Red, Ready, but will improve

2014 Craggy Range, Le Sol, Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

2014 Craggy Range, Le Sol, Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Red | Ready, but will improve | Craggy Range | Code:  46636 | 2014 | New Zealand > Hawkes Bay | Syrah/Shiraz | Medium Bodied, Dry | 14.5 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

WA

92+/100

WA - Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2014 Le Sol is youthfully closed, revealing hints of black and blue fruits, anise and tar plus touches of cedar and meat. Medium-bodied and elegantly fruited, it is a structured style with a firm backbone and lovely freshness. The oak is still poking out a little and it needs time to open out, but it should be beautiful with 2-3 more years in bottle.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown - 28/12/2016

The Producer

Craggy Range

Craggy Range

Craggy Range began its life in 1993 when wife and daughter of Terry Peabody persuaded him to start a wine business, the rule being it must always stay in the family, passed down generation to generation. Terry travelled to France, America and Australia in search of a winery that encompassed the family’s interest in a clean, green way of life.

He settled on Gimblett Gravels in Hawke's Bay on the east coast of New Zealand, as this area had the perfect growing conditions for his favourite wines; the Bordeaux reds, particularly Syrah.  Another was The Tuki Tuki valley, which had excellent soil for growing Chardonnay.

With help from noted Kiwi viticulturist and friend, Steve Smith, the business has grown substantially, and is the most technically advanced ever built in New Zealand. It is known for its uncompromising standards and precise craftsmanship.

The Grape

Syrah/Shiraz

Syrah/Shiraz

A noble black grape variety grown particularly in the Northern Rhône where it produces the great red wines of Hermitage, Cote Rôtie and Cornas, and in Australia where it produces wines of startling depth and intensity. Reasonably low yields are a crucial factor for quality as is picking at optimum ripeness. Its heartland, Hermitage and Côte Rôtie, consists of 270 hectares of steeply terraced vineyards producing wines that brim with pepper, spices, tar and black treacle when young. After 5-10 years they become smooth and velvety with pronounced fruit characteristics of damsons, raspberries, blackcurrants and loganberries.

It is now grown extensively in the Southern Rhône where it is blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre to produce the great red wines of Châteauneuf du Pape and Gigondas amongst others. Its spiritual home in Australia is the Barossa Valley, where there are plantings dating as far back as 1860. Australian Shiraz tends to be sweeter than its Northern Rhône counterpart and the best examples are redolent of new leather, dark chocolate, liquorice, and prunes and display a blackcurrant lusciousness.

South African producers such as Eben Sadie are now producing world- class Shiraz wines that represent astonishing value for money.

The Region

Hawkes Bay

Hawkes Bay, encompassing Napier on the east coast of North Island, is New Zealand's second largest region by plantings, with 4,500 hectares (or 20 percent of the country's total) in 2006. It is led by Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon (34 percent), Chardonnay (23 percent), Sauvignon Blanc (16.5 percent) and Pinot Noir (nine percent).

It boasts a diverse spread of soils, from fertile alluvial to stony dry, resulting in an array of variously-sized wineries from the small to the not-so-small; the region accounts for 12.5 percent of the country's 530 wineries, suggesting a happy balance between the two.

Hawkes Bay continues to fine-tune its Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Franc Bordeaux blends, offering some fine, fresh, pencil-shaving-nuanced examples, particularly from the Te Mata Estate (ie Coleraine). The more recent success story seems to be that of Syrah, in a cool, black pepper Northern Rhône style.

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