Grav­els greats

Classy 2015 wines from the Gim­blett Grav­els district earn five stars.

New Zealand Listener - - THIS LIFE - by Michael Cooper

Ev­ery year, Aus­tralian wine auc­tion­eer An­drew Cail­lard in­de­pen­dently se­lects a dozen reds from the fa­mously arid Gim­blett Grav­els, on the western fringe of Hast­ings, as ­“rep­re­sen­ta­tive” of the vin­tage cur­rently on sale – in this case, the 2015s. From a cooler grow­ing sea­son than 2014, but warmer than 2013, the wines are very classy, es­pe­cially the blends of the two clas­sic Bordeaux va­ri­eties, mer­lot and caber­net sau­vi­gnon.

Babich The Pa­tri­arch 2015

Each vin­tage, this is Babich’s ­greatest red, re­gard­less of the va­ri­ety or re­gion. Grown in the Iron­gate ­Vine­yard, in Gim­blett Rd, this is a boldly coloured, youth­ful blend of caber­net ­sau­vi­gnon, mer­lot and mal­bec. Invit­ingly fra­grant, it is sturdy (13.5% alc/vol), with deep, de­li­ciously ripe black­cur­rant, plum, spice and nut flavours, very com­plex and savoury. A highly re­fined red, it’s well worth cel­lar­ing. $80

Craggy Range Le Sol 2015

This fa­mous syrah im­presses with its lovely fra­grance and fi­nesse. Dark and densely packed, with a flo­ral, pep­pery bou­quet, it is mouth­fill­ing (13.5% alc/vol) but not heavy, with youth­ful, ar­rest­ingly con­cen­trated black­cur­rant, plum, spice and black-pep­per flavours and a finely tex­tured, last­ing fin­ish. $135

Sa­cred Hill Bro­ken­stone 2015

Mer­lot-based, this highly at­trac­tive red was blended with mi­nor por­tions of mal­bec, syrah, caber­net sau­vi­gnon and caber­net franc. Dark, full-bod­ied (13.5% alc/vol) and vi­brantly fruity, it has con­cen­trated, ripe, plummy, spicy flavours, with savoury, nutty notes adding com­plex­ity, and a se­duc­tively smooth fin­ish. Al­ready de­li­cious. $50

Stonecroft Gim­blett Grav­els Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon 2015

Just start­ing to un­fold, this classy red is an un­blended caber­net sau­vi­gnon. Dark and sturdy (13.5% alc/vol), it is con­cen­trated, with deep black­cur­rant, plum and spice flavours, sea­soned with nutty oak, has a good tan­nin back­bone and ob­vi­ous po­ten­tial for long-term cel­lar­ing. $47

Villa Maria Re­serve Gim­blett Grav­els Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon/Mer­lot 2015

This dark, dense, 2:1 blend of caber­net sau­vi­gnon and mer­lot is still very youth­ful. It has sub­stan­tial body (14% alc/vol), in­tense, ripe black­cur­rant, plum and spice flavours sea­soned with qual­ity oak, im­pres­sive com­plex­ity and a finely tex­tured, last­ing fin­ish. An el­e­gant, seam­less wine, it’s best cel­lared to 2020-plus. $50

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.