Selected for Gimblett Gravels 2016 Annual Selection Dozen
58% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Franc & 19% Cabernet Sauvignon
Winery notes (2016 Vintage)
"A refined and elegant hand-crafted merlot dominant blend that represents both the vigneron’s art and inherent understanding of the land, ensuring ‘Sophia’ is the finest expression of the terroir and the people. ‘Sophia’, meaning ‘wisdom’ in greek mythology, pays tribute to the goddess of knowledge and experience, information and understanding – a philosophy adopted by our winemakers and viticulturists when creating this wine.
Deep darkest red. Aromatically complex with notes of ripe dark plum, violets, an autumnal forest and a touch of smoke. The wine exhibits great focus and intensity with fine tannins layered through a core of dark fruit. The wine carries a real seriousness that underlies its youthful charm."
96/100 Gary Walsh, The Wine Front, June 2018 (2016 Vintage)
"Wow. This is polished and perfect. Blackberry, tobacco, black olive, mocha, pencil and dried herb. Medium to full-bodied, graphite/mineral thing here, with depth and density, an elegant succulence, ripe and supple tannin pushing through, a raspberry and floral mouth-perfume, length and precision. A stand out."
5 Stars Michael Cooper (2016 Vintage)
"This is Craggy Range's premier Merlot-based red. The 2016 vintage is a Gimblett Gravels, Hawke's Bay blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, hand-picked and matured for 18 months in French oak barriques (45 per cent new). Dark and purple-flushed, it is weighty and highly concentrated, with youthful, very vibrant plum, spice and blackcurrant flavours, oak complexity, and a finely textured finish. It's still a baby; open 2021+. (There is no 2017.)"
5 Stars & 95/100 Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review (2016 Vintage)
"A blend of merlot (58%), cabernet franc (23%) and cabernet sauvignon (19%). Plump, fleshy but structured. Vibrant acidity and tannins balancing fruit and alcohol sweetness. Weighty, textural wine with plum, subtle floral, liquorice, wood smoke and anise flavours."
95/100 Jamie Goode, June 2019 (2016 Vintage)
"Aromatic and sweetly fruited, this shows a lovely concentration of ripe red fruits with some fresh blackcurrant. Very expressive with sweet fruit, good definition, and sleek red fruits with good structure that suggests this wine has a long life ahead of it. Superb stuff."
94/100 Cameron Douglas MS (2016 Vintage)
"Distinctive almost powerful bouquet with an attractive dense, rich plum and black fruits core, plenty of spicy toasty oak, dark baking spices and wood smoke. Dry, bold, oaky and fruity on the palate with significant tannins and equal acidity – a tense and youthful texture package contrasted by ripe berry fruits flavours, sweet oak and loads of complexity. Really lovely wine holding onto its signature of softness from Merlot and an iron-fisted of Cabernet. Lengthy finish – drink now if decanted, best from 2020 through 2030."
5 Stars & 19.0+/20 (95) Raymond Chan, September 2018 (2016 Vintage)
"Full, even, impenetrable black-hued red colour with purple hues on the edge, youthful in appearance. The nose is fine in proportion with a tight and stylish core of ripe blackberry and black plum fruit aromas, along with blackcurrants and subtle cassis and dark herb notes. This is beautifully soft and refined in expression, and the componentry is harmoniously interwoven. With aeration, fragrant, spicy and cedary oak notes emerge. Full-bodied, the palate has rich, vibrant and lively, mouthfilling flavours of sweet and spicy black plums and blackberry fruit along with notes of blackcurrants, cassis, redcurrants and a layering of dark herbs. The rich and sweet fruit forms a well-concentrated, but rounded core, and the fruit is supported by very fine-grained tannin structure, with light acid vibrancy. As the wine flows, spices, nuts and cedary oak emerge to add to the richness and dimension, and lead to a long, concentrated finish. This is a rich and vibrant, mouthfilling Merlot-based wine with plum and currant flavours on a fulsome palate revealing complexing spice, nutty and oak elements. Match with roasted lamb, beef and venison over the next 10-15 years. Hand-picked fruit, a blend of 58% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Franc and 19% Cabernet Sauvignon, fermented to 13.3% alc., the wine aged 18 months in 45% new French oak barriques."