Rod McDonald has been making premium wines for years for everyone else. Now he is doing his own thing with his own label, with two varietals.

1. 2012 Quarter Acre Chardonnay

McDonald sources grapes from selected Hawkes Bay growers, invariably from small parcels of land - hence "quarter acre". This is a lovely chablis style, restrained and clean with a sharp lemon and citrus bite, a wine with loads of minerality and that opens beautifully in the glass. A winner with roast chicken.
Price: $32

2. 2009 Matariki Les Filles Cabernet Sauvignon


Aged in French oak barriques and bottled for five years and good to cellar for another 10, this has all the richness and elegance you could wish for. From Hawkes Bay's Gimblett Gravels with the sweet mocha oak, rich plum and cassis savoury undertones that are the
hallmark of a quality cabernet, this wine is seamless with its soft, silky tannins and endless finish. Good match for beef, game and even cheese.
Price: $58

3. 2011 Trademark Syrah

Just released under McDonald's premium label "Trademark" and a seamless head-turner of a wine. While this is at a higher price point for syrah, it has all the hallmarks of a stunning red with potential for ageingwith care. Rich colour with robust flavours, finishing with a velvet smoothness and flavours of mint along with white pepper and red fruits. Would be delicious with a hearty casserole.
Price: $70

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