2016 Craggy Range "Te Kahu" Bordeaux Blend Gimblett Gravels Hawke's Bay

SKU #1367486 97 points Decanter

 This was a wine which convinced our judges that all the hard work that has gone into Bordeaux varieties (alongside Syrah) in Gimblett Gravels is beginning to pay off. It's a very dark black-red in colour, and the 63% of Merlot sings out in its soft, seductive black-cherry and black-plum fruits. The soft wealth on the palate is very impressive too, without any rigid acidity and backed in this case by some discreetly textured but impressively flavoured tannins (a touch of graphite and coal dust). It's sappy and vinous towards the end: real 'pleasure wine', yet never simple. Drink 2019-2025. *Best in Show, 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards*

93 points James Suckling

 Brambly plums and vanilla-lead spices, as well as notes of cedary oak. There’s also a stony edge to this. The palate has plump, fleshy fruit, backed by some grainy tannins that weigh in amid smooth plums and mulberries. Espresso-tinged finish. A blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, petit verdot and malbec. Drink in 2021  (10/2019)

K&L Notes

*Winner: Best in Show, Decanter World of Wine Awards, 2019* Craggy Range is without doubt one of New Zealand's most iconic, family-operated wine producers. Their estate properties include two of the most unique and sought-after sites across the country: Gimblett Gravels in the Northern Island's Hawke's Bay and the Te Muna Terrace, outside the Southern Island Village of Martinborough. Dedicated to producing fundmentally distinctive wines of character and place, Craggy Range creates worldclass wines that show the beauty and power of New Zealand wine.

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Price: $19.99

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By: Thomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/4/2019 | Send Email
This a wine that is surprising, exciting, and exceptional, year after year after year. I am thrilled to see that people are starting to take notice of this wine for what it is and giving it the credit it deserves. For a New World Cabernet-based blend, it definitely skews more Bordeaux than Napa. Blackfruits, cassis and spice give this an incredibly attractive nose, that hides deeper elements of iron, sage and savory. A dense and concentrated element of fruit is present on the palate, with more acidity than you would generally expect, but in away that is totally welcoming. The tannin structure is likewise big, ensuring that you can stash this away for years and watch it improve--a pretty tall order for a Hawke’s Bay Bordeaux Blend. But with a quick decant and a little air in the glass the tannin soften beautifully and the fruit opens up, and you are left with a staggeringly delicious wine.

By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/10/2019 | Send Email
Hawke's Bay has long produced some of the best Bordeaux grape varieties and Craggy Range some of the best renditions of those grapes. Polished and supple, the flavors of cassis, mint and wild berries roll across the palate with seamless structure. The framework of the wine should allow many years of enjoyment but that gorgeous mouthfeel says I'm going home for a steak dinner tonight!

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/10/2019 | Send Email
I'm so delighted this wine got the huge score it deserves! Te Kahu has been a long time favorite here at K&L...we've been raving on about the Gimblett Gravels region in New Zealand for quite some time now. Indeed in previous years the big brother of this wine - Craggy's $70 "Sophia" bottling has enjoyed huge critical acclaim (even a 100pt score), while Te Kahu has slipped under the radar, known only to those clued in it's ridiculous value and consistency. But now the cat is out of the bag as it were, and we had to fight to get a good allocation of this highly pointed vintage of Te Kahu. For those unfamiliar with the Gimblett Gravels growing region the best European equivalent is Pessac-Léognan in Bordeaux (home to Chateaux such as Haut-Brion, Smith Haut-Lafitte, Pape Clement, Domaine de Chevalier). The soils are extremely rocky, 30 feet of pure riverbed gravel for the vine roots to penetrate. The resulting wines have powerful fruit and structure, with distinctive mineral undertones. Try this wine with grilled rack of NZ lamb and you'll be in your happy place!
Top Value!

By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/9/2019 | Send Email
The nose of this wine bends towards Bordeaux with a savory, pencil lead, cedar box aromatic. On the palate the wine shows lots of weight, supple and round without being heavy, only 13.5%abv. and a bit of soft tannins. Lots of barrel spice to go with the earthy character and the wine finishes with a bit of grip, definitely a grilled meat wine.

By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/2/2019 | Send Email
Craggy Range has always been one of the top producers in the Gimblett Gravels, the premier spot for Bordeaux varietals in New Zealand. The fact that you can get a wine as complex and intricate as this for $20 is still mind-blowing to me. The rocky soils push the vines to their limit and help produce great concentration and nuance. Definitely more Bordeaux than American Cab in style, this wine is earthy, spicy, and a true magnifying glass into this unique region.
Top Value!

By: Elsa Baez | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/27/2019 | Send Email
A tasty and crowd-pleasing under $20 Bordeaux Blend...you can't beat that! Plum, fennel, undertones of minerality all coming together with elegance and complexity. What a remarkable value! Perfect for events or weeknight dinners.

By: Alex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/27/2019 | Send Email
I am happy to report that this sub $20 Bordeaux blend is very deserving of its high critical scores. Merlot dominant, it has rich, plummy fruit with hints of mint and licorice, gravelly minerals and an overall refinement and elegance worthy of a much higher price point. If rich, elegant, Bordeaux style wines ever make it to your dinner table, then this is one worth stocking up on. After tasting, one probably will not be enough.

By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/27/2019 | Send Email
The old and the new world meet in this excellent, clean, gentle Bordeaux blend from the famous Gimblett Gravels in Hawkes Bay. It has dark, plummy fruit, very nice medium body, and best of all, round tannins and bright acidity. This is a long finishing, fine wine that will go great with a grilled steak or better yet, a piece of New Zealand lamb!
Drink from 2019 to 2026

By: Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/27/2019 | Send Email
Some of the finest Bordeaux blends in the world don't come from Bordeaux, but from the Gimblett Gravels in Hawke's Bay. Te Kahu has all the wonderful richness and intensity of fruit you'd expect from the new world, but the lively minerality and zippy acidity more common in France's finest. The real kicker here is the price tag. For just 20 bucks, Te Kahu from Craggy Range delivers well beyond its price point. Build to age, but ready to crack open today, the versatility of this wine is remarkably.

Additional Information:


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