Lovely overseas reds
While it’s always a good idea to opt for a local offering, if you feel like treating yourself to a good bottle of red there’s nothing stopping you from looking at old favourites and lesser-known lovelies from over the seas.
Elephant Hill Reserve Merlot Cabernet 2013
Winemaker Steve Skinner has crafted an elegant Bordeaux-style Hawkes Bay beauty here. Scented with perfectly ripe boysenberry, cracked pepper, sweet spices and dark chocolate, it coats the entire palate in a warm, fleshy sensation with every sip. I love the savoury, roasting-pan juice and cocoa characters which wash across the finish alongside luscious, elastic tannins. Fresh, youthful and drinking darn nicely now, it's definitely one that you may also want to stash away somewhere cool and secret.
Wolf Blass Gold Label Barossa Shiraz 2013
Having given it another go after years of inattention, I'm well and truly impressed. Inky-dark in the glass, the wine packs a punch of liquorice, dark chocolate, ripe berry, plum and Christmas cake spices.
Rich, smooth, gentle and lush on the palate - sometimes the tried and trues are the way to go, especially if you're aiming to please a crowd.
Bogle Vineyards Petit Sirah 2012
Petit sirah is otherwise known as "durif" - and this Clarksburg, California example has delicious, gamey characters combined with pepper, blackberry, cocoa and seasoned leather flavours. There's a solid seam of vanilla coming through from the 100 per cent fermentation and maturation for 10 months in American oak barrels (American oak = vanilla; French oak = smoke). It's got lovely freshness to balance out the earthy spices, and it's a great wine to whip out when you want to look worldly in front of your friends.
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