eRobertParker.com #197. Oct 2011. Reviewer : Lisa Perrotti Brown. Very deep garnet-purple in color, the 2009 Gimblett Gravels “Le Sol” Syrah gives ripe blackberry, blueberry and Chinese five spice aromas with pinches of black pepper and anise. Medium-full bodied, ripe and richly fruited on the palate it’s got a solid backbone of firm grainy tannins and crisp acid, finishing long. Approachable now, it should drink best 2012 through 2017+.
- Country: New Zealand
- Wine Region: Hawkes Bay
- Wine Maker: Steve Smith
- Grape: Shiraz/Syrah
- Grape Percentage: 100%
- Alcohol Percentage: 14.1%
- Unit Quantity (ml): 750
An opaque black core with a dark garnet rim. Redolent with black cherry, blueberry, melted liquorice, wild thyme and, of course, black pepper. This is intensely flavoured with layers of fine ripe tannin. The flavours just go on and on. A remarkable vintage.
Published : 30-Nov-2009. Later picking and showing off', is how Easthope described this bottling. Meaty, nice dry finish, succulent and lots of liquorice. Great balance. Sweeter than the Collina but perhaps not quite as sophisticated.
Issue: June 15, 2012. This harmonious, smooth red delivers wonderful boysenberry, cranberry sauce, cocoa and candied violet notes that have wonderful traction, with velvety tannins and exotic spices leading to notes of incense that crescendo on the finish. Syrah. Drink now through 2020.–MW.
Oct 10. By Stephen Tanzer. Saturated ruby-red. Blackberry, blueberry, licorice, minerals and menthol on the rather masculine, Hermitage-like nose. Less musky and more primary than the 2007 was at the same stage, offering a powerful, densely packed core of dark berry, pepper and spice flavors. Superb inner-mouth energy gives this wine sharp delineation. The tannins spread out to dust the entire palate. This very young and structured wine is built to age. Doesn't show the finishing leather and meat notes of the 2007 yet, but this wine has more force, and greater complexity will come.
In 1998, Hawke’s Bay showed it could produce high-quality, genuinely ripe cabernet merlot blends, and lit the path for the best examples to take on the world. But no one could hav guessed that another seven years or so years down the track Hawke’s Bay would start making exceptional shiraz, even less that Le Sol would start beating top-end, cool-grown Australian shiraz around the ears. “Now this is wine,” I wrote as the first taste reverberated through the palate, “glorious texture and mouthfeel”, then “blackberry, spice liquorice, cinnamon and black pepper” – impressions coming fast and furious.
The 2009 edition of Le Sol syrah is a far less overt, flashy wine than some of the releases of the past. It’s tight and controlled with flashes of white peppery spice amid blueberried and black cherry-like fruit flavour. There’s a clip of cedary, smoky, meaty oak and excellent extension through the finish. It’s class personified. Has fruit and oak sweetness – there’s a violetty brightness to this – but it winks confidently at spicy-savouriness too. Complete red wine.
Big wine with impressively intense fruit but beautifully structured with a silken texture. Lots of flavors happening here with layers and layers of ripe berry, spice and subtle floral and savoury notes. This is the best Le Sol yet. (no Viognier - "it dilutes the wine's character").
A wine of compelling presence, this Gimblett Gravels Syrah is ravishing and gratifying (certainly not heavy and chunky). A perfect balance between superbly ripe fruit and firm structure, well supported by layers of deliciousness. The nose is beautifully perfumed displaying dark plum, blackberry, vanillin oak and mixed spice characters. It's succulent and weighty on the palate with lovely density and rich texture leading to a luxurious finish. A gracefully rich and opulent wine that is irresistible right now but sure to evolve magnificently.
Le Sol’ has become the flagship for Craggy Range. Saturated, near impenetrable black-purple red in colour, this has a somewhat restrained bouquet, but obviously concentrated and ready to blossom. Dense black berry fruits and packed black pepper aromas complexed with soft spice and herb aromas show the power built into this wine. On palate, the stark black berry fruits and exotic, peppery spice are expressed with great depth and concentration. This has richness allied with restraint and class. The wine is brooding, the massive extract moderated by the fineness and soft textures, allowing the lusciousness to show. The alcoholic depth and acidity is perfectly proportioned, and never detracts from the impression of finesse. This is a wine of great potential.