RECENT FEATURES




Satellite and Spy Valley 2017 Sauvignon Blancs and Spy Valley Rosé 2017
Sherwood Stoney Range and the new ‘Reserve’ Releases
Mud House ‘Woolshed Vineyard’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Forrest ‘Central’ Central Otago Rosé 2016
Aramis McLaren Vale 2015 Cabernet and Shiraz, and SV 2013 Shiraz
Sileni Estates ‘Seasonal Release’ Wines
Ellero Central Otago Riesling 2015 and Pinot Noir 2014
Grove Mill 2015 Chardonnay, and Te Tera 2016 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
French, Chilean and Australian New Releases from EuroVintage
Two Rivers 2017 ‘Isle of Beauty’ Rosé and 2016 ‘Clos des Pierres’ Chardonnay
Elephant Hill 2017 Syrah Rosé and 2016 Chardonnay
Selaks 2017 ‘Berries and Cream’ Rosé and ‘Luscious’ Pinot Gris
Tohu New Releases of Methode, White and Red Wines
Alpine Valley and Maui 2017 Marlborough Pinot Gris
Stewart Town ‘The Bounder’ Pinot Noir 2016
Mills Reef ‘Reserve’ Hawke’s Bay 2016 Cabernet/Merlot
Twin Islands 2017 Sauvignon and Opawa 2017 Sauvignon and Rosé, and 2016 Pinot
Ted by Mount Edward 2017 Rosé and Pinot Gris, and 2016 Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir
Starborough 2017 Sauvignon and Pinot Gris, and 2016 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
Aronui Nelson 2017 Rosé, and 2015 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
Caythorpe 2017 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling
Porters Pinot ‘Kereru’ 2015 Pinot Gris and 2014 Pinot Noir, and 2014 Estate Pinot Noir
Waiana Estate ‘Indian Summer’ Hawke’s Bay Rosé 2017
French, Spanish, Argentine, Californian and Aussie Imports from Procure
Spade Oak ‘Voysey’ 2017 Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris
// View More Featured Reviews

Featured Reviews




Gimblett Gravels 2015 Annual Vintage Selection

25 September,2017
It is just over 35 years since the first grapes were planted in the Gimblett Gravels, originally thought wasteland by the Hawke’s Bay locals, but in these times it is regarded as one of the best areas in New Zealand to grow the Bordeaux red varieties and Syrah. The Gimblett Gravels Winegrowers Association was formed in 2001 to collective promote the wines of the district and protect its identity, by delineating an 800 ha area based on the gravelly soils laid down by the old Ngaruroro river. The area defined is independent of GI specifications, and the Association has the name ‘Gimblett Gravels’ registered as a trademark. Members of the Association must own land in the area and wines produced bearing the ‘Gimblett Gravels’ designation must be 95% from the area.

The current members of the Gimblett Gravels Winegrowers Association are: Babich, Beach House, Coopers Creek, Craggy Range, Crossroads, Crown Range Cellar, Element Wines, 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. www.gimblettgravels.com

The 2015 Annual Vintage Selection
One of the most effective promotional exercises devised by the Association is the ‘Annual Vintage Selection’ where a dozen wines are chosen independently by Andrew Caillard MW of Sydney, from wines submitted for blind tasting, to represent the best of the district for that given year. The ‘Selection’ wines are sent to media and critics world-wide for their appraisal. The ‘Annual Vintage Selection’ has been made from the 2008 vintage, and the 2015 Selection, the eighth, was announced in June earlier this year.

The 2015 growing season follows on from the excellent vintages of 2013 and 2014, and started with delayed flowering for Merlot and Syrah due to a cool spring. A dry summer followed with classically good temperatures through to a very dry January and February, the heat summation similar to that of 2013, allowing excellent ripening of the red varieties. The threatening Cyclone Pam in March when the tail end reached the Gimblett Gravels had little effect as the grapes were not yet fully ripe and resistant to damage. The rest of the growing season was excellent leading to harvesting in ideal conditions. Although there was a rain event on 10 April, the cool, dry weather minimised any disease outbreak. Settled weather then continued to the conclusion of harvest. This is seen as a strong vintage for Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The 2015 Annual Vintage.

