Waiheke island, only forty minutes by ferry from downtown Auckland, is a beautiful place of beaches, vineyards and desirable weekend escapes. A few days propping up cellar door tasting benches was both fun and interesting. For this precious and probably overly fussy wine bore, there were many wines that were just too ripe and oak showy. Such is the obvious comfort of wealth, the pricing was pretty aspirational too. This enterprise stood out a little for more moderate alcohol levels and better fruit clarity. Yes, even at 14% this appealed for its comparable freshness. It’s all relative goes the truism, when opened at home this looked quite ripe at first taste. Over time it evened out with some gorgeously lush red fruits, a splash of cassis and a delicious balance of herby Cabernet gravel bringing up the rear. A little taste of really good dark chocolate too. Clean and pure, like the sparkling sea surrounding Waiheke where the orcas crash through the swell. Such rich balance of fruit, natural cleansing acidity and sweet tannin would not be out of place in a similarly patrician Bordelais concoction.
14% alcohol. Screwcap. Was about $NZ 60? Their flagship Velvet bottling is now $NZ 750, take that Pauillac.