Top New Zealand Hawkes Bay Reds - in Youth and Maturity

12th Jun 2014 6:30pm to 8:30pm

This is a tasting which I am delighted to be able to put on, because I love the wines, and it will show just how good the best New Zealand reds are even when young, and also how beautifully they age. We tasted the fine New Zealand Pinot Noirs not so long ago, these are pure Syrah, and Bordeaux Blends based on Merlot, Cabernets, Malbec. We will taste wines from 2010 back via 2008 and 2006 to four fully mature wines from the outstanding 1999 and, especially, 1998 vintages. Gorgeous wines from six of New Zealand’s finest Hawkes Bay producers: Craggy Range (a Merlot based, plus a Cabernet Sauvignon based wine), Mills Reef, Trinity Hill, Unison, Esk Valley,  Sileni.  The first four will show the quality and potential of one of the country’s best red wine vineyard areas, Gimblett Gravels in Hawkes Bay.  


I would rank the quality of these wines right up with top level Northern Rhône or fine Classed Growth claret. I have a particular affection for the 1998 Sileni EV - their first vintage - because I was at a tasting of the barrel samples of component parts prior to blending in October 1998. And, whilst putting this tasting together, I came across my original 'in bottle' note of June 1999, to find that my description and score were almost identical to the two occasions on which I had it last year. A score of 17.5/18 .... Bordeaux Super Second level for me. The same goes for most of these.


If the Pinot Noir tasting is anything to go by this will sell out very rapidly.


2010 Mills Reef ‘Elspeth’, Gimblett Gravels Syrah

2010 Trinity Hill ‘Homage’, Gimblett Gravels Syrah


2008 Craggy Range ‘Sophia’, Gimblett Gravels Merlot-Cabs-Malbec

2008 Craggy Range ‘The Quarry’, Gimblett Gravels Cab. Sauvignon-Merlot-Cab.Franc


2006 Esk Valley ‘The Terraces’, Hawkes Bay Malbec-Merlot-Cab.Franc

1998 Esk Valley ‘The Terraces’, Hawkes Bay Malbec-Merlot-Cab.Franc


1999 Sileni ‘EV’, Hawkes Bay Merlot-Cab. Franc-Cab.Savuignon

1998 Sileni ‘EV’, Hawkes Bay Merlot-Cab.Franc-Cab.Sauvignon


1998 Unison ‘Selection’, Gimblett Gravels Merlot-Cab.Sauvignon-Syrah


9 wines, plus cheeses.  £89

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