Ash Ridge Estate Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2015
This label consistently offers good value. Grown in the Bridge Pa Triangle and matured in French and American oak barrels (mostly seasoned), it is a deep ruby, mouthfilling red, with strong, ripe, plummy, slightly spicy flavours, savoury notes adding interest, finely balanced tannins and good complexity. Drinking well already, it should be at its best mid-2017+.
Babich Winemakers’ Reserve Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2014
This classy, finely poised red was estate-grown in the St John Vineyard, in the Bridge Pa Triangle. Matured for a year in French oak casks (35 per cent new), it’s a deeply coloured wine, likely to be long-lived. Already a delicious mouthful, it is vibrantly fruity, with concentrated, well-ripened blackcurrant, plum and black pepper flavours and a long, spicy, harmonious finish. Best drinking 2018+.