Featured Reviews

Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels 2016 and 2015 Releases

14 August,2017
The premium ‘Black Label or Gimblett Gravels wines of Trinity Hill are the face of the company. Trinity Hill was formed by John Hancock and partners to highlight the very high quality and distinctive character of the wines from the Gimblett Gravels sub-region of Hawkes’s Bay, releasing their first wines from the 1996 vintage. John Hancock, the shareholders and winemaker Warren Gibson soon expanded the wines to include innovative varieties in addition to the proven Hawke’s Bay wines, and the ‘White Label’ Hawke’s Bay range soon encompassed fruit from the other sub-regions to make Trinity Hill the consummate Hawke’s Bay producer. With over 20 vintages made, Trinity Hill is one of the most serious labels, with their Gimblett Gravels wines the feature. Every year, their release consolidates the established varieties, and adds gravitas to the newer ones. Here, I review the new 2016 Marsanne/Viognier, Chardonnay and Tempranillo, and 2015 ‘The Gimblett’ Bordeaux-variety blended red. In a market where it is fashionable to have extremely high-prices, they continually deliver outstanding value. www.trinityhill.com


Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Marsanne/Viognier 2016

Blended White from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Bright, light golden-yellow colour with some depth, a little lighter on the rim. This has a softly full and solidly packed nose with aromas of yellow stonefruits and a complex amalgam of exotic florals melded with savoury honeysuckle and apricot notes, and some nutty, flinty and mineral detail. Dry to taste and medium-full bodied, the palate has good depth and flavour presence, showing ripe yellow stonefruits with layers of apricits, honeysuckle and soft floral notes, along with nutty and mineral elements. The mouthfeel is rounded with a god heart and gently fresh acidity providing good poise. The wine flows smoothly to a soft, lingering finish of stonefruits, apricot kernels, honey and florals. This Marsanne/Viognier blend shows good Marsanne weight and presence of stonefruit, honeysuckle and Viognier apricot notes with complexing nutty, flinty and mineral detail on a rounded and generous palate. Match with poultry, pork and veal over the next 4+ years. A blend of 51% Marsanne and 49% Viognier from the Gimblett Gravels, the fruit hand-picked, WBP and indigenous yeast barrel-fermented to 13.4% alc. and 5.3 g/L RS, the wine aged 14 months on lees in seasoned oak, undergoing 100% MLF. 18.0+/20 Aug 2017 RRP $35.00

Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2016

Chardonnay from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Bright, even yellow colour with lemon-gold hues, a little paler on the rim. The nose is fresh and elegant with openly accessible aromatic volume, showing white and yellow stonefruits complexed by a harmonious layering of gunflint and minerals, along with nutty oak and subtle creamy barrel-ferment nuances, revealing toasty oak hints. The aromatics build in intensity and concentration with aeration. Medium-bodied, the palate ha bright and refreshing flavours of white and yellow stonefruits, and citrus fruits entwined with creamy and nutty oak, and complexing notes of gunflint and minerals. The flavours form a tight core, and the mouthfeel is enlivened by lacy acidity, the wine flowing along a fine-textured line, leading to a crisp, lingering finish of stonefruits, citrus fruit and minerals. This is a bright, lively and refreshing Chardonnay with intense and concentrated, complex flavours of stonefruits, citrus fruits, nutty oak and minerals, on a fine-textured palate. Match with roasted seafood, poultry and pork dishes over the next 4-5+ years. Hand-picked fruit from the Gimblett Gravels, indigenous yeast fermented in 500 L puncheons to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 11 months on lees in 40% new puncheon with 100% MLF, then undergoing a further 4 months on lees in tank. 19.0-/20 Aug 2017 RRP $35.00

Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Tempranillo 2016

Tempranillo from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Even, very dark ruby-red colour with black hues and slight purple tints on a lighter edge. The nose is full, bright and vibrantly aromatic with ripe aromas of dark raspberry and blackberry fruit along with a subtle line of dark herbs, and nuances of earth and minerals at the core. The primary fruit prevails with fragrant whole berry fermentation notes adding to the lift. Medium-full bodied, the palate is richly sweet and juicy with dark raspberry and blackberry flavours along with whole berry jam and aromatic notes alongside the primary fruitiness. Dark herb and earth detail emerges to add interest. The fruit is supported by balanced, grainy tannin extraction, and the sweet, succulent flavours carry with good grip to a sustained finish. This is a juicy, primary-fruited Tempranillo with dark raspberry and blackberry fruit, with lifted aromatic notes and subtle herb an earth detail on a structured palate with good grip. Serve with barbecued and roasted red meats over the next 5-6 years. Hand-picked Tempranillo fruit from the Gimblett Gravels, destemmed but not crushed, and fermented to 13.2% alc., the wine spending35 days on skins and 14 months in new and seasoned American and French oak barriques. 18.5/20 Aug 2017 RRP $35.00

Trinity Hill ‘The Gimblett’ Gimblett Gravels Hawke’ Bay’ 2015

Blended Red from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay

Even, very dark ruby-red colour with black hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is elegantly proportioned with well-concentrated, intense and tightly bound aromas of ripe blackcurrants and redcurrants, with notes of cassis, black plums, spice and iron-earth, and a little pencilly oak. Medium-full bodied, the palate is fine in proportion with taut, concentrated and intense fruit flavours of ripe blackcurrants, redcurrants, blackberries and notes of cassis, revealing dark plum, spice, herb and oak notes. The fruit is sweet, rich and lusciously plush, but balanced by fine-grained tannin structure and grip, with fresh acidity lending vibrancy. The wine has textural linearity, and carries to a sustained, sweet-fruited finish. This is a beautifully sweet and rich, elegantly presented Bordeaux-varietal blend wine fine-grained structure, vibrancy, and length. Match with roasted lamb, beef and venison dishes, and semi-hard cheeses over the next 7-10 years. A blend of 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Cabernet Franc, 23% Merlot, and 2% each of Malbec and Petit Verdot from the Gimblett Gravels, fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine spending four weeks on skins post ferment and 16 months in 35% new French oak. 19.0/20 Aug 2017 RRP $35.00
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