Featured Reviews

Red Barrel 2012 Merlot/Syrah and 2011 Syrah

24 June,2014
Red Barrel Vineyard is the micro boutique Hawke’s Bay vineyard, winery and label, based on Te Mata Road just out of Havelock North, with Te Mata Estate and Black Barn as neighbours. Owners John Lockie, a sharebroker, and his wife Juliette who have had a Hawke’s Bay winegowing background in the ‘Stockbridge’ and ‘Balthazar’ brands, purchased the former Zepelin vineyard in 2010. They immediately took out the Cabernet Sauvignon and replanted with three clones of Chardonnay to supplement the existing Merlot and Syrah vines which were planted in 1997. A cellar door is operated at the home vineyard and winery facility, and it is the base for the Molto Italian Kitchen which ‘popped up’ recently. The wines are made by Dave McKee, winemaker at Black Barn, and with a projected maximum production of 1,000 cases from the 2.6 ha of vines, it is a true small-batch operation. Here, I review the current releases. www.redbarrel.co.nz


Red Barrel Hawke’s Bay Merlot/Syrah 2012

Merlot from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

80% Merlot and 20% Syrah from the ‘Home’ block, hand-picked and fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 12 months in 10% new French oak. Dark, deep, black-hued ruby-red colour with light purple on rim. The nose is softly full with good depth of fragrant dark redcurrant aromas, along with complexing savoury, nutty oak, spices and game elements. Medium-full bodied, bold and up-front flavours of red and blackcurrants intermingle with plum and spicy berry fruit notes. The fruit juiciness is supported by grainy tannin extraction providing a moderately robust mouthfeel with grip to balance the sweetness. Bright, fresh acidity underlines the palate line and along with the tannins lead to a grainy, dry and soft finish. This is a fulsome, lively Merlot and Syrah blend with a robust palate. Match with barbecued and grilled game meat dishes over the next 5-6 years. 17.5/20 Jun 2014 RRP $25.00

Disclaimer: This wine is distributed by ‘Wine2Trade’, the company under which ‘Raymond Chan Wine Reviews’ operates

Red Barrel Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2011

Syrah from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Dark, deep, black-hued purple-red colour, youthful in appearance. This has a full, and well-packed bouquet of ripe black berry fruits entwined with black pepper, spices and violet floras, the aromatics opening up in volume, revealing subtle secondary earth and minerally complexities. Full-bodied, the palate is rich with ripe, fleshy blackberry and peppery fruits, along with spice, herb and floral elements. The fruit expression is stylishly restrained, but the palate exudes presence from a concentrated core. The tannins are supple, with discreet background acidity, and enhance a smooth flow to a soft-textured, lively and fresh, rich, long and spicy finish. This is a fulsome and stylishly concentrated, juicy Syrah with aromatic black and spicy fruits. Match with lamb and venison, and Middle Eastern cuisine over the next 6+ years. Fruit from the ‘Arataki’ and ‘House’ blocks, destemmed and fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 9 months in 75%new French oak. 18.0+/20 Jun 2014 RRP $28.00

Disclaimer: This wine is distributed by ‘Wine2Trade’, the company under which ‘Raymond Chan Wine Reviews’ operates

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