|2018 Merlot Cabernet||$85.00||★★★★|
Veteran Hawke’s Bay winemaker Kate Radburnd has over 35 years of experience, including 26 years as head winemaker of Pask Wines. In 2017 Kate established her own label; Radburnd Cellars, focused on making three wines – chardonnay, syrah and merlot cabernet – that she says represent “my absolute best without compromise.” Small parcels of fruit are sourced from a range of vineyards with whom Kate has long-term relationships. The wines’ pricing and stylish packaging are aimed squarely at the premium end, and there has been a distinct shift in style from the wines Kate made at Pask.
2019 Radburnd Chardonnay, Hawke’s Bay
We first tried this wine late last year when it has just been bottled, writing, “a little shy at present, but you can see where it is going”. Several months on, it’s still quite tightly wound, with gunflint/struck match but with some time and air mellows into lots of peachy fruit, with a touch of bran biscuit and ripe citrus. The palate is full bodied, richly fruited, silky textured with bright citrussy acidity, good concentration and a dry slightly savoury finish. Good length. Alcohol sits up a touch on the finish but it’s mostly pithy grapefruit that lingers. Has enough rich fruit to please the old school chardonnay brigade but the fine texture and harmony elevate it beyond this.
2019 Radburnd Syrah, Hawke’s Bay
Rosehip, spice, fresh cherry and raspberry with some darker fruits behind, a dash of dark chocolate and lavender, it’s a pretty inviting nose. Quite elegant and fresh after the more opulent nose, a nice lick of acidity carries the palate, fine dusty cocoa tannins. A vibrant, medium-bodied syrah with good depth and persistence of flavour. Fruit is from Bridge Pa and Roy’s Hill.
2018 Radburnd Merlot Cabernet, Hawke’s Bay
A blend of 70% merlot from Bridge Pa and 30% cabernet sauvignon from the Ngaruroro River gravels this is a rich, supple perfumed red, with lots of blackberry & damson plum, quite polished and modern with very silky tannins and good build across the palate. The oak is quite prominent but it’s smart oak and this is unlikely to be bothersome for the intended audience. For all the richness there’s a savoury edge too, and the finish is long.