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Craggy Range Te Kahu Gimblett Gravels 2008

Bordeaux Red Blends from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
  • RP92
14% ABV
  • JS93
  • W&S92
  • RP90
  • W&S92
  • WS90
  • W&S91
  • WE90
  • RP92
  • WE90
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2.5 2 Ratings
14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Very dark color. Blackberry, cinnamon, sandalwood, and oyster shell like minerality mesh for an intense and complex aromatic profile. Layers of fine tannin lend tension to the opulent fruit flavors and provide the framework for the long and intense finish.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2008 Te Kahu Gimblett Gravels Vineyard is a blend of 64% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Malbec matured in 48% new oak for 18 months. It has an introverted bouquet with blackberry leaf, cassis, damson, vanilla and a touch of blueberry that unfurls nicely in the glass. The palate is tannic and very well defined, a captivating symmetry here with an irresistible velvety finish that lingers long after the wine has bid adieu. Although it already shows considerable breeding, it will offer more later. Drink 2014-2022+.
Rating: 92+
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Craggy Range

Craggy Range Winery

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Craggy Range Winery, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
2008 Te Kahu Gimblett Gravels
Craggy Range is a family owned winery established in 1997 named by U.S publication Wine Enthusiast magazine as New World Winery of the Year for 2014. It is situated in the shadow of the spectacular Te Mata Peak in the premium wine growing area of Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. Based on the single vineyard philosophy of winemaking, Craggy Range was the first in the Southern Hemisphere to make single vineyard wines from multiple New Zealand regions with grape varieties matched to place. The winery produces a portfolio of quality wines including the iconic Prestige and Family collections, as well as Limited Editions all reflecting the place and the people.

The grapes, grown in exceptional winery-owned New Zealand estate vineyards in Hawke’s Bay, Martinborough and Marlborough, are selected for their special soils and unique climates producing wines of character, quality and authority. The architecturally inspired Giants winery complex and vineyard is also home to the Craggy Range Cellar Door and the award winning restaurant Terroir at Craggy Range. Nestled amongst the vines, the four Craggy Range Vineyard Cottages offer self-contained boutique accommodation.

Hawkes Bay

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An eclectic region on the east coast of the North Island, the Hawkes Bay region extends from wide, fertile, coastal plains consisting of alluvial and gravel soils, inland, to the coast range with peaks as high as 5,300 feet. While the flatter areas were historically more popular because they are easier to cultivate, soils can be too fertile for vines. In the late 20th century, a drive for quality led growers to the hills where soils are free-draining, limestone-rich and more suited to producing high quality wines.

Over the passing of time, the old Ngaruroro River laid down deep, gravelly beds, which were subsequently exposed after a huge flood in the 1860’s. In the 1980s growers identified this stretch, which continues for approximately 800 ha, and named it the Gimblett Gravels. The zone has proven to be ideal for the production of excellent red wines, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah.

Today the area takes well-earned recognition for its Bordeaux blends and other reds. Expressive of intense stewed red and black berry with gentle herbaceous characters, Gimblett Gravels wines are suggestive of their cool climate origin, and on par with other top-notch Bordeaux blends around the globe.

Chardonnay is the top white grape in Hawkes Bay, making elegant wines, strong in stone fruit character. Sauvignon blanc comes in close behind, notable for its tropical, fruit forward qualities.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

RRM81041_2008 Item# 105207