Craggy Range ‘Sophia’ Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Merlot/Cabernet 2011

Merlot from New Zealand - Hawke's Bay
Review Date : 03-Jun-2014
Very dark, deep, black-hued purple red. This has a full and powerfully expressed bouquet with black and blue berry fruits along with subtly complex spice, dark red floral and savoury secondary fruit and earthy layers. Medium-full bodied, sweetly rich and lush dark red berry and black plum fruit flavours form a concentrated, but elegantly proportioned core. The tannins are very fine-grained, and show some softening for accessibility. The mouthfeel is poised between sweetness, acid freshness and tannin extract refinement. Nuances of spices, florals and earth unfold, and the palate carries the fruit and detail smoothly to a velvety, lingering finish. This is a very fine-grained and concentrated Merlot-blend beginning to show some elegance and accessibility. It has a decade-plus of development ahead. A blend of 60% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, fermented to 13.3% alc., the wine aged 19 months in 37% new French oak barriques. 19.0-/20 May 2014 RRP $72.95 Full, very deep, black-red colour with slight purple hues on rim. The nose is full and concentrated, the fruit aromas densely packed and showing some restraint. Ripe black berry and dark plum notes are complexed by liquorice and tar notes, but also lifted with floral nuances and subtle curranty elements. This is quite complete, but brooding. Full-bodied and solidly packed, the mouthfeel has a roundness and deceiving softness from the very refined extraction and structure. This has serious weight and presence, but a near-seamless flow of rich flavours of ripe black berry fruits and spiced plums. Oak lift and liquorice detail add detail. The palate has harmony and fine, balanced acidity in support. The acidity and grows to enliven the plum and liquorice flavours carrying the finish with length. This is a full and solidly packed, black-fruited Merlot with seamless layers, density and a complete mouthfeel. Serve with slow-cooked game meat over the next 8-10+ years. A blend of 60% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, fermented to 13.3% alc., the wine aged 19 months in 37% new French oak barriques. 19.0/20 Jun 2013 RRP $72.95

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