Church Road Reserve Merlot Cabernet 1999, Hawke’s Bay, NZ

Church Road Reserve Merlot Cabernet 1999Another surprise: Deep opaque garnet core, bricking red rim with a thin, clear meniscus; Truffles and earth tones greeted the nose on first pour before rich aromas of plums, cassis, dark berries and nuances of oak came to the fore with just a slight hint of spice. Prominent oak flavors on the palate amidst layers of tart black fruits and damsons, bits of dark chocolate and a grainy, tannic grip. Very lively acidity here and good length. Drinking very well and I am kicking myself now for not buying more! Anyone going to Hawke’s Bay soon?

18 hours later: pronounced dried mandarin peel and dried dark fruits on the nose; fruit profile gained a lot more weight; drying tannins on the palate.

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