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.
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
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.
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