Saturday, July 4, 2009

Craggy Range Sophia

A few posts ago, I disagreed with most reviewers about the merits of the 2007 Te Mata Coleraine and claimed that Craggy Range is now the pre-eminent red wine producer of New Zealand. Today, I had the opportunity to taste the 2007 Craggy Range Sophia, which is a Merlot/Cabernet Franc blend, probably closest to the Coleraine in terms of grape composition.

This wine is grown on the famous Gimblett Gravels and it shows. This is a big wine with strong upfront red- and blackcurrant flavours. The wine has great mouthfeel and the smooth aspects of the Merlot get overtaken by the Cabernet Franc as the wine moves towards the back palate. The wine finishes with strong, but controlled tannins.

The wine is drinkable now, but will develop more complexity over time. This is a bold statement and I feel the wine incorporates all the ripeness the sun and special terroir can give it. The alcohol is 14.5% and might be too big for some, but I feel the fruit can carry it.

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