Esk Valley The Hillside Hawke's Bay Malbec Merlot Cabernet Franc 2010
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
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
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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Yvonne Lorkin is co-founder and chief tasting officer of winefriend.co.nz and a Wine Writers of NZ member.