Edged with a brilliant crimson, Awatea Cabernets/Merlot ’19 has a rich magenta core, with dark plum, blackberry, and lush black cherry forming the deep heart of this wine. There’s grace notes of cola and cassis, bay leaf, lavender, and tapenade. Ripe acid and long tannins give a layered richness that builds in length and texture. The classic aromas of the best vintages are already present, the hallmark of age-ability. Awatea Cabernets/Merlot ’19 is a resplendent vintage, and full of appeal. Best enjoyed from a large glass, with a hard cheese, and good company.