Church Road TOM Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

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There are some wines that just deliver from the moment you pop the cork, and this is one of those wines. It also has a great story. The young Tom McDonald started working at Church Road when 14 and by 19 is running the winery – liquor laws clearly a bit more relaxed in New Zealand then…. In 1949 he is turning out popular New Zealand cabernet sauvignon and is one of the key wineries to put Hawke’s Bay on the map. But back to the wine…

It is deeply coloured – black as night thanks to that ripe perfectly ripened fruit. But it is also beautifully balanced and you would be forgiven for thinking this was something top-end from Bordeaux. There is a riot of bright aromas – redcurrant, blackcurrant, black olive with leaf and cedar all supported by sweet oak. But the class really comes out on the palate – powerful tannin, acid and fruit all snugly fit together to drive an almost endless finish. It is a stunning Hawke’s Bay red but please give it at least five years to come out of its shell.

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