Baron Philippe De Rothschild Mapu Merlot 2015 $20.50 (3.5 stars)

This is a moreish little merlot from Rothschild’s Chilean wine operation that hits the quaffable spot. Savoury, roasting pan juices, pepper and baked plum and berry flavours combine with grippy, dusty tannins and a lengthy, leathery finish. Nice and meaty – classic South American characters here. www.kahurangiwine.com

Ataahua Waipara Merlot 2015 $30 (4 stars)

When you see a long, horseshoe-shaped cloud forming over North Canterbury, you know a raging nor-wester is imminent. It’s this wind that helps maintain a natural yield control on the vines, ensuring healthy fruit concentration and spicy intensity in this southern merlot. Crafted by Stephanie Henderson-Grant, expect aromas of bay leaf, rosemary, ripe blackberry and […]

Giesen Vineyard Selection Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2014 $17 (3.5 stars)

Here’s a cracking good, chocolately merlot that’s stitched together with prune, pepper, red berries and all manner of spicey niceness. The tannins have just the right amount of chew and the acidity has just the right amount of pucker. It’s a satisfying, saucy, sexy little sip indeed. www.finewinedelivery.co.nz

Beach House Gimblett Gravels Reserve Merlot 2014 $25

If you’re like me and have moments where you could absolutely murder a glass of merlot, then this little lovely will make all your wildest dreams come true.  Plump, plush and packed solid with plum and black forest flavours, chocolate, sweet smoke notes and a pillowy, perfectly poised texture lead to a long, fleshy finish. […]

Linden Estate Reserve Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2015 $48

In 2010 Trevor Shepherd talked his way into a job at Linden, where for four years he toiled (unpaid mostly) to restore the vines and get the decrepit, but legendary winery back up to scratch. It’s clearly worked. There’s a bold, buxom, plum and cocoa character to this wine, complete with grippy tannins, smoky warmth […]

Hãhã Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2016 $16

Berries?  Check.  Plum?  Check.  Truckloads of spices?  Check.  Ribsticking length of flavour?  That’s a check by heck.  Basically it’s a warming, cuddly, fabulously tongue-fuzzing, multi-tasking merlot that’ll please the crowds and win friends and influence people.  Your wallet will remain calm and zen too. Sip with: slivers of prosciutto www.pointwines.co.nz www.yvonnelorkin.com

Ake Ake Preservative Free Northland Merlot 2016 $30

“We basically just guide the wine from grape to bottle with as little interference as possible” says Ake Ake’s winemaker, John Clarke.  Totally inexperienced when he bought the property in 2004, he went to the library and borrowed some books on how to grow grapes and make wine.  Many medals later, he owns Northland’s only […]

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 17 Plateau Gimblett Gravels Merlot 2014 $32.90 (5 stars)

Incredibly bright on the nose, bursting with ripe boysenberry, plum cherry and sweetly spiced, smoky notes.  Here’s a deeply flavoured, rich  and satisfyingly fruity, with layers of leather and cocoa carrying through to the finish.  I love the refreshing, vibrant acidity and its gripping, yet supple tannins.  It’s a very precise yet plush and generous […]

Unison Gimblett Gravels Reserve Merlot 2012 $30 (4stars)

I used to work on a raspberry farm when I was in high school (loved it btw) and every time I sniff this wine it takes me back to those days of repeatedly sticking my face inside a leafy, fruit-scented canopy to harvest those plump, juicy berries. Fresh, spicy, with layers of plum-rubbed leather and […]

Stanley Estates Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2013 $19.99 ★★★½

This canny Awatere Valley producer has beefed up their portfolio by buying up a bunch of quality Hawke’s Bay fruit from a bumper vintage, to create a bold, berry-driven bottle of niceness and spiceness.  There’s a soft, powdery ‘chew’ to the texture of this wine, which ticks pretty much every box for good, flavoursome, all-purpose […]

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