While not known for high end Bordeaux-style reds, New Zealand produces some world-class examples and this Merlot dominant blend from one of the most modern wineries in the world is a perfect example. A blend of 62% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot grown in the famous Gimblett Gravels, this is a well-oaked, smooth and luscious red wine with balance, texture and power. Made in a supple, sensuous style using the very best fruit from the very best parcels, it sees nineteen months in 37% new French oak. This fine French oak provides smooth, dusty tannins, and when combined with the proper natural acidity and rich fruit a seamless whole is achieved. No expense is spared - the winery is truly state-of-the-art, everything is meticulously hand done and the final blend of the individually fermented parcels is lengthy and perfectionist. There is enough structure for short to medium term aging – three to seven years - but, as we proved at a recent tasting, this wine is delicious and ready to enjoy right now. And, at this price, a HUGE bargain - you'd pay twice as much for this luscious quality if it were from a more famous region. And it’s ready to drink, now, so it’s a great hostess gift.