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Featured Reviews

One Off Hawke’s Bay Syrah/Cabernet/Sangiovese 2013

23 April,2015
Rod McDonald has a number of philosophical approaches covered with his different ranges of wines. The ‘Quarter Acre’ and ‘’Blanket Hills’ wines explore the best and more flavoursome expressions of Hawke’s Bay respectively, while the ‘Te Awanga Estate’ and ‘Two Gates’ show regionality and climate. It is the ‘One Off’ wines that will interest the wine enthusiast with a sense of adventure, willing to try something new all the time. Rod makes small lots of individual wines following his heart’s desire, the fruit deemed interesting, whether from kept separate or blended, and made without the constraints imposed by brands and set styles. This can often involve more risky winemaking. The only drawback is that the wines are truly ‘one-off’ and not repeatable. However many consumers will like that. Here, I review a Hawke’s Bay red blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese from the outstanding 2013 vintage. Those who want to pigeon-hole the wine could say it is based on the ‘Super Tuscan’ model.


One Off Hawke’s Bay Syrah/Cabernet Sauvignon/Sangiovese 2013

Blended Red from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Dark, deep, black-hued purple-red colour, lighter on edge, and very youthful in appearance. The nose is intensely concentrated with deep and richly ripe fruit aromas of blackberries and blackcurrants entwined with tar and minerally elements, unfolding raspberry and red floral notes with aeration. Medium-full bodied, firm and tightly packed fruit flavours of ripe blackberry and black plum fruits intermingle with raspberries, blackcurrants and herbs. The fruit is succulent, vibrant and lively, enlivened by piquant acidity. Fine-grained and firm tannins form a focussed structure which carries the sweet fruit with considerable power and drive along a lingering, rich finish. This is a very finely concentrated, vibrant blend of Syrah, Cabernet and Sangiovese with succulent fruit and a powerful linearity. Match with roasted beef, lamb and venison, and with slow-cooked game meats over the next 8-10 years. Hand-picked fruit, 48% Syrah from the red metals, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon and 16% Sangiovese from Maraekakaho, fermented with a high portion of whole berries to 13.8% alc., the wine spending up to 35 days on skins and aged 18 months in approx. 60% new French oak barriques. 18.5/20 Apr 2015 RRP $31.99
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