Excise tax: 5 incredible Marlborough wines for beneath $25

Wine producers already doing it tough now have another hurdle to face, with an excise tax of $2.49 per bottle being added on from July 1.

Alcohol Healthwatch

Wine producers already doing it tough now have another hurdle to face, with an excise tax of $2.49 per bottle being added on from July 1.

New Zealanders can expect to pay more for their bottle of wine as excise tax is lifted by 6.9%, its biggest increase in 30 years. So wine expert Yvonne Lorkin gives us her top 5 wines for under $25. Because we still enjoy a wine at the weekend, don’t we?

Misty Cove BDX 316 & 317 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2021, $24

“Most days I try to work as one with nature. For example, I take inspiration from the birds, where every few minutes I just let out a big scream. When screaming’s not appropriate, I find that a sip or six of this stylish sauvignon blanc does the job of connecting me with nature as well. Unusually for Marlborough, the Misty kids have produced a sauvignon solely from Bordeaux clones. Clone 316 yields smaller crops of loose clusters and medium berries, whilst clone 317 yields larger berries with thicker skins and when combined, they create tropical notes of guava, passionfruit, and calamansi. It’s a refreshing, juicy style, with less grass and capsicum, and more mouth-coating textures, meaning it’s a mouthquake with spicy tom yum soup.” Mistycovewines.com

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Wairau River Marlborough Summer Riesling 2021, $20

“Take a second, sit down, and strap on a helmet – because this lightning bolt of lemon and lime lusciousness is going to shake your brain. It scooped the trophy for Champion Riesling at the prestigious 2021 Marlborough Wine Show, and as soon as you sip, you’ll see why. Absolutely stacked with apple and lemonade and hoisted high with honeysuckle and heavenly acidity, it offers a demure 9.5% alcohol that ensures a splash of natural sweetness saturates the mouth and all is well with the world. Sambal chicken? Oh, yes.” Wairauriverwines.com

Zephyr Marlborough Pinot Gris 2021, $23.99

“Whenever I have a hankering for an elegantly styled pinot gris with subtle pear and nashi nuances (which occurs with alarming regularity these days), I turn directly down Zephyr Street. Lithe, leggy, and mineral-focused, this Ben Glover-crafted gris has a delicious apple-centric finish and a tonne of personality. Pop it in the fridge for 45 minutes before serving, and it’ll impress the pants off your friends. If you’re solo then sip it with rich, spicy chilli con carne and all your wildest dreams will come true. It’s that good.” Zephyrwine.com

Jackson Estate Homestead Marlborough Pinot Noir 2020, $23

“Jackson Estate’s winemaker Matt Patterson-Green has crafted a pinot noir with serious personality and pluck, and despite being a spring chicken, it also happens to show some of the same depth and seductive spices of a characterful cougar. The tannins are what get me though; they have delicate grip and lovely intensity. The acidity and textures are vibrant and alive, and the cranberry and cherry complexity is nothing short of excellent. Thinking of crumbed beef schnitz slathered in mushroom sauce? Yessir!” Jacksonestate.co.nz

Mud House The Narrows Marlborough Pinot Noir 2020, $21.99

“The ‘Narrows’ has fast become one of my favourite, best-value pinot noirs full stop. Highly complex, deeply fruity, dark, fulsome and supremely elegant, it boasts an injection of cranberry, pomegranate and vanilla across its firm tannins and juicy textures. It has a great nose, fat with black cherry, tamarillo and dried herbs, it’s luscious, toasty, tweaked with wild thyme complexity and I love its poise on the palate. Incredible value for money.” Mudhouse.co.nz