Monarch Malbec Te Horo 2013 – $
This turned out to be a steal from a supermarket local to this producer, same place as i bought the Abbey Cellars Syrah.
Inky plum colour. 13% alc.
Quite perfumed, dense & fruity, savoury & spicy, and oaky. Some green vegetal character.
Sweet in the mouth on attack. A cool climate style of Malbec showing florality and some green stalk but very pleasant all the same. Good fruit weight and depth, angular and piquant. A tannic and raspy finish.
Seemed very ripe-pinot-noir-like to my palate. Off quite young vines I suspect. Would have scored higher but the wine is a bit green. Still, an impressively expressive character for the low price.
Recommended – 86 points
A few charming Hihi Wines for the cellar…
Hihi Nebbiolo Gisborne 2010/2011 – $$ – Drink 2017-2021. Needs time, this.
Hihi Tempranillo Gisborne 2013 – $$ – Drink 2016-2018. Yum.
Hihi Lock Stock Gisborne 2013 – $$ – A Bordeaux-style blend. Drink 2016-2023. I am interested in this…
Hihi Malbec Gisborne 2013 – $$ – Drink 2017-2021. And this one also…
Off Topic: Le Plant du Roy Malbec Cahors – $$
I couldn’t determine so easily what vintage this was. The award label sez 2009.
It tasted old. And thin. A bit oxidative. Red fruits but not overly fruity. Not at all as pleasurable as the last Cahors Malbec I had. A disappointment. Quelle bugger.
Not So Good 2
Hawkhurst Estate Vineyard Reserve Merlot Malbec Hawkes Bay 2007 – $$
Wow, I saw this 2007 sitting on the shelf at a local convenience store. I thought, what’s this doing here? It’s a bit old I thought…’07 was a good year for reds in the Bay…Bio-dynamic producer…I wonder what it tastes like…?
I bought a bottle. The label was that kind of label that is a bit old-skool. Almost anti-design, with odd typeface choices and justification, and the colours, and gold trim. I’ve seen this wine around a few times, but have never been tempted to buy. It was often priced cheap-ish, and kinda looked cheap too. But maybe it’s like those old European wines that have old-fashioned labels, and are hiding a magical taste behind a boring exterior? Let’s see…
12.5%. The wine looked quite light-coloured in the glass. Rhone-like. Tawny. It displayed an old nose too. Again Rhone-like. This is looking up! I thought.
Then I drank some. Soft, stalky and thin in the mouth. Oxidised. Unwelcome tertiary characters. There was some beauty to be seen, but the bottle was way past its best. Badly cellared? I tipped it down the sink. Ho-hum.
Off Topic: Ch. Bovila Malbec Cahors 2011 – $$
The day after, actually…
I went to an instore tasting of Malbecs, mostly out of Argentina. But this Cahors stood out. I had read about the appellation in a previous issue of Decanter, and thought I should drink a wine from the home of the grape. With porterhouse steak.
Inky red-violet. 14%. Fragrant. Muscular. Leggy.
Smooth in the mouth. Lots of fruit. Dense and tannic and large. Full ripe plums and redcurrants and spice, pencil shavings and dark chocolate. V Nice.
This wine was awarded Silver at the Decanter World Wine Awards.
Soho Revolver Waiheke Island Merlot Blend 2011
L is a chiropractor, and a very good one too. A fortnight ago I was invited to be her “plus one” at the formal dinner during the NZ Chiropractors’ Association conference up in The Tron.
L is also very generous and she bought up a pile of raffle tickets before the dinner. Her good luck won us this bottle, and a couple of Hawkes Bay stickies too.
The wine is a Merlot Malbec Cabernet Franc blend. Deep cranberry colour. 12.6%. Very floral nose. Quite peculiar notes, and unfamiliar: cherries and plums yes, but also herbs like thyme and rosemary, and red roses too. In the mouth the wine is ripe with red fruits, including cranberries, with a strong oak backbone and vanilla. A very good win and wine. 4
From the Cellar: Vidal Hawkes Bay Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 – $
Bad News first: I’d enjoy this wine a tad more if I hadn’t bitten the inside of my cheek the night before during J’s birthday dinner at L’s. The swelling gets in the way of the Swirl ‘n Swallow. I am such a numb nut at times…
The Good News: this is one of the beautiful reasons to maintain a wine cellar…
I saw this wine given a five star review by a leading NZ food and wine magazine back in 2010. I then saw it practically given away by a large supermarket chain at $11 a bottle. So I bought a brace and put them away in the Pool Room to ripen for a few years.
And it’s turned into a Stunnah. Inky blood-black colour. 13.5%. A blend of merlot, cabernet, malbec and franc.
It has a warm and enveloping bouquet. Notes of vanilla and cassis and cedar wood. Balanced mature flavours of ripe plums and blackberry wine gums, molasses and fruitcake spice to taste. Long and unctuous, with good lip-smacking tannins at the finish. 4.5
Superb buying! I’d best look out for the upcoming 2013’s if I don’t perish first from Stupidity.
(AND it looks like vermin have been at my cellar bottle labels! One of my Pride ‘n Joi pinots has had its label almost completely devoured while I’ve been living upstairs. Are they using grape jam as a label adhesive? Just as well I am moving! Grrr…)