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.

90 Points
Wine Spectator
2014 vintage
93 Points
Wine Advocate
2014 vintage
Harvest Note
The 2014 season started very favorably with noticeably warmer conditions experienced in spring and early summer compared to the district average. Phenology in Pinot Noir was 5-7 days ahead and above average temperatures along with rainfall promoted vigorous, healthy early vine growth. In December, conditions cooled somewhat closer to normal and rainfall returned to near average, which provided ideal conditions around flowering and fruitset. Fruitset was close to perfect due to warm, settled dry conditions resulting in uniform berry-set in all major varieties and above average bunch weights. This prompted some intensive early crop thinning to keep the vines in balance. Ideal dry conditions persisted into February and March, which resulted in canopy growth in favor of fruit development. These cooler conditions persisted into February and March, which resulted in phenology returning to normal while preserving the delicate acidity and fruit freshness. Harvest commenced on the 27th of March and was completed for all varieties on the 7th of April, our earliest finish to date. A memorable vintage.
Tasting Note
Darkest red. Brooding aromatically with blackcurrant, blackberry, dried red rose and cedar notes emerging. The wine exerts elegance across the palate with a pure red /black fruit core drawn long by layers of fine grained tannins.
Food Pairing
An excellent companion to roast beef and steak as well as lamb dishes.
Technical Data
GRAPES: 61% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Cabernet Franc
PH: 3.68
ACIDITY: 5.7 g/L
ABV: 13.8%
AGING: Matured for 19 months in closed top French oak cuves
Unique Selling Points
  • 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

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.
Petit Verdot
Petit Verdot makes a dark, firmly structured, tannic wine with superbly balancing acidity, and fresh, full flavors and aromas of spice, pepper and black fruits with notes of violets.
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