FIVE STARS 97/100 | Sam Kim, Wine Orbit
FIVE STARS | Michael Cooper
19/20 | Joelle Thomson
94/100 | Cameron Douglas MS
Elephant Hill only release this stunning wine when the quality is top notch and this 2020 release has undoubtedly reached that point. Vinted from merlot, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon, it's their take on a bordeaux blend. It's structured and elegant with black fruit flavours. It's drinking well now although this wine will really come into its own after a few years in the cellar.
Joelle Thomson writes "This impressive deep ruby hued, intensely smooth, plummy tasting red is one of the best Merlots that I have ever tasted and is made with grapes 100% from Gimblett Gravels Winegrowing District. Although, truth be told, this wine is not 100% Merlot, which constitutes 53% of the blend, along with deep blackberry scented aromas of Cabernet Sauvignon with 24% of the blend and the lifted fragrance of 23% Cabernet Franc. All grapes were hand picked and wild yeast fermented with the wine aged for two years in barrels, which sounds like a long time, especially for nearly a quarter of the oak (23%) to be new wood, but this robust, full bodied expression of great grapes from great sites in Hawke’s Bay is superbly well balanced."
Cameron Douglas MS writes "A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc delivers an bouquet of smoky baking spices and scents of blackberry and blackcurrant fruits, then plums and kalamata olives, then suggestions of rosemary and thyme. Firm, dry, concentrated and textured with core flavours that reflect the bouquet including dark berries, plum and paprika and clove smokey spice ideas. Tannins add in a firm texture, are ripe and have grainy texture, acidity is also in abundance adding to the structure and freshness."
Sam Kim, Wine Orbit writes "This is immediately captivating on the nose, showing blackcurrant, Black Doris plum, floral, mixed spice and cedar notes, followed by an impressively weighty palate that’s plump and substantial. Beautifully framed by finely infused tannins, it’s gutsy and sophisticated at the same time with a prolonged structured finish."
Michael Cooper writes "The powerful, classy 2020 vintage is a blend of Merlot (53 per cent), Cabernet Sauvignon (24 per cent) and Cabernet Franc (23 per cent). Grown in the Gimblett Gravels, it was matured for two years in French oak casks (23 per cent new). Dark, it has dense, deliciously concentrated blackcurrant, plum and spice flavours, showing excellent complexity, refined tannins and a well-structured, long finish. It should flourish for a decade – or longer."
53% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Franc, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon.