Estampa Chile Cabernet Sauvignon/ Petit Verdot 2013 $20.00

The Colchagua Valley in Chile is where some of the biggest boldest reds hail from, yet this blend is gently juicy, spicy and plush and incredibly ripe and velvety to drink. There’s a warm, chocolatey, almost coconutty character on the finish (which is a hint they’ve used American oak) and the tannins are fine and […]

Pioneer Road Langhorne Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 $20.00

All the vineyards that supply fruit for this cabernet are located within 15 minutes of the winery. This rocks because it means the grapes can be processed super-quick, locking in all those bright, vibrant, berrytastic flavours. I love the classic spicy lift on the nose, a squeak of eucalypt, christmas pudding spices, blackberry, dark plum, […]

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Merlot Cabernet Franc Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec 2015 $22.70 (4 stars)

Fans of softly structured, fleshy, fabulous merlot-dominated reds can kick off their shoes, flick on the telly and pour a glass of this and be confident that it’ll deliver in every respect. Dark red fruits, peppery, cocoa and dried herb characters, deliciously dusty tannins and a long, fresh finish make this a must sip with […]

Sacred Hill Brokenstone 2015 $42.99 (5 stars)

With a name taken from an old Sacred Hill vineyard known as ‘stoney broke’, the Brokenstone is now considered one of New Zealand’s most iconic merlot-based reds.  The 2015 is a blend of merlot, malbec, syrah, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc and it’s absolutely sensational.  Matured for 19 months in French oak, layers of cedar, […]

Byrne Wines Little Brother Red 2016 $19

Here’s a toasty (and tasty) blend of syrah, viognier which also uses a splishy splash of chambourcin (shom-bore-sarn) to frisk up the flavour profile.  Northland has a knack for turning out softly styled, savoury, earthy-toned, plump reds that clear the nose and soothe the throat and this is one of those.  Light, plush and plenty […]

Mills Reef Bespoke Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc 2015 ($39.99)

After decades of delivering some of New Zealand’s most highly awarded wines, Tim Preston and his team have decided to let loose with the creative juices and put together some wines/blends that differ from their mainstream range. This blend of 63% cabernet sauvignon and 27% cabernet franc has a heft of dried herbs, pepper and […]

Villa Maria Reserve Library Release Gimblett Gravels Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 $69.99 (5 stars)

Impenetrably inky in the glass, brooding and stormy and saturated with tobacco leaf, sandalwood, Christmas cake spices and cocoa, this is my favourite of the Library Release wines.  The mouthfeel is elegant, slippery and edged with an earthy grip around a core of dark berryfruit.  Love it!

Villa Maria Reserve Library Release Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 $69.99 (5stars)

Eight years on from harvest and this straight cabernet still bright, buoyant and incredibly fresh.  I love how plucky and precise the fruit is, the berry and plum definition is just lovely and an injection of smoky cedar really fleshes out this delicious experience.  This is great kiwi cabernet right here and it’s a treat […]

Villa Maria Reserve Library Release Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2009 $69.99 (4.5 stars)

Purple-black and gorgeously glossy in the glass, this is a deliciously dense, berry-saturated cabernet blend edged with bouquet garni herbs and cocoa characters.  Softly peppered, fleshy and plump in the mouth and boasting a line of black olive, bay and smoke, it’s a big blend with real pluck and personality.

Clearview Estate Hawke’s Bay Old Olive Block 2015 $39 (4 stars)

Here’s a rumpty, ribsticking blend of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, malbec and merlot from talented winemaking duo Matt Kirby and Rob Bregman.  It’s inky-dark and boosted with aromas of blackcurrant leaf, cocoa powder, intense cherry and berry notes and a pinch of pepper.  Succulent and juicy to drink, there’s a line of herbaceousness that cloaks […]

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