Cannonball California Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 ★★★½

As Californian as tans, teeth and tiny dogs, this is a bold, bouncy cabernet that dials the spice and plushness up to high gear.  Named after what we kiwi’s call the ‘bomb’, one sip of this and you’ll definitely be in the deep end – with a cabernet crush that is.  Made from fruit grown […]

Vidal Legacy Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 $65 ★★★★★

Let’s just get it out there.  I was well and truly wowed from the first sip.  Just 12 barrels were made of this berry and spice-soaked cabernet crafted by Hugh Crichton and his team.  Stitched together with smoke, caramelised oak and dried thyme, the palate is also awash with juicy, plush and supremely elegant layers […]

Sticks Yarra Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 $29

Here’s an ultra-fresh, leafy cabernet that’s loaded with blackberry, boysenberry and ribsticking raspberry notes.  The acidity is gentle, yet adds to the powdery grip of the tannins around your back teeth.  There’s even a smidge of roast beetroot and cocoa powder on the finish also. Sip with: venison burgers For local stockists email

Ca’ Di Rajo Marino 2010 $46 ★★★★½

Italian cabernet sauvignon can be intensely fruity and this example from Ca’ di Rajo, grown on the banks of the river Piave is exactly that.  I love the dark plum and boysenberry characters which merge with tobacco leaf, vanilla, pepper and violets.  Nicely structured tannins elongate the savoury flavours and combine to create a stunning […]

Maison Noire Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 $22 ★★★★

Made by Frenchman Guillaume Thomas from his tiny vineyard on the Waimarama Road, this cabernet sauvignon has classic aromas of espresso residue (‘sprudge’ is the technical term – true fact) alongside exotic vanilla, pepper, mint and a lick of saddle leather.  Fresh dark cherry and boysenberry provide the fruit concentration for this elegantly structured, inky-dark […]

Stonecroft Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 $25 ★★★★

Inky-dark and magenta-black hued, this organically produced cabernet shows a distinctly earthy vein running through it, while being supplemented by dried herbs, leathery, gamey notes and bold, bracing acidity.  It’s young and tightly coiled, so if you’ve got time, decant it.  Otherwise grab the biggest glass you can find and swirl the heck out of […]

Graham Beck The Game Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 $18 ★★★½

Designed in homage to the super-shy, South African Cape Leopard, one of Africa’s big 5 (but rarely seen) predators.  The fruit for this tobacco, berry and cedar-driven cabernet is sourced from vineyard sites in Robertson, Firgrove, and Stellenbosch and in Groenekloof; vineyards that incorporate a Beck property game reserve on the slopes of Rooiberg Mountain. […]

Howard Park Margaret River Miamup Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 $30 ★★★★

An instant hit of crushed blackberry and blackcurrant that’s edged with rooibos tea and hints of tobacco means it’s clearly an overachiever in the aroma stakes.  It ranks up with the prefects in palate-weight too with dark, elegantly structured , smoky, cedary oak, chewy cabernet tannins and a choco-spice finish.  ‘Miamup road’ runs between Cowaramup and Wilyabrup, […]

St John’s Road ‘Line & Length’ Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

St John’s Road ‘Line & Length’ Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 $20 ★★★½ Here’s a bottle of banging Barossa cabernet that’ll tick all your boxes if you’re looking for bolshy sweet plum and blackcurrant notes, chocolate, peppercorn and classic minty characters.  There’s a plush, fleshy sweetness, fruitcake spices and a smoky, toasty finish that just cries […]

Elderton Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Elderton Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 $31 ★★★★ It’s the perfume of this wine which won me over from the first sniff.  Bay  and dried, bouquet garni herbs weave through subtle eucalypt and sweet, ripe plum and blueberry notes.  In the mouth it’s buoyant and fresh, yet velvety-smooth at the same time. The tannins are […]

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