2010 William Murdoch Estate Merlot-Malbec Gimblett Gravels Hawke's Bay (Previously $20)
A blend of 74% Merlot, 15% Malbec, 8% Cabernet Franc and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged 12 months in 30% new French oak. Impenetrable purple-ruby colour, this has a full, bold and broad bouquet full of ripe, vibrant, lifted dark plum and spicy black fruit aromas. This is quite open and accessible now, but has plenty more to show. The oaking is discreet. A full-bodied wine, rich and pleasing, sweet black and spicy fruit flavours are lifted by racy, edgy acidity. This has an underlying core with excellent drive, the tannins providing good structure without being overly expressive. This is an upfront Merlot based wine with plenty of Malbec character, and the grip and weight to keep 6-8 years.
Bright berry and spice flavours with a seasoning of oak. Lively, elegant red with tangy acidity and fine, drying tannins. Youthful blended red from a top vintage and with obvious cellaring potential.
A little softer and more generous than the Cab-Cab Franc bottling. Slightly more plush fruit but still very much in the cedar, pipe tobacco, spice box spectrum. Reminds me of old school Saint-Émilion. (Ryan Woodhouse - K&L NZ Wine Buyer)