Great New Zealand Cabernet

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Matariki Wines

Still pretty much unknown in the U.S., Matariki Wines was in the Gimblett Gravels virtually from the beginning, if 1981 can be called close to the beginning. In 1992, the owners -- John and Rosemary O’Connor -- made a huge commitment to the region, buying 170 hectares and developing vineyards that paired well with the various soils and expositions their land afforded them.

The crown in the Matariki cap is its aptly named five-grape blend known as Quintology. It's almost a classic Bordeaux blend, with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and the outlier Syrah all contributing to the final wine. This was not a haphazard blend but rather the result of the careful matching of vines and soil that is evidenced by the intricate planting of the vineyards here.

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