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General Blog

Gimblett Gravels 2016 Annual Vintage Selection Announced

For nine years running, leading Australian wine authority Andrew Caillard MW, based in Sydney has made his pick of the best dozen wines submitted by the members of the Gimblett Gravels Winegrowers Association to create the Annual Vintage Selection.

The 2016 vintage wines follow on from three consecutive outstanding vintages, with Caillard noting the wines "showed classic varietal definition and possessed the volume, sturdiness and richness associated with a good year”. Thus an independent critic has rated 2016 a year to follow the quality years from 2013 to 2015.

The Annual Vintage Selection in an invaluable process, too and result for the members of the Gimblett Gravels Winegrowers Association as is a snapshot of the vintage by a consistent authority which serves to chart the progress of this uniquely 800 ha delineated area in Hawke’s Bay. Caillard certainly sees positive evolution saying "as each year progresses there is a feeling of more presence and generosity…a combination of vine age and nurture”. For the 2016 vintage, he thought all varieties reflected the outstanding growing season, but point out the "vigour, vinosity and personality” of the Cabernet Sauvignon blends.

For the 2016 Gimblett Gravels Vintage Selection, there are 8 Blended Reds and 4 Syrahs, as follows (in alphabetical order):

Blended reds (Merlot or Cabernet dominant)
Babich Irongate Cabernet Merlot Franc
Babich The Patriarch
Craggy Range Sophia
Mission Estate Jewelstone Antoine
Sacred Hill Special Selection Helmsman
Saint Clair Gimblett Gravels Premium Cabernet Merlot Malbec
Stonecroft Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Sauvignon
Vidal Legacy Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot

Craggy Range Gimblett Gravels Vineyard Syrah
Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Gimblett Gravels Syrah
Sacred Hill Special Selection Deerstalkers Syrah
Vidal Legacy Gimblett Gravels Syrah

For interest, here are the numbers of each category selected previously:
2008: 5 Bordeaux/Blended Reds, 7 Syrah
2009: 8 Bordeaux/Blended Reds, 4 Syrah
2010: 9 Bordeaux/Blended Reds, 3 Syrah
2011: 8 Bordeaux/Blended Reds, 4 Syrah
2012: 5 Bordeaux/Blended Reds, 7 Syrah
2013: 7 Bordeaux/Blended Reds, 5 Syrah
2014: 5 Bordeaux/Blended Reds, 7 Syrah
2015: 7 Bordeaux/Blended Reds, 5 Syrah

A limited number of Annual Vintage Selection sets are sent out to critics and writers around the world for their enlightenment and enjoyment. I’ve been lucky to have received several of these (click here to see my reviews of the 2015s, here for the 2014s, and click here to see my reviews of the 2013s). 

The members of the Gimblett Gravels Winegrowers Association are: Babich, Beach House, Church Road, Coopers Creek, Craggy Range, Crossroads, Crown Range Cellar, Decibel Wines, Element, Elephant Hill, Esk Valley, Ka Tahi, Mills Reef, Mission, Newton Forrest, New Zealand Wine Society, Pask, Sacred Hill, Saint Clair, Squawking Magpie, Stonecroft, Te Awa, Trinity Hill, Unison, Vidal, Villa Maria and William Murdoch as producers. Grower members are: M. Cairns & A. Wright Partnership, Riverstone Vineyards and Terra Vitae Vineyards.
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