Tantalus Estate Évoque 2016, Waiheke
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18.5/20 Raymond Chan
Very full, very dark, deep, black-hued, purple-ruby colour, near impenetrable, and youthful in appearance. This has a full nose with initially reserved aromas of ripe dark-red and black plum fruit, along with blackberries and spices, unfolding to reveal blackcurrants and cassis, with green olives, dark herbs and sweet oak. The fruit is vibrant and the aromatics build in intensity with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the palate features bright and succulent fruit flavours of ripe, dark-red and black plums with aromatic and spicy blackberries. The fruit is supported by fine-grained tannin extraction and grip, and the mouthfeel is energetic with lacy acid tension. This has very good linearity and the wine carries to a long, sweet-fruited finish with some oak vanillin lift. This is a rich and succulent Merlot blend with dark-red plum and black berried fruits, along with balanced sweet oak and a fine-structured palate. Match with roast game meat over the next 7-9+ years. A blend of 86% Merlot. 8% Malbec and 3% each of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 11 months in 60% new French oak barriques.