Taiao Reserve Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc Malbec 2015 $49.95

So deliciously decked out with dark chocolate, cherry, plum and soft pepper on the nose and palate, this exceptional wine from the Bridge Pa Triangle Winegrowing District has a deep, dark, smouldering personality, liquorice-licked layers of complexity in its statuesque structure.  Earthy, wild at heart yet whipped into shape by a core of dark berries and caramelised oak, it’s an absolute joy to drink. The Taiao Estate logo represents the ancient taniwha Takaparata who swam alongside the Takitimu waka on its journey to Aotearoa from Hawaiiki. Takaparata is the spirit guardian of the rivers, lakes and aquifers of Ngati Kahungunu in Hawkes Bay, waters which include Te Waiau, Te Wairoa, Mohaka, Ngaruroro, Tutaekuri, Tukituki, Te Karamu and (more significantly for Taiao, in Bridge Pa) – Te Paritua / Karewarewa and their aquifer, Te Haukunu. Above the marae, the river is called The Paritua. Below the marae, the river is called The Karewarewa. It was renowned for some of the best swimming spots in Hawkes Bay as well as being the site for their traditional baptisms.