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Featured Reviews

Elephant Hill 2018 Syrah Rosé and 2016 Merlot Cabernet Malbec

26 October,2018

With vineyards in Te Awanga, the Gimblett Gravels and in the Bridge Pa Triangle, Elephant Hill has the ability to blend fruit to make wines with balance and integrated character. I’m sure this facet has seen all of the Elephant Hill wines step up in quality over the recent years. Winemaker Steve Skinner has no doubt enjoyed the potential to have wines of greater detail and finesse. It is with regret that Steve is leaving Elephant Hill to pursue other ventures, but he leaves the company in the best position it has been in, in my opinion, having tasted many of his latest top, exciting new single vineyard and ‘estate’ wines. Here, I review the 2018 Syrah Rosé and 2016 Merlot/Cabernet/Malbec, both employing grapes from the different sites as suits.


Elephant Hill Hawke’s Bay Syrah Rosé 2018

Rose from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Bright, pale strawberry pink colour with some depth, lighter on the edge. The nose is fresh, firm and tightly bound with elegantly proportioned aromas of red cherries and nuances of cranberries and pomegranate, along with a subtle amalgam of fresh herbs and mouthwatering minerals. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate has an elegant heart with restrained and delicate flavours of cherries, cranberries and pomegranate, unfolding subtle red floral lift and nuances of fresh herbs. The palate has fruit sweetness and is enlivened by refreshing, lacy acidity. The wine flows along a very fine line, leading to a light, long finish. This is an elegant dry rosé with restrained flavours of cherries, cranberries and pomegranate with floral and herb notes on a refreshing palate. Serve as an aperitif, with canapés and antipasto over the next 2 years. 100% Syrah fruit, 88% Gimblett Gravels, 7% Te Awanga and 5% Bridge Pa, WBP and fermented in tank to 12.5% alc. and approx. 2 g/L RS, the wine aged 6 months on lees. 18.0+/20 Oct 2018 RRP $26.00

Elephant Hill Hawke’s Bay Merlot/Cabernet/Malbec 2016

Blended Red from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Dark, deep, black-hued ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is elegantly presented with finely concentrated and packed aromas of ripe dark-red and black plums and berry fruit, along with subtle notes of blackcurrants and herbs, with spiced blackberries and iron-earth elements emerging in the glass. Medium-full bodied, the palate has a rich and well-packed heart with deep and dense flavours of ripe, savoury dark-red and black plum fruit, entwined with some blackcurrants, spiced plum, liquorice and earthy interest. The fruit sweetness is balanced by fine, grainy tannin structure lending grip and texture. The wine carries to a long finish of plums and liquorice with some alcoholic power. This is a rich and well-packed Merlot blend with plum flavours along with liquorice and spice, iron-earth complexity on a fine, grainy palate. Match with roasted lamb, beef and venison, and semi-hard cheeses over the next 6+ years. A blend of 67% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Malbec and 5% Cabernet Franc, 55% from the Gimblett Gravels and 45% from the Triangle vineyards, fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 22 months in 30% new French oak barriques. 18.5/20 Oct 2018 RRP $36.00

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