Following heighted press around the exceptional 2020 vintage, Dish Magazine’s expert panel tasted 13 of New Zealand’s best Big Reds. Two Waiheke Island vineyards and eleven Gimblett Gravels vineyards featured in the Big Reds line-up; expertly ranked by Yvonne Lorkin, Cameron Douglas and James Rowan.
Mudbrick Vineyard’s Reserve blend of Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec scored a unanimous gold medal right from the get-go and went on to beat the competition in every round to claim the top spot. Waiheke Island shone through with Man O’ War’s Island Blend also scoring gold and coming in close behind at third place.
The judge’s comments congratulated Mudbrick’s newest release, Yvonne Lorkin gushed:
‘’Wow, wow and triple wow! With it’s glossy, bright colour, powerful perfume and a palate absolutely heaving with complex dark plum and berry bodaciousness, this wine scored a unanimous gold. It’s simply unputdownable,’’ said Yvonne. ‘’Stylish, supple and if this is how good it tastes so young, it’s staggering to think where it can go.’’
“It’s fleshy and shows a powerful, rich core,’’ noted Cameron, while James loved its suburb structure, layers of fruit and excellent length.
The 2020 vintage was incredibly exciting for Waiheke Island as a whole. Mudbrick Vineyard Winemaker, Patrick Newton commented:
“2020 was the greatest vintage I have ever experienced in my 25 years working in the wine industry. The weather couldn’t have been better on Waiheke for the 19/20 growing season. Early-season rain enabled soil moisture to be at capacity before the longest recorded drought on the island started, allowing the vines to ripen the grapes to absolute perfection”
The 2020 Mudbrick Reserve Merlot /Petit Verdot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Malbec retails for $75 a bottle, available in limited quantities from Mudbrick Vineyard’s tasting room and online store. Drinking beautifully now with excellent cellaring opportunity until 2035+.
For the full line up check out August’s copy of Dish Magazine.