The 2019 harvest has just kicked off for us, with a smallish crop of Albarino coming in at 23.8 Brix (that's a percentage measure of the sugar content of the juice, equating to about 13.3% alcohol after fermentation). So it's fairly ripe and tastes great. For me the juice aroma and flavour is a combination of hay bales / dry straw and ripe apricots, which may sound a little weird but is an indicator of physiologically ripe fruit with the potential to be a fantastic finished wine.

The red varieties also look amazing after a very dry tail end to the summer. Sugars are well up and the colours will be dark to match the fruit flavours showing in the berries. Only problem with this is that the birds have decided ripe grapes are worth risking life and limb for, and are currently creating havoc by attempting to decimate the entire crop. Keeping them at bay entails driving round and round the vineyard on the quad bike tooting the horn like an Italian at a roundabout. Basic, but surprisingly effective (for the Italian too I imagine...).

We have just bottled the 2018 Basket Press Syrah and figured that was a good reason to put out an autumn offer with a few other new release wines to get you stocked up for winter. Some brief notes below, and if you click on this link info@redmetal.co.nz/orders it should deposit you on the Redmetal website orders page. Hopefully. These prices will remain available from Saturday March 30 until Saturday April 13.

Still arguably the best Rose we have made, the 2018 Rose ($20 / $18) is fashionably pale in colour with lovely red fruit and a true Provencal savoury character, this is a great food-friendly style of Rose with wonderful texture and a silky finish. It's also getting low in volume.

The 2018 Syrah ($21 / $19) follows on from the very popular 2017. It is a little more structured but still has the hallmark ripe flavours with a soft finish and plenty of drinkability.

The 2016 Merlot/Franc ($20 / $18) is another great value red from another warm vintage. Bob Campbell rated it his best buy in the middle of last year, and even better than that, he suggested it was punching well above it's weight and worth significantly more than our $20 website price. Michael Cooper also gave it a 4 star thumbs up in September.

From a warmer vintage, the 2018 Albarino ($24 / $21)is ripe and very moreish. And very hard to put down. A great aperitif or seafood match. 

Our Basket Press Merlot/Franc 2016 ($34 / $30) rated 4.5 stars  from Mike Cooper, as befits its reserve level status. It is dark, soft and ripe - and superb drinking already (and it's just a baby). And if you have a serious thirst this wine is also available in 1.5L magnums ($95 / $85) complete with a wooden box which makes it a great gift. To yourself, because let's face it, Christmas is still a long way away.

Last but far from least we have the 2018 Basket Press Syrah ($42 / $36). Literally just bottled and looking pretty smart, the first two dozen were sent out almost straight from the bottling line to a customer who missed out on the last BP Syrah and wasn't taking any chances this time around. Ripe, rich and elegant, this is another classic Bridge Pa Triangle red.

Happy imbibing.

Grant

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