The Tasting Panel magazine

August 2016

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26  /  the tasting panel  /  august 2016 PUBLISHER'S IN-PERSON PICK Sub-Regionality in New Zealand Note the red soil of Gimblett Gravels. Warren Gibson. PHOTOS: COURTESY OF TRINITY HILLS N ew Zealand's vineyards are the southernmost in the world, and the country's two islands, known simply as the North Island and South Island, are located between the equator and the South Pole. Because of the water surrounding the islands, the climate is cool and maritime, with the vineyards planted no further than 80 miles from the sea. On the North Island's eastern coast, Hawke's Bay—with its bowl shape—has gained a reputation for producing complex wines, thanks to diversity in soils. But this appellation's Gimblett Gravels sub-region delves even further into wines of complexity and quality due to layers of sand and gravelly stones in well-drained Omahu soils, creating superb growing conditions for its deeply expressive reds. I sat down with Chief Winemaker Warren Gibson from Trinity Hill, a winery that since 1997 produces 100 percent Hawkes Bay wines. The wines were very impressive, and the rarity of tasting fine Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah from New Zealand led us to this featurette. —Meridith May Trinity Hill 2013 Gimblett Gravels Vineyard Syrah, Hawkes Bay ($30) Blackberry high tones, red licorice, white pepper and gorgeous red flowers permeate from nose to glass. Cocoa powder tannins, balanced acidity and a strawberry-Greywacke soil finish. 13% alc. 93 Trinity Hill 2013 Pinot Noir, Hawkes Bay ($16) This is grown in limestone and decomposed clay in the hillsides. Roses, pithy cherries, rhubarb, chalk and coffee bean bring an other-worldliness to this hand-harvested, whole cluster– fermented red. It has structure and strength—and not a lot of wood aging. 92 Trinity Hill 2013 The Gimblett , Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay ($30) A blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot. Violets fervently kiss black fruit, leading to grainy tannins—but silkiness quickly ensues. There's a notable age-worthy bigness—high acid- ity—and the wine sees skin contact for 40–50 days in the fermentation tank. "We use just a reasonable amount of French oak to envelop the components of the Cabernet. It's a big job to offer a wine with guts without being heavy and sweet," Gibson told The Tasting Panel. 93 Trinity Hill is imported and marketed by Terroir ( TASTING WITH TRINITY HILL'S CHIEF WINEMAKER WARREN GIBSON

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