14 October 2009

Craggy Range 2007 Gimblett Gravels Merlot

As there are now quite a few Kiwi readers (although that may well change after this week), I thought we should head across the ditch. To the big En-Zed. Shabang-a-bang. Call it whatever you like. (To assist our vowel-challenged cuzzy-bros, a translation is available here.)

Craggy Range cellar door sits under the incredibly picturesque Te Mata peak (ie the Craggy Range) in the Hawkes Bay region of NZ. The mountains are magnificent. The rivers run an outrageous shade of azure. And the sheep are so fluffy, they look just about ready to up and float away.

The vineyards of Craggy Range sit on the banks of the Tukituki River, and benefit from a pedological phenomenon known locally as the Gimblett Gravels. The stoney soils have proved to be New Zealand’s answer to the famous Bordeaux terroir - the loose stones holding the spring-time heat, and facilitating the early ripening of the fruit. The overall result is rich, slightly sweet reds, that are low in acidity.

Craggy has an extensive range (many more expensive than this Merlot), and I urge you to give them a try. But the Craggy Gimblett Gravels Merlot sits mid-range and is a cracker.

It sits lucently in the glass, rimmed by a halo of blushing, rubescent glory. It smacks of a cinnamon donut, dunked in a double espresso. And gee whiz, this girl’s got legs – and, boy, does she know how to use them.

In the mouth it is so thick and rich, you could well stick a knife in it and spread it on toast. It is smooth, silky, full of fruit, and quite simply sweet-as, Bro.

I usually like to drink merlot with nice, fresh pasta. But given this merlot’s provenance, it would be a travesty not to team it with some lovely, lamby shanks.

They say it will last ten years in the cellar. I say, good luck!

Rating: 8.5
Drink with: NZ's national emblem
Price: $40

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