Gimblett Gravels – try saying that 10 times over after a few glasses of wine. The area is renowned for its Bordeaux blends.
Located in Hawkes Bay on the eastern side of New Zealand’s North Island, Gimblett Gravels is a rarity in the New World. Its 800 ha are demarcated completely in accordance with the deep gravelly ‘greywacke’ soils that lie there. It’s rare to find a New World viticultural region so utterly dependent upon terroir.
Almost unbelievably, the area was not planted until 1981 when the first 20 ha went in. There are some limestone hills in the region that no one has yet planted but the Gimblett Gravels is located at about 30m and the 800 ha are devoted to mostly Bordeaux varieties, some Syrah and 10% whites.
The area is located no more than about 15 km away from the ocean which affects the weather in the region and keeps it slightly cooler than other parts of Hawkes Bay.
The Te Kahu is a single vineyard product and a blend of 80% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Malbec. It is clear and bright, medium purple and has legs.
The nose is clean and developing with medium plus intensity and aromas of ripe fruit including blueberry, black cherry and strawberry, clove, vanilla and cedar frond.
The palate is dry with medium plus acidity, medium alcohol, medium ripe grainy tannins and medium plus body with medium plus intensity and flavours of more plush blueberry, deeply ripe strawberry, black cherry and damson plum with baking spice including vanilla. The finish is medium plus.
This wine is WSET ‘Very Good’; velvety tannins are balanced with the acidity and alcohol and the medium plus intense fruit is complex with the promise of further development. Drink now and is suitable for short ageing.
Pic Credit, Mike Woods Photography