Dark and bright, Awatea Cabernets/Merlot ’18 is an inky purple with an electric crimson edge. From a warm and dry vintage, Awatea ’18 shows ripe blackberry and blackcurrant aromatics with elements of vanilla creme and sandalwood. On the palate there’s a banquet of plum, raspberry, dried herbs and lingering dark cherry, set out across cedar and cocoa powder tannins. Classical in structure, with fine balance and length, Awatea Cabernets/Merlot ’18 is resplendent in its purity and detail.
A deep midnight-magenta, Coleraine ’18 is symphonic in its harmony and presence. The aromatics are immediately varietal with grace notes of cassis, raspberry leaf, fresh roses, dark chocolate, lifted black cherry, espresso and cedar. The palate deepens the opening theme. There’s tapenade, darkest blackberry and ripe plum while underneath, quietly, a precise, profound tannin structure resonates.
Powerful, deep-set, graceful and complex, Coleraine ’18 is refined to an exquisite point while still retaining freshness and balance. It lingers after tasting. Layered and composed, resplendent and resolved, a gloriously seductive ensemble celebratory of all that fine New Zealand wine can be.
From the famous Domaine Baron de Rothschild, a superb entry level Bordeaux from a great classic vintage. Made from a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot, it shows a deep crimson colour with a nose that is intense, very expressive, dominated by fresh fruit aromas (red currant, raspberry) and blended with discreet notes of oak. Beautiful now but will also cellar for a number of years and definitely excellent value for money.
Ink-dark crimson, Awatea Cabernets/Merlot ’17 glimmers with bright raspberry, cherry and blackberry sparkling over mocha, cedar and spice. Always a favourite expression of fine Hawke’s Bay cabernet, Awatea from 2017 is refreshing and moreish as well as typically elegant. Aromas of red and dark berry fruit, flashes of boysenberry and espresso on the palate, and a classical, super-fine, tannin structure running through to its long finish make Awatea Cabernets/Merlot ’17 a true star. Closed with a natural cork that will allow Awatea to continue to evolve in bottle and provide great enjoyment up to 10 years from harvest.
“The 2015 Ornellaia is a dream wine with magnificent balance. All the elements are in the right place. In most vintages, Ornellaia needs time to fully come together, but the 2015 is just impeccable, even in the early going. The warm vintage notwithstanding, winemaker Axel Heinz crafted and Ornellaia is more about finesse and power. The potent, bruising tannins Ornellaia can show as a young wine are nowhere to be found. Bright raspberry jam, mint, white flowers and pomegranate are some of the many notes that punctuate the finish in a memorable Ornellaia that will go down among the great vintages produced at this reference-point estate.”
Score: 98, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, April 2018
“A big, brooding red, packed with blackberry, plum and earth flavors, all wrapped in spicy oak. Monolithic now, finishing with saline mineral elements, a leafy, tobacco edge and dense, mouthcoating tannins. Terrific potential. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2023 through 2038.”
Score: 97, Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator Insider, May 2018
As is always the case with Pierre Lafon, not a man known for a lot of talking so he just lets his wine do it all for him. Most of you will be familiar with this stunning Bordeaux, one of the first imports of Accent on Wine over 20 years ago. A blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, medium to full bodied with lovely lush and rounded tannins, concentrated and just beautifully balanced. For a Bordeaux Superior it punches well above its weight, it has power, concentration and depth with a lovely middle palate and beautiful finish. You could easily pay double for a wine of this quality. Drink now or over the next 5-6 years.
The classic Bordeaux blends at their best. Perhaps more reminiscent of a St. Emilion Grande Cru Classe because of its power, racy acidity and focus. As is the case for the other wines, this needs time perhaps 8-10 years will get the best out of it. Balanced, harmonious and powerful with complex notes of ripe dark plum, violets, an autumnal forest and a touch of smoke. The wine exhibits great focus and intensity with fine tannins layered through a core of dark fruit. The wine carries a real seriousness that underlies its youthful charm.
The so-called Sassicaia of Sardinia, made in collaboration with local Sardinian growers, is becoming a reference point for wines from this island and even Italy. Made from a blend of 85% Carignan, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot. On the nose it exhibit spice, black fruits, game and hints of leather. The palate is superb, balanced, poised and full bodied with great depth, length and concentration. This is a wine that has the potential within years to rival Sassicaia itself but at a fraction of the price.
We have just received this magnificent 2015 from the Medoc. Chateau Loudenne is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, it exudes power, concentration and depth yet very elegant, quintessential Bordeaux and given the superb 2015 vintage, this will develop for another 10 years easily. On appearance it’s bright and almost with a tinge of purple colour, hints of cassis, lead pencil and dust. Ideally better served decanted or at least it should be given a good 30-40 mins to open up and evolve. For lovers of classic Bordeaux, this is for you!
Founded in 1711 and revived to its former glory in 1992 by Italian businessman and wine collector Giulio Bertrand, Morgenster stands as one of the very best South African wines to be had. Made from a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, it captures the essence of Stellenbosch, the vineyards are on steep slopes ranging from 50m to 360m above sea level, planted at a density of 3000 vines per hectare and crop at 3.5–6.5 tons/hectare. You would be forgiven for thinking that you are trying a Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classe because that’s just how good it is. Earthy overtones with ripe fruit, composed and elegant, medium to full body and after almost 20 years, still at its best. It is not often that we come across a gem like this from the very beginning of the century and at $59.95 per bottle, well we really don’t need to give any more reasons.
A small vineyard holding in the appellation of Saint-Emilion Grand Cru of approximately 7 hectares and classical Saint-Emilion varieties of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and sometimes a little Petit Verdot. The wine is full bodied, very well layered with great texture, concentration and depth. On the palate it exhibits dust, dry earth, dry herbs and black truffle. Young at the moment with potential to age for the next 15 years plus.
Made from a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc from a relatively small vineyard of around 14 hectares with an average vine age of 30 years, expression, terroir and definition is how you would characterize this Saint-Emilion. Soft, with an ample middle palate, supple tannins and great depth from a great vintage of 2016. Approachable now however will also cellar for the next 5-6 years.
The brand new vintage from this outstanding producer that most of you will be familiar with, situated in Griffith, N.S.W. This is an instant stunner with its plum, dark berry fruit appeal but yet emphasizing its cooler growing conditions therefore does not exhibit overly ripe or aggressive tannins. On the palate it has wonderful intensity with very careful handling of oak which allows its typical terroir and natural characters of the wine to come through. This is an excellent partner for a Sunday roast or BBQ lamb. Drink now or cellar for the next 2-3 years.
A new addition from this much acclaimed producer made from a blend of Syrah, Merlot and Grenache which is full bodied with typical expression of Languedoc in being perfumed and floral with hints of dry herbs and garrigue. On the palate it’s profound with lovely racy acidity, soft caressing tannins and a long finish. Excellent now but better over the next 3-4 years.
"Célèbre has always had its own distinctive style as a bright, high-energy red with real concentration and a rich, mouth-filling texture. As a young wine, the 2015 is showing abundant aromatics with ripe blueberry, boysenberry and red currant notes meeting more exotic notes of star-anise. Long, fine, savoury tannins across the palate and the bracken-like earthiness from the Cabernet portions builds complexity, while Syrah brings spice and fresh, balanced acidity to the finish.
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