Gimblett Gravels 2013 Annual Vintage Selection
It is both an honor and a pleasure to be invited to review and comment on the wines detailed below.
The following twelve wines were independently selected by Mr. Andrew Caillard - Master of Wine. They were selected as being representative of the 2013 vintage from Hawke's Bay.
This is the sixth such release following the '08, '09, '10, '11 and '12 vintages.
Te Awa Single Estate 2013 Syrah Gimblett Gravels
Very ripe fruit lead bouquet with dense richly scented black cherry, raspberry and red currant aromas, a layer of violets then sweet meat and spicy oak have an immediate harmony with each other as well as an independent youthful energy. On the palate - Delicious - ripe almost sweet red and black fruit flavours, hints of vanilla, white pepper and toasty oak add both flavour and texture, medium+ acidity, silken tannins and medium+ weight. Great concentration and length - a fine wine indeed.
Esk Valley Winemaker's Reserve Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2013
Toasty, dense, richly scented with black and red fruits, meat and garrigue, sweet red florals, fresh milled black pepper and spice, complex forward and youthful. On the palate - concentrated, fruity, rich and juicy; flavours of black raspberry and black cherry with black currant and pepper; a brown sugar notes adds a touch of jam. Medium+ fine tannins, a back bone of acidity and long finish. A wine that is still quite raw and requires an appropriate cellar time (3 - 5 years min). Totally drinkable now as well.
Vidal of Hawke's Bay Legacy Syrah 2013 Gimblett Gravels
Dense rich core of red and black fruits, vanilla and gently toasty oak scents; soft white pepper. Violets and black cherry, burnt raspberry and wild red berries, a little mystery making it quite complex overall. On the palate - dry, firm, fruity and poised - the tannins though ripe emerge first driving the youth and tension mid-palate alongside a back bone of acidity; next the fruits show with a mix of red and black, finally a suggestion of black rose and sweet meat. Long finish overall lead by the ripe fresh fruit. A lovely wine that requires further cellar time to fully harmonise, but rather spectacular now.
Mission Estate Winery Jewelstone Syrah 2013 Gimblett Gravels
Smoky, toasty, rich, peppery, meaty and oaky aromas with lots of sweet new barrel and its smoky toasty show first then black berry, plum, black currant and cherry follow; an aged meat quality then emerges; there's a dried herb, pepper and stony quality that helps to complete a complex and very youthful bouquet. On the palate - Dry, firm, tense, oaky and packed with red black fruit flavours, tannins and acidity. Most definitively a wine in its youth with many of the components jostling for palate position. Plenty of energy and lengthy finish.
Craggy Range Le Sol Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2013
Very inviting bouquet of lush, plush and ripe dark red berried fruits, sweet new oak and layers of red flowers, velvet & sweet meat; hints of clove and brown baking spices and some very mild peppery tones. Overall quite complex, distinctive and alluring. On the palate - juicy, plush and packed with ripe fruit flavours - black cherry, plum and black currant; vintage leather jacket, fine silken tannins and medium+ acidity. The finish long but very fine as well - a wine that could be enjoyed today and in ten years.
Villa Maria Braided Gravels Single Vineyard Merlot 2013
Black plum, black cherry, marmite and dark spices of clove and vanilla; toasty and intense with dark rose and violet. On the palate - delicious - lush, fruity, ripe and intense; huge flavours of black and red plum, smoky toast and jam; medium+ (ish) tannins and acidity; great balance and finish.
Beach House Cabernet Franc 2013 Gimblett Gravels
Classic Franc bouquet with fresh herb and bell pepper, dark berries, green olive and bracken; there's an under current of stony mineral and plenty of tempering oak nuances. On the palate - dry, firm, masculine and fruity with medium+ acidity and tannins, firm and tense textures, plenty of fruit and varietal character along with a fairly lengthy finish.
Great to see and taste a Cabernet Franc in this line up.
Vidal of Hawke's Bay Legacy Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2013 Gimblett Gravels
Masculine, youthful and pretty intense bouquet of ripe black and red fruits laced with white smoke, bacon and toasty oak; then red and black fruits, tobacco and pencil. On the palate - dry, firm, masculine and weighty; black and red fruit flavours, plenty of chalky tannins adding texture and tension, medium+ acidity and lengthy finish. Lovely wine still evolving and integrating through the next 2-3 years. Will cellar for the next 8 - 10 years easily.
Trinity Hill 2013 The Gimblett Gimblett Gravels
Intense, ripe, fruity, complex and significant; a medley of black and red fruit aromas laced with graphite, clove, violets, vanilla and cedar. Hints of red velvet and chocolate along with an herbaceous and bell-pepper layer add depth and complexity. On the palate - lush, fruity, dry and packed with texture from chalky, volumous fine tannins and medium+ acidity. A core of black and red fruit flavours add richness and intensity. Fabulous structure and balance with a long fine finish.
Squawking Magpie SQM 2013 Cabernets Merlot Gimblett Gravels
Rich, very fruity and not shy of fresh new oak, masculine and bold; black currant, black berry and dark plum suggestions with a graphite, lead pencil and violet complexity. On the palate - dry, firm, fresh and fruity with layers of black fruits, firm tannins, medium+ acidity and dark spices. Long finish, balanced and well made.
Mills Reef Elspeth Cabernet Sauvignon Gimblett Gravels 2013
Ripe, ripe, intense and very floral with black violets and dark red berry fruit aromas - black berry, black cherry and spiced plum suggestions; plenty of toasty oak with clove and bacon moments. On the palate - dense, packed with flavour and texture - lots of chalky and fine powdered tannins, medium+ acidity, dark berry fruit flavours, generous core of fruit, brown spices, cocoa and fine chocolate and long finish.
Newton Forrest Estate Cornerstone Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Merlot Malbec 2013
Classic aromas stemming from a classic blend with dark berry fruits, some fresh, some wild - leading to a rich and concentrated core; dark spices, clove, cinnamon and cedar, suggestions of graphite and pencil - so not shy of oak, but collectively displaying a synergy and harmony. On the palate - plenty of texture from chalky dusty tannins, a core of red fruits, violets, tobacco and firming acidity. A very harmonious wine with a long finish.