From 15 year old vines grown on the Gimblett Gravels. A dark ‘velvety’ colour the wine has flavours of berry compote, florals, cocoa powder and an iodine hint. Quite plush in the mouth with fine dusty tannins. A great combination of ripeness and freshness.
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."
5 Stars Michael Cooper (2015 Vintage)
"Built for cellaring, the 2015 vintage is deep and bright in colour, with a fragrant, plummy, peppery bouquet. Full-bodied, it is clearly varietal, concentrated, savoury, complex and structured. Best drinking 2021+."
Reviews for the 2014 vintage below…
5 Stars & 96/100 Sam Kim, Wine Orbit, March 2018 (2014 Vintage)
"Dramatic and brooding, the splendidly fragrant bouquet displays dark fruit, smoked game, thyme, toasted almond and dark mushroom characters with subtle black olive and floral undertones. The palate is substantial and sumptuous, delivering awesome fruit weight and intensity, together with seductive savoury notes, wonderfully framed by loads of fine, chalky tannins. It is engaging, striking and astonishingly good. At its best: 2019 to 2028."
5 Stars & 18.5/20 Raymond Chan, March 2018 (2014 Vintage)
"Full, dark, deep, near saturated black-hued purple-red colour, very youthful in appearance. The nose is very full and voluminous with well-packed aromas of very ripe blackberry fruit along with boysenberries and mulberry notes, black plums and iron-earth. The aromatics are harmoniously integrated with warm, savoury earth, game and nutty oak notes, unfolding nuances of ink and tar, then black florals. Medium-full bodied, the palate has well-concentrated flavours of very ripe blackberry, mulberry and plum fruit with boysenberry hints. A complexing layer of black pepper, liquorice and spices add detail, with piquant florals providing lifted elements. The mouthfeel features a firm heart with fine-grained tannins lending powdery textures and grip. A firm acid edge carries the wine to a taut, lingering finish. This is a firm and tightly bound, concentrated Syrah with very ripe fruit flavours of blackberries, boysenberries, plums and iron-earth, with fine and firm structure. Match with slow-cooked game meat and semi-hard cheeses over the next 8-10 years. Fruit from the Gimblett Gravels, vines 15 y.o., predominantly destemmed and indigenous yeast fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 18 months in 40% new French oak barriques".