(2022) From the historic Mission Estate, 100% Cabernet Ssauvignon which spent 12 months in French oak, 25% new. With a few year in bottle the nose has a little earthy, bloody plum character, maybe just a smidgen of volatility showing too. The palate is dry and has a savoury blend of tapenade and riper black fruit flavours. Cedary oak adds an old world dimension, with roughening tannins and good acidity make for classic, Bordeaux-style drinking.
(2020) Fruit is from Bridge Pa, 100% Syrah that spends eight months in barrel. Pale crimson colour, nice stony, mineral character, small, dry redcurrant fruit, little spicy notes, a touch of cream and flesh fills out the palate, but the acidity of tart raspberry comes through to keep this fresh and agile.
(2020) Lovely pale garnet colour, from a wine made with 15% carbonic maceration a la Beaujolais. Has some leafiness, some redcurrant and spice, a touch of aniseed. The fruit is pure and raspberry and cherry-ripe, that touch of fennel and salt is there to give the finish both freshness and a little grip.
(2020) Only 12.5% alcohol here, pale crimson in colour, pepper and roses, violet, creamy red plum and cherry - very cool climate in style. Creamy tannins and lightness to the whole picture, balanced by an edge of fine acidity. No UK retail stockist listed at time of review.
(2019) On New Zealand's North Island, Hawke's Bay has carved out a formidable reputation for Syrah, Bordeaux varieties and Chardonnay, but this is a bit different: made from the grape of Beaujolais, Gamay, partly with carbonic maceration, and only 12.5% alcohol. From what's described as "an incredible vintage," this comes from a vineyard planted in 1995 and has an expressive and varietal nose, crammed with crushed plum and cherry, that hint of watercolour paint-box so typical of Gamay, and a tug of earthy, beetrooty character. In the mouth the fruit ripeness and sweetness is turned up a notch above a typical Beaujolais, vibrant and etched by an agile acidity and bit of tannic grip, it is balanced and delicious. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.
(2017) Not all Gimblett Gravels fruit, so labelled 'Hawkes Bay'. The blend is 72% Merlot, 18% CS and "little bits of Malbec and Cabernet Franc." What a nice, attractive nose from an outstanding vintage, a “Vintage of a generation”, according to Hugh, that was "Phenomenally long, dry and warm, with no pressure" Lots of graphite, lots of light and gentle smokiness, medium-bodied, plenty of juicy cherry and orange, elegance and freshness and finesse into the long, textured finish.
(2016) Hawke's Bay or Hawkes Bay? It's one of the most profound mysteries of the wine world as local producers use both with apparently no rhyme or reason. But the wine, from an historic and award winning estate, is lovely: a gentle raspberry-scented Syrah with just little tones of chocolate richness, very good, pert acidity and a framework of grippy tannin but still that sweet but tangy presence of the fruit.
(2015) From Hawkes Bay in the North Island, this light-weight 12.5% alcohol blend saw 12 months in oak. Light to medium colour and density, this has a cedary and tobacco quality, along with red berry fruits: some plum and dry redcurrant. On the palate it is balanced, with lots of coffee coming through, tobacco again, and nicely balanced berry fruits. It has a sense of lightness and elegance, without a lot of structure - but most enjoyable and would be good with everything from spring lamb to roast chicken.
(2014) Huge, blood-streaked, fabulously peppery stuff from Hawkes Bay, earthy but red fruit-filled too. Little rose and violet notes add so much charm. Really tasty stuff, loaded with fruit on the palate, a vanilla slick of oak adding creamy texture and flavour, and the tannins ripe and chocolaty. Marries crowd-pleasing with serious rather wonderfully.