2013 Vidal "El Legado" (Legacy Series) Cabernet Sauvignon - Merlot Hawke's Bay (Previously $50)

SKU #1289576 98 points Sam Kim

 You need to take deep breaths when tasting, or drinking, this wine. This is profound and gloriously compelling. Concentrated flavours of cassis and plum, with subtle layers of cedar, spice and tobacco, stunningly supported by rich texture and exceptional palate weight. The wine is extraordinarily saturated with gorgeous flavours, but it is not heavy or chunky, just gracious and sophisticated. At its best: 2020 to 2035.

96 points Raymond Chan

 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot from the ‘Anthony Vidal’ and ‘Omahu Gravels’ vineyards, fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 19 months in 50% new French oak. Very dark, deep, purple-hued ruby-red colour, lighter on the edge, and youthful in appearance. The nose is very refined with fragrant blackcurrant fruit entwined with plum and liquorice layers, lifted by oak vanilla, unveiling violet floral notes. The aromatics build in intensity and detail with aeration. Medium-full bodied, rich, lush and spicy blackcurrant fruit flavours are lifted by sweet vanilla-like oak, and unfold layers of exotic plum fruit, liquorice and floral elements. The juicy and opulent fruit and oak flavours are underlined by very fine-grained tannins lending elegant structure and grip. The wine flows smoothly to a very long, lush, exotic nuanced finish. This is a rich, plush-fruited Cabernet/Merlot blend with exotic, vanilla-like oak and fine, smooth tannin structure. Match with lamb and game meat over the next 10-12 years.

Jancis Robinson

 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot aged for 19 months in French oak (50% new). Bright crimson. Pale rim. Very restrained but reasonably convincing nose with some salty depths. Very round and well composed. Refreshing and youthful with a particularly dry finish. Really quite subtle. Should age well and be very digestible. Not showy. Though there is a hint of some oak element. 17.5/20 Points  (10/2015)

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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

New Zealand

- New Zealand is an extremely diverse wine-growing nation. The long history of producing wine started in the 1830s with wineries such as Mission Estate (1850) and Te Mata Estate (1896) still producing wine today. The two islands hold a multitude of different growing climates ranging from warmer areas such as Hawke’s Bay to very cool regions such as Waitaki, and Awatere. Most regions are defined as Maritime with the exception being Central Otago that has a moderate Continental climate with the high elevation creating dramatic diurnal swings in temperature. The plethora of grapes grown in New Zealand reflects this diverse microclimate make up. Everything has a place here, Bordeaux varietals and Syrah in Hawke’s Bay, Chardonnay and Pinot in Nelson, Pinot Noir and Riesling in Central Otago , aromatic whites in Waipara and pretty much everything you can imagine in Marlborough. New Zealand is also one of the “greenest” wine producing nations on earth (94% of wine certified sustainable in 2013) with a strong focus on organic and Biodynamic farming.