Sunday, March 25, 2012

Craggy Range Syrah

Without doubt, Craggy Range has been a large part of the increasing reputation of New Zealand Shiraz. The Gimblett Gravels at Hawkes Bay is the best Shiraz growing area in New Zealand. While the stones keep the daytime temperatures longer into the night, thereby creating a great ripening environment, the wines would still be classified as cool climate Shiraz.

Therefore I was confident to open the 2002 Craggy Range Gimblett Gravels Block 14 Shiraz after ten years. The bouquet smells beautifully of forest berries, and this carries onto the palate. This is a medium bodied wine, full of blackberry and blueberry flavours.There are savoury and earthy tones as well. The oak is well integrated, and the tannins are fine grained. However, on the back palate, the wine falls off a bit.

Overall, this is an excellent wine, great with meat dishes, and not even Craggy Range's best Shiraz. The wine is more complex, yet still fresh, than a number of years ago. I think it will stay at this level for at least 3-5 years.

Score: 93/++

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