Matt Stafford, chief winemaker and Mary-Jeanne Hutchinson, director
When a wine producer such as Craggy Range, who can pull rabbits out of a hat with outstanding wines made in the most challenging vintages, says that 2013 is the “vintage of a generation”, then discriminating wine drinkers can expect some sensational releases. The portents have been particularly good for the 2013 ‘Prestige Collection’ from Craggy Range.
Lunchtime reds at Terroir Restaurant, Craggy Range
- Soft, with weight, lovely range of fruit and positive autolysis and complexity.
- 2006: now showing some garnet, with a full and dense nose of savoury game, and same on palate with undergrowth and meaty elements. Lovely sweetness to the fruit, integrated tannins and with fine acidity and line still. 18.5+/20
- 2009: Ruby red colour, and deeply concentrated on bouquet, with bright, ripe red fruits and lifted florals. Lovely sweetness and juiciness of fruit, quite plush, some savoury nutty oak. This has depth and boldness, the palate generous and fleshy. There’s plenty of fruit to burn here, and the structure is present, in support. 19.0+/20
- 2013: Purple hues to the colour. Fresh and primary, tightly bound, bright fruits with a savoury and herbal edge. Speaks of whole cluster. Youthfully fresh, elegant, raspberry and herbs, supple tannins, hinting sinewy, but essentially smooth and refined. Some slippery, lacy acidity. 19.0+/20
- The increasing sophistication of the wine can be seen with the inclusion of whole cluster fermentation, greater elegance and structure.
- 2005: Dark, deep, black-red, the bouquet still firm and tightly concentrated with excellent intensity of black fruits and black pepper, and savoury secondary complexity. Soft textured, but densely packed, lovely smooth integration and flow, but with flavour maturity emerging. 18.5+/20
- 2009: Still very youthful, black and purple colour. Rich ripe sweet and spicy black fruit aromas, still fresh, lively and lifted aromatically. A fulsome wine with rich sweet fruit and matching structure. Still with a long way ahead. The sweetness of the fruit is the feature and carries through the length of the palate. 19.5/20
- 2013: Youthfully purple, impenetrable colour. The floral are the highlight, with black red and violet perfumes lifting the black fruit, pepper and spices. Sheer elegance, noticeable lighter and less bold than the 2009, exuding finesse with luscious fruit sweetness. Mineral complexities. Extremely fine-textured. This has great beauty and class. 19.5+/20
- More a show of age and vintage, the 2005 showing bottle development, the 2009 being riper, sweeter and bigger. The 2013 already has the elegance and more subtle complexing detail.
Lamb loin, celeriac, date, red wine shallot
- 2007: Very dark and still youthful in appearance. Tightly bound and elegant with aromatics, perfumes and secondary earth and iron notes to the bouquet. Rich black fruits and considerable power. Proper textures, grip and structure in support. The secondary savoury meat and game emerges and meld with the earthiness. 19.0-/20
- 2009: Very dark purple-red, still youthful. This has very ripe fruit aromas, sweet dark plums, a little blue fruit with suggestion of raisin? Power and size here. Sweet, bold and plush on palate, the richness the highlight. Fulsome and rounded with balanced structure and extraction. The fruit and tannin are in excellent proportion and at one with each other. Ages to go. 19.0+/20
- 2013: Very youthful purple, The tightness and primary expression is clear and the aromatics show vibrancy, focus and clarity. Gorgeous aromatics of youth. Tightly bound on palate, black plums, blackcurrants and sweet florals. Very fine-grained tannins and fresh acidity and lift resulting in great finesse. The sheer vitality moves one. 20.0/20
- The clarity and beautiful liveliness is the standout feature of the 2013. It’s not about ripeness or size, and is very individual and elegant, thus different to the earlier vintages.
Matt Stafford, chief winemaker and Steve Smith MW, director