A zen mo­ment

With all the new-fan­gled, high­fa­lutin, ex­ot­i­cally named red va­ri­eties out there, it’s a job keep­ing up ... So pour a cud­dly caber­net or a marvel­lous mer­lot and ... ex­hale.

Weekend Herald - Canvas - - CONTENTS - Yvonne Lorkin YVONNE LORKIN IS CO-FOUNDER AND CHIEF TAST­ING OF­FI­CER OF WINEFRIEND.CO.NZ AND A WINE WRIT­ERS OF NZ MEM­BER.

THE HEDONIST MCLAREN VALE CABER­NET SAU­VI­GNON 2016 $25

The first line of the back la­bel of this cer­ti­fied or­ganic and bio­dy­namic caber­net sounds like the cho­rus of the Divinyls Plea­sure and Pain. (YouTube it — brings back mem­o­ries, right?) A year and a bit in the bot­tle helps bring out black­berry, plum, hints of men­thol, spice and leather to make this a tasty sip. I love the plump, plush mouth­feel and the sexy spices on the fin­ish. Warm, en­velop­ing, gor­geous.

Sip with: pep­pery, pulled-beef sand­wiches. cultwine.co.nz

PASK DEC­LA­RA­TION HAWKE’S BAY

MER­LOT 2013 $50

That 2013 was de­clared “the vin­tage of the cen­tury” by so many Hawke’s Bay wine pro­duc­ers is pro­foundly ev­i­dent in wines like this. In the hands of these Gim­blett Grav­els pi­o­neers, mer­lot is as­sured the best pos­si­ble treat­ment. For these mer­lot grapes, their jour­ney from vine to bot­tle was so care­fully han­dled it’s like they were given day-spa treat­ment through their 21 months in oak and bot­tling on Novem­ber 28, 2014. Which is, co­in­ci­den­tally, the ex­act date I’m writ­ing this re­view, four years later. Ul­tra-fleshy, packed with plum and blue­berry lay­ers, pep­per, cigar box and a charred, burned bone char­ac­ter on the fin­ish, it’s a vel­vety-smooth, sexy sip.

Sip with: mous­saka. pask.co.nz

KEMP ROAD HAWKE’S BAY WHENUA 2009 $45 What a treat it is to be able to enjoy a caber­net­dom­i­nant wine nine years from har­vest. To ex­pe­ri­ence how those flavours are en­ter­ing the se­condary spec­trum of leather, cigar box, prune, espresso and soft choco­late, in place of the pri­mary berries, spice and super-grippy tan­nins of the early part of its life. Smooth, juicy, choco­latey and age­ing beau­ti­fully. It’s at its peak drink­ing now, suc­cu­lent and juicy.

Sip with: old school steak and kid­ney pie. greatlit­tlevine­yards.com

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