Linden Estate Reserve Dam Block 2016

Linden Estate Reserve Dam Block 2016 $48  Trevor Shepherd has finally released his series of Reserve ‘Dam Block’ blends, and this is my favourite so far. Featuring 72.5% merlot, 17.5% cabernet sauvignon and 10% cabernet franc, this savoury black-olive-and-spice fest shouts ‘Make way for the King!’ to a parade of berries and plums on the […]

Snapper Rock Hawke’s Bay Merlot Cabernet 2016 $16.99

Snapper Rock Hawke’s Bay Merlot Cabernet 2016 $16.99 Sweetly fruited on the nose, this is, like its namesake, a snappy little red blend that’s a great value quaffer.  Smooth, velvety and showing plum, cherry and redcurrant characters on  the finish.  Simple, yummy and dangerously drinkable.   trade $11.08

39°below Hawke’s Bay Merlot Cabernet 2016

39°below Hawke’s Bay Merlot Cabernet 2016 $25  Paul McEvoy has created one of the smoothest, cuddliest, most dangerously drinkable blends of merlot and cabernet that I’ve had the pleasure of slipping down my esophagus in a long time.  Erupting with vanilla, sweet, smoky layers, buckets of ripe berries and soft plum on the nose and […]

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.

Cliff Edge Awhitu Merlot Cabernet Franc 2012

Cliff Edge Awhitu Merlot Cabernet Franc 2012 $45 Only about half a dozen barrels are produced of this classic Bordeaux blend (70% merlot, 30% cabernet franc) from the Awhitu peninsula in Auckland.  I’m not a huge fan of brettanomyces in my wine but there’s just enough in here to be complexing.  Grown in the clay soils of […]

Château Puygueraud Francs – Côtes de Bordeaux 2015 $39.99

Great Bordeaux for under fifty bucks? It can be done and this blend of 80% merlot, 15% cabernet franc and 5% malbec proves it. Pour it into a large glass and swirl it vigourously or decant it if you can. That’ll inject a whoomph of oxygen into the wine, accelerating the aromatics and plumping out […]

Arc du Rhone Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2013 $46

There’s a group of villages in the Rhone that when joined together look like an arc – and this wine comes from the most famous cru at the southern tip of that arc, the Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Three grapes, grenache noir, syrah and carignan have created an earthy, savoury, tobacco and dark fruited style that, seven years […]

The Hay Paddock Pitchfork Classic Hawke’s Bay Red 2016

The Hay Paddock Pitchfork Classic Hawke’s Bay Red 2016 $34 Blended from a selection of classic Hawke’s Bay red varieties with Malbec and Syrah being the main stars, this has been supervised by Chris Canning, artist, writer, winemaker extraordinaire and its loaded with classic savoury peppery meaty notes that wrap around the prune, baked berries […]

Massena The Moonlight Run Barossa Valley Mataro Grenache Shiraz 2016 $41 (4 stars)

With its clutch of 5-star endorsements from wine critics around the globe, this Rhone-style blend from the mad but brilliant folk at Massena, is just the ticket for hot August nights (yes it’s winter, but I’ve always wanted to weave a Neil Diamond lyric into a tasting note). Inky-dark, earthy, spice-driven and soaked through with […]

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