WINE REVIEWS: Reds

Most good red wines mellow and integrate with a year or two's bottle age as this tasting demonstrates. However, aeration may help soften the rough edges in a young fresh wine. Try glugging the wine into a jug and then back into the bottle if you can't wait.

BEST VALUE
The Islander by Jacques Lurton The Red 2010.

$19

three and a half stars (out of five)
good value

From Kangaroo Island just off the coast of South Australia, this field blend of malbec, cabernet franc, shiraz, viognier and grenache punches above its price - densely flavoured with hints of raspberry, pencil shavings and dark chocolate, and finishing with firm, dry, dusty tannins. Drinking nicely now and versatile with a range of food.

www.finewinedelivery.co.nz

 


Gabriel Meffre Terres de Galets Cotes du Rhone 2011

$15

three stars (out of five)
average value

From the Rhone valley in southern France, this blend of grenache, syrah, cinsault and mourvèdre is sweetly fruity, backed by hints of spice, incense and cedar chest, and finishes with dry dusty tannins characteristic of rustic European reds.

www.finewinedelivery.co.nz

 


Te Mania Nelson Syrah 2011

$22

three stars (out of five)
below average value

Typically cool climate, peppery syrah with attractive purity of fruit, an underlying savouriness and a refreshing, crisp and firm finish.

www.temaniawines.co.nz

 

 


Mills Reef Elspeth Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Merlot 2010

$45

four stars (out of five)
average value

A dark, spicy wine, oozing plums, black and red currants and toasty oak, with a firm structure and lively finish. It's still very fresh but there's complexity and concentration indicating it will mellow with more bottle age.

www.millsreef.co.nz

 


Mills Reef Elspeth Trust Vineyard Hawkes Bay Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

$45

four stars (out of five)
average value

Still a youthful wine with a fresh, edgy aroma, this oozes black currants and elderberries, with hints of dark chocolate and spice. It's well-balanced with fine-grained tannins on the finish and will reward further bottle age.

www.millsreef.co.nz

 


Alpha Domus Hawkes Bay The Navigator 2009

$29

four stars (out of five)
good value

At four years old, this blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and malbec is drinking beautifully. There's lovely ripe, dark berry fruit, dense but mellowing flavours with a hint of savouriness, and it's well-structured with a firm finish.

www.alphadomus.co.nz

 


ANOTHER GLASS
Sacred Hill Halo Hawkes Bay Merlot Cabernet Franc 2011

$28

three and a half stars (out of five)
average value

Bright and youthful with oodles of light, juicy fruit suggesting dark cherries, chocolate andcream, a fresh, edgy acidity and dryish, dusty tannins. It will probably mellow with a year orso's bottle age.

www.sacredhill.co.nz


- charmian.smith@odt.co.nz