2009 Sacred Hill "Helmsman" Cabernet-Merlot Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay

SKU #1110118 92 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Cellar Selection* This is a full-bodied, firmly tannic blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot that's built for the cellar. It boasts copious amounts of vanilla and cedar, but there's plenty of cassis fruit to support it, and that fruit comes through strongly on the intense, long finish. Drink 2015–2025.  (8/2012)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Very deep garnet-purple colored, the 2009 Helmsman has a pronounced cedar enhanced nose with notes of ripe black and red currants, black cherries, black olives and fresh mulberries over Chinese five spice and chocolate. Crisp and very taut, the medium bodied palate is dominated by oak at the moment, with firm grainy tannins and a long cedary finish. Consider drinking it 2014 to 2022+. (91+)  (10/2011)

Wine Spectator

 The plum, cassis and grapey notes are supported by thick, chewy tannins, black pepper and bell pepper details, and a bay leaf note running down the center. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Drink now through 2020. (Web-2013)

K&L Notes

The Gimblett Gravels region is, as the name suggests, an especially gravelly area of New Zealand's Hawkes Bay appellation, and prized for growing Bordeaux varietals.

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Price: $39.99
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Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/26/2012 | Send Email
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A big, robust, and structured Cab blend from this excellent vineyard of the Gimblett Gravels. It expresses saturated rich dark fruit equal to this wines muscular frame. Crushed rocks and dusty tannins mingle with tobacco and cedar nuances with more air.
Drink from 2012 to 2022

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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

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.