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Mills Reef, Merlot-Malbec Reserve, 2005

December 11, 2008

~$15US 51% Merlot 49% Malbec, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Without warning, this wine blew my freakin’ mind – A kinda-Bordeaux blend from Hawkes Bay New Zealand, that was a bin-end impulse buy. It starts with a complex nose, earthy (sheep? wet wooly socks?), rhubarb, bing cherries and spice cabinet. The palate is juicy, poised and medium bodied – with a beam of liquid-dried-cherries and punchy acidity. There is primal umami / soy sauce / savory edge to the flavors (especially on the 2nd day) that is like catnip to me. A fleeting flavor that also reminds me of mahogany and pipe tobacco, whatever that means. I can’t put my finger on it, the whole wine is a moving target of brilliant red fruit and strange savory goodness. The finish is chock full of stones, saline, and strawberry seeds. Fowl, pork, even pasta could team up nicely.

I called my retailer, and they are sold out. I’m crushed.  Must. Have. More. Anyone have a tip?

Anyway…I had no idea that is what Merlot and Malbec can do in NZ.  I wanna taste a Syrah next?!

I think ’09 may be the year of the Kiwi. Brilliant wine.

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