Kendall-Jackson Vintners Reserve Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 $44.99

Sonoma County should be called Cabernet County in my eyes, since it insists on churning out exceptionally earthy, concentrated cabernet like this. Kendall-Jackson are one of the most highly respected producers across the entire California coast and they have a signature cocoa, vanilla, smoky tone to their reds which work stunningly well with the powdery, […]

Pask Small Batch Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 $29.00

This is one of those wines that when someone pours it from across the room, you can smell it metres away. Winemaker Kate Radburnd is a cabernet perfectionist and only the best go to bottle in a ‘small batch’. Classic cabernet aromas of liquorice, leather, menthol and bitter cocoa. I love the underlying Christmas pudding […]

Askerne Hawke’s Bay Dessert Cabernet 2015 $22.90 375ml (3.5 stars)

Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes grown in the sandy soils of their lower terrace, and fortified to 16.5%alc, this is a whopper of a wine. Scented with blackberry, bay leaf, pepper and dark cocoa, then chock full of spice and sweet, dried herb and nutty notes on the palate, it’s a wine with grip […]

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 daberhart@redwhitecellar.co.nz

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. […]

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