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New Customers Save $30 off $100+* with code MARCHNEW30

New Customers Save $30* with code MARCHNEW30

*New customers only. One-time use per customer. Order must be placed by 3/31/2018. The $30 discount is given for a single order with a minimum of $100 excluding shipping and tax. Items with pricing ending in .97 are excluded and will not count toward the minimum required. Discount does not apply to corporate orders, gift certificates, StewardShip membership fees, select Champagne brands, Riedel glassware, fine and rare wine, and all bottles 3.0 liters or larger. No other promotion codes, coupon codes or corporate discounts may be applied to order.

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Mills Reef Hawkes Bay Cabernet/Merlot 1998

Bordeaux Red Blends from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
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    Winemaker Notes

    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.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Mills Reef

    Mills Reef

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    Mills Reef, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
    1998 Hawkes Bay Cabernet/Merlot
    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.

    Hawkes Bay

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    An eclectic region on the east coast of the North Island, the Hawkes Bay region extends from wide, fertile, coastal plains consisting of alluvial and gravel soils, inland, to the coast range with peaks as high as 5,300 feet. While the flatter areas were historically more popular because they are easier to cultivate, soils can be too fertile for vines. In the late 20th century, a drive for quality led growers to the hills where soils are free-draining, limestone-rich and more suited to producing high quality wines.

    Over the passing of time, the old Ngaruroro River laid down deep, gravelly beds, which were subsequently exposed after a huge flood in the 1860’s. In the 1980s growers identified this stretch, which continues for approximately 800 ha, and named it the Gimblett Gravels. The zone has proven to be ideal for the production of excellent red wines, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah.

    Today the area takes well-earned recognition for its Bordeaux blends and other reds. Expressive of intense stewed red and black berry with gentle herbaceous characters, Gimblett Gravels wines are suggestive of their cool climate origin, and on par with other top-notch Bordeaux blends around the globe.

    Chardonnay is the top white grape in Hawkes Bay, making elegant wines, strong in stone fruit character. Sauvignon blanc comes in close behind, notable for its tropical, fruit forward qualities.

    Bordeaux Blends

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    One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

    In the Glass

    Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

    Perfect Pairings

    Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

    Sommelier Secret

    While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

    UCW10800_1998 Item# 18560