Upon pouring, the deep-ruby hued 2018 vintage gradually unfolds fragrant aromatics of cassis, violets and complex wood spices, with graphite, thyme and clove also emerging from the glass. Layers of concentrated flavours are revealed across a medium to full bodied frame, with ripe fruit and hints of black olive and cigar, all wrapped by fine-grained tannins and supportive oak, enhancing texture and richness from start to finish. This vintage will benefit and gain additional complexity from careful cellaring over the next 15+ years.
Blend: 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 2% Malbec
Villa Maria's top red, a Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant Bordeaux blend, is named for the Maori word for gravel, referring to its famed Gimblett Gravels soils. This is a wine made for the long haul although even now, with ample time open in bottle or decanter, reveals finesse and character. The fruit is dark and fleshy with a spine of leafy green herbs, violet, tomato stem and baking spice. The palate is satiny yet toned and elegant, with linear, taut tannins, and currently quite a lot of oak influence. A worthy addition to any red-lover's cellar. Drink 2025–2045.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2018 Ngakirikiri is a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot and 2% Malbec, all aged in 60% new French oak for 20 months. Despite the barrel regime, the concentrated fruit easily comes through, offering up pristine aromas of cassis and plum, later accented on the finish by hints of dark chocolate and vanilla bean. Richly concentrated and velvety in texture, with a long, plush finish, this medium to full-bodied wine should drink well for over a decade.