Very deep purple-black in color with aromas of blackcurrant, blackberry, cedar, violet, cloves, and cinnamon stick and a note of smoke.
Few winemakers around the globe are more respected than John Hancock. He found early success creating Morton Estate, New Zealand’s first world-renowned boutique winery. He lived for a time in the Northern Rhône, working as a winemaker at the legendary Paul Jaboulet winery in Tain-l’Hermitage. In 1997, he won the International Wine Challenge’s “Best Chardonnay in the World” award. But John Hancock’s signature wines are the Trinity Hill Bordeaux blends from Hawke’s Bay.
John had long had his eyes on the potential of the Hawke’s Bay region on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island. He zeroed in on an ancient riverbed with stony, fertile, silty soil, and in 1993, he planted all five Bordeaux varieties, as well as Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay, in a parcel that has become known as Gimblett Gravels. It’s a rock-strewn patch of land that New Zealand wine guru James Halliday calls “not just a very special parcel, a sacred site.” If Hawke’s Bay is the Médoc, then Gimblett Gravels is Margaux.
In the hands of a master winemaker like Hancock, the Cabernet, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot vines planted in the ancient and rocky riverbed soils of Gimblett Gravels produce a wine with a deep-imprinted terroir identity. In 2013, a vintage Jancis Robinson called “outstanding,” Trinity Hill’s Hawke’s Bay Cabernet-based blend rivals the finest of Bordeaux — yet at a fraction of the price. A panel of esteemed Decanter judges certainly thinks so, awarding “The Gimblett” the Silver Medal at the 2016 World Wine Awards.
The 2013 Trinity Hill “The Gimblett” is 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot. It was given 16 months in French oak, of which 25% of the barriques were new. In 2013, the perfectly warm and dry summer allowed the vines to eke out less than 2 tons per acre of terrifically concentrated, small-cluster fruit, which helps to explain both the fleshy, juicy core and superb tannic structure. Combined with the cooling influence of the Antarctic Ocean helping preserve refreshing acidity, and there you have it: a vintage for the ages.
New Zealand’s answer to Margaux is now up for grabs. 150 6-packs have crossed the Panama Canal and are on their way to WineAccess members’s cellars. Originally released at $27, today only at $19.99 — the best price in the USA.
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