Soljans Hawke’s Bay Merlot Cabernet Malbec 2016 $22

In 1927, Bartul Soljan and his wife Rakelina sailed to New Zealand with their children, found land out in Henderson, broke it in, planted vines, and in 1932 established Soljan’s Family Vineyard. Fast-forward 86 years and their winemaker out west has stitched together a classic Bordeaux-style blend from Hawke’s Bay for this still-family-owned producer. Sniff, then sip, and if you’re thinking fresh plum, tobacco, and tea leaf flavours, then you’re on the money. Four years on from vintage, this bonza Hawke’s Bay blend with Westie roots, is really starting to round out and plump up nicely. Vanilla, cherrywood smoke, boysenberry and cocoa combine with caramelised oak tannins and a solid spice backbone to leave lovely, savoury, leathery layers on the finish. Charming, lithe, lovely and oh so tasty with miso-roasted mushrooms.