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.
It's been a long while since we drank a NZ Pinot Noir with this much intensity, quality and complexity at this price. Gorgeous, with ripe cherries and raspberries, a touch of cassis, and savoury notes of wild thyme and spicy wood, all melding in maturity and starting to develop the fantastic 'sous bois' aromas of the forest floor. It's easy to drink as a glass of wine with cheese, and serious enough to have with a special main course. There's enough flavour to carry it with steak, as well as with white meats. It's only 12.5% alcohol, which is lower than you'd expect, and which is reflected in its light, refreshing finish
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