Gimblett Gravels 2015 Annual Vintage Selection - Syrahs

Tasting the Wines
Following are my reviews of the 2015 Gimblett Gravels Annual Vintage Selection. The wines are ordered alphabetically by name for the Syrah and the Bordeaux varietals. I have already tasted a number of these wines as ‘Feature Reviews’, these being all of the five Syrah and two of the Blended reds.. It is interesting to taste those already tasted before – in this context of comparison. As with any tasting, the juxtaposition of wines highlights certain traits and often downplays others which seem more obvious in other situations. As in judging, sequential effects operate. These factors will explain why my notes may vary from previous tasting notes or future ones.

The quality of the wines is extremely high, and I am very much in agreement with Andrew Caillard’s selections. The Bordeaux-varietal wines are very even across the board, despite the different varietal proportions of the wines. I feel they are more fruit-expressive wines, a reflection of the vintage. I don’t get a clear defined message of the Gimblett Gravels with what I describe as an ‘iron-earth’ aroma and flavour, as I have in other vintages. There is greater variation with the Syrahs, with very high points and slightly lesser ones. These too are fruit-expressive, showing full ripeness, and some of the wines capture the ‘iron-earth’ and mineral character I see as being the Gimblett Gravels signature.

Gimblett Gravels 2015 Annual Vintage Selection - Blended Reds

FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW



Craggy Range ‘Le Sol’ Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2015

Syrah from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

19.5/20

Full, black-red colour, near saturated with youthful purple hues. The nose is full, deep and densely packed with concentrated layers of ripe blackberry fruit and subtle nuances of dark raspberries, unfolding violet florals with liquorice, black plums, spices and iron-earth elements. This is a powerhouse of a wine. Full-bodied, the palate has deep and densely concentrated flavours of blackberry fruit with black plums, dark raspberries, and notes of liquorice, spices and iron-earth minerals. The flavours are mouthfilling with great breadth, and the fruit is supported by considerable extract and structure, the tannins very fine-grained and powdery. The acidity is integrated and balanced, and the flavours carry to a fulsome, long and sustained, powerful finish of black fruits and spices. This is a 10-15 year wine. 100% MS Heritage clone, selected from Blocks 8-14, hand-picked and fully destemmed, and fermented to 13.7% alc., the wine spending 18-28 days on skins and aged 17 months in 30% new French oak barriques. 19.5/20 Sep 2017 RRP $135.00

Very dark, saturated black-hued purple-red colour, a little lighter on the rim, and very youthful in appearance. The nose is softly concentrated with densely packed and deep aromas of ripe blackberry fruit and black plums entwined with liquorice and Asian spices, unfolding violet florals and notes of iron-earth minerals, and layers of cedary oak. Medium-full bodied, the palate is rich and lusciously fruited with deeply concentrated flavours of ripe blackberries and dark raspberries, black plums, and subtle notes of liquorice and a fine layer of Asian spices intermingling with violet florals. The oaking is beautifully balanced and integrated, with the palate showing iron-earth and mineral complexities. The fruit is supported by very fine-grained tannin structure providing considerable grip and texture, which carries the rich fruit to a long, dry, fine-textured, exotic-fruited finish of spices, florals and minerals. This is a deeply concentrated, elegantly rich Syrah with considerable fine-grained tannin structure and gip with layers of exotic fruit, spices, florals and oak. Match with roasted and slow-cooked game meat and casseroles over the next 8-10+ years. 100% MS Heritage clone, selected from Blocks 8-14, hand-picked and fully destemmed, and fermented to 13.7% alc., the wine spending 18-28 days on skins and aged 17 months in 30% new French oak barriques. 19.5/20 Jun 2017 RRP $135.00

