Elephant Hill is all about quality. From their award winning restaurant (now closed), winery building and of course to their wines. We just love the Le Phant Rouge because it's just so deliciously drinkable with gorgeous fruit and a lovely spice element coming through from the Syrah. All up it's a juicy, round and mouthfilling blend that shows Hawkes Bay red at its accessible best.
Winery notes (2018 Vintage)
"The 2018 Le Phant Rouge is a Hawke’s Bay red blend made up predominately of Merlot and Malbec from our Gimblett Gravels and Bridge Pa Triangle vineyards. The grapes were carefully de-stemmed to open top steel cuves and fermented over a fourteen day period. The wine went through malolactic fermentation with minimal handling and light oak elevage for 12 months.
It is a medium-bodied Merlot dominant blend displaying cassis, plum and red cherry characters with a succulent texture and great finish. Savoury bouquet and palate with smokey oak, rosemary and star anise with soft undertones of leather. Very soft but warming white pepper notes that warm and compliment the silky tannin to complete a rounded mouth feel."
Rated Excellent & 92/100 Cameron Douglas MS, May 2021 (2018 Vintage)
"Aromas and flavours of wild forest berries, plums, savoury bitter chocolate, black currant and toasty wood spices of oak. Youthful and quite complex. On the palate – vibrant, tense and very engaging with texture from firm chalky tannins and medium+ acidity, a core of light and dark red berry fruits that reflect the nose, toasty barrel spices with clove and vanilla then sour raspberry and black cherry. A lovely wine that should be enjoyed with food. Best drinking from 2022 through 2028."
4 Stars Michael Cooper (2018 Vintage)
"The 2018 vintage is a full-coloured blend of Merlot (principally), Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon, grown in the Gimblett Gravels (80 per cent) and the Bridge Pa Triangle (20 per cent). Handled with 'minimal' oak, it is mouthfilling, fresh and supple, with generous, ripe, plummy, spicy flavours, gentle tannins and a smooth, very harmonious finish. Drinking well now, it's still youthful and likely to be at its best 2023+."
91/100 Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, April 2021 (2018 Vintage)
"Delightfully fruited and inviting with dark plum, blackcurrant, dried herb and almond characters, it's succulent and supple displaying rounded mouthfeel and fine texture. Well structured by fine chalky tannins, finishing delicately dry and persistent. At its best: now to 2025."
5 Stars & 18.5+/20 (94) Candice Chow, Raymond Chan Review, May 2021 (2018 Vintage)
"Deep, inky ruby-red with a purple hue, slightly lighter on the rim. The nose is packed with intensity, mealy aromas of ripe plums, blackberries, entwined with minty herbs, cedar and spice development. Medium-full bodied, nuances of dark plums, blackberries have concentration and depth, cedar unfolds along with cloves, nutmeg spices and rich herbs. The warming palate has ample tannin extraction, fine-grained and savoury, contributed to the body and grip. The ripeness of fruit density and oak complexity grows with a hint of dark chocolate attraction, left a mealy finish. This is a succulent red blend with brilliant ripeness and concentration, oak details and cedar interest at an amazing value. Match with grilled marbling meat and meat stew over the next 6-8 years. Fruit sourced from 80% Gimblett Gravels, 20% Bridge Pa, predominately Merlot and Malbec, destemmed, fermented in open-top steel cuves over 14 days to 13% alc, aged in oak for 12 months."