The fruit for Te Kahu is grown in the Hawkes Bay Gimblett Gravels Vineyard, which has one of the warmest, driest, most sundrenched climates in New Zealand. Stony gravel in the soil forces the vines to fight for water, giving the grapes a particular vibrancy. Fruit is hand harvested and destemmed before undergoing fermentation in stainless steel tanks. The wine is matured in oak barriques before bottling.

94 Points
jamessuckling.com
2018 vintage
93 Points
jamessuckling.com
2016 vintage
Tasting Note

Blackberry, cinnamon, and minerals mesh for an intense and complex aroma and flavor profile. Layers of fine tannin lend tension to the opulent fruit flavors and provide the framework for the long and intense finish.

Food Pairing

Terrific paired with red meat dishes.

Unique Selling Points
  • This opulent Bordeaux blend has profound blackberry and briar aromas with cedar and tobacco notes, lush dark berry flavors, noble tannins and an extended finish.
  • Gimblett Gravels has a unique location, climate conditions and stony soils that combine to make it the warmest vineyard area in the country.
  • Red wines from the Gimblett Gravels vineyard have a rich, ripe and elegant style, and fine tannins.

Vineyard Details

Gimblett Gravels Vineyard
Within Hawke's Bay there are pockets of austere, gravelly soil perfectly suited to Bordeaux varieties. Gimblett Gravels, an 850-hectare region, is the warmest vineyard area in the country. Average summer temperatures are only a degree or two cooler than Napa's Oakville district. The warmth is enhanced by rock beds over 90 feet deep which act as incubators at night, releasing heat absorbed from the sun during the day. The effect is a terroir in which Cabernet, and particularly Merlot, consistently achieve a level of ripeness seldom attainable elsewhere in New Zealand. In the Gimblett Gravels region, Craggy Range has carved out the 100-hectare Gimblett Gravels Vineyard for red and white Bordeaux varieties and Syrah. The narrow-row vine architecture is planted to a very intensive density of between 1,400 and 2,100 vines per acre, with several plots trained low to the ground to benefit completely from the thermal conductivity and reflectiveness of the soils. Extensive deep soil preparations encourage deeply rooted vines to reach veins of sand, silt and clay immersed far into the gravel, and drip irrigation is applied only when required. Thirty-six varietal plots have been matched to the variations in depth and texture of the gravelly soils of the meandering old stream beds of the Ngaruroro River.

About the Grape

Merlot
Merlot makes plump, succulent wines to drink young or opulently massive wines for aging. Has silky, blackberry and currant fruit, with spice, earth, tobacco and chocolate notes, and soft tannins.
Cabernet Franc
Cabernet Franc usually shows tart red cherry and wild currant aromas and flavors with an herbal, spicy character. In the Loire, esp. Chinon and Saumur-Champigny, this grape shows firm minerality.
Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon is adaptable to various growing conditions, and is known for its low yield and late ripeness. It generally produces full-bodied wines with substantial acidity and tannins.
Malbec
Well-made Malbec is a dark, perfumed wine with rich, blackberry and damson plum fruit, aromas of violets and tobacco, and ripe, juicy tannins. In France, may be mineral, structured and austere.
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