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2018 Villa Maria Ngakirikiri The Gravels

2018 Villa Maria Ngakirikiri The Gravels

Producer: Villa Maria

Region: Gimblett Gravels, Hawke's Bay

Country: New Zealand

Grapes: 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 2% Malbec

Vintage: 2018

ABV: 13.5%

Vivino: 4.2
Drink By: 2043

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Occasional Wine Note: New Zealand has made quite the name for themselves with their fantastic Sauvignon Blancs and Pinot Noirs, but there is a small plot of land in Hawkes Bay where the gravel soils are perfect for growing Cabernet Sauvignon (the same soils found in Bordeaux's "Left Bank"). We had to sample this highly rated representation and it does not disappoint. Dark fruits, herbs, and hints of chocolate. This one's a hidden gem and has some great ageability if you want to lay it down. If you open it now, let it open for a bit to enjoy it at its best.

  • Wine Enthusiast

    Critic Score: 95

    Villa Maria's top red, a Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant Bordeaux blend, is named for the Maori word for gravel, referring to its famed Gimblett Gravels soils. This is a wine made for the long haul although even now, with ample time open in bottle or decanter, reveals finesse and character. The fruit is dark and fleshy with a spine of leafy green herbs, violet, tomato stem and baking spice. The palate is satiny yet toned and elegant, with linear, taut tannins, and currently quite a lot of oak influence. A worthy addition to any red-lover's cellar. Drink 2025–2045.

  • Wine Advocate

    Critic Score: 94

    The 2018 Ngakirikiri is a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot and 2% Malbec, all aged in 60% new French oak for 20 months. Despite the barrel regime, the concentrated fruit easily comes through, offering up pristine aromas of cassis and plum, later accented on the finish by hints of dark chocolate and vanilla bean. Richly concentrated and velvety in texture, with a long, plush finish, this medium to full-bodied wine should drink well for over a decade.

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