93/100 – Bob Campbell MW
4 stars – Michael Cooper
“Puriri Hills’ entry-level label is a blend of merlot, cabernet franc, malbec and cabernet sauvignon. It is an elegant and approachable red with floral, fresh herb, red berry and spicy oak flavours. A crisp red that is ready to drink. Drink 2022 to 2029.” – Bob Campbell MW
“From Puriri Hills, the 2018 vintage was estate-grown at Clevedon, in South Auckland. A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon, it was French oak-aged for two years. Drinking well now, it has lightish, fairly youthful colour. Full-bodied, it has good depth of ripe, berryish, spicy, nutty flavours, showing considerable complexity, supple tannins and excellent harmony.” – Michael Cooper
Tasting Note: 84% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc, 2% Malbec, 1% Cabernet Sauvignon. Medium red fruits and some earth, spice and leather undertones on the nose call to mind classic Bordeaux. The palate is medium-bodied and pleasantly weighty without being overpowering. Fresh and accessible, but also showing complex structure that speaks to the very talented winemaker behind this release, and the precisely-judged blend of five distinct varietals.
Winemaking Notes: In the winery, bunches were 100% destemmed and 80% crushed into oak cuves or stainless steel open-top fermenters. Ferments were cold soaked for 4-5 days to allow wild yeast development, then inoculated with oenological yeasts. Total time on skins ranged from 1-3 weeks depending on the varietal, fruit condition and the character desired. Free run wines were put to barrel and marc was lightly basket pressed. All wine was barrel-aged in French oak for ca. 21 months before final blending. The wine was sterile-filtered and bottled under screw cap on the estate.
Variety: Bordeaux blend
Region: Clevedon, New Zealand
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