Pukeora Estate Ruahine Range ‘The Benches’ 2013 $28

From what was heralded as the ‘vintage of the century’ comes this powerfully built blend of merlot, malbec, syrah and cabernet sauvignon from the limestone-laden hills of Central Hawke’s Bay. Sweet saddle-leather, pepper, mocha, hints of prune, liquorice and showing bold, juicy tannins – it’s a muscular, sinewy sip that has loads of life in […]

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 […]

The Regent of Tantallon Limited Edition Hawke’s Bay Merlot Cabernet 2013 $40

From what was hailed as the red wine vintage of the century for Hawke’s Bay comes this silky, slinky, berry- and spice-saturated blend from fruit sourced from the Tantallon vineyard in Bridge Pa. The deep, iron-rich ‘red gravels’ inject depth and minerality to the fruit, and the wine shows vanilla, smoke, olive, and sweet cocoa […]

Black Barn Hawke’s Bay Merlot Malbec Cabernet 2014 $33 (4.5 stars)

Winemaker Dave McKee is like a silent assassin. He just quietly shuffles about in Black Barn’s ridiculously tiny winery each year, never saying boo about how the wine is tasting until he’s fully confident that it’s in the bottle safely – and even then he doesn’t give anything away. Fleshy, plum-saturated, seriously smooth and bursting […]

Alpha Domus Hawke’s Bay The Navigator 2014 $32 (4.5 stars)

Close your eyes and imagine this wine being a shiny, skintight, leopard print suit inside chunky, glittery platform boots. It’s David Lee Roth in a bottle basically. Suspended on wires above an arena, belting out ‘Jump!’ It’s a slick, masculine, Hollywood wine that’s impenetrably dark and doused with blackberry, plum, boysenberry and voluptuously spicy characters. […]

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 […]

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