Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay2007
(96/100) 5 STARS
The name "Elspeth One� signifies the triumphant union of five classic French varieties into one truly outstanding experience. The Mere Road single-vineyard designation encapsulates the very essence of Gimblett Gravels winegrowing with innovative winemaking. The grapes were handpicked with care between 13th April and 9th May 2007, at an average of 23.8� Brix.
On arrival at the winery they were destemmed, and the must cold soaked for up to 7 days for enhanced colour and flavour extraction. Fermentations in integrale barrel and closed stainless steel tanks were initiated with yeasts specially selected to highlight individual varietal expression. Post-ferment, the wines were macerated while still on skins for up to 15 days, when the winemaker deemed that the ideal tannin structure had been achieved. The wines were pressed then sent to premium French barrels, of which 40% was new wood. After 14 months, only barrels showing outstanding character were designated Elspeth One, and blended on 3rd September 2008. A light fining followed, and the wine pad filtered before bottling took place on 26th September 2008 under cork.
Elspeth One is produced only in extremely exceptional years. Powerful, yet refined, this Hawkes Bay red is a stellar varietal blend of 41% Syrah, 19% Cabernet Franc, 15% Malbec, 13% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Sauvignon. This stunning wine is rich and generous layered with sweet berry fruit over licorice, chocolate, cigar box and spice. Dark and brooding, yet elegant and seamless, this sumptuous wine is delicious now but will reward immensely with cellaring.