Villa Maria Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot 2009
Bordeaux Red Blends from New Zealand
The 2009 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot has a dark purple hue. The nose shows lovely aromatic purity with tight knit layers of red plum and cassis, mingling with roasted coffee bean, dried thyme and complex cedary spice nuances. The palate is soft yet concentrated, beautifully focused with fine-grained tannins and integrated oak. While approachable in its youth, this wine has an understated finesse and beauty that will benefit from careful cellaring for many years to come.
The Wine Advocate - "A blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot from the Gimblett Gravels sub-region, the 2009 Reserve Hawke's Bay Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot was matured 20 months in French oak barriques, 40% new. It displays a deep purple-black color and notes of warm plums, creme de cassis and black cherry compote over pencil shavings, cinnamon stick, cloves, dark chocolate and cedar. The medium bodied palate has plenty of ripe, expressive fruit, lively acid, silky tannins, and a long, pure finish. Delicious now, it should keep through 2018+."
Wine Enthusiast - "Over the past several vintages, Villa's tannin management in its Reserve Cab-Merlot has evolved to make the wines more approachable young. This blend of 75% Cabernet and 25% Merlot is fleshy and supple without being soft, with leafy cassis fruit framed by hints of vanilla and charred oak."
Villa Maria Winery
In 1960, George Fistonich, the son of a Croatian immigrant, founded Villa Maria in Mangere, Auckland. Voted New Zealand's Winemaker of the Year in 1993, George is today the managing director of the Villa Maria Group, which also includes Vidal and Esk Valley Wineries, together forming the third largest wine company in New Zealand.
Winemaker Michelle Richardson has been with Villa Maria since 1992. She has travelled extensively throughout Europe and Australia and in 1991 assisted flying winemaker Hugh Ryman with the French vintage. In 1997, Michelle, like George Fistonich, was voted New Zealand's Winemaker of the Year. Her 1996 wines have taken Villa Maria to new peaks in quality. Michelle is a graduate of the highly regarded Roseworthy College in Australia. She heads the Villa Maria winemaking team.
This team of dedicated vintners has placed its emphasis on high quality and good value. Grapes are either estate-grown or carefully sourced, and the winery was the first in New Zealand to initiate payment for grapes by quality. Villa Maria has won awards for its wines in competitions across New Zealand and Australia and has been honored for its high standards of customer service and environmental responsibility. View all Villa Maria Wines
About Other New ZealandView a map of Other New Zealand wineries
A few other New Zealand areas include the region of Auckland, high up on the North Island, Nelson, sitting to the west of Marlborough, and Canterbury, just under Waipara on the South Island. Most wines in New Zealand will come from a designated area and say so on the label.
Notable FactsAuckland was one of the first wine growing regions of the country, but now produces very little of New Zealand's wine. It's pretty wet up there so vineyards are planted in the driest spots possible – reds are most popular here. Nelson is the only region along the west coast of the country, producing Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Canterbury's chilly climate is best suited for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
About New ZealandThe 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.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost 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 & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.