If Chardonnay in New Zealand is surprising, Cabernet must be simply shocking. The success of Cabernet-based wines, once the domain of the cool-climate region of Bordeaux, has been built over the years in places that revel in their warm climates. In fact, many might argue that Cabernet’s success is predicated on the rich, fully fruited, smooth and supple style that cradles of warmth like the Napa Valley are ideally suited to providing.

So, what is Cabernet doing in New Zealand, a cool-climate nation, and are they really any good? Well, there is something special going on in New Zealand, and to be honest in a very small slice of New Zealand at that -- but what is going on is both exciting and freaking delicious, if sometimes difficult to come by. So, what the heck am I talking about?