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 […]

Domaine Boutinot Les Six Cairanne 2014 $45

‘Les Six’ is a new, six-grape style of Cairanne (an appellation in the Rhone) featuring Cairanne Noir (Grenache) 40%, Mourvèdre 15%, Syrah 15%, Carignan Noir 10%, Cinsault 10%, Counoise 10%. Hand-picked grapes are co-fermented with wild yeasts aided by manual pigeage (punching down), gentle remontage (pumping over) and maturation in tronconiques (large oak vats) for […]

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 […]

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