Gloriously purple, almost glossy in the glass, with heady notes that suggest whole bunch fermentation - mulberries, blackberry compote, violets and even a little bergamot. There's plenty of perfume and daintiness there that's balanced by a core of spice, hint of wood and light tannins. It's simultaneously very drinkable, but very impressive too.
A relatively new name on the New Zealand wine scene, Cabal Estate only came into fruition in 2016 when owner Ed Clifford took over the reins from his father. Whilst Ed's father had been selling the bulk of the estate fruit to winemakers in Waipara for nearly 20 years, Ed wanted to produce their own estate wine too. Pairing up with legendary Kiwi winemaker Theo Coles, the two focus on producing small batches of true-to-terroir, handmade wines. 2016 was their first vintage with just over 500 bottles made, and we're looking forward to seeing what the future holds!
FROM THE PRESS
“I have long since trumpeted the fact that I think the vineyards, soils and topography of the North Canterbury wine region (Waipara and the surrounds) will, in time, make some of the most profound wines in the whole of New Zealand. From memory, I wrote this in Decanter some 15 years ago, and it has not happened yet, but I live in hope. Either way, I have not changed my mind – time will tell. It is no surprise then that Cabal is a serious red wine. I don’t know this winery, nor am I familiar with its wines, but I will be stalking it from this day forwards. What makes this wine so spectacular is its balance.....built on a nimble, flexible frame. The fruit is carefully lowered into the centre of this vehicle, and it is darker and more power-packed than you would imagine and the complexity of berry notes, earthiness, spice and wild, foresty notes, so beloved of Burgundy nuts, is amazingly attractive. The tannins are firm, mineral-soaked and cleansing, and any oak notes are discreet and haunting, marshalling the fruit and giving Cabal direction. Youthful and brimming with energy, this is a phenomenally serious wine. In Kiwi terms, it is a superstar, and if you dropped it into a Burgundy tasting (blind), it would be feted as a stunning creation with classic poise and integrity. Wow, what a bottle of wine and what a pair. You cannot miss out on these two thrilling creations”Matthew Jukes