Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Craggy Range

Craggy Range 'The Quarry' Gimblett Gravels 2008 Hawke's Bay
Inky crimson and purple ruby appearance. This wine is typically a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc blend.
N: A complex bouquet of mainly black and a few red fruits: Cassis, gravel, dry sand and flint-like under-currant adds complexity and a little mystery; full, rich and youthful overall.
P: Although this is a dry wine it displays both concentration and complexity with very youthful fruit attributes. The fruit tannins in particular show mostly on the front palate - fine, but still stuck in a teenage phase; The oak tannins are rich and powerful yet bring contrast to the fruit tannins and add a layer of complexity. The acidity is easily medium+. All these structural features provide for both a robust frame to the wine as well as a charming inner core.
Overall a world class example that belongs in the wine cellars of fine dining rooms and smart collectors. 93 Points.

Church Road

Church Road Reserve Merlot Cabernet  2008 Hawke's Bay
N: Violets,cooked  plums, blackberry jam and cassis, soft oak suggestions for a few seconds then a more intense complexity unfolds with oak a feature - vanillin. Overall a concentrated bouquet.
P: Juicy black and red fruits - plum and blackberry then cassis again all adding to a firm and youthful wine with plenty of texture. Quite a lot of oak and associated tannins as well. A wine with 6 - 8 years development time ahead. The finish is firm, but still shows off a sweeping of fruit to remind the taster of balance and potential - in short a well made example. 90 Points.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Squawking Magpie

Squawking Magpie "The Stoned Crow" Syrah Hawkes Bay 2008
N: A broody almost angry bouquet with dark, toasted and oaky dark red and black berry fruits, sweet ripe raspberry lift, black currant and white pepper spice.
P: Reflects the nose with a wild and tamed raspberry and black currant fruit core, some very noticeable gravelly earthy elements. Medium+ to High tannin impact with the fruit and oak meaures competing for attention. Juicy acidity, great balance and a long broody finish. 
Very very good - 91 Points.

Sacred Hill

Sacred Hill Deerstalkers Syrah Hawke's Bay 2008
N: Powerful dark berry suggestions, red liquorice, hints of tar and saddle leather, dark raspberry and blackcurrant, complex and youthful with a peppery overture to the bouquet.
P: Reflects exactly what the nose suggests and more with waves of wood spice met head-on with dark red fruits, chocolate and saddle leather flavors. A very complex and well crafted wine with very ripe tannins, medium+ acidity and a long youthful finish. This is easily a 15 year wine - 92 Points.

Church Road

Church Road Cuve Merlot 2008
N: Damson plums, roasted plums, stewed and jammed plums; burnt toast and cloves - this wine has a great bouquet as well as a youthful fruity aroma. Concentrated and immensely inviting.
P: Dry with Damson plums and dark plum skin flavors, blackberry fruits in the back ground. Gravel - like earthy quality and big, bold oak that has a sweet edge. Noticable fruit tannins, spicy clove oak flavors. A great example of a modern and classy New Zealand Merlot. 92 Points.

Craggy Range

Craggy Range Syrah 2008 Hawke's Bay
N: Pepper, Black fruits - black currant and very dark, almost burnt raspberry. A refined and well considered level of concentration - given the ripeness suggested with big 'Craggy Range Oak' that fits rather snugly with the rest of the bouquet.

P: Immediately reminds of three things: Great Hawke's Bay Syrah, a wine that is at least three years off enough integration for a more considered tasting and an Hermitage Cornas rolled into one. Powerful toasty tannins, concentrated raspberry and black-currant flavors. In fact the tannins are rather intense on their own, but with the concentration of fruits - a balance emerges that is delicious! Alcohol not noticable. 91 Points.

Esk Valley Wines Gimblett Gravels

Esk Valley Gimblett Gravels Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec 2008 
N: Wild red fruits, black fruits and sweet, dried herbs with spiced oak. The Cabernet Sauvignon seems head and shoulders above the Merlot and Malbec - on the nose. Medium+ complexity.
P: Very dry and very fruity with a varietal Cabernet herbaceous note. The Cabernet flavors of blackberry and Marmite, with youthful 'full throttle' tannins still waiting to begin integrating with the wine.
Overall - very young - and requires around 5 years careful cellaring before another look.
4 Stars today - 5 Star potential.