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