2011 Craggy Range "Te Kahu" Bordeaux Blend Gimblett Gravels

SKU #1139197 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Blended of 69% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc and 9% Malbec, the 2011 Te Kahu Vineyard Proprietary Red displays a deep purple-black color and nose of fresh black currants, blackberries and black cherries with hints of violets, cigar boxes and dried Provence herbs. Medium bodied, it is just a little lean on fruit concentration in the mouth, nonetheless offering fresh, youthful black and red berry flavors and complimentary herbal accents structured with well-balanced chewy tannins and just enough acidity, finishing just a tad abruptly. (LPB)  (1/2015)

Wine Enthusiast

 This is firmly built for a wine that includes 69% Merlot. Mint and cedar notes emerge on the nose, while the flavors are black cherry and earth. This medium-bodied wine features an attractive licorice note on the finish, and should easily hold through 2020.  (4/2015)

Wine Spectator

 Offers a fresh band of cherry and currant flavors, with notes of black tea, spice, tobacco and pencil shavings. The tannins clamp down on the finish, giving this a firm edge. Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. Drink now through 2020. 1,800 cases imported. (Web only - 2013)

K&L Notes

A great value introduction to the excellent wines of Craggy Range. This wine is sourced entirely from their Gimblett Gravels Vineyard in Hawke's Bay. The Gimblett Gravels is one of the most exciting and important wine growing regions in New Zealand. An old river bed that is now high and dry provides deep gravel into which the vines roots must delve deep to seek out nutrition from the 90% rock content soils. The wines from here have excellent concentration and a vibrant minerality similar to those of Graves or Pessac-Leognan in Bordeaux. The 2011 Te Kahu shows a vibrant and deep color with purple hues, fresh aromatics of dark cherry, plum and dried herbs. The palate is lithe with balanced acidity and rich tannin providing a youthful backbone to the lovely sweet fruited core. A fresh, juicy and easy drinking Bordeaux blend with excellent lift and balance at a really attractive price! Very dark, deep, black-hued, purple-red colour. This has an elegant and fragrant bouquet with ripe black berried fruits and boysenberry elements complexed by herb and violetty floral notes, all subtly interwoven and showing finesse. Elegantly sized on palate, this is refined and tightly bound with energy and tension for good linearity. Sweet plum, black and redcurrant, cedar and spice flavours unfold and follow the fine-grained tannin line. This is a smaller-scale, but very well-concentrated Merlot-based wine that will develop over 6-8+ years.

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Price: $11.99
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Staff Image By: Ivan Diaz | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/24/2015 | Send Email
This is a Merlot-based Bordeaux blend from the Gimblett Gravels of New Zealand that drinks with a quality rarely found in Bordeaux at this price point. Big, delicious flavors of cassis, blue and blackberry, plum, spice box, cedar and accents of roasted herbs show through on the palate with clarity and balance. A rich but easy-going, immediately likeable bottling that would pair great with rack of lamb or a nice, hearty steak.

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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.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.5