Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc & Tempranillo
Who are Smith & Sheath?
"We are in the business of creating great wines that bring great pleasure. Pleasure that comes from consuming great wine made by fine people to be shared with good friends. As contemporary negociants Steve Smith and Brian Sheth seek out the exceptional. We have made the most of over 35 years of experience with the growers and makers of New Zealand – forging relationships, hand selecting the best parcels from exceptional vineyards only, then nurturing, blending and bottling these wines. Establishing steadfast relationships with the land, growers and makers who form the DNA of our CRU.
The french call it terroir – a sense of place. In New Zealand we have our own defining word – turangawaewae – our place to stand in the world – it describes the special connection of a people and the land they live, love and work in. Our wines reflect the magic and alchemy of this relationship and the true beauty of these places. CRU has been chosen to collect these wines under one banner as it is the only word that exists that means “vineyards of exceptional quality.”
Each wine also has the Maori designation that relates to its whenua (land) origins. The labels have a unique design embossed within that represent the genomes sequence of the grape varieties we are working with. The DNA that is natural to the vine and to the vineyard ecosystem is reflected in each and every wine we make. Our names, Steve Smith and Brian Sheth, are the assurance of a wine that will give inordinate pleasure. Let us share with you the pleasure, culture and craft of our wine."
Winery notes (2016 Vintage)
"A deep, intense ruby red colour with complex dark red fruits predominant on the nose. A beautiful meld of spicy berry aromas with liquorice and sweet oak in the background. The three varieties in this wine complement each other in both aroma and palate. The Cabernet Sauvignon delivers power and structure, the Tempranillo, juiciness and flesh with the Cabernet Franc adding aromatic lift and freshness. A unique Hawkes Bay blend with the structure that will allow it to age for at least 10 years."
5 Stars Michael Cooper (2016 Vintage)
"Retasted in early 2019, the very elegant 2016 vintage is a Hawke's Bay blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Tempranillo, hand-picked in the Gimblett Gravels and matured for 18 months in oak barriques (40 per cent new). Named after the Spanish word for quarry (cantera), it has deep, still purple-flushed colour. Mouthfilling and vibrant, with fresh, concentrated, blackcurrant, plum and spice flavours, oaky, savoury notes adding complexity, and a moderately firm, sustained finish, it is a finely poised, youthful wine, well worth cellaring to 2021+."
5 Stars & 95/100 Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review, April 2019 (2016 Vintage)
"A blend of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and tempranillo that is inspired by the red wines of Spain. Elegant red with black currant, dark berry, black pepper, subtle violet and spicy oak flavours. A fine-boned and rather linear red that’s approachable now but should develop well in bottle."
5 Stars & 95/100 Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, March 2019 (2016 Vintage)
"A wonderful blend of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and tempranillo, the wine is opulent yet refined, showing dark plum, mixed berry compote, game, cedar and warm spice aromas on the nose, followed by a succulent palate that is plump and fleshy. The wine offers layers of fine texture with impressive complexity, finishing long and expansive. At its best: now to 2026."
94/100 Cameron Douglas MS, April 2019 (2016 Vintage)
"This is a blended red wine from Hawkes Bay fruit led by Cabernet Sauvignon, Franc and Tempranillo. The nose shows off aromas of power and substance with a youthful core of dark berries, spices, tobacco and smoky wood. On the palate – even more youthful with bold tannins and acidity, plenty of oak, spice, raspberry, dark berries, olive and violets. All the elements are there for a wine to age and integrate over the next few years. Lengthy dry finish, raw energy and muscle. Decant for service before 2022 with best drinking from 2022 through 2030."
93/100 Jamie Goode, October 2019 (2016 Vintage)
"A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Tempranillo. Sophisticated black cherry and blackcurrant nose. Supple and rounded with fine texture. Sophisticated and fine with nice weight. Supple and expressive."