Elephant Hill – Reserve
The freshness, elegance and intensity of the Elephant Hill Hawke’s Bay white wines is due in no small part to their Te Awanga coastal vineyard origins. The vineyard is only metres from the sea line, and afternoon sea breezes result in slower ripening and preservation of acidity, these being values traits in the white varieties. Elephant Hill also has Syrah planted at Te Awanga, but the Bordeaux red varieties are obtained from the company’s warmer inland sites in the Bridge Pa Triangle and in the Gimblett Gravels.
FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW
Elephant Hill Reserve Chardonnay 2017, Hawke’s BayChardonnay from New Zealand - Hawke's BayReview Date : 20-Aug-2020Bright, light straw-yellow with a gold hue and some depth, even colour throughout. The nose is elegant with good intensity aromas of stonefruit, citrus, melded with fennel, hazelnut, toasted coconut and creamy underlay. Medium-bodied, a vivid presence of citrus fruit of lemon, grapefruit and its pith, along with white peach, raw fennel took centre stage, unfolding hazelnut, cream and toasty oak element. The creamy mouthfeel is smooth flowing, provides body weight and balance to the electric acid drive. The acidity has good tension and energy flow, youthful and appealing, carries a chalky phenolic and citrus flavours to linearity. The use of new oak created mealy notes of hazelnut, toasted coconut, added subtle layers and complexity. This is a young Chardonnay with flavours of citrus and stonefruit, toasty oak element, electric acid drive on a creamy palate, has excellent potential for further ageing. Match with Crayfish Thermidor and chicken with chestnut over the next 5-8 years. Clone 15 and 95 from Te Awanga and Bridge Pa Triangle, whole bunch pressed, fermented to 13.4% alc. Aged in French oak for 12 months, 25% new, with some lees stirring, minimal MLF. 18.5+/20 pts Aug 2020 RRP $54
Elephant Hill Reserve Merlot Cabernet Franc Cabernet 2017, Hawke’s BayBlended Red from New Zealand - Hawke's BayReview Date : 20-Aug-2020Deep, ruby-red with a black hue, lighter on edge. The bouquet is poise and harmonious with fragrances of violet, medicinal herbs, along with cassis, dark plums, cedar and tobacco lingers with good intensity. Full-bodied, the palate has good concentrated flavours of an amalgam of cassis, dark plums, red berries, along with violet and medicinal herbs, unveiling tobacco, cedar and oak spice detail. The fruit is juicy and fresh, lifted by lacy acidity, shows strength and vitality. Velvety fine-grained tannin extraction provides structure and backbone, immersing cedar and tobacco detail, lengthen the sustained finish in harmony. The is a well-crafted Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon blend, displaying succulent fruit flavour, violet, herbaceous detail on a fine-grained tannin structure with cedar and tobacco detail. Match with beef tomahawk and roasted lamb leg over the next 5-8 years. Fruit from Gimblett and Triangle vineyards, composed of 52% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Malbec. Aged 26 months in French oak, 35% new. Further aged 5 months in stainless steel on lees. 13.5% alc. 19/20 pts Aug 2020 RRP $54
Elephant Hill Reserve Syrah 2017, Hawke’s BaySyrah from New Zealand - Hawke's BayReview Date : 20-Aug-2020Deep, ruby-red with some depth and a dark purple hue, lighter on edge. The nose is gently full with power and concentration, red plums, blackberries, along with medicinal herbs, black pepper, unfolding smoke meat and leathery nuances. Full-bodied, dense fruit of Doris plums, blackberries have a concentrated core, along with smoky bacon, black pepper, liquorice and leather linger to a long, sustained finish. The fruit has the right ripeness, densely formed with weight; interweaved finely extracted velvety fine-grained tannin, smooth and comforting. Dark and medicinal herb element is attractive, complementing the smoky bacon and leathery detail added richness and interest. Lacy acidity provides just enough brightness to this otherwise too dense Syrah, flows lively to a lengthy, sustained finish. This is a full-bodied Syrah with flavours of dark fruit, complexing herbs and smoke meat detail. Match with lamb ribs and meat stew over the next 5-8 years, will benefit from decanting. 99% Syrah and 1% Viognier co-fermented to 13.4% alc. Aged for 20 months in French oak, 38% new. Further aged in tanks on lees for 4 months. 19-/20 pts Aug 2020 RRP $54