Gold Medal – New Zealand Wine of the Year Awards 2019
74% Merlot & 26% Cabernet Sauvignon
Winery notes (2016 Vintage)
"Church Road Grand Reserve wines are produced only in exceptional vintages. The very best low-cropping vineyard blocks are targeted for selective hand-harvesting to yield wines with the greatest possible flavour, depth and concentration. In the winery these wines are made using small batch, traditional winemaking techniques that emphasise texture, structure and subtle complexity, while still letting the fruit shine through.
A complex array of dense plum and berry fruits with subtle spice and violet-like floral aromas are complimented by savoury, earthy and dark chocolate undertones derived from barrel maturation and a traditional, 'old-world approach' to winemaking. On the palate, the wine is rich and powerful with a backbone of fine, ripe tannins bringing linearity and structure. This is a serious, multidimensional wine."
Reviews for the 2015 vintage below…
5 Stars Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review, July 2019 (2015 Vintage)
"The Church Road Grande Reserve Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 is a blend of 85% merlot and 15% cabernet sauvignon from the Bridge Pa and Gimblett Gravels subregions. A rich, fleshy and reasonably dense red with a core of sweet plum and dark fruits together with a hint of chocolate/mocha with a savoury edge. A serious red."
5 Stars Michael Cooper (2015 Vintage)
"The powerful, classy, fragrant 2015 vintage was blended from Merlot (86 per cent) and Cabernet Sauvignon (14 per cent), grown in the Bridge Pa Triangle and Gimblett Gravels, and was French oak-aged for 20 months. The colour is dark and youthful; the palate is robust and well-structured, with blackcurrant, plum and spice flavours, showing excellent freshness, ripeness and concentration, good tannin backbone, and a long future ahead. Best drinking 2022+."
95/100 NWWA (2015 Vintage)
"From one of the oldest wineries in the country and developed by winemaking pioneer Tom McDonald, this is a wine to celebrate his vision and persistence in following his dream. As a 19yr old, Tom was left to look after the winery while its owner Bartholomew Steinmetz returned to his native Luxenbourg in the 1920’s. Steinmetz never returned and Tom McDonald subsequently bought the winery and focused on producing red wines of excellence, all by the age of 19 years. In the following 50 years Tom championed the Cabernet Sauvignon variety and one hopes he would be proud of the wines coming from the site of his original vineyard. Dense dark red fruits with notes of blackcurrant jam, rich tannins and smoky oak creates a captivating nose. The palate is rich and opulent with black fruity and a touch of liquorice, a full-bodied wine with length and finesse."