Clearview Cape Kidnappers Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2016
Offering irresistible value, this Merlot-predominant red is blended with Malbec (14 per cent). Grown at Te Awanga and matured for 14 months in French oak barrels (18 per cent new), it is fragrant, dark and weighty, with strong, ripe blackcurrant, plum and spice flavours, hints of liquorice and dark chocolate, good complexity and a seductively smooth finish. Unexpectedly rich for a wine in its moderate price category, it’s already delicious.
Two Paddocks Proprietor’s Reserve The First Paddock Central Otago Pinot Noir 2016
This impressive, estate-grown red was hand-picked at Gibbston from vines planted in 1993 and matured in French oak barrels (30 per cent new). Deeply coloured, enticingly fragrant and full-bodied, it has an array of ripe cherry, plum, spice and herb flavours, finely balanced tannins and a savoury, supple finish. A very elegant, concentrated and lively red, it should be long-lived; best drinking 2020+.