The Wines



Our range of wines encompasses two levels of Merlot / Franc blends, with the addition of two levels of Syrah from 2012. The main commercial wine is simply known as Merlot / Franc and is the backbone of our production with our classic Basket Press Merlot / Franc weighing in at a "reserve" level above this. We also have the same two levels of Syrah, a Cabernet Franc Rose and a "reserve" level Albarino

Our top red wines are fermented in small open vats which are traditionally hand plunged to extract colour and tannins from the skins.  The reds remain on skins for a period of post ferment maceration to maximise extraction and stabilise the colour and tannin. They are then pressed off the skins for maturation in French and American oak barrels for anywhere from 9 to 18 months depending on variety and vintage.   

Tasting Notes & Critical Review

2018 Rose  - 5 stars
The 2018 Rosé is a light coloured, southern European style wine with juicy strawberry fruit and a long savoury finish. A hugely drinkable food friendly style of wine best served lightly chilled and often.  
 Five stars
"Full of personality, this bright, light pink wine is mouthfilling and lively, with strong yet delicate flavours of strawberry and watermelon, and a dry, slightly peachy, poised, persistent finish."Mike Cooper - Listener November 2018. Need we say more?                                   

2018 Syrah
Dark fruit with a touch of cracked pepper and soft, approachable tannins provide great drinkability. Supple and well balanced, it will continue to develop over 4-6 years in the cellar.

2016 Merlot/Franc  - 90/100  4 stars
Dark plum flavours with subtle aromatic oak and soft, fine tannins. A blend of 95% Merlot lifted with 5% Cabernet Franc for deeper colour, tannin and aromas. Food friendly and hugely drinkable now, but will cellar comfortably for 3-5 years. If you must.      

2018 Block Five Albarino -  5 stars
Stonefruit, citrus and a hint of dried herb on the nose, followed by a fruit forward palate with beautifully balanced acidity on the finish. An excellent aperitif or seafood wine that will cellar comfortably for 4-6 years.
Five stars
"The highly impressive 2018 vintage is already delicious. Handled without oak, it is a bright, light yellow/green, mouthfilling, sweet-fruited wine. Distinctly peachy, with citrusy notes and a hint of passionfruit, balanced acidity and a dry (3.5 grams/litre residual sugar), spreading finish,  it's a very generous wine, with a real sense of youthful impact. Drink now or cellar." - Michael Cooper website July 2019

 91/100  -  Four stars
"Delicately floral albariño with citrus, orange, mandarin and ginger flavours. A dry, light-bodied wine with a perfect balance of gentle acidity. Quite a concentrated white with good varietal definition. "  
Bob Campbell - The Real Review 11 May 2019

2018 Basket Press Syrah  -  90/100  4 stars
Ripe, dark fruit with subtle floral characters along with slightly more muscular tannins define this elegant and complex wine. Finely balanced, it will develop over 8-10 years in the bottle. 
90/100 - Four stars 
"Moderately concentrated syrah with plum, blueberry, blackberry, pepper and spicy oak flavours supported by ripe tannins and good acidity. A subtle suggestion of fresh herbs adds complexity. Should develop well with bottle age."  
Bob Campbell - The Real Review 17 April 2019

2016 Basket Press Merlot/Franc  - 92/100  4.5 stars
Very ripe dark fruit and licorice flavours with fine, velvety tannins and a touch of balanced oak define this rich and concentrated wine. An elegant and sophisticated red from yet another great Hawkes Bay vintage that will cellar comfortably for a decade or more.










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