This stunning tasting was co presented by our General Manager Liz Wheadon, and our Fine Wine Manager Regan McCaffery. At $265 this wasn’t cheap, but all those who attended tasted a line-up of some incredible wines, all amongst the World’s greatest examples of Cabernet Sauvignon. This noble variety has exceptional complexity and aging potential. It is grown in every major wine producing country, across a diverse spectrum of climates, and was the most widely planted for most of the 20th century.
The tasting primarily started around the idea of tasting some new examples from North and South America that had never been seen in New Zealand before. From Chile, Almaviva 2015 and Sena 2015 which are both 100 point wines. Made from two different areas they couldn’t be further apart in style. Almaviva ultra ripe and muscular, the Sena precise and mineral focused. Australia was represented by the inaugural vintage of Yalumba’s premium Coonawarra and Barossa vineyard blend The Caley 2012. This has already established itself as the finest Cabernet Shiraz blend in the world. Of course we needed something local, with the heavy hitting company there was no choice but New Zealands most expensive wine. Magna Praemia 2014 from Destiny Bay. This was a wonderful vintage on Waiheke Island, and Magna Praemia showed it belonged in this company, with incredibly pure fruit and a tannin structure unlike no other.
Liz started the second flight with two new rare cult Californian wines. Cardinale 2014 from Napa Valley and Verite La Joie 2014 from Sonoma County. The latter only had 6 bottles imported to New Zealand. These were a real eye opener for those that had never had high end American Cabernet. It’s hard to imagine something more perfect with a seared piece of Eye Fillet. Next up was one of the most unique wines ever produced. From extremely high altitude vineyards in the Chinese Himalaya, we had the incredible Ao Yun 2014, the new project from Chateau Cheval Blanc. 90% Cabernet and 10% Cabernet Franc, yet it has a flavour profile like nothing else. It of course wouldn’t be a “world’s greatest” tasting without a Bordeaux 1st Growth, as such we have Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2014. This is one of the most sought after and expensive wines in the world, and it showed its class from this classically styled vintage. Yet even after 8 hours of air, this is a wine that really shouldn’t be broached for another 15yrs or so. What an evening!