Lovely cabernet francs
Cabernet franc is the bridesmaid of the Bordeaux family. Everyone expects it to be there but sadly it never gets singled out for much attention. These two are lovely, as is their white Campanian companion, Fiano.
Black Barn Single Vineyard Hawkes Bay Cabernet Franc 2013
Wow. With heady, exotic aromas of vanilla, smoked cherries, intense dark berries rolled in baking spices and dipped in chocolate, followed by ripe fruit, dried herbs, tobacco and pepper flavours, this is one drop dead gorgeous example of cabernet franc. It'll cellar beautifully, but it's a star already.
Moana Park The Vintage Project Hawkes Bay Cabernet Franc 2013
Each year the winemakers single out a small patch of vines of a single variety and carefully steer it through the winery and into the bottle. Always just a one-off, only two barrels were produced of this wine which smells like fresh bouquet-garni herbs, soaked in dark berries thrown on top of some freshly turned earth. Tar, smoke, pepper and red liquorice all wash through on to the palate, leaving a long, spicy finish.
Bush Hawk Vineyard Bella's Block Fiano 2014
Fiano is an ancient grape, traditionally grown in Campania, Southern Italy, but it's now perfectly at home in Hawkes Bay's Bridge Pa district. This is just the second vintage of what is New Zealand's only example of the style - and it's a ripper. Creamy white peach, honeysuckle, crushed shells and white pepper on the nose, followed by full, ripe lemon and stonefruit flavours and a sexy grip on the finish, it's lovely.
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