Squawking Magpie 2013 ‘SQM’ Red Release

Gavin Yortt was among the pioneers in the Gimblett Gravels, with the famous ‘Irongate’ vineyard established in 1981 as a contract fruit source. The ‘Squawking Magpie’ brand was born with the 1999 vintage from fruit from the 4 ha ‘Woodlands’ site, planted in 1995. Gavin then went into a joint venture ownership of a 20 ha vineyard in the Gimblett Gravels in 1999, this planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Malbec, and yielding fruit for his label from 2002. The vineyard now supplies practically all his needs for the premium Gimblett Gravels bottlings which figures around 2,000 cases of a total of 10,000 under the broader Squawking Magpie brand which includes wines made from contracted fruit. Gavin handles approximately 100-150 tonnes of fruit annually, with Jenny Dobson as his winemaker, who uses the Sacred Hill facilities. The arrangement has proven to be extremely successful, as demonstrated by show results.

2013 is a watershed vintage for many Hawke’s Bay wine producers. The best harvest in a lifetime has provided the opportunity of making wines that will be remembered for years to come. In 2013, Gavin Yortt of Squawking Magpie has crafted three red wines under the ‘SQM’ sub-brand for limited edition ultra-premium bottlings. These are the first red ‘SQM’ wines from Gavin, there previously only being a sparkling and a sweet wine. The 2013 growing season is described by Gavin as a "true Goldilocks season” when everything was "just right”. The grapes made perfectly balanced wines which showed approachability from the fermenting vat onwards. All of the varieties were of exceptional quality, and the Merlot was the best ever seen. Here, I review the new 2013 ‘SQM’ red releases. They are beautifully ripe, immensely structured and will be very ageworthy. They benefit from time in the glass and aeration. www.squawkingmagpie.co.nz


  • Squawking Magpie ‘SQM’ Gimblett Gravels Cabernets/Merlot 2013
  • Squawking Magpie ‘SQM’ Gimblett Gravels Merlot/Malbec 2013
  • Squawking Magpie ‘SQM’ Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2013

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