Mills Reef Hawkes Bay Cabernet/Merlot 1998
Bordeaux Red Blends from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
Mills Reef Reserve Cabernet Merlot is made from grapes grown in the Hawkes Bay. It is a blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon and 48% Merlot. The wine was aged in new, one and two year old French barriques, with 100% undergoing malolactic fermentation. This bold, flavour packed red is a classic Hawkes Bay blend from an excellent vintage. Dark and fragrant, with concentrated flavours of blackcurrant, plum, spice seasoned with French oak, it is a beautifully balanced and supple wine, sure to mature well but already highly attractive.
Mills Reef Winery
The Hawkes Bay, New Zealnad's oldest wine region, is synonymous with rich, creamy, and complex layers in Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc with tropical fruita nd stone fruit dominant flavorus.
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About Hawkes Bay
Hawkes Bay is the second largest wine region, following Marlborough. The area is known for its shmorgasborg of different microclimates and soils. Gimblett Gravels, while sounding like a character out of Lord of the Rings, is a soil and a district in the area. Gimblett Gravels are a gravelly mix that absorb and retain heat, much like the soils of Graves in Bordeaux or Chateauneuf du Pape in the Rhone.
Chardonnay is the most planted grape variety here, and makes some excellent, usually un-oaked, wines. Sauvignon Blanc from the region are some is the best from the North Island. In addition, many winemakers are throwing their hat in the Bordeaux Blend ring, taking advantage of long sunshine hours and Gimblett Gravel soils by growing Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Syrah is also planted around the area and the reds are frequently blends. A few winemakers are making Pinot Noir from the cooler parts of Hawkes Bay.
About New Zealand
The country of New Zealand is about 1000 miles from the coast of Australia. It consists of two long islands, end to end, that are approximately the same length as California. Most of the country's climate is maritime due to the abundant coastline. The northern island is warmer and wetter, while the southern island is cooler and dryer. The most popular grapes of New Zealand are Sauvignon Blanc
(made most famous by the bright, crisp wines coming out of Marlborough), Chardonnay
and the ever-growing Pinot Noir
Alcohol By Volume Guide
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.