Squawking Magpie Cabernet Merlot 2002

87 points

Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. 14%

Perhaps I’m being a bit hard on this wine, but it didn’t thrill me. I bought this bottle (screwcap) when it was very young and resisted trying it until now. It’s a lovely label, and the back label boasts that it is “a wine of elegance and concentration rarely seen in New Zealand red wines”. Well it is concentrated, with nice smokey aromas, but there is also detracting alcohol burn. The fruit was obviously sweetly ripe, but a little simple.

I’ve noticed that 2002 in Hawkes Bay tended to produce wines like this, where the alcohol ran up a tad too much, ahead of flavour development.

PS beautiful label



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