Spicy meatballs in tomato/onion sauce, potato mash and green beans.
1995 Esk Valley Terraces. Hawkes Bay; Merlot, Malbec, Cab Franc 13.5%
Dark black, darker with time in decanter, nondescript nose, palate:
prune, leather, coffee, fully integrated components but fraction more
acidity needed. hint of cane sugar (flavour - not sweetness ) in
aftertaste suggests chaptalised?
When St H, Ian Hoare and I visited there in '01, a barrel sample of the
Malbec prior to blending was a revelation. It sounds like your wine has
aged fairly well, but I don't know what to make of the cane sugar. I
suppose they could Chaptalize, but is it really done much in NZ?
NZ wine making has almost no rules. Chaptalise to get to 13%, no
problem. Acidity adjustment? Certainly.
I think the industry is improving its practices, largely due to better
grape production and produce.
Keith Stewart, a local wine writer, produced a rather damning book
on the past practices in NZ in 2009. He says things are better now,
but, industrial production has its needs.
Chancers and Visionaries; a history of wine in NZ. Keith Stewart
ISBN 978 1 86962 0707
Unlikely to be in your local library, but worth a read if you
find it. My copy came off the remainder table :-)
PS you reminded me that St H gave me a ticking off for posting,
about a decade ago, a TN for 1998 Terraces, "local, small production
wine unlikely to be available to afw readers" he said.
Bit like Henri Jayer or DRC red burg. Not that the comparisons are
in any way valid.
PPS that malbec sample probably from the 2000 vintage.
Just checked cellar book, 2 bottles of 2000 left. That '95 was
my last bottle for that vintage.