Ka Tahi ‘Rangatira’ ‘Reserve’ Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2015

Syrah from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

18+/20

Dark, deep, black-hued ruby-red colour with slight purple tints on the rim. The nose is very tightly concentrated, intense and penetratingly deep, with aromas of blackberries, black pepper and spices, unfolding black and violet florals, revealing some earthy and minerally reduction. Medium-full bodied, the palate is vibrant and rich with plush, juicy flavours of ripe blackberries and dark raspberries, black plums with black pepper and subtle reductive minerally notes. The mouthfeel is bright and lively with fresh acidity, and the fruit is underlined by fine, firm tannin extraction. This has linearity and carries to a long, spicy finish. This is a vibrantly rich, black-fruited Syrah with black pepper and some minerally reduction and fine, but firm tannin structure. 8+ years ahead, easily. 100% MS Heritage clone, selected from Blocks 8-14, hand-picked and fully destemmed, and fermented to 13.7% alc., the wine spending 18-28 days on skins and aged 17 months in 30% new French oak barriques. 18.0+/20 Sep 2017 RRP $30.00

Very dark, black-hued ruby-red colour, near impenetrable at heart, with lighter purple hues on the rim. The nose is very full and softly voluminous with deep aromas of ripe blackberry fruit entwined with a harmonious amalgam of spices, oak, black pepper and violet florals, and a suggestion of iron-earth minerals. Medium-full bodied, the palate features succulent and rich fruit flavours of blackberry fruit and Asian spices melded with liquorice, violet floral and iron-earth minerals. The fruit richness is supported by fine-grained tannin extraction and structure, and the mouthfeel enlivened by fresh acidity. The flowery tannin grip builds and carries the wine to a long, lingering, dry finish with black fruits, spices and minerals. This is a rich and succulent black-fruited Syrah with ripe black fruit, spices, pepper and earth notes of a fine-grained palate. Match with lamb, beef and Middle Eastern fare over the next 6-8 years. 100% Syrah from the Gimblett Gravels fermented to 13.4% alc., the wine aged 18 months in 30% new French oak barriques. 18.0+/20 Dec 2016 RRP $30.00

Sacred Hill ‘Deerstalkers’ Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2015

Syrah from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

19.5/20

Very dark, deep, black-hued purple-red colour, a little lighter edged, youthful in appearance. This has a beautifully fragrant and aromatic nose of ripe blackberries melded with a layering of black and violet florals, and a fine core of ripe black plums, liquorice and spices with hints if black pepper. Some herbal complexities from the whole bunch add to the aromatic array. This has finesse, beauty and seamless volume. Medium-full bodied, the palate has very rich and lusciously refined fruit flavours of blackberries and black plums entwined with exotic florals, liquorice, spices and dark herbs. The mouthfeel is smooth and seamless and the wine flows along a satin-like line, with wonderfully refined, powdery tannin extraction. The wine leads to a blossoming perfumed and aromatic finish. This is a beautifully aromatic, voluminous and seamless Syrah with ripe black fruits, exotic florals and very fine, silken textures. this will keep 10-12+ years. Fruit from the ‘Deerstalkers’ vineyard, Gimblett Gravels, indigenous yeast fermented with up to 20% whole clusters to 13.0% alc., the wine spending 20-30 days on skins and aged 16 months in 35% new French oak barrels and puncheons. 283 dozen made. 19.5/20 Sep 2017 RRP $59.99

