Ataahua Waipara Merlot 2015 $30 (4 stars)

When you see a long, horseshoe-shaped cloud forming over North Canterbury, you know a raging nor-wester is imminent. It’s this wind that helps maintain a natural yield control on the vines, ensuring healthy fruit concentration and spicy intensity in this southern merlot. Crafted by Stephanie Henderson-Grant, expect aromas of bay leaf, rosemary, ripe blackberry and prune lead to a super-spicy mouthfeel, elegant acidity and layers of chewy, leathery tannins on the finish. It’s awesome with roast venison Denver leg.

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