Welcome Back!Sign in here:

Not Registered?Become one of our thirsty clan 261,897 strong:

Register Today!

Want the secret to buying great wine?

287,299Wine Reviews
30Seconds to join

Villa Maria Private Bin Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Thanks for liking this wine! Let your friends on Twitter and Facebook know about it by clicking on the buttons here.

If you've already connected your Twitter account, then you don't need to click on the Twitter button to share your review as it'll be done for you.

Optional: Before you share your wine find with friends, you can pick a score or make a quick tasting note, or both if you like:

My Score:
My Tasting Notes:
Expand Box

Community Reviews

There are 8 user submitted reviews for this wine.

Jennifer Havers rated this wine as 88/100 with the following review:

A fragrant blend, light to medium bodied. Aromas of cherry and dark berries, oak and vanilla is present but subtle. On the palate - bright cherry, slightly tart. Very fruit forward, oak is subtle, but lingers a bit. Slight vanilla undertones. A really nice wine, great value too!
Jane Staples rated this wine as 90/100 with the following review:

Lots of ripe dark berries on the nose. Lovely smooth palate shows ripe red fruit, vanilla and touch of baking spice. Silky finish.
Courtney Flood rated this wine as 88/100 with the following review:

Aroma has a lot of anise, smokiness, and some slightly dried fruit characteristic. A bit peppery on the palate. Good for a peppery steak.
Matt Steeves rated this wine as 87/100 with the following review:

A lighter Bordeaux style blend of Merlot and Cab Sauvignon from Hawkes Bay New Zealand. Mild berry and spice notes with a soft mouthfeel that helps to highlight the tasty fruit in this tangy blend. Recommend pairing with game meats, lamb, or even turkey. Tasted October 2014. 87 points. Matt Steeves @QuercusVino
Sean O'Regan rated this wine as 87/100 with the following review:

Oct 5, 2014: Medium ruby, delicate nose of red currant, cherry, plum, dried herbs and light wood spice. The palate shows cherry, red berry, dusty mineral and gentle spice and faint green herb. Medium bodied, framed with good acidity and soft tannins. Pleasant lighter style of cab/merlot that would work with Thanksgiving turkey along with sausage infused stuffing.
Douglas McMillan rated this wine as 80/100 with the following review:

Tart and sweet cherry, new leather, and a touch of vegetal aromas. The taste The taste is similar, with a thin mouth-feel and a tart finish.
Louise Wilson rated this wine as 92/100 with the following review:

A smoky plum bouquet highlighted with notes of fresh mint transitions into a full bodied palate packed with ripe blackberry and blackcurrant flavours. The fruit is framed by approachable tannins and carefully balanced oak. A very likable wine, offering great value. A sure bet for a dinner party gift. Tasted Oct 2014.
Marco Giovanetti rated this wine as 83/100 with the following review:

Ripe red and black fruits with sweet thai basil and menthol notes. In the mouth, medium to full body with leathery and earthy nuances. Dry finish with a beef stock and dry tomato paste.

Natalie's Review

Villa Maria Private Bin Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand: The Hawke's Bay region of New Zealand tends to be warmer than Marlborough (especially the nights are not as cool), thus it's better known for later ripening grapes such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Villa Maria demonstrates this amply in the glass with a blend of 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet grapes. A special area known as Gimlet Gravels provides most of the fruit for this wine and yet it's only 800 hectares in total, with old soils of fractured rock that are free draining which means the vines suffer as they should to produce great wine for you. In fact, you can go down 20 to 30 feet here and still find gravel as this was an old river bed that became exposed in the 1880s after an earthquake. This wine is amazing in that it delivers far more heft, weight and dark fruit flavour than you'd expect from just 12.5% alcohol. Yay! Drink: 2013-2018. 310300 12.50% XD 750 mL  $16.95 Score: 89/100. February 1, 2015 Best Value Red Wine. Best Beef Wine  Full Review




Know the wines you want before you even get to the store with my wine reviews. Join now. It's free.

Wine of the Week

As featured on  

CTV Wine of the Week!

Featherstone Sparkling Wine
Sparkling Rosé 2015,
Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario V.Q.A. ...

Natalie MacLean

Canada's Most Quoted Wine Writer

Natalie MacLean is editor of Canada's largest wine review web site, publishing hundreds of wine reviews every week for more than 261,897 members.

She was named the World's Best Drinks Writer at the World Food Media Awards in Australia.

Natalie has published two books with Random House, the second was named one of Amazon's Best Books of the Year. Get access to all of her reviews today by becoming a member of her site.

Red, White & Drunk All Over

  Best Books of the Year

Red, White & Drunk all over by Natalie MacLean

Natalie MacLean writes about wine with a sensuous obsession... and often laugh-out-loud funny... Terrific.

Rex Pickett, Sideways

Ms. MacLean is the disarming Everywoman. She loves wine, loves drinking ... ultimately, it's a winning formula.

Eric Asimov, The New York Times


Access my reviews on mobile with the bar code scanner.


Unquenchable: A Tipsy Search

  Best Books of the Year

Unquenchable by Natalie MacLean

Natalie MacLean is a new force in the wine writing world ‐ a fiesty North American answer to Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson. She can write beautifully about wine.

The Financial Times of London

There are very few people in the wine world who "get it" and Natalie is one of those who brings more fun to a buttoned-up and stodgy game.

Gary Vaynerchuck, Wine Library TV

Starting a Wine Cellar?

Expert advice for all budgets

Insider tips on starting a wine cellar
From wine racks to underground caves, insider tips on size and space, number of bottles, ideal conditions and reputable resources.   learn more  
Winner World's Best Drink Writer
Four-Time Winner James Beard Foundation
Five-Time Winner Association of Food Journalists
Six-Time Winner Bert Greene Award
Best Wine Literature Book Gourmand World Cookbook Awards
Online Writer of the Year Louis Roederer International Wine Writing Award