Very dark, near impenetrable purple-black red colour, a little lighter on the rim, youthful in appearance. The nose is very full and softly voluminous with very ripe fruit aromas of blackberries with notes of black plums and suggestions of boysenberries, along with a very fine amalgam of liquorice, spices and cedary oak. The array of aromatics is spectacular. Medium-full bodied, the palate possesses intensely rich and vibrant, concentrated flavours of blackberries, dark raspberries and black plums, with nuances of blue fruits and liquorice. The mouthfeel has vitality and the sweet fruit is enhanced by fresh acidity, and supported by fine-grained tannin structure and extract, providing fine textures and grip. The fruit has soft and refined density and linearity, and carries to a very long and sustained finish of black fruits and spices. This is a stunning and sweetly rich, vibrant and fully-structured Syrah with an array ripe fruit flavours and cedary oak complexity. Serve with slow-cooked game meat and Middle Eastern fare over the next 7-10+ years. First made in 2004. Fruit from the ‘Deerstalkers’ vineyard, Gimblett Gravels, indigenous yeast fermented with up to 20% whole clusters to 13.0% alc., the wine spending 20-30 days on skins and aged 16 months in 35% new French oak barrels and puncheons. 283 dozen made. 19.5/20 Jul 2017 RRP $59.99

Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2015

Syrah from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

19+/20

Very dark, black-hued ruby-red with purple tints, lighter on the rim. The nose is elegant with a fine and intense aroma of ripe black berried fruits entwined with subtle dark raspberry fruit along with complexing savoury dark herb and whole bunch stalk elements. Black pepper, spices and florals add to the aromatic diversity. Medium-bodied, the palate has rich and succulent, juicy flavour of blackberries and dark raspberries melded with a layering of savoury dark herbs and whole bunch complexities, unfolding spice and black pepper suggestions, The mouthfeel is vibrant and lively, energised by lacy acidity, and the fruit is supported by well-balanced extract and tannin structure. The flavours blossom with florality and complex savoury herb and whole bunch notes, and carry to a long nd sustained, elegant finish. This is a rich, succulent and juicy Syrah with black fruits and complex layers of herbs and whole bunch on a well-structured, lively and elegant palate. This will aged 8-10+ years. 100% Syrah from the Gimblett Gravels, hand-picked and fermented with 25% whole bunches to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 14 months in new and seasoned oak barriques and 5,000 L oak ovals. 19.0+/20 Sep 2017 RRP $35.00

Very full, dark, near impenetrable black-hued purple-red colour, a little lighter on the rim, youthful in appearance. This has a beautiful, elegantly proportioned, intense and tightly concentrated nose of aromatic, ripe blackberry and dark raspberry fruit, along with violet florals, unfolding notes of Asian spices, liquorice and hints of black pepper melded with dark herbs at the core. Medium-bodied, the palate is elegantly presented with tightly bound flavours of ripe blackberries with dark raspberries and lifted violet florals, unveiling spices, black pepper and liquorice. The fruit is sweetly rich, and balanced by refined, powdery tannin extraction and integrated acidity, providing supple structure with an elegant core and linearity. The wine carries to a detailed, lingering finish. This is a beautifully aromatic, blackberry and raspberry fruited and violetty fragrant Syrah with refined tannins and a supple, lingering palate. Match with lamb, beef, venison and Mediterranean fare over the next 6-8+ years. 100% Syrah from the Gimblett Gravels, hand-picked and fermented with 25% whole bunches to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 14 months in new and seasoned oak barriques and 5,000 L oak ovals. 19.0/20 May 2017 RRP $35.00

Vidal ‘Reserve’ Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2015

Syrah from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

18.5-/20

Dark, deep, black-hued ruby-red colour with purple hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is elegantly presented with intense and tightly bound aromas showing finesse and depth of ripe blackberry fruit with black plums, liquorice and subtle spice and florals. The fruit is restrained and soft, but there is underlying concentration. Medium-bodied, the palate is elegant and well-proportioned with ripe, well-packed and dense fruit flavours of blackberry fruit and black plums, along with hints of black pepper and iron-earth minerals. The fruit richness is matched by plenty of fine tannin grip and tannin extraction providing good structure. The acidity is integrated, and the wine flows positively to a dense, rounded finish. This is a deep and dense, well-proportioned, balanced Syrah with ripe black fruits and plenty of structure that slightly dominates. Keep this 7-8+ years. Syrah fruit, two-thirds from the ‘Omahu Gravels’ and one-third from the ‘Twyford Gravels’ vineyards in the Gimblett Gravels, destemmed and fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 17 month in 33% new French oak barrels. 18.5-/20 Sep 2017 RRP $24.99

