Three of the best wines to kick off spring

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Publish Date
Saturday, 2 September 2017, 2:40PM

Starborough Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016 $19

Incredibly juicy and tropical, this is a passionfruit and lime fest if ever I tasted one. What's more, it's so textural. Produced from two Awatere Valley vineyards (Starborough + Long Lane) and a Wairau site (O'Dwyers Farm) the resulting blend is a super-concentrated, lemongrass and sweet pea-soaked sauvignon that's crisp, crunchy and darn gorgeous.

Sip with: butter, parsley and garlic panko-crumbed terakihi fillets baked in the oven.

Graham Norton's Own "Pink by DesiGN" New Zealand Rosé 2017 $19

Here's a case of "Norton Hemisphere meets Southern Hemisphere", where the eponymous Mr N has totally embraced the winemaking process and agreed to pretty much every example of wordplay possible on the use of his initials. Crafted from pinot noir sourced from around the country, it's been given just enough time on its skins to bleed a blush of pink into the juice before fermentation. I love the aromatic waft of watermelon alongside raspberry, cherry and buckets of tangy, tropical fruit in every chilled glass.

Sip with: Thai fish cakes.

Matt Connell Rendition Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016 $44

Matt's one of the region's most highly awarded winemakers and this is his solo pinot project after tenure at Olssens and Akarua. Produced from fruit grown in Bendigo and Lowburn, it's bottled with a label designed by Taranaki artist Andrew J. Steel, who has depicted Matt's "meaningful things". Oozing savoury aromatics, seasoned leather, baked cherries, hedgerow herbs and spicy intensity, it's a seriously sexy wine.

Sip with: roast wild pork leg.

Yvonne Lorkin is co-founder and chief tasting officer of and a Wine Writers of NZ member.