“A spectacular vintage” – GIMBLETT GRAVELS® 2020 Annual Vintage Selection revealed


The 2020 vintage may have taken place during the height of pandemic uncertainty; however, the wines are nothing short of “spectacular”, declared Andrew Caillard MW.

Since the 2008 vintage, the Gimblett Gravels Winegrowers Association has sent a case that best represents the vintage to critics and writers around the world. Known as the Annual Vintage Selection, Sydney based Master of Wine Andrew Caillard is tasked with selecting the best of the best.

Choosing the dozen was harder than ever this time, with Andrew revealing “my scores reveal an embarrassment of riches…there are many worthy wines that missed out”.

Announcing the top 12 GIMBLETT GRAVELS® reds from 2020, Andrew attributed the remarkable wines to the sublime weather, combined with talent in the vineyard and winery. “The warm dry growing season combined with progressive vineyard management, winemaking skills and technology have all contributed to a spectacular year for Gimblett Gravels”.

The blended reds are wines to put on your radar, with Andrew commenting “this was a glorious vintage for Cabernet Sauvignon.” The wines had “very good claret-like definition; fine grainy tannins, very good mid- palate generosity and underlying oak maturation notes”.

Syrah was also a standout. “This year Syrah excelled…the pure blackberry fruits prevailed and the peppery characters…were sotto voce rather than dominating” noted Andrew, while applauding the wines possessing “fruit complexity, suppleness and density”.

Showing it has a role in the GIMBLETT GRAVELS® play book is Malbec, with Andrew saying, “I was astonished by the quality, presence and vinosity of the Church Road 1 Malbec”.

Chairman of the Gimblett Gravels Winegrowers Association, Cameron Price commented “the 2020 vintage will be remembered as one of our greatest. The growing season was textbook perfect, with fruit harvested in beautiful condition. We couldn’t be happier with the wines. They’re among our best to date and reinforce the terroir’s ability to produce some of the world’s finest full bodied red wines”.

The 2020 Annual Vintage Selection will comprise the following wines (in alphabetical order):

Blended reds (Merlot or Cabernet dominant):

Babich Winemakers Reserve Hawkes Bay Merlot

Church Road 1 Cabernet Sauvignon

Church Road 1 Malbec

Elephant Hill Hieronymus

Elephant Hill Stone Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc

Esk Valley Artisanal Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot

Mission Estate Jewelstone Antoine

Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels The Gimblett


Craggy Range Le Sol

Squawking Magpie Stoned Crow Syrah

Stonecroft Gimblett Gravels Reserve Syrah

Trinity Hill Homage

In the coming weeks, the 2020 Annual Vintage Selection packs will be presented to key opinion leaders throughout the world for their review.



The thirteenth year of this initiative from the Gimblett Gravels Winegrowers Association, the Annual Vintage Selection provides a snapshot of each vintage and help to chart the evolution of GIMBLETT GRAVELS® wines.

GIMBLETT GRAVELS® is a fully registered trademark owned by the Gimblett Gravels Winegrowers Association, established in 2001. Only members of the Association are entitled to brand their qualifying wines as GIMBLETT GRAVELS® where such wines comprise a minimum of 95% fruit grown on specific free draining gravel soils deposited by the Ngaruroro River in inland Hawke’s Bay, North Island.

The combination of these deeply layered gravels - of which there are only 800 hectares (2000 acres) by area - and warm maritime climate has served to produce blended (Bordeaux varietal) red and Syrah wines that have achieved critical acclaim in New Zealand and internationally.

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