When you hear of a wine from New Zealand, you might imagine a crisp Sauvignon Blanc (white wine). Cabernet Sauvignon (red wine) also grows very well in the warmer North Island, in Hawke’s Bay.
The finesse and structure and finesse of NZ Cabernet blends well with the vibrant fruit expression of NZ Merlot. Often referred to as Bordeaux-style blends (from the Old World of Wine, Europe), New Zealand has adopted and adapted similar techniques for their red wine blends, with truly scrumptious results.
Merlot & Cabernet varieties grow well in Hawke’s Bay and Auckland, where the fruit ripens better in warmer temperatures. Producing fruit that is structured (has a good balance of tannins, acidity and fruit), yet soft and easy to drink (read quaffable!)
Different grape varieties can be included in a blend, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Carménère, and/or Petit Verdot. And the proportions of each variety can also vary. It’s kind of up to the Winemaker to get the blend right. There are no regulatory laws in NZ governing the grape varieties or percentages of each that can be used. This allows for much more creative flexibility in taste and style. Happy days.