From the Paritua vineyard in Bridge Pa, this power-packed “Hawke’s Bay” blend/red is Merlot dominant with a balance of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Although the minor partner in this production, the Cabernet Franc lights this up – it’s the glue that holds it all together. Aromatically it lifts both the herbal Cabernet note, and lifts the plumminess of the Merlot.
Broodingly dark, opaquely ruby in the glass, with a deliciously aromatic, lifted floral perfume of musk rose and wisteria, with elderberry, damson, cassis and provencal herbs. Complex and layered, intense and firm – structured, with sinewy tannins, medium acidity and framed with an integrated but toasty oak. Black plum, liquorice, cranberry and vanilla, mocha and baking spices in the generous, rich palate. A little tar and eucalypt deeper down the layers – comes out more after a couple of hours aeration, and the succulence is met with this savoury, drier layer that persists into the lengthy finish. 95pts. Would last another decade + and probably score higher as it reaches that 10-year zenith.