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 […]

Te Mania Three Brothers Nelson Merlot/Malbec/Cab Franc 2015 $24.99

Winemaker Steve Gill has outdone himself here, creating a cheek-slappingly good Bordeaux-style red blend from supremely ripe Nelson fruit. Heaving at the seams with dense, dark berryfruit, juicy Christmas pudding spices, smoky oak, ultra-ripe berryfruit and red apple. I’m guilty of not thinking of Nelson when it comes to sourcing bold, merlot-based wines – but […]

Moana Park Hawke’s Bay Merlot Malbec 2016 $25 (3.5 stars)

Here’s a vegan-friendly red that has masses of blackcurrant, violet, dried herb and pepper notes on the nose and has black tea, cherry, red fruits and spicy notes on the palate.  Fresh acidity, grippy tannins and good length make this a great BBQ sipper with tender, roasted mushroom and eggplant stacks. www.moanapark.co.nz    

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