edited by Sue Courtney
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Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
I loved the Ngatarawa Glazebrook Merlot Cabernet 1998. It was one of the wines I took to Australia in December 1999 when I was selected half a dozen NZ wines to impress my friends over there. But when I came back to NZ and wanted to write the wine up as Wine of the Week, it had sold out.
But now the Ngatarawa Glazebrook Merlot Cabernet 1999 is available.
I first tasted it blind on 4th April this year. The deep red colour and the creaminess and hints of mint on the cedary nose showed promise. And in the palate the promise was fulfilled. There was nicely balanced rich chocolaty, chewy, mouthfilling fruit with a smooth, velvety texture. Then rich juicy flavours of sweet fruit with a spicy nuance lingered in the mouth as the taste went on and on.
This was an impressive wine - an excellent follow-on from the luscious 1998. I had to try it again and noted it as a wine to pursue.
We did and last night had a bottle, just to share with each other. I noted that the wine is made from 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon with 13% alcohol and matured in 75% new American oak.
This time there were definite chocolate box aromas on the nose. In the mouth it's a dry warm wine with a crushed velvet texture. There's plenty of creamy ripe plum, red berry and lifted blackcurrant fruit with a chocolate-like nuance. An interwoven sweet 'fruit leather' complexity with the merest hint of earthiness and well integrated creamy oak has produced a smooth, well-balanced wine.
I really think the Ngatarawa Glazebrook Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 1999 will please anyone who tries it. It's great drinking for the forthcoming winter months at an affordable price. I've seen prices ranging from NZ$21.95 to NZ$24.95, so shop around. The wine is also exported to the U.K, U.S.A., Canada, and Denmark.
Try is with a prime NZ scotch fillet of beef topped with a creamy mushroom sauce.
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