2004 Craggy Range "Sophia" Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay New Zealand

SKU #1106544 90 points Wine Enthusiast

 Shows all the intensity you could want from a New Zealand Merlot (there’s just 7% Cab Franc and 1% Cab Sauvignon in the blend), but seems to be in a bit of an awkward stage right now. Back in June it showed great finesse and elegance to go with its power, but tasted again in September it seems chunkier, with some rough edges of wood and alcohol poking out. Try in 2009.  (12/2006)

90 points Wine Spectator

 A broad-shouldered Merlot, with concentrated black currant, black plum and generous cedary oak flavors. Fresh herb tones and muscular tannins grip the finish. Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.  (2/2007)

K&L Notes

From Jancis Robinson: "Heavy bottle. Two years in French oak. Very inviting deep, savoury rich dark fruit aromas, spiced but not over oaked. Firm, deep pile ripe tannins. A lovely rich mouthful and fine long finish." (02/2008)

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Price: $59.99
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- A very popular red grape variety found in the great wines of St. Emilion and Pomerol. It is the most planted variety in Bordeaux, and it has also become an extremely fashionable red in many regions including California. Although it has a reputation to be smooth, and easy to drink when young, Merlot is also capable of producing extremely intense wines as well. It is often used as a blending agent with Cabernet Sauvignon.

New Zealand

- New Zealand is an extremely diverse wine-growing nation. The long history of producing wine started in the 1830s with wineries such as Mission Estate (1850) and Te Mata Estate (1896) still producing wine today. The two islands hold a multitude of different growing climates ranging from warmer areas such as Hawke’s Bay to very cool regions such as Waitaki, and Awatere. Most regions are defined as Maritime with the exception being Central Otago that has a moderate Continental climate with the high elevation creating dramatic diurnal swings in temperature. The plethora of grapes grown in New Zealand reflects this diverse microclimate make up. Everything has a place here, Bordeaux varietals and Syrah in Hawke’s Bay, Chardonnay and Pinot in Nelson, Pinot Noir and Riesling in Central Otago , aromatic whites in Waipara and pretty much everything you can imagine in Marlborough. New Zealand is also one of the “greenest” wine producing nations on earth (94% of wine certified sustainable in 2013) with a strong focus on organic and Biodynamic farming.