Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay2013
5 STARS 97/100
5 STARS 19.5/20
The "Arthur Edmund” series signifies the prestige icon wines of Mills Reef, produced in limited edition in only exceptional vintages.
They are the finest examples from great vineyard sites paired to ideally suited grape varieties, of low yielding vines, climatically exceptional growing seasons, hand harvested and with minimal-intervention winemaking to craft wines with unique excitement and a distinct sense of place.
The vineyards for this prestige wine are located within the famed Gimblett Gravels Winegrowing District, an area renowned for producing world-class full-bodied red wines, and described by internationally respected wine critic James Halliday as "... not just a very special parcel, it is a sacred site”.
The grapes were stringently selected from the very best vineyard rows, on the best soils and of the oldest vines, with exceptionally low yields of just 3-4 bunches per vine.
Further, the 2013 growing season in the Gimblett Gravels is widely acclaimed as the ‘vintage of a lifetime’. Perfect in every way, yielding a long warm even climate, without heat waves or cold spells, a nice dappling of well-timed rainfall to stave off excessive vine stress, and a long warm finish which allowed the grapes to be picked unhurried at optimal ripeness and profile. A benchmark growing season !
The Syrah grapes were sourced from our highly regarded Mere Road (50%) and Trust (50%) vineyards, just 1.3 km apart. Hand-picking occurred at ideal ripeness between April 20th - 24th at 22 Brix average. Each parcel was kept separate, destemmed and transferred to fermentation vessels (Mere Road – integrale barrels, Trust –open-top fermenter). Crushing was effected under the grapes’ own natural weight and cold-soaked for two days. Fermentation was thereafter initiated, with the French integrale barrels rotated twice daily and the open-top fermenter hand-plunged twice daily.
Post fermentation, the parcels were allowed 14-20 days alcohol soak to attain optimal tannin structure, before being gently pressed off skins and transferred to barrel in our underground cellar for 20 months élevage in quality French (Mere Road parcel) and American(Trust parcel) oak barrels, all 100% new 300 litre hogsheads. With just one racking throughout, there was minimal disturbance to the wines to allow natural gravity settling and clarification to occur.
A rigorous barrel tasting process was then undertaken to select the ideal barrel components for the final blend and wine style, lightly egg-white fined and bottled unfiltered on the 30th of January 2015.
A symphony of luscious blackcurrant, brambly black fruits, pepper spice, and delightful rose petal fragrance, the palate is a finely tuned performance of texture, power and grace, with velvety smooth tannins and deliciously intense fruit in perfect harmony, rising to a sustained liquorice finale.
Crafted to evolve over many years, attaining ever-greater complexity, we recommend cellaring in a low-light environment at a steady 13 degrees Celsius and 75% humidity.