2014 marks the seventh release of the
Annual Gimblett Gravels Wine Growing District red wine release.
Twelve wines have been selected by Andrew Caillard MW
as being representative of the 2014 vintage.
Fantastic to be sent these wines for comment and review.
Overall scores and detailed tasting notes below.
93 Points - Trinity Hill 2014 'The Gimblett' Gimblett Gravels, Hawke's Bay
49% Cabernet Franc, 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 3% Malbec
Concentrated, fruity, enticing and packed with spice, oak and layers of stony mineral aromas; blackberry, black currant, marmite, plum and chocolate, toasty oak with clove & vanilla, overall complex. On the palate – fruity, dry, concentrated and flavourful red wine, fine to moderate concentrated tannins, dark spice layers, medium+ acidity and fruity lengthy finish. A lovely example with great balance and finish. Drink now and through 2024
94 Points - Villa Maria 2014 Reserve Merlot Gimblett Gravels, Hawke's Bay
Complex mix of ripe red berried fruits, crushed dark rose, heirloom Black Doris plum, some new wood and older barrel layers, chocolate and new leather, underscored by a dried stone earthiness. On the palate - a core of plum and black cherry fruit flavours, crushed dark rose and new wood bite with roasted clove and dark spice moments, medium+ to fine dusty/chalk tannins and medium+ acidity. A delicious wine with great length and harmony. Immediate drink-ability and cellar worthy attributes. Drink now if decanted or enjoy from 2018 through 2026.
95 Points - Squawking Magpie 'SQM' 2014 Cabernets Merlot Gimblett Gravels, Hawke's Bay
Calm yet complex bouquet, harmonious and enticing aromas of black berry and black currant, plum and violet, hints of new tobacco and toasted barrel & wood spices. On the palate - juicy, fleshy, fruity and packed with texture; tannins are chewy, fine and suggest both fruit and barrel origin, medium+ acidity and flavours of dark berry and plum stone fruit, new tobacco, bitter chocolate and light violet tones; long flavour packed finish. D through if decanted or enjoy from 2019 through 2030.
94 Points - Mission Estate Winery 'Jewelstone Antoine' Gimblett Gravels, Hawke's Bay
Merlot with Cabernets Sauvignon & Franc
Dark fruits, broody and textured bouquet - there's shape and form; then plum compote, blackberry and bitter chocolate, roasted bell-pepper and tobacco tones, wood spice and toasted barrel power; complex, youthful and quivering with energy. On the palate - youthful with plenty of palate textures from tense tannins and medium+ acidity; flavours of blackberry and plum then new leather and coffee bean, the oak plays a big role with plenty of new wood bite and barrel-aged impact; a lengthy and intense finish. Decant for service is a must with this wine or cellar then enjoy from 2019 through 2030.
96 Points - Craggy Range 'Sophia' Gimblett Gravels 2014, Hawke's Bay
Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot
Sophisticated, complex, ripe fruited and intense with layers of primary red fruits suggesting fresh black plum and black currant, blackberries and kitchen spices, no mistaking the oak and tobacco-like nuances. On the palate - intense, youthful, primary and fresh; flavours of dark berries and plum compote, loud oak spices of clove and roasted vanilla pod, bold fresh and ripe tannins - showing an abundance of textures, medium+ acidity and a very lengthy finish. A delicious wine offering immediate drinking if decanted, best cellared to be enjoyed from 2019 through 2030.
94 Points - Anthony Joseph Vidal of Hawke's Bay Reserve Syrah 2014 Gimblett Gravels
Expressive and engaging bouquet of spice, primary red fruits and oak with aromas of fresh ground peppercorn, black currant and raspberry then toasty oak and associated wood spices. On the palate - juicy, fresh and delicious with flavours of currents and dark berries laced with pepper and wood spice, medium tannins and a back bone of acidity; toasty, woody, lengthy, great balance and poise. Drink now if decanted otherwise cellar and enjoy from 2018 through 2025.
96 Points - Trinity Hill 2014 Syrah Gimblett Gravels, Hawke's Bay
Intense, bold and slightly broody bouquet of dark currants and black berry fruits, plenty of freshly cracked black peppercorn, fresh new wood tones and a heady perfume of wild raspberry. On the palate - textures of tannin, acidity and wood surround by ripe primary red fruit flavours of black currant and dark raspberries; toasted vanilla, clove and brown baking spices; a youthful and engaging wine with a juicy red fruits core, medium to fine tannins and plenty of acidity. A lengthy finish ending as it began with a broody, bold and intense package of flavours and textures. Delicious to drink now if decanted, but perhaps best from 2018 through 2028.
97 Points - Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Syrah 2014 Gimblett Gravels, Hawke's Bay
Immediately engaging bouquet with an intense core of ripe red and dark berry fruits laced with new oak and gravel/mineral tones, suggestions of violets and dark cherry as well as pepper and new leather, complex and inviting. On the palate - juicy, ripe, fresh and dry; flavours of dark berries and black cherry, pepper and a hint of jam, bold oak statement and an abundance of tannin and acidity. Very lengthy finish and great balance. Must decant if serving through 2017. Best window for enjoyment 2018 through 2026.
97 Points - Squawking Magpie 'Stoned Crow' 2014 Syrah, Gimblett Gravels, Hawke's Bay
Complex bouquet with suggestions of New and Old World styles - stony gravelly core cushioned against ripe and intense dark red fruits, black currant, black cherry and blue fruits, plenty of fresh new toasty oak with dark spice, fresh coffee bean and leather suggestions. On the palate - a juicy core of fruit, an engaging ripe red berry fruits, pepper and oak with spice and smoke tones adding complexity; plenty of tannins and acidity keeping the palate juices busy. A totally engaging expression with a lengthy finish.
97 Points - Craggy Range 'Le Sol' 2014 Syrah Gimblett Gravels, Hawke's Bay
Intense, ripe, smoky and rich in black fruit aromas with black currant and raspberry, then burnt rose and tarry oak suggestions, calm pepper tones; complex and very engaging. On the palate - equally rich and intense with smoky dark berry fruits, vanilla and clove wood tones, fleshy black currant and black cherry flavours, some black soft to moderate pepper tones, fine tannins and a back bone of acidity. A delicious wine and arguably the best I have encountered from the Craggy Syrah stable.
95 Points - William Murdoch 'Omine Secundo' Syrah 2014, Gimblett Gravels Hawke's Bay
Bold, broody and masculine bouquet with a medley of dark berries and of new and toasty smoky oak, dark spices of clove and vanilla, complex, earthy and engaging. On the palate - firm, youthful, peppery, smoky, dry and fruity. A wine just beginning to knit together; plenty of acidity and firm youthful tannins to soften against a background of ripe black and red berry fruit flavours, pepper and spice elements adding depth and complexity. Lengthy finish. Lovely wine to engage in from 2019 through 2029.
97 Points - Sacred Hill 'Deerstalkers' Syrah 2014 Gimblett Gravels, Hawke's Bay
Youthful, ripe, fruity and complex with a steely, haunting intensity; aromas of intense red currants, cherry and fresh raspberry, red and white peppercorn, new oak layer and soft brown spices. On the palate - firm, youthful, plenty of tension and texture, notable acidity and firm, ripe tannins, red and dark red berry fruit flavours, a sulphide note and gravelly soil layer, the oak is obvious though not a key feature putting more emphasis on the core of fruit, and texture. Lovely lengthy finish, a fine wine indeed.