As regular readers know, I’m a bit taken by New Zealand’s top reds at the moment. Here are two more good-uns, both from the wonderful Gimblett Gravels terroir.
Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Merlot 2006 Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
14% alcohol. Sweet, fresh plum and blackberry fruit nose with a gravelly, tarry edge. The palate shows sweet, fresh dark fruits with a savoury, spicy, tarry edge and a hint of vanilla. The key to this wine is the vibrant fruit, and it finishes nicely savoury, making it food friendly. 91/100 (£16.99 Waitrose, nzhouseofwine.co.uk)
Craggy Range Te Kahu 2005 Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
Deep coloured, this has an aromatic nose of savoury blackcurrant fruit with some spice, earth and gravel notes. The palate combines ripe dark fruits with firm, gravelly tannins and some chocolate and tar notes. This is a lovely interface of the old and new worlds with a bit more old than new. Delicious. 92/100 (£17 Marks & Spencer)