By Yvonne Lorkin for Canvas magazine
Your usual reds appearing a tad samey-samey? Get wallet, grab keyboard and let your fingers take a walk on the wild side...
Winemaker Alan Collinson has unleashed a wine that literally had me leap around, yelling at people in my office to taste it. Perfumed, plush, plump and packed with sexy berries and concentrated cocoa, spices and sarsaparilla characters, it's my new favourite thing. Fresh acidity and soft, stretchy tannins and luscious length of flavour. Gorgeous.
Sip with: Roast lamb leg with anchovy crumb.
Ultra-glossy in the glass, this tiny little outfit in Matakana specialise in inky-dark, Italian reds, sangiovese and dolcetto. Only 100 cases were produced of this brightly fruited, herb-heavy wine, bursting with boysenberries, black olive, leather and a tweak of tobacco. Fresh, tantalisingly toasty and boasts a deliciously chewy finish.
Sip with: Pork cheek ragu on rigatoni.
Down in southern Puglia, negromaro is the most common red grape in the ground and it's easy to see why its so loved. Juicy, succulent, red cherry and berry layers combine with sweetly-spiced flavour saturation and terrifically taut texture in the mid palate.
Sip with: Italian shredded beef sandwiches.
Yvonne Lorkin is co-founder and chief tasting officer of winefriend.co.nz and a Wine Writers of NZ member.