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2013 Craggy Range Gimblett Gravels Vineyard Merlot

Cracka Value Rating
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Cracka Review

Anyone who thinks merlot is soft and boring, think again. Here is a serious Merlot that will turn you sideways (pun intended) and change your mind. This dark, youthful wine is unapologetically in your face with ripe plums, spiced berries and mocha hints on the nose, before driving your palate wild with a plummy, rich centre, fine-grained tannins and tight acidity to keep thinks trucking along. It's a brooding wine that will benefit from a couple more years in the cellar, but if you can't wait, give it some air and drink with slow-roast lamb shoulder for Sunday lunch.

Winemaker's Notes

Dark garnet with vibrant purple hues. Seductive aromas of ripe plum, cassis, nutmeg, tobacco and sandalwood reflects beautifully ripe Merlot. The palate is at first rich and full bodied and then finishes with wonderful graphite-like tannins, fine acidity and a long tapering dry finish.

Food match: Rich red meat dishes

Recommended cellaring: Up to 15 years from vintage

Alc/vol: 13.3%

expert reviews about

2013 Craggy Range Gimblett Gravels Vineyard Merlot

Expert Reviews

Bob Campbell MW (2014 Vintage) says
Fresh and slightly raw Merlot, with bright flavours and plenty of energy. Medium-bodied wine with dark berry, violet, oak and a suggestion of fresh herb flavours. Needs a year or two to mellow and develop greater complexity.
2016 - 2023
Raymond Chan (2014 Vintage) says
Dark, deep, purple-hued ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim, and youthful in appearance. This has a well-packed and densely concentrated nose of vibrantly aromatic dark red and black plums layered with dark redcurrant and fresh herbal nuances, lifted by dark red florals. Medium-bodied, deep and concentrated, softly rich and ripe flavours of dark plums, currants and herbs form a juicy and sweet core. The mouthfeel is enlivened by bright, ripe acidity and the wine follows a supple line with fine-grained tannins. The wine is very well-balanced with textural linearity and vitality, and carries to a finely concentrated, lingering finish of plums and redcurrants. This is a rich, ripe, plummy Merlot with soft redcurrant notes and a concentrated, but supple palate. Match with lamb, beef, venison and Mediterranean fare over the next 6-7+ years. A blend of 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc fermented to 13.4% alc., the wine aged 17 months in 27% new French oak barriques.
Nick Stock (2010 Vintage) says
A very bright style that has plenty of blue fruit aromas, plum and mulberry, violets too. Oak is gently toasty and there s a gravelly savoury thread too. The palate has terrific depth and dense, fine tannins are cast long and deep, but the impression is of elegance and supple fruit here, great plum and cherry flavour. Balanced and even.
Good Wine Guide
Michael Cooper (2007 Vintage) says
“Classy Hawke’s Bay red, showing lovely richness and texture. Deeply coloured, with a fragrant bouquet of plums and spices, it is concentrated and supple, with ripe, plummy, distinctly spicy flavours and very fine-grained tannins."
Nick Stock (2006 Vintage) says
Hawkes Bay is prime merlot country and the folks at Craggy Range have a great handle on just how to deliver it. Ripe berry fruits, attractive floral lift and some sweeter cedary spiced oak; bright and modern. The palate is terrific: smooth swirling tannins glide across the tongue carrying svelte elegant plum and some savoury oak alongside. Impressive.
Good Australian Wine Guide 2009 2008
Ken Gargett (2005 Vintage) says
Kiwi winemaker Steve Smith and I had tickets to the final of the '03 World Cup, but since the Wallabies and All Blacks played off in the semis, we knew one of us would have to sit through the game sans team. Hence a pre-match lunch featuring Steve's product—including some of Craggy's finest—so that a good time could be had by all. A bit better for me, of course—at least until the full-time whistle.
Don't Buy Wine Without Me 2008 2007
Michael Cooper (2005 Vintage) says
“Densely packed Hawke’s Bay red with real power and presence. Weighty, with loads of blackcurrant, plum and spice flavour, hints of dark chocolate and coffee, and ripe, firm tannins.”
James Halliday (2001 Vintage) says
“I suspect the 2001 Gimblett Gravels Merlot will sell out quickly. Strong and bright purple-red it has a singular expressive bouquet and palate, luscious, ripe red berry, spice and chocolate framed with powerful structure and texture, a great mix of power and elegance.”
The Australian 2003
Michael Cooper (2001 Vintage) says
Densely coloured, with leathery, nutty complexities and fine-grained tannins, the 2001 vintage is an unusually classy and characterful Hawke's Bay wine for its price. Harvested at over 24 brix, matured for 19 months in French oak barriques (65 per cent new) and bottled unfiltered, it's a fragrant red with concentrated blackcurrant, plum, herb and spice flavours, good complexity and a slightly chewy finish
Buyer's Guide to New Zealand Wines

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