Full, near saturated black-red colour with youthful purple hues. The nose is very fresh, with firmly concentrated aromas of ripe blackberry fruit entwined with notes of liquorice and black pepper, unfolding nuances of spices, florals and dame and black mineral detail. Medium-bodied, the palate has rich, sweet and juicy flavours of blackberries, plums and liquorice forming an elegantly concentrated, fine-textured heart, unfolding nuances of spices, florals and minerals. The mouthfeel possesses fine-grained tannin extraction and integrated, balanced acidity, and the wine flows smoothly to a restrained, nuanced finish of black fruits and minerals. This is an elegantly concentrated, sweet-fruited Syrah with blackberry, plum, liquorice and black pepper flavours on a fine-textured palate. Match with Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine over the next 4-5+ years. Syrah fruit, two-thirds from the ‘Omahu Gravels’ and one-third from the ‘Twyford Gravels’ vineyards in the Gimblett Gravels, destemmed and fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 17 month in 33% new French oak barrels. 18.0+/20 Apr 2017 RRP $24.99

Babich ‘Irongate’ Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Cabernet/Merlot/Franc 2015

Blended Red from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

18.5+/20

Dark, deep ruby-red with black hue at the core, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is very deep, concentrated and intense with fragrant blackberry, blackcurrant and cassis aromas and an amalgam of dark herbs and iron-earth mineral notes. The oaking is integrated. Medium-full bodied, the palate has rich, sweet and luscious flavours of ripe blackcurrants and blackberry fruit with cassis liqueur, and some savoury herb and iron-earth and mineral notes. The palate has a good core of fine, grainy tannin extraction providing an excellent heart, a hint of robustness and palate presence. The acidity lends freshness and liveliness, and the wine carries to a very long, elegant finish of cassis and herbs. This is a rich and luscious Cabernet/Merlot blend with blackcurrant, blackberry and herb flavours with plenty of tannin extraction and freshness on the palate. This will keep for 8-10+ years. A blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 19% Cabernet Franc from the ‘Irongate’ vineyard, fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 15 months in 40% new French oak. 18.5+/20 Sep 2017 RRP $39.95

Full, very dark, black-red colour with slight purple hues on the edge. The nose is very fresh and elegant with vibrant and aromatic lifted blackcurrant and blackberry fruit along with notes of dark herbs, spices and iron-earth minerals, unveiling some pencilly oak. The aromatics are refined, intense and intricately detailed. Medium-bodied, the palate possesses fresh and lively aromatic fruit flavours of blackcurrants and cassis with blackberries, dark herbs, subtle earthy elements and pencilly oak. The mouthfeel is fresh and poised with bright, lacy acidity providing energy and tension, and a fine-grained structural line that leads to a ling, piquant blackcurrant and herb flavoured finish. This is an elegant, refreshingly vibrant Cabernet/Merlot blend with blackcurrant, herb, earthy and subtle oak flavours on a fine-grained palate. Match with roast beef or lamb ove the next 7-9+ years. A blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon,30% Merlot and 19% Cabernet Franc from the ‘Irongate’ vineyard, fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 15 months in 40% new French oak. 18.5+/20 Apr 2017 RRP $39.95

Babich ‘The Patriarch’ Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay 2015

Blended Red from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

19.5-/20
Full, dark, black-red colour with youthful purple tints, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is softly full and harmoniously integrated with layers of rich, ripe blackberry fruit melded with an amalgam of cassis liqueur and ripe black plums, some liquorice and soft spicy oak. Medium-full bodied, the palate has great richness and sweetness of ripe blackberry fruit with hint of exotic spice, plums and liquorice and sweet oak. The flavours are succulent and mouthfilling, with impressive fruit depth. The fruit is supported by considerable tannin extract, the textures fine-grained and flowery, and the acidity is ripe, soft and integrated. The wine carries with a concentrated core to a long, lingering, rich and plush finish. This is a rich and succulent, harmonious, black berried and plum-fruited Cabernet/Merlot blend with exotic spice notes and very fine, flowery tannin extraction. This will keep 10-15+ years. A blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot and 22% Malbec from the ‘Irongate’ vineyard fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 15 months in approx. 40% new French oak. 19.5-/20 Sep 2017 RRP $79.95

Mission ‘Barrique Reserve’ Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Cabernet/Merlot 2015

Blended Red from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

19-/20
Full, very dark, near impenetrable black-hued red colour with purple hues on the rim. This has a very tight, elegant and refined, but intensely penetrating nose of ripe blackcurrant fruit and cassis liqueur, along with dark herbs, piquant mint and leaf notes. This is classical Cabernet Sauvignon in expression. Medium-full bodied, the palate has great concentration and intensity, with deeply penetrating flavours of ripe blackcurrants and cassis, entwined with subtle herb and delicate leaf notes. The mouthfeel is fresh, bright, vibrant and full of energy, with fine-grained tannin extraction providing plenty of grip and structure. The wine carries to a long, lively and refreshing finish. This is a concentrated intense and penetrating Cabernet/Merlot blend with pure blackcurrant and cassis fruit with classical herb elements, and a palate with plenty of extraction and grip. This will keep 10-12+ years. A blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon and 33% Merlot fermented to 13.8% alc., the wine aged 18 months in 27% new French oak. 19.0-/20 Sep 2017 RRP $29.00

Sacred Hill ‘Brokenstone’ Hawke’s Bay 2015

Blended Red from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

19/20

Full, even, black-hued ruby-red colour with youthful purple hues, near impenetrable. The nose is very soft and full, and harmoniously integrated with aromas of ripe black plums and black berried fruits, with layers of exotic spices and cedary oak. This is beautifully perfumed in expression. Medium-full bodied, the palate is soft with rich and lusciously sweet, mouthfilling fruit flavours of dark-red and black plums and spicy black fruits harmoniously integrated with curranty elements and exotic, sweet oak.. The plumminess blossoms as the wine flows, and the fruit richness is supported by balancing fine-grained tannin structure, with softly ripe acidity providing energy. The fruit richness carries to a softly integrated, long and sustained finish. This is a beautifully rich and luscious, harmonious Merlot-based wine with mouthfilling flavours and fine tannin extraction. Keep for 9-12 years. A blend of 87% Merlot, 4% each Malbec and Syrah, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc from the ‘Deerstalkers’ vineyard, Gimblett Gravels, mainly indigenous yeast fermented to 13.5% alc., the wines spending 30-40 days on skins and aged 19 months in 22% new French oak barrels. 313 dozen made. 19.0/20 Sep 2017 RRP $49.99

Very dark, deep, near impenetrable black-red colour, a little lighter on the rim with purple hues. The nose is elegantly proportioned with rich, ripe and well-packed, solid and deep aromas of blackberry and black plum fruit along with redcurrants, dark-red floral elements and a hint of cassis. Medium-full bodied, this has a vibrantly rich and well-concentrated palate of ripe blackberries, blackcurrants and cassis liqueur. This has real elegance and harmony of fruit expression with beautifully sweetness, and the mouthfeel has vigour, the lacy acidity enlivening the palate. The fruit is supported by fine-grained, powdery tannin extraction and the wine flows to a very long, lingering finish of ripe black fruits and cassis notes. This is an elegant, but richly concentrated, vigorous and lively Merlot-based blend with considerable, but fine-grained structure. Match with roast lamb and beef dishes over the next 8-10+ years. First made in 1997. A blend of 87% Merlot, 4% each Malbec and Syrah, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc from the ‘Deerstalkers’ vineyard, Gimblett Gravels, mainly indigenous yeast fermented to 13.5% alc., the wines spending 30-40 days on skins and aged 19 months in 22% new French oak barrels. 313 dozen made. 19.0+/20 Jul 2017 RRP $49.99

