Tantalus Écluse Res CabSav/Merlot/CabFranc/Malbec 2016, Waiheke
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18+/20 Raymond Chan
Very dark, black-hued ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is tight and concentrated with an amalgam of ripe blackcurrant fruit with cassis liqueur, along with aromatic, spicy, exotic oak vanillins. The aromatics are sleek and the nose has real depth. Medium bodied and elegant in proportion, the palate possesses a tightly bound, finely concentrated core of sweetly ripe blackcurrant and blackberry fruit along with black plums and spicy new oak showing vanilla, cedar and pencil shavings. Notes of cassis and liquorice unfold, adding detail. The fruit is underlined by very fine-grained, flowery tannin extraction and structure, forming an elegant line, and the mouthfeel is enlivened by fresh, lacy acidity. The palate has concentration, energy and poise, and carries to a long, sustained finish with exotic oak notes. This is an elegant and tightly concentrated Cabernet/Merlot blend with ripe currant and cassis fruit along with spicy, exotic oak and a fine structured line. Match with roast lamb and beef dishes, and semi-hard cheeses over the next 8-10 years. Hand-picked fruit, a blend of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Malbec, fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 11 months in 100% new French oak barriques.