Askerne Hawke’s Bay Viognier 2018
From a classic grape of the Rhone Valley, this fully barrel-fermented wine is fragrant and full-bodied, with generous, ripe stonefruit flavours, a hint of toasty oak adding complexity, and a dryish, well-rounded finish. A finely textured wine with clearcut varietal characteristics, it’s already drinking well and offers great value.
Babich Winemakers’ Reserve Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2015
From a low-cropping year with a dry summer, this classy Gimblett Gravels red was grown in the Irongate Vineyard and matured for over a year in French oak casks (25 per cent new). Fragrant, with a ripe, savoury bouquet, it is mouthfilling, with deep, plummy, spicy, nutty flavours, showing excellent structure and complexity. Distinctly Bordeaux-like, it should be at its best 2021+.