(2023) Also from the North Island's Hawkeâ€™s Bay, and its famous gravel soils, this saw careful barrel maturation, only about 10% new oak, where it rested for 21 months. It's another vibrantly dark purple wine, aromas of plush black fruit, a touch of cedar, and a pleasing touch of more lifted cassis and violet. In the mouth there's a creaminess to the fruit and texture, quite a primary fruit character with plum skin grip and tartness adding to the freshness of the finish. No UK retail listing at time of review.
(2021) From the Bridge Pa Triangle, one of the specific terroirs of Hawke's Bay, prized for its deep gravel soils, and the very hot 2018 vintage. It spent five months in oak and has a small percentage of Viognier in the blend. Very attractive floral and cherry lift to the nose here, all bright fruit and freshness, a little green cool streak (12.5% alcohol). On the palate it is relatively lean, firm, tart raspberry and plenty of acditiy keeping it fresh into the finish. Â£16.99 on a mixed six deal.
(2020) The wine with the longest name in the history of grape juice. 54% is Merlot. This has a nice floral touch, a nuttiness, a cedary style too. Thereâ€™s juiciness to spare here, quite high acid adding a sour cherry bite, and firm, drying tannins.
(2018) Sourced from the prime Gimblett Gravels terroir, this deep purple-black wine has a certain inkiness to the aromas, dry, spicy, a touch of graphite to black fruits. In the mouth the oak is a little more prominent, a touch of charriness of quality French oak, a firm strip of liquorice tannin and acidity, quite linear and structured, finishing with some of the black cassis fruit and spice coming through. Just a touch lean perhaps.
(2018) Named after Tom McDonald, credited with being instrumental in the development of Hawkes Bay wine region, this was fermented in a combination of large oak tanks and concrete, and spent 21 months in oak. It is deeply-coloured and glossy, with damson, black berries and a sheen of creamy, vanilla-touched oak. In the mouth the oak is a little resinous for me, which along with the 14.5% alcohol just swamps the fruit a little, the tart plum skins of the acidity and rasp tannins also playing against the fruit. The sweetness of the fruit does peek through, but finishing on spice rather than fruit.
(2016) Though wine is made across New Zealand's North and South Islands, the North is now producing excellent examples of the 'bigger' red wine styles - Bordeaux and RhÃ´ne-style reds. Hawkes Bay has emerged as a centre of excellence for the Syrah grape, and this is a fine example, so aromatic with its lifted pepper and violet notes offset by the juiciest cherry and blackberry fruit. On the palate the oak is beautifully polished, it has that hint of balsamic, meat-stocky character, but copious fruit set against the smooth tannin and acid backdrop. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.