Michael Cooper's Buyer's Guide to NZ Wines 2008

Takatu Matakana Pinot Gris
Grown on a north facing hillside above Matakana, this is a sophisticated wine, fermented and lees-aged in old French Oak Puncheons.

The 2006 vintage () is weighty and rich. Full of personality it has a slightly nutty fragrance, good texture, finely balanced acidity, strong, citrusy, slightly spicy flavours and a dry finish.

The 2007 () is faintly pink hued wine, complex, weighty (over 14% alcohol) and dry, with ripe sweet-fruit characters and concentrated stone fruit flavours. These are excellent food wines.

Takatu Matakana Merlot/Franc/Malbec
 The silky generous 2005 vintage () is a splendid debut. A blend of 72% Cabernet Franc 22% and Malbec 6%, it was fermented with indigenous yeasts and matured in French Oak barriques (25% new). Richly coloured, it is concentrated and finely structured, fleshy and warm, with sweet-fruit characters and a dense plum and spice flavours. Unusually complex, with savoury, earthy notes and a good foundation of tannin, it is highly reminiscent of a fine Bordeaux.