Hawke’s Bay hotties – The Bay’s best is coming right now…

Herald on Sunday, 8 February 2015



Hawke’s Bay hotties…

Posted 9 February 2015

This column was first published as Cheers in Living magazine in The Herald on Sunday, Auckland, New Zealand, 26 October 2014 

The secret is out. The great red hope of Kiwi winemakers in the 1980s and 90s is barely a blip on the radar today. Cabernet sauvignon has declined to a humble 297 hectares; less than half that of five years ago. But if you have noticed that local versions of this black as night ‘red’ taste better than ever, well done. Cabernet is hot. Especially from 2013; a sexy year for reds. Back in its 1980s heyday, cabernet was the vino rosso that every self respecting winemaker wanted to make but, like high cut leotards, leg warmers and big hair, it soon became obvious that cabernet suited some places better others. The best place for it now is clearly Hawke’s Bay’s Gimblett Gravels; stony ground that emulates Bordeaux’ left bank, where cabernet comes from. Back here in ‘godzone’, 2013 was a commanding year for cabernet, whose fans can say and mean: eat your heart out, Pinot Noir.

A short list of hot reds

2013 Trinity Hill The Gimblett
2013 Esk Valley Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec
2013 Sacred Hill Helmsman
2013 Sacred Hill Brokenstone (merlot, cabernets sauvignon and franc) too)
2013 Te Awa Cabernet Sauvignon
2013 Villa Maria Reserve Cabernet Merlot
2013 Craggy Range Merlot
(merlot, cabernet franc)
2013 Esk Valley Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec