Tired of summer whites and rosé wines? Longing for a robust red even if you have to match it with fish and salad? Help is at hand...
2013 Leveret Estate Reserve Merlot Cabernet
It's hard to find a merlot-dominant Bordeaux-style red these days. Most are cabernet-dominant, but it often depends on how the vintage went. This is a most appealing Hawkes Bay wine with grapes from the renowned red metal soils of the Bridge Pa district. Nudging 14.5 per cent alcohol, it is a food wine crying out for a hefty piece of red meat. Drinking now but will reward careful cellaring. Finely balanced with flavours of blackcurrant, herbs, mint and chocolate.
2013 Mud House Claim 431 Pinot Noir
Single vineyard Central Otago (claim 431 in Bendigo, to be precise) is an area with a reputation for delivering brambly, succulent fruit. Says winemaker Nadine Worley, "It was a great growing season, which produced outstanding fruit and a pinot noir that I think will turn heads." This has bounce and character - fulsome and brimming with crushed boysenberries, dark plums, spice and elegant oak touches.
Full of generous, textured fruit, this pinot noir is bold and beautiful.
2013 Crossroads Winemakers Collection Syrah
For those who eschew shy, retiring wines, this is a winner. The previous two vintages of this particular wine have collected an impressive array of gold medals and the 2013 is from a splendid vintage for rich reds. If you're looking for something appropriate to pair with venison, duck or beef, this is it. Gutsy but with silky fine tannins and a mouth-filling long finish, it more than justifies its price. Flavours of dark berries and plum and, typically for Hawkes Bay syrah, violets, pepper and a pleasant smokiness.
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