Price:  £138.95 | Case Rate: £23.16
Ex Tax: £115.79

Villa Maria - Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2016


  • Country: New Zealand
  • Wine Region: Hawke's Bay
  • Wine Maker: Alastair Maling & George Geris
  • Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
  • Grape Percentage: 5% Cabernet, 25% Merlot
  • Alcohol Percentage: 13%
  • Unit Quantity (ml): 750
  • Best To Drink: Drink Now - 2022.
Food Matching

Food Matching

Like New Zealand Cabernet Sauvignons, this Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon is a good match for all kinds of red meat, from top-quality roasts to sausages, and makes an elegant dinner party wine. It can stand up to a hearty stew, and will also work well with hard cheese. Malcolm Gluck and Mark Hix's suggest, in their book The Simple Art of Marrying Food and Wine, a match of grilled veal chop with Treviso and Italian onions. Avoid too much spice and salt, as well as cream and smoked foods.

Duty/Vat Paid
Minimum Qty: (6 btls)
WA: 88+ (2014) JR: 16.5 (2014) JS: 92 (2014) BC: 95 (2014) MC: 4 Stars (2012) Misc: 5 Stars (2014) Misc: 5 Stars (2014)

Wine tasting notes

The Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot has a dark purple hue. The nose shows lovely aromatic purity with tight-knit layers of red plum and cassis, mingling with roasted coffee bean, dried thyme and complex cedary spice nuances. The palate is soft yet concentrated, beautifully focused with fine-grained tannins and integrated oak. While approachable in its youth, this wine has an understated finesse and beauty that will benefit from careful cellaring.

Winery Information

Villa Maria

It is not easy to tell your Dad that you are quitting a career in carpentry to try your hand at making wine. But in 1961, at the age of 21, that's exactly what Sir George Fistonich did. He leased five acres of land from his father, planted one acre with grapes and started making wine under the name 'Villa Maria' which he chose because his friends thought it sounded European. Since those first cuttings took hold in the soil out in Mangere, near Auckland, Sir George has been determined to be at.. read more

Expert Reviews

Wine Advocate/Robert Parker (2014)88+ pts

Brimming with scents of mint and cassis, the 2014 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot is a 75-25 blend of the two varieties from the Gimblett Gravels subregion. Dried sage and bay leaf bring additional herbal notes, but this medium-bodied wine doesn't come across as overly green. Plum, cassis and mocha notes carry the mid-palate through to a silky but firm finish. (2014)16.5 pts

Tasted Oct 2017 - Very dark crimson. The aroma is both sweet-fruited and gently leafy. Firm, chewy but rounded on the palate, with a hint of smooth chocolate and that slight leafiness counteracting it with freshness. Dense but fresh and with a fine dry, rocky finish that leaves your mouth clean. Long too with a fine, dry finish. (JH)

James Suckling (2014)92 pts

Quite minty and leafy, this has a light thread of savory funk as well as a swathe of mocha-flavoured oak that chimes in for the finish. Drink now. Screw cap.

Bob Campbell MW (2014)95 pts

Dense, deep red with the sort of concentration that I expect from old vines or at least very low cropping levels. Ripe dark berry, liquorice, vanilla, chocolate/mocha, spice and anise characters. Accessible now but should cellar well.

Michael Cooper (2012)4 stars

The 2012 vintage (4*) is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (88 per cent) and Merlot (12 per cent), matured for 18 months in French oak casks (48 per cent new). Deep and youthful in colour, with a fragrant, slightly leafy bouquet, it is mouthfilling and highly concentrated, with blackcurrant, plum and spice flavours, and a distinctly herbal streak that no doubt reflects the unusually cool, wet growing season. Still very youthful, it's well worth cellaring.

Miscellaneous (2014)5 stars

Tasting Panel - Smouldering crimson-black coloured, it’s a very pretty wine in the glass and an extremely attractive wine in the mouth. Rocking layers of concentrated red fruits (“rhubarb, tamarillo and roast beetroot too,” insists James), this is a seductively good red with a plush mid-palate and a long, liquorice-like finish. “There’s no mistaking the serious oak layers,” added Cameron, “and yet there’s plenty of flavour and fruit.” Senior winemaker Nick Picone and his team have a real treasure on their hands here.

Miscellaneous (2014)5 stars

Sue Courtney, Wine of the Week NZ - "IInky purple berry red in hue with crushed chocolate cameo cream biscuit aromas infusing the glorious bouquet together with berry fruit and cedar. It’s rich, ripe and succulent in the velvety smooth palate with blackberry, cassis, chocolate and cedar, the most subtle suggestion of mint and perhaps even a hint of pepper, and the finish is beautifully rounded and long and lingers with a hint of violet. A blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot that exudes absolute class.

Vinification Notes

The fruit for this wine was grown entirely on the gravelly soils of the Gimblett Gravels growing region in Hawkes Bay where the vineyards of Villa Maria have produced consistently high quality fruit for this Reserve blend for well over a decade . Our different vineyards contribute small parcels of exceptional fruit, each with their own unique characteristics. The free draining soils of these sites help ensure balanced fruit and canopy growth which is essential for ripe flavours and tannin development. Yields are cropped low allowing vines to produce fruit that is richly concentrated in colour, flavour and structure.