Kemblefield is a Hawkes Bay winery owned by Americans John Kemble and Karr Field. John is the winemaker and he was in Auckland recently to show his new releases.
Kemblefield Distinction Chardonnay 2002
Lovely sweet fruited chardonnay, smoky, full of ripe stonefruits, figs and honey oak with a touch of tropical fruit and nicely balanced spicy oak that lingers. Lots of flavour, lovely balance of fruit to oak, a crowd pleaser. 14% alc. $23.95.
Kemblefield Distinction Merlot 2002
A blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Malbec, this has the distinctive leather/plum cigar characters of Merlot on the nose, but shows much more fruit in the palate with a touch of raspberry and blackberry, but for me the leathery overtone is still too dominant. A savoury rather than a sweet fruited wine, red fruits linger well on the finish. Aged in French oak for 18 months. Would be good with food. 14% alc. $20.95.
Kemblefield 'The Reserve' Cabernet Sauvignon 2000
Lovely development to this wine. Good depth of deep red colour with just a tinge of more developed brick colour on the edges. Sweet fruit, currants, integrated vanillin oak with a warm polished note, silky tannins and a savoury, slightly earthy note, good acidity behind the wine, spice lifts the finish where ripe sweet fruit lingers with a touch of cherry and a musky floral note. Drinking nicely now with good potential for the cellar too. 13.5% alc. $34.95.
Kemblefield Reserve Malbec Merlot 2002
Dense in its colour as one would expect, it's like a shiny ripe blackberry to the eye. Deep, dark-fruited scents, bowls of berries with a touch of spice, the faintest hint of leather, then later a little savoury but mostly ripe fruit enhanced by oak. A mouthfilling wine with masses of juicy fruit and lovely structure built on fine tannins with good acidity on the finish and just a touch of creamy chocolate which lingers with peppery spice and earthy notes. Great persistence with a floral intrigue when scents of violets come forth. Made from 55% Malbec and 45% Merlot, this really is the star of the new releases. 14% alc. $34.95.
Kemblefield Reserve Zinfandel 2002
While the Merlot Malbec was the star of the release tasting, the spotlight on the extraordinary Zinfandel that John has produced from the stunning 2002 vintage, shaded it a little. This wine has been described in length in my Wine of the Week review for week ending 28th March 2004.
Further information: www.kemblefield.co.nz
© Sue Courtney
8 March 2004