(2017) Not all Gimblett Gravels fruit, so labelled 'Hawkes Bay'. The blend is 72% Merlot, 18% CS and "little bits of Malbec and Cabernet Franc." What a nice, attractive nose from an outstanding vintage, a âVintage of a generationâ, according to Hugh, that was "Phenomenally long, dry and warm, with no pressure" Lots of graphite, lots of light and gentle smokiness, medium-bodied, plenty of juicy cherry and orange, elegance and freshness and finesse into the long, textured finish.
(2016) Hawke's Bay or Hawkes Bay? It's one of the most profound mysteries of the wine world as local producers use both with apparently no rhyme or reason. But the wine, from an historic and award winning estate, is lovely: a gentle raspberry-scented Syrah with just little tones of chocolate richness, very good, pert acidity and a framework of grippy tannin but still that sweet but tangy presence of the fruit.
(2015) From Hawkes Bay in the North Island, this light-weight 12.5% alcohol blend saw 12 months in oak. Light to medium colour and density, this has a cedary and tobacco quality, along with red berry fruits: some plum and dry redcurrant. On the palate it is balanced, with lots of coffee coming through, tobacco again, and nicely balanced berry fruits. It has a sense of lightness and elegance, without a lot of structure - but most enjoyable and would be good with everything from spring lamb to roast chicken.
(2014) Huge, blood-streaked, fabulously peppery stuff from Hawkes Bay, earthy but red fruit-filled too. Little rose and violet notes add so much charm. Really tasty stuff, loaded with fruit on the palate, a vanilla slick of oak adding creamy texture and flavour, and the tannins ripe and chocolaty. Marries crowd-pleasing with serious rather wonderfully.
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