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Featured Reviews

Tironui 2015 and 2016 Malbec Merlot Cabernet Blends

12 June,2018

Tironui Estate is the Hawke’s Bay wine venture of Richard and Jennifer Brown who purchased land in 1999 just below ‘Sugarloaf’ in Taradale. They planted Malbec, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon vines in 2002 producing a first harvest of 200 bottles in 2002. The Browns have Blake Herbison and Grant Russell tending the vines and Chris Harrison of Beach House as their winemaker. Using only estate fruit, only up to 375 dozen wine will be made annually, this primarily being the co-fermented Malbec/Merlot/Cabernet blend, made in the proportions as the harvest has given. The Browns have had a Merlot-only wine made in 2015, and a delicious rosé which I rated 5-stars in the 2017 vintage. Here I review the 2015 and 2016 of the Malbec-based primary red. I believe these are the best of the Tironui red releases to date.


Tironui Estate Hawke’s Bay Malbec/Merlot/Cabernet 2015

Blended Red from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Full, dark, impenetrable black-red colour with slight purple tints on the rim. The nose is very full and densely concentrated with aromas of ripe black-berried fruits along with black florals and black plums, unfolding subtle notes of dark herbs entwined with blackcurrants and some cassis. This is solid and powerful in presentation. Full-bodied, the palate has rich and deeply concentrated, succulently sweet flavours of ripe blackberries, black plums and blackcurrants forming a solid heart. The fruit sweetness is vibrant and enlivened by fine, lacy acidity. The fruit is supported by fine-grained tannin extraction lending presence and refined grip. This has excellent drive and linearity, and carries to a long, lingering finish of black fruits and dark herbs. This is a powerful and solidly concentrated Malbec/Merlot blend with sweet and vibrant fruit flavours of blackberries, plums and currants on a well-structured palate. Match with herb-marinated red meat dished over the next 8-10 years. A blend of 54% Malbec, 31% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, hand-picked and co-fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 20 months in 2 and 3 y.o. French oak. 18.5/20 Jun 2018 RRP $35.00

Tironui Estate Hawke’s Bay Malbec/Merlot/Cabernet 2016

Blended Red from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Full, dark, black-hued purple colour, a little lighter on the rim, very youthful in appearance. The nose is well-proportioned with intense and penetrating aromas of ripe blackberries with fragrant black plums along with a little floral and herbal amalgam that provides lift, revealing blackcurrant nuances with aeration. The oaking is very integrated, and the aromatics attractively fresh. Medium-full bodied, the palate is elegantly presented with intense and deep. Sweetly ripe flavours of blackberries and black plums with aromatic herbs and subtly lifted dark-red florals. The fruit forms a tight and fine core and is supported by fine-grained flowery tannin extraction and grip. Lacy acidity lends freshness and the wine flows to a long, nuanced finish. This is a succulently sweet and rich, Malbec/Merlot blend with aromatic blackberry and black plum fruit and fragrant herb and floral notes on a refined palate. Serve with lamb, beef and venison dishes over the next 7-9+ years. A blend of 70% Malbec, 18% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, hand-picked and co-fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 18 months in new (2 barrels) and seasoned French oak. 18.5+/20 Jun 2018 RRP $35.00

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