Ten years on, Gimblett Gravels annual vintage selection is still strong.
This month marks the 10th consecutive year that winemakers on the Gravels have commissioned an independent reviewer to come up with the best of the bunch.
The independent reviewer is Andrew Caillard, a Master of Wine based in Australia, who has selected six blended reds and six 100% Syrahs this time round.
The latest release is from the 2017 vintage, which began well with no frost in spring followed by a warm, dry summer with above average heat leading up to January. Low rainfall resulted in dry conditions and small crops but humidity late in the season was one factor that caused some to pick swiftly. Fortunately, it was at the end of the season and ripeness was already achieved. Sugar levels in the grapes was relatively low, which means alcohol levels are modest. My thoughts on the top wines will follow in coming weeks.
Interestingly, prices vary wildly. As do release dates of the wines. Many of them are on the market now while others have yet to be released. They are listed below.
Top 12 Gimblett Gravels 2017 reds
2017 Craggy Range Te Kahu $29.95
2017 Mission Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon $30
2017 Sacred Hill Special Selection Helmsman Cabernet Sauvignon $84.99
2017 Smith & Sheth Cru Cantera Cabernets Tempranillo $60
2017 Squawking Magpie SQM Cabernets Merlot $79
2017 Trinity Hill The Gimblett $40
2017 Elephant Hill Airavata Syrah $120
2017 Elephant Hill Stone Syrah $75
2017 Smith & Sheth Cru Heretaunga Syrah $40
2017 Squawking Magpie Gravels Syrah $33.95
2017 Trinity Hill Homage $145
2017 Vidal Estate Soler Syrah $34.99