Mills Reef Reserve Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Merlot 2017

Mills Reef Reserve Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Merlot 2017 $24  Bold, juicy and ready for action, this velvety-smooth red has cocoa, dark cherry, plum and peppery warmth on the palate.  It’s fleshy, beautifully textured and fabulous with moussaka. www.millsreef.co.nz  

Obsidian Waiheke Island Vitreous 2015

Obsidian Waiheke Island Vitreous 2015 $31.50 A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec, this is how classic Bordeaux-style reds are composed.  Aromatically this wine is mindblowingly elegant and hearty at the same time.  I love the lithe, slippery texture, peppery mid-palate and marathon-like length of flavour. Gorgeous.

Xanadu DJL Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Xanadu DJL Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 $29.90 Holy blackberries Batman!  This is a concentrated, grippy, muscular, cocoa and tobacco-tustle on the tongue.  As my dad would say, ‘this’ll put hairs on ya chest’ – so get the wax strips out and prepare for a ripper!  Crafted by kiwi-born Glenn Goodall (named Winemaker of the […]

Chain of Ponds The Cachet Adelaide Hills 2013 $100AU

Chain of Ponds The Cachet Adelaide Hills 2013 $100AU This outrageously sippable blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz & Merlot crafted by winemaker Greg Clack is so morishly meaty, savoury and loaded with black olive, graphite and iodine notes that it’s practically unputdownable.  Well-tuned oak and a gloriously smoky character injects incredible layers of complexity and […]

Babich Irongate Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Merlot Franc 2014 $37.99

So when toothpaste commercials come on the tv announcing they’ll rid you of that “furry feeling”, you can throw the remote at the screen and shout “bring it on!” The Irongate has masses of blackberry, tobacco, vanilla and meaty layers, piles of pepper and cocoa and warming, fuzzy, furry, leathery tannins that gently exfoliate the […]

Ash Ridge Premium Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Merlot 2016 $31

From what’s fast becoming known as a very elegant vintage in Hawke’s Bay, comes a cabernet-dominant blend that reflects the iron-rich red gravels of the Bridge Pa Triangle. Shepherded into the bottle by winemaker Lauren Swift, this brisk, racy red wine benefits from a big, swirlable glass to allow the plum and pepper aromas to […]

William Murdoch Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc 2010 $45 (4 stars)

Certified organic from WAY back, this 8 year old cabernet blend is heaving with deliciously dusty, leather and tobacco-rubbed robustness. Bay leaf, dark cocoa and the darkest of dark fruits, this Bordeaux-style blend from deep in the heart of the Gimblett Gravels has bold, muscular, sinewy tannins and cries out for a large piece of […]

Te Motu Onetangi Valley Waiheke Island 2012 $99

Dominated by cabernet sauvignon and fleshed out with merlot and cabernet franc, all grown on ancient soils in the heart of Waiheke’s Onetangi Valley, this elegantly savoury blend has six years of being a sleeping beauty and now it’s ready to roar. Cherry, prune and blueberry characters are cloaked in leather, cedary oak, smoky notes […]

My notes on Obsidian Waiheke Island new releases…

Obsidian Reserve Waiheke Island Chardonnay 2017 $48 The stylish, chablis-like elegance of this wine makes it a showstopper for me. I love the purity of fruit, intense citrus, and minerality on the mid-palate, peachy backbone and the dusting of subtle nutty notes on the finish. It’s a beautifully balanced example and I’m officially obsessed with […]

Sacred Hill Hawke’s Bay Helmsman 2015 $80 (5 stars)

My first taste of this wine was a few years before the millennium and back then I was told the name represented something that led the way that stood ahead of the pack and steered you in the right direction. This new vintage lives up to its reputation of focus and drive. A Helmsman is […]

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