wine.” At the time the region was the southernmost region in the country, but nowadays Central Otago takes south to a whole new level.

Plenty of sunshine hours, relatively low rainfall and cool temperatures provide the perfect conditions for growing world-class Sauvignon Blanc the region is renowned for. Other whites grown include Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer and Sparkling wines. Pinot Noir dominates the red varieties grown, though is typically lighter bodied than Central Otago or Martinborough Pinots.
Rioja is located in the south of the Cantabrian Mountains along the Ebro river in the north of Spain. The region also has a river called Rio Oja, which is where the region likely gained its name. There are three main regions in Rioja, with each of them producing quite unique expressions of Rioja wines.

To the west is Rioja Alta, in the higher elevated area. This sub-region is renowned for its old-world wines that are often lighter on the palate due to the higher altitude. The wines coming out of Rioja Alavesa on the other hand are fuller bodies, with higher acid levels than those from Rioja Alta. The third area, Rioja Baja is the warmest and driest of all, and can in summer months can be exposed to very high temperatures drought so irrigation is now permitted in the region.

The reds (tinto) wines of Rioja are generally blends of Tempranillo and Garnacha with lesser amounts of Graciano and Mazuelo. Amongst the white (bianco) varieties, Viura is the most common though normally blended with Malvasia or Garnacha Blanc. Plenty of interesting Rosé wines are produced, most commonly from the Garnacha variety. Note that wineries in Spain are commonly referred to as bodegas.
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  1. Spinning Top Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2020
    Spinning Top Wines reflect the simple pleasures that can be derived from nature. Sourcing the wines from three distinctive Marlborough sub regions (Waihopai, Wairau, Awatere) allows Spinning Top to pinpoint exactly the precise characteristics they wish to reflect. Clean, joyful ... Learn More
  2. Kopu Gisbourne Pinot Gris 2021
    Grapes for this wine were grown in the Ngatapa Valley region of Gisborne district where dry-farming practices have been employed for over 75 years. Post-harvest the grapes and juice were processed with care to maximise fruit flavour and intensity. The resulting ... Learn More
  3. Alegro Rioja Tinto Tempranillo 2020
    A fun, fruity wine, perfect to enjoy every day with a snack or any Mediterranean dishes, like rice, vegetable or pasta. This wine is representative of the virtues of the Tempranillo variety: intense floral aromas, very fresh red and dark ... Learn More
  4. Kopu Gisbourne Pinot Gris 2020
    Grapes for this wine were grown in the Ngatapa Valley region of Gisborne district where dry-farming practices have been employed for over 75 years. Post-harvest the grapes and juice were processed with care to maximise fruit flavour and intensity. The resulting ... Learn More
  5. Black Cottage Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2021
    This Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from lower-yielding vineyards on the hillside slopes for greater intensity and whole bunch pressed. The nose is fresh and delicate with restrained aromas of gooseberry and freshly grown grass given complexity by river-stone and white ... Learn More
  6. Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2021
    Always up there as the finest 2 or 3 Sauvignons in Marlborough every year, Greywacke emphasise ripeness in the vineyard to produce a sophisticated and satisfying style of Sauvignon Blanc. Crafted by former Cloudy Bay founding winemaker Kevin Judd, with able assistance ... Learn More
  7. Alegro Rioja Crianza 2018
    A representative wine of the new Rioja style, interpreted from modernity. Elegant, balanced and reliable on any occasion, with classic aromas of red fruit and vanilla and subtle hints of liquorice and toffee. Versatile with all kinds of Mediterranean dishes ( ... Learn More
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    Mark Faber
  8. Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc 2020
    Considered to be one of New Zealand's finest producers, Astrolabe have built their reputation on consistently producing exceptional wines. One of my favourite Astrolabe wines is the 2019 Astrolabe Awatere Valley Sauvignon Blanc. It’s quite a ripe example of the ... Learn More
    pts
    Bob Campbell MW
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    Cameron Douglas MS
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    Michael Cooper
  9. Te Whare Ra Pinot Gris 2020
    Lifted aromas of nashi pear, raspberry, red apple and white florals. The nose follows through to the palate with the same flavours along with savoury undertones which are balanced by fine, supple texture and lingering minerality. Enjoyable to drink now ... Learn More
  10. Te Whare Ra Sauvignon Blanc 2020
    Shows distinctive Awatere characters of elderflower, guava, white currant, lemongrass and passion fruit coupled with lovely ripe tropicals and hints of basil and lime from Wairau components. The nose follows through to the palate - which is fine and soft ... Learn More
  11. Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc 2020
    Classic strong citrus characters with lemon and grapefruit prominent, complimented by elderflowers, with smoky and flinty undertones. A juicy and vibrant palate of pure citrus flavours leaving a lengthy finish with refreshing, balanced acidity. Ideally enjoyed as a young wine, ... Learn More
    pts
    Mike Bennie
  12. Black Cottage Pinot Noir 2020
    Sourced from the Southern Valleys with some fruit from the Awatere Valley. This Pinot Noir went through 100% stainless steel fermentation and was hand plunged. This brought out the perfumed berry fruit as well as increasing the silky mouthfeel of the ... Learn More
  13. Te Whare Ra Single Vineyard 5182 Toru 2021
    Has the aromatic spice and weight of Gewurztraminer, the structure and length of Riesling, and the great texture of Pinot Gris in a perfectly balanced 75%/16%/9% blend. It is a delicious, co-fermented field blend from a single vineyard. This 2021 Toru has ... Learn More
    pts
    Cameron Douglas MS
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    Bob Campbell MW
  14. Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc 2021
    2021 was one of the best vintages in the Wairau Valley in recent years and this wine truly reflects that. Vibrant, fresh lemon and grapefruit, ripe stone and tropical fruits and a floral element on the nose. Highly aromatic, as is ... Learn More
  15. Corafin 'Meltwater' Marlborough Chardonnay 2019
    A rather hedonistic nose suggests ripe pears, fresh peach and oatmeal while the palate is taught and chalky with nectarine, pear and iodine notes and a driven freshness. Unmistakably Marlborough for its cleansing hit of salty goodness, this is harmonious, ... Learn More
  16. Bodegas Exopto Rioja Bozeto de Exopto 2019
    A creamy, full-bodied red with plum and berry character. Nice purity of fruit to this. Its full-bodied and layered with polish and beauty. Lovely tannins here. - James Suckling Exopto is Latin for to long for or to desire greatly ... Learn More
    pts
    Robert Parker
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    James Suckling
  17. Alegro Rioja Reserva 2015
    A clear example of the elegance and silkiness of Rioja Reservas but with a more modern profile. With the complexity of long ageing in the barrel and bottle, and the delicateness of the Tempranillo. A wine with intense aromas of ... Learn More
  18. Greywacke Riesling 2019
    A deliciously succulent and rich Riesling from experts in classic Marlborough varietals. Grown organically near the mouth of Brancott Valley, this vibrant and not strictly dry Riesling was grown on the kind of gravel and clay soils that are usually ... Learn More
    pts
    Huon Hooke
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    Bob Campbell MW
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    James Suckling
  19. Dog Point 'Section 94' Sauvignon Blanc 2015
    Section 94 is one of the world’s most distinct wines, and regularly named New Zealand’s greatest Sauvignon Blanc. Bright straw-yellow colour with slight green hues, lighter on edge. The bouquet is firmly concentrated with deep aromas of greengages, nectarines ... Learn More
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    Raymond Chan Wine Reviews
  20. Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2021
    Intense and quite weighty sauvignon blanc with passionfruit, lime zest, gooseberry, red and green capsicum and subtle oyster-shell flavours, supported by deliciously tangy acidity that drives a lengthy finish. - Bob Campbell Established in 1985, Cloudy Bay was one of the ... Learn More
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    Bob Campbell MW
  21. Cloudy Bay Pelorus Sparkling Nv
    Established in 1985, Cloudy Bay was one of the first five wine makers to venture into Marlborough. The famed Marlborough producer's sparkling. It's one of the best consistently from over the ditch and has genuine French-like class. Sourcing Non-Vintage sparkling wine ... Learn More
  22. Dog Point Pinot Noir 2019
    Dog Point Pinot Noir is one of the icons of Marlborough and for good reason. Winemakers Ivan and James first began their journey in the NZ wine game by starting globally-acclaimed winery Cloudy Bay. They are maestro’s at producing ... Learn More
    pts
    Bob Campbell MW
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    Huon Hooke
  23. Alegro Rioja Gran Reserva 2012
    A clear example of the elegance and silkiness of Rioja Reservas but with a more modern profile. With the complexity of long ageing in the barrel and bottle, and the delicateness of the Tempranillo. This Gran Reserva spends an incredible 24 ... Learn More
  24. La Rioja Alta Rioja Reserva ‘Vina Alberdi’ 2016
    100% Tempranillo sourced from an estate-owned vineyard in Rioja. Expansive nose, with dominating ripe red fruit, currants and liquorice, rounded off with sweet notes of vanilla, caramel, jam and spices. The wine is particularly well-balanced, with a smooth, elegant entry, medium ... Learn More
  25. Clos Henri Sauvignon Blanc 2018
    A ripe tropical and citrus bouquet, with underlying flinty minerality. In the mouth the wine is textural and rich from the lees aging with layers of minerals, lime, orange blossom and profound acidity balancing this dry, elegant wine. Ageing potential: 5 ... Learn More
  26. Valenciso Reserva Rioja 2012
    It's naturally fermented, vinified in concrete vats and aged in low toast French and Russian oak for just 12 months. Forest fruits on the nose with some cherry aromas. There are also some earthy notes and hints of liquorice. Has liquorice, ... Learn More
  27. La Rioja Alta Rioja Reserva ‘Vina Alberdi’ 2012
    100% Tempranillo sourced from an estate-owned vineyard in Rioja. ... Learn More
  28. Budget Bundle Six-Pack!

    Keen to try this refreshing budget bundle? Each six-pack contains 2 x Miles from Nowhere Rosé 2020, 2 x Spinning Top Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2021, and 2 x Mike Press Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2021

    ... Learn More
  29. Online Tasting Pack - Alegro Wines Rioja Tasting Thursday 11th November 6:30pm aest

    It's Spain's most famous red wine and yet, we know so little about it over here in Australia! Join us for this special tasting with Alegro wines as we taste and talk through three different classification levels of Rioja ... Learn More

  30. La Rioja Alta Vina Arana Gran Reserva 2014
    “Quite simply, these are some of the finest Riojas that can grace your cellar: complex, refined, classic but without compromising fruit intensity and to reiterate: wines that speak about where they come from.” Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate Dark-cherry red ... Learn More
    pts
    Jamie Goode
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    James Suckling
  31. La Rioja Alta Rioja Gran Reserva ‘904' 2011
    “Quite simply, these are some of the finest Riojas that can grace your cellar: complex, refined, classic but without compromising fruit intensity and to reiterate: wines that speak about where they come from.” Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate 90% Tempranillo and 10% ... Learn More
    pts
    James Suckling
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