Craggy Range Sophia Gimblett Gravels 2005