Stonecroft Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Cabernet Sauvignon from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

19+/20
Full, even, black-hued purple-red, near impenetrable. The nose is elegant and tightly concentrated with intense and penetrating aromas of pure blackcurrant fruit and cassis liqueur, entwined with exotic and piquant dark herbs. This has great class and is quite classical in varietal expression. Medium-full bodied, the palate has concentration, power and drive, showing great richness of pure blackcurrant and cassis flavours, with aromatic herbal nuance. The intensity and depth of rich fruit is stunning, and it is supported by fine-grained tannin extraction and structure providing wonderful linearity. The mouthfeel has freshness and vitality, and plenty of acid drive, and the wine carries to a long and lingering finish of sweet blackcurrants. This is a powerfully concentrated and intensely driven Cabernet Sauvignon with a deep core of blackcurrants and cassis, with balancing tannin structure and freshness on the palate. This is a 10-15 year wine. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon indigenous yeast fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 18 months in 15% new French oak barriques. 200 cases made. 19.0+/20 Sep 2017 RRP $45.00

Te Awa ‘Single Estate’ Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Blended Red from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

18.5/20
Even, full, dark, deep ruby-red colour with black-purple hues. This has a soft, elegantly balanced nose with well-ripened blackcurrant and black plum aromas entwined with cassis liqueur and subtly fragrant herbal notes. This has attractive purity, and the Cabernet Sauvignon aromatics grow with aeration. Medium-full bodied, fresh, bright and vibrant flavours of blackcurrant, plums and cassis, forming a concentrated core with the fruit sweetness providing drive. The mouthfeel has fresh, bright acidity fine-grained tannins lending an elegant structure that leads to a fine-proportioned, lingering finish. This is a fresh and vibrant Merlot/Cabernet blend with sweet blackcurrant and cassis flavours predominating. The wine shows drive, vibrancy and an elegant, balanced structure. This will drink well over the 8+ years. A blend of 70% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Malbec fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 20 months in 40% new French oak barriques. 18.5/20 Sep 2017 RRP $29.00

Villa Maria ‘Reserve’ Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2015

Blended Red from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

18.5+/20
Very dark, deep, near-impenetrable black-hued ruby-red colour, very youthful in appearance. The nose is tight and elegant, very refined in expression, somewhat shy and brooding initially, but opens up in breadth and depth to show ripe and pure aromas of blackcurrants and blackberries, unfolding cassis and herbal notes with a touch of leafiness, unfolding black plums and mineral nuances. Medium-full bodied, the palate is beautifully proportioned with flavours of ripe blackcurrants and cassis, herbs and dark-red plums, unveiling a little pencilly oak. The tannins are very fine-grained and give the mouthfeel polish and style. The extraction is considerable, promising to open up with fruit richness to match the presence. Fresh acidity provides balance and vitality, carrying to a detailed, lingering finish. This is a tightly bound, beautifully refined and polished Cabernet/Merlot blend with blackcurrant, cassis and plummy fruit with body, grip and freshness. It will become richer over the next 10+ years. A blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot, 70% from the ‘Twyford/Vidal’ sites and 30% from ‘Omahu Gravels’, fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 18 months in 35% new French oak. 18.5+/20 Sep 2017 RRP $50.00
Copyright © 2011 Raymond Chan Wine Reviews
Website by DataFlex | Design by Skinny