2009 Sacred Hill "Helmsman" Cabernet-Merlot Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay
*Cellar Selection* This is a full-bodied, firmly tannic blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot that's built for the cellar. It boasts copious amounts of vanilla and cedar, but there's plenty of cassis fruit to support it, and that fruit comes through strongly on the intense, long finish. Drink 2015–2025.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Very deep garnet-purple colored, the 2009 Helmsman has a pronounced cedar enhanced nose with notes of ripe black and red currants, black cherries, black olives and fresh mulberries over Chinese five spice and chocolate. Crisp and very taut, the medium bodied palate is dominated by oak at the moment, with firm grainy tannins and a long cedary finish. Consider drinking it 2014 to 2022+. (91+)
The plum, cassis and grapey notes are supported by thick, chewy tannins, black pepper and bell pepper details, and a bay leaf note running down the center. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Drink now through 2020. (Web-2013)
The Gimblett Gravels region is, as the name suggests, an especially gravelly area of New Zealand's Hawkes Bay appellation, and prized for growing Bordeaux varietals.