Robust reds

by Michael Cooper / 24 January, 2013
Six of the best from Gimblett Gravels for under $50 each.
Craggy Range Winery
Craggy Range Winery, photo Warren Buckland/Hawke's Bay Today


On the fringe of Hastings, vines flourish in the Gimblett Gravels, long viewed as the poorest, least-productive land in Hawke’s Bay. Where town planners once approved cool-stores, warehouses and a drag strip, merlot, cabernet sauvignon and syrah are yielding robust, rich reds that are revving up a strong international reputation.

Every year, the local winemakers release a promotional case of 12 reds, chosen to reflect the vintage now on the market. Hawke’s Bay Winegrowers reported “a challenging, cool summer” in 2010; January was the wettest for a century. But as February wore on, the rain eased and temperatures climbed. After a warm, dry March and notably sunny, dry April, Trinity Hill predicted its 2010 reds would be “sensational”.

You should be able to buy any of the six wines reviewed here for less than $50. The top dozen also includes Babich The Patriarch 2010 ($60); Craggy Range Sophia 2010 ($73); Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Merlot/Malbec/Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 ($60); Newton Forrest Estate Cornerstone 2010 ($60); Sacred Hill Helmsman Cabernet/Merlot 2010 ($85); and Trinity Hill Homage Syrah 2010 ($120).

Babich Irongate Cabernet/Merlot 2010
From the Irongate Vineyard in Gimblett Rd, this is a notably refined, complex red, fragrant and full-coloured, with concentrated, youthful blackcurrant, dried-herb, plum and spice flavours. $35 (5/5)

Sacred Hill Brokenstone 2010
Merlot-based, this blended red is dark and powerful, with rich plum and spice flavours, hints of licorice and dark chocolate, and obvious cellaring potential. $49.99 (5/5)

Villa Maria Reserve Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2010
This plush, rich, vibrantly fruity red is still purple-flushed, with substantial body and highly concentrated blackcurrant, plum and spice flavours, firm and lingering. $49.99 (5/5)

Mills Reef Elspeth Syrah 2010
Deeply coloured, with a floral, spicy bouquet, this is a very elegant and finely textured red, with strong blackcurrant, plum and black-pepper flavours, gentle tannins and a long, savoury finish. $45 (4.5/5)

Mission Estate Jewelstone Merlot/ Cabernet Franc 2010
Already drinking well, this is a full-bodied, smooth red with blackcurrant, plum and spice flavours, showing excellent depth and a leathery, nutty complexity. $39 (4.5/5)

WINE OF THE WEEK


Crossroads Winemakers Collection Syrah 2010
This youthful, refined red has real power through the palate. Fragrant, dark and smooth, with concentrated plum, tar and black-pepper aromas and flavours, it offers fine value. $39.99 (5/5)
MostReadArticlesCollectionWidget - Most Read - Used in articles
AdvertModule - Advert - M-Rec / Halfpage

Latest

School donations would be scrapped under Labour
76711 2017-07-21 07:40:06Z Education

School donations would be scrapped under Labour

by Mei Heron

Labour would give an extra $150 per student to every school that agreed to stop asking parents for so-called "voluntary" donations.

Read more
Transport Ministry whistleblowers feel vindicated by inquiry's findings
76707 2017-07-21 07:07:09Z Politics

Transport Ministry whistleblowers feel vindicated …

by Jane Patterson

Whistleblowers forced out of their jobs welcome a State Services report, but question the culture at the Ministry of Transport that ignored them.

Read more
Airways spends $11,417 on farewell book for departing CEO Ed Sims
76704 2017-07-21 06:41:19Z Business

Airways spends $11,417 on farewell book for depart…

by Zac Fleming

Airways says a review has been launched after a photobook which cost $11, 417 was gifted to its outgoing CEO Ed Sims.

Read more
A toxic culture may not be why Uber’s CEO was ousted
76421 2017-07-21 00:00:00Z World

A toxic culture may not be why Uber’s CEO was oust…

by Donna Chisholm

Travis Kalanick’s departure from Uber followed the firing of more than 20 staff after an internal investigation.

Read more
War for the Planet of the Apes – movie review
76658 2017-07-21 00:00:00Z Movies

War for the Planet of the Apes – movie review

by James Robins

The final instalment shows the Planet of the Apes trilogy has continued to evolve.

Read more
Whistleblowers forced out of job too early - inquiry
76671 2017-07-20 14:35:27Z Politics

Whistleblowers forced out of job too early - inqui…

by RNZ

Ministry of Transport whistleblowers suffered "unnecessary hurt" in a restructure process involving convicted fraudster Joanne Harrison.

Read more
Win tickets to Auckland Theatre Company’s Nell Gwynn
A Maori seats referendum is a bad idea – Brexit proves it
76639 2017-07-20 10:07:41Z Politics

A Maori seats referendum is a bad idea – Brexit pr…

by The Listener

The folly of reducing complexity to a single question has been amply demonstrated in the aftermath of Britain's decision to leave the European Union.

Read more