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.
"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+."
The Wine Advocate
"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."