Craggy Range 2014 ‘Aroha’, ‘Le Sol’ and ‘Sophia’ – The Prestige Collection

10-May-2016
Last year’s Craggy Range ‘Prestige Collection’ wines from the ‘once in a generation’ 2013 vintage were among some of the very best wines I’ve tasted for ‘Raymond Chan Wine Reviews’, such that the wines and the supporting ‘Family Collection’ releases put Craggy Range into contention, yet again for my ‘Winery of the Year Award’ (click here to see my reviews of the 2013 ‘Prestige Collection’. The wines were simply stunning, and showed the greatness of the 2013 Hawke’s Bay vintage.

It is no secret now that the best 2014 vintage wines from Hawke’s Bay will rival the best of the 2013s. The best predictors of the quality and style of the Craggy Range ‘Prestige Collection’ wines come in the form of the earlier-released ‘Family Collection’ wines. Earlier this year, I reviewed the 2014 vintage Craggy Range ‘Family Collection’ wines, and found them comparable to the 2013 releases (click here to see my reviews). The 2013 and 2014 Craggy Range Gimblett Gravels wines are dissimilar in style, this being the result of different growing conditions. The 2013s had the heat in the initial period of the season, with milder weather for the remainder preserving freshness. For 2014, the heat came later and in the end the total accumulation was higher. Craggy Range’s chief winemaker Matt Stafford sees the 2013s as having a "classical reserved feel”, whereas the 2014s have "fruit generosity and an immediate deliciousness”. The situations for 2013 and 2014 were similar for the Martinborough district too, the latter with greater heat accumulation, but also higher yields requiring crop thinning.

The extremely high quality of 2013 and 2014 will provide drinkers with the opportunity of comparing ‘twin’ great vintages for many years to come. It will be difficult to pronounce which is the better year early on, but such statements come a little easier with time. Much of the preference will no doubt come down to personal preferences. Here, I review the 2014 Craggy Range ‘Prestige Collection’ wines. They are ripe, lusciously rich and seamless in the case of the ‘Aroha’ and ‘Le Sol’, and the ‘Sophia’ shows wonderful succulence and structure. They will be released to the market at the start of June. www.craggyrange.com


FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW

  • Craggy Range ‘Aroha’ ‘Te Muna Road Vineyard’ Martinborough Pinot Noir 2014
  • Craggy Range ‘Le Sol’ ‘Gimblett Gravels Vineyard’ Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2014
  • Craggy Range ‘Sophia’ ‘Gimblett Gravels Vineyard’ Hawke’s Bay Merlot/Cabernet 2014

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