Maison Noire Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 $22 ★★★★

Made by Frenchman Guillaume Thomas from his tiny vineyard on the Waimarama Road, this cabernet sauvignon has classic aromas of espresso residue (‘sprudge’ is the technical term – true fact) alongside exotic vanilla, pepper, mint and a lick of saddle leather.  Fresh dark cherry and boysenberry provide the fruit concentration for this elegantly structured, inky-dark and glossy new kid in cabernet country while dusty, long tannins give it staying power in the palate.  Good stuff indeed with beef and thyme pie.

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