Esk Valley The Hillside Hawke's Bay Malbec Merlot Cabernet Franc 2010 $69
Esk Valley's "The Terraces" is a magical blend of fruit grown in a tiny, 28-year-old terraced vineyard overlooking the winery. Occasionally there are stunning parcels of wine that don't make it into the final blend and winemaker Gordon Russell has decided to create this, a sister blend called Hillside. Rich, powerful and erupting with dark fruit, biscuity spices, cedar, smoke and studded with seductive bouquet garni herbs, it's a joy to drink.
Sip with: baked tomato and chorizo hotpot.
Also available at bitewine.co.nz for a limited time.
Flying Sheep Hawke's Bay Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 $35
Crafted by the talented team at Osawa Wines comes this berry-focused, plum-packed and velvety textured red. I love the red fruit, pepper and dried herb layers that are stitched together with solid acidity and sinewy tannins.
Sip with: truffled beef tournedos.
Sticks Yarra Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 $29
Here's an ultra-fresh, leafy cabernet that's loaded with blackberry, boysenberry and ribsticking raspberry notes. The acidity is gentle, yet adds to the powdery grip of the tannins around your back teeth. There's even a smidge of roast beetroot and cocoa powder on the finish also.
Sip with: venison burgers.
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Note: We make bonza Bordeaux blends Downunder, but if you want to spend 10 days touring the real place with me in May, visitworldexpeditions.co.nz, search for the keyword "Yvonne" - et voila!