Sophia Gimblett Gravels Vineyard 2013

Craggy Range

Sophia Gimblett Gravels Vineyard 2013

Certified Sustainable, Organic or Biodynamic Green Certified

Region: New Zealand / Hawkes Bay
Grapes: 62% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot

Produced entirely from Craggy Range’s Gimblett Gravels Vineyard, nestled on the right bank of the Ngaruroro River, the 2011 Sophia is a blend of the very best Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc parcels of the vineyard. The grapes were hand harvested and destemmed before fermenting in closed stainless steel tanks. The wine then spent 19 months maturing in 37% new French barriques.

91 Points

2013 vintage
17.5 Points

2013 vintage
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harvest note

2013 was an ideal growing season, and the winery’s best one yet. A relatively mild budburst and flowering period established low-moderate crops in the Merlot and Chardonnay. More favorable conditions occurred during these early growth stages for Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. December and January were very dry and warm with a record number of days exceeding 86ºF during December. Hawke’s Bay plunged into a significant drought period. Water stress was delayed until January as the warm periods in December provided early indications of the vines wilting. No significant rains occurred throughout the growing season although there was some just after the onset of ripening. Overall rainfall was close to half of the long-term average. As usual in Hawke’s Bay, excessive heat was avoided as harvest approached and the retention of natural acidity without rapid sugar accumulation was achieved. Chardonnay harvest commenced on the 8th of March, Merlot on the 18th of March and Syrah on the 1st of April. Harvest was completed for all varieties on the 13th of April.

tasting note

Dark garnet colour. Beautifully lifted and complex aromas of spiced red fruits, crushed autumn leaves and sandalwood. Classically composed on the palate with fruit richness given length by balanced acidity and fine dusty tannins. Finishes elegant, dry and long.

food pairing

An excellent companion to roast beef and steak as well as lamb dishes.

technical data

GRAPES: 62% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot
PH: 3.61
ACIDITY: 5.9 g/l
ABV: 13.8%
AGING: Aged for 19 months in French oak barrells

points of distinction

  • The Gimblett Gravels Vineyard is widely regarded as New Zealand's best terroir for Bordeaux blends and Syrah.
  • In blind tastings, Sophia has repeatedly placed ahead of top First Growth Bordeaux.
  • Like southern Rhône vineyards, Gimblett Gravels is covered by stones that absorb the day's heat to radiate it at night, promoting exceptional ripeness.
  • about the grape +
Sq_cgr_winery Julian-grounds-230px

I am fortunate to lead an extraordinary group of people who want to be part of creating something truly magnificent that successive generations can admire and enjoy for years to come. I love our great estates and feel a strong connection to their complexities and subtleties.

– Julian Grounds, Winemaker

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