2013 Craggy Range "Le Sol" Syrah Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay

SKU #1221046 98-99 points Raymond Chan

 Full, saturated black-purple colour, very youthful in appearance. The nose is elegantly concentrated with refined and tightly bound aromas of ripe black-berried and black plum fruits interwoven with spices, black pepper and minerals, along with liquorice elements. The aromatics have real intensity and penetrating depth, and are lifted by piquant black and violet florals, revealing a range of mineral floral and earthy nuances. Medium to medium-full bodied, the palate exudes sheer elegance and proportion, with finely concentrated, tightly bound, ripe blackberry fruit flavours. Waves of spices, black pepper and violet florals unfold, adding detail. The mouthfeel is lively, vibrant and poised with fine, lacy acidity, and the wine flows with energy and tension. The fruit is underlined by fine-grained, satin-like tannins, balancing the fruit sweetness, and carrying through to a very long, concentrated, elegant finish of spices, florals and pepper. This is a beautifully elegant, concentrated, black-fruited Syrah with finesse, vitality and refined structure. Match with Asian duck and Middle Eastern lamb dishes, and venison over the next 10-12+ years. 100% MS clone Syrah from ‘Block 14’ of the ‘Gimblett Gravels’ vineyard, fully destemmed and partially indigenous yeast fermented to 13.1% alc., the wine aged 18 months in 32% new French oak barriques.

98 points Bob Campbell

 Craggy Range’s flagship wine from a vintage that has been hailed as “once in a lifetime”. Made from 100% Syrah the style has evolved since 1991 from blockbuster to become more far more elegant although certainly not lacking power. It is dense without being heavy. Tightly packed flavours including dark berry, Oriental spices, oak and a suggestion of floral characters are gradually displayed and will continue to be revealed as the wine ages. A truly classic Le Sol.  (8/2016)

98 points Decanter

 Intensely aromatic Syrah with dark berries and violets leading the charge. Oriental spices and spicy French oak are added on the palate. Clearly and powerful wine but with energy and poise too. A mouthwateringly vibrant red with a feather bed of texture.  (9/2015)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2013 Le Sol (Syrah) has a very pretty nose of violets and red roses over a core of red and black cherries plus hints of cinnamon stick and star anise. Light to medium-bodied, the palate is beautifully crafted with elegant, perfumed red fruits supported by ripe, rounded tannins. It finishes with great length. 94+ (LPB)  (12/2015)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 The style of this wine has evolved away from the massive ripeness and pure power in its early days to more finesse and ele­gance. It's still a rich wine, but silkier, with fresher fruit and more nuanced spice. Toasty oak seductively frames blueberry and plum fruit on the long finish. Drink now–2023. (JC)  (3/2016)

K&L Notes

Thanks to our long relationship with Craggy Range, we can offer a very limited amount of these "Prestige Collection" wines. The 2013 Prestige Collection wines are some of the most highly awarded wines ever released from Craggy Range. 2013 has been hailed the "vintage of a lifetime" in New Zealand, don't miss these. (Ryan Woodhouse - K&L NZ wine buyer)

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- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.

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.