ONE OF 12 WINES NAMED IN THE PRESTIGIOUS 2019 GIMBLETT GRAVELS ANNUAL VINTAGE SELECTION*
95 POINTS | Andrew Caillard MW
If this isn't consistently the best value red wine produced in Hawke's Bay, we'd love to know what is.
The 2017 was Michael Cooper's red wine Buy of the Year. The 2018 won the Trophy for Champion Merlot Dominant Red at NZ's second largest wine show, and the 2019 has just been named in Andrew Caillard MW's Gimblett Gravels Annual Vintage Selection (AVS) - effectively ranking it as one of the 12 best wines produced from that fabled growing area in the wonderful 2019 vintage.
Given the humble price this amazing wine sits at, and the price of all the other wines in the AVS, it's pretty clear that something very special is going on here and the 2019 is the best vintage we have tried from this absolute giant-killer of a wine.
Winemaker Gordon Russell is the master of making wines of finesse and easy drinkability at Esk Valley and this 2019 merlot cabernet malbec is no exception. It's rich and full-bodied with soft dark berry and cherry flavours on the palate. It's also quirkily sealed in a clear / flint bottle which we absolutely loved. Sensational buying. A must try wine for any fan of good Hawke's Bay red.
*Each year twelve wines are independently selected by Andrew Caillard Master of Wine to form the Annual Vintage Selection. They form his assessment of what he feels best represents each vintage from wines grown on the Gimblett Gravels soils. Being named in the Annual Vintage Selection has become one of the highest accolades bestowed on Hawke's Bay wines.
Andrew Caillard writes "Medium crimson. Fresh roasted coffee, chinotto, raspberry blackcurrant aromas with herb garden, aniseed notes and flickers of violet. Sinuous and velvety with ample blackcurrant, raspberry cola flavours, supple chocolaty fine tannins and underlying roasted chestnut, vanilla oak notes. Finishes chalky/ al dente firm with a savoury tannin plume. Gentle yet animated with lovely fruit complexity beautiful balance and mineral length. Not immediately impressive but the wine reveals itself as it sits in the glass. When less is more."
Sam Kim writes "It's beautifully ripe and delightfully fragrant on the nose showing Black Doris plum, blackcurrant, floral, clove and hazelnut aromas, followed by a flavoursome palate displaying youthful charm and silky flow. Upfront and very appealing."
The winery writes "This is a rich and full-bodied Gimblett Gravels blend. Densely coloured, it has a bouquet of dark cherry, blackberry, dried herbs and cedar. It is soft and generous in nature and can be enjoyed as a youthful wine, but possesses sufficient tannin to age gracefully for many years."