Villa Maria 2017 Organic Merlot – Hawkes Bay, NZ

Villa Maria 2017 Organic Merlot - Hawkes Bay, NZ

Villa Maria Estate started organic winemaking 20 years ago and 30% of their owned vineyards are now organically managed. They’re aiming for 100% by 2030.

This family business currently has 3 organic wines available in Australia, this Private Bin Organic Merlot for $20, an organic Sauv Blanc which you can find my notes on a few posts back and a single vineyard Pinot Noir.

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The Kiwi road to seduction.. Craggy Range Sophia

I find selling Kiwi wines overseas is not exactly a hard task – this is if you’re talking about JUST Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. Now the other varietals I do find a little tricky as unless you have an experienced New Zealand wine drinker in, most people don’t want to spend US$30 or above on something they might only maybe like.

Being the designated Kiwi wine connoisseur of my company I feel it is only my duty to make sure I have tried all the Kiwi wines we carry – this is a task I feel I need to do as often as possible so my opinions are undoubtedly just.

Just the other night I decided to re-visit Craggy Range’s 2005 Sophia. For those wine aficionados who like to meander beyond the Sauv and Pinot this is quite an enticing wine. A lot of this simply has to do with the illustrious Robert Parker giving it a 93 / 100 – you would be amazed at how many people solely buy on the RP points score. To me this really makes me sick as I hate to be uppity but my taste buds are unique and they know what they like and don’t take to peer pressure too kindly.

To me the wine was the epitome of beautiful – it was as gentle as silk on your skin yet the strawberries and red cherries intertwined with gravel layer your palate seducing you in for more. The wine is made up of 62% Merlot and 34%Cabernet Franc with a 4% pinch of Cabernet Sauvignon. To me this blend brought together both the goodness of an elegant Pinot Noir and the essence of a top notch Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s powerful yet approachable, elegant yet oh so easy to want to gulp it straight from the bottle and it’s definitely going to improve with more cellar time. To sum up the wine in one word would be: balanced. Each aspect of the wine sews symmetrically together with its counterpart resulting in a very well made wine – well done Craggy Range; I’ll look forward to trying it again in a few years time.