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C.J. Pask Winery Gimblett Road Cabernet Sauvignon 1998
Chris Pask pioneered grape plantings at Gimblett Road, Hawkes Bay in 1982. The winery now owns and manages 60 hectares of established vineyard in Gimblett Road, arguably the leading viticultural site in New Zealand. The company also has a further 20 hectares, to be developed in the medium term, affording flexibility to future production. Four main blocks are planted at Gimblett Road, on the old riverbed of the Ngaruroro River. The soil profile is typically, fine river silt over free draining shingle which supports premium vine growth exceptionally well.
Three distinct ranges are produced by C J Pask winery, they are predominately estate grown, elegant styles displaying clearly defined fruit characters. The aim of these different ranges is to meet the market demands, nationally and internationally of varying price points, and winestyles, with quality that exceeds expectations. The Reserve Range are produced in limited quantities only when the fruit quality is exceptional. The Gimblett Road Range and Roys Hill Range are produced in commercial quantities in very consistent styles from vintage to vintage.
The Gimblett Road region lies on the old Ngaruroro riverbed, the free draining shingle combined with the silt soils tend to increase soil temperature and to reflect the sun onto the grapes during the day. The region has its own micro climate with Roys Hill blocking the prevailing winds and cloud formation, the heat retention effectively means a different categorisation from the "cool climate" definition used for the broader New Zealand wine industry. The consequences are an extending of the ripening process and fruit characteristics of the wine CJ Pask being a genuine estate grown producer from only the Gimblett Road site, with integrated Viticulture, Production, Winemaking and Marketing resources ensure that the opportunities of Gimblett Road are reflected in the final product.
A relatively young but extremely promising wine-producing country, New Zealand is widely recognized for distinctive, aromatic Sauvignon Blanc. While this is indeed the country’s most planted and successful variety, it is certainly not the only one that is capable of delighting wine lovers—and in a very wallet-friendly manner, at that. The world’s most southerly vineyards are found here, with significant climatic variation both between and within the warmer North Island and the cooler South Island. Overall, the climate is maritime, with plenty of rainfall as well as abundant sunshine. Producers have almost unilaterally embraced cutting-edge winery technology, resulting in clean, high-quality wines at every price point.
Sauvignon Blanc is at its best in Marlborough but thrives throughout the nation, known for its trademark herbaceous and vegetal character. This pungent, aromatic variety accounts for an overwhelming majority of the country’s exports. Chardonnay is the second-most important white variety and takes on a supple texture and citrus and tropical fruit aromas in Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay, respectively. Pinot Noir, trailing behind Sauvignon Blanc in national production numbers, is at its best in Central Otago, the southernmost winegrowing region in the world. These wines are known for bright, juicy red fruit. Taking cues from the wines of Alsace, aromatic varieties like Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Gewürztraminer shine in Martinborough, while red Bordeaux varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot have found success in Hawke’s Bay. Throughout New Zealand but especially in Marlborough, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are used to produce traditional method sparkling wine.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.
In the Glass
High in color, tannin, and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice, and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.
Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb, and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.
Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.