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'Redd Gravels' is a red blend in the classed Bordeaux style.

It shows dark, velvety colour, combining a subtle, light floral palate with deep, concentrated flavours of cassis, plum and cedary oak. We recommend cellaring from 5 to 25 years.

2007 vintage Redd Gravels is now available (click here for tasting notes). Total production is 275 cases; 100 have been released in New Zealand with the remainder destined for export. Please contact one of the retailers on our sales page to buy in New Zealand. The 2004, 2005 and 2006 vintage Redd Gravels have all sold out.

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Review by Bob Campbell of 2007 Redd Gravels for Gourmet Traveller Wine:

*****
95/100

Dense, complex Bordeaux-style red with a trademark seamless texture. A blend of Merlot (73%), Cabernet Sauvignon (13%) and Cabernet Franc (9%) with an array of berry, spice and savoury characters that linger long after the wine has been tasted. Established in 1981, the vineyard is deliberately cropped very low to concentrate flavours. Accessible now but shows exciting potential. The wine has rapidly achieved cult status. Very collectible.

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Review by Bob Campbell of 2006 Redd Gravels:

*****
95/100

Supremely elegant, perfumed red that delivers fine berry, spice and oak flavours with great subtlety but shows impressive power in its lingering finish. The best part is the wine's beautifully fine-grained texture. Though surprisingly accessible now this is a wine that deserves at least a few years cellaring as it does need an important occasion to draw the cork.

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Review by Bob Campbellof 2005 Redd Gravels:

*****
97/100

Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc blend that beat three First Growth Bordeaux and a bunch of other distinguished wines from the same vintage. This really is a very classy red - wonderfully dense, long and linear flavours contained by very fine tannins. An aristocratic wine without any hint of coarseness. Quite remarkable. Very complex although it’s difficult to describe the array of berry, floral, spice and savoury flavours.

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Review by Michael Cooper's Buyer's Guide to New Zealand Wines of 2006 Redd Gravels:

The 2006 vintage (*****) is the third release of the top label from Blake Family Vineyard, which was sold a few years ago (the 2007 vintage was the last.) Grown in Gimblett Road, Hawke's Bay, it was fermented with indigenous yeasts, and matured for 18 months in French oak barriques (92 per cent new). A blend of Merlot (84 per cent) and Cabernet Franc (16 per cent), like its predecessors it is notably generous and refined. Deep and youthful in colour, with a fragrant, ripe, spicy bouquet, it is concentrated and silky-textured, with an array of blackcurrant, plum, coffee and dark chocolate flavours, complex and deliciously rich and smooth. Drink now or cellar.

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Gourmet Traveller Wine review of 2005 Redd Gravels:

'A merlot, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc blend that beat three first-growth Bordeaux and a bunch of other distinguished wines from the same vintage in a recent blind tasting headed by James Halliday. This really is a very classy red - wonderfully dense, long and linear flavours contained by very fine tannins. An aristocratic wine without any hint of coarseness. Quite remarkable. Very complex with an array of berry, floral spice and savoury notes.'

(By Bob Campbell, 'Wines to cellar' section, Feb/March 2009 issue)

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Our 2005 'Redd Gravels' recently came out on top in a blind tasting lineup including some of the very best classic Bordeaux wines, judged by a panel of experts including Elin McCoy and James Halliday. Read more about the tasting results here.

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During November 2006 we held several tastings to introduce interested parties to our Blake Family Vineyard wines in progress.

Geoff Kelly of geoffkellywinereviews.co.nz has published an indepth review of the entire blind tasting, covering 21 prominent Bordeaux (both banks), New Zealand and Napa wines. Geoff has kindly allowed us to reproduce his tasting notes of a tank sample of our 2005 wine here.

2005 Blake Family Vineyard assembled tank sample 19 + *****
Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand: 13.9%; $ –
[ cork; Me 40%, CS 30, CF 30 @ c. 1.25 kg / vine, 4300 vines / ha; French oak; the score should be in square brackets [ 19 + ] to indicate the sample is not the final 'as bottled' wine]

Ruby, carmine and velvet, a glorious colour, deeper, denser and more velvety than the 2005 Alluviale, in fact, the deepest colour of the set. Bouquet is deeply and darkly floral, subtle and sensuous. Below the florals the depth of fruit is sensational, pure cassis and darkest plums, plus some toasty new oak. On palate, the concentration of florals and fruit is a joy to behold, the flavour more implicit than explicit, but the richness and dry extract already palpable on tongue. If this builds the bouquet in bottle that the '05 Alluviale already shows, and with the finesse of its oak, this will be a great wine. It will be more in a St Emilion style than a Medoc one. It is much richer than the 2005 Alluviale, yet shows no sign of sur maturité. There is a compelling climatic contrast between the near-perfection this winestyle displays, versus the elephantine Caymus. The two wines illustrate just how marvellous the Hawkes Bay climate is for Bordeaux / Hawkes Bay blends.

Cellar 5 - 20 + years.

To read a comprehensive article covering the entire tasting of 21 wines,
including our wines to date, please click here.
Reproduced with kind permission of Geoff Kelly, www.geoffkellywinereviews.co.nz

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Review by Bob Campbell of the 2004 Redd Gravels:

*****
94/100

Rich, dense red with a velvety texture and backbone of very fine tannins. Ripe berry and plum flavours with spice and classy oak. Great potential but accesible now.

Bob Campbell is one of only 264 Masters of Wine in the world. An international wine judge, Bob judges wine professionally in ten countries and contributes regularly to publications around the world. His specialty is New Zealand wine which he reviews from an international perspective. Website: BobsWineReviews.com

 

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