Craggy Range Single Vineyard Syrah, Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay

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Craggy Range Gimblett Gravels Syrah is a red wine made by in New Zealand. Gimblett Gravels is perhaps New Zealand’s premier red wine growing region. The Gimblett Gravels are what remains of the Omahu Channel of the Ngaruroro River riverbed which dramatically changed course after the 1876 floods depositing the famous gravels. The old riverbed comprises the 800 hectares of Gimblett Gravels and is composed of (unsurprisingly) gravels and heavy sands with a thin layer of silt, it is highly infertile and free draining. Gimblett Gravels is located some 15 kms inland and is therefore not subject to the same cooling coastal winds as many of the other Hawke’s Bay growing regions which means it gets pretty hot. This combined with heat retention of the Gimblett Gravels stone also means the ground gets quite hot too. This creates a significantly warmer meso-climate. All this creates quite low vigour vineyards where the vines put all their effort into ripening grapes rather than vegetative growth. The low water table also means that irrigation is necessary, certainly when establishing vineyards, and a certain amount to manage established vineyards. The first Syrah in Gimblett Gravels was planted in 1993 and account for only 7% of red grape plantings, but produces some great wines with Craggy Range being one of the best. Once known as the “Block 14” Syrah, the Gimblett Gravels Syrah is now a wine made using multiple parcels from the vineyard. The blending of these different parcels combine to create a wine that is truly distinct and appealing. The vines originate from a Heritage clone of Syrah brought to New Zealand approximately 150 years ago. It produces a wine with an aromatic lift of floral and pepper aromatics and a lushness and denseness on the palate combined with fresh and fine natural acidity. Aged 17 months in French Oak Barriques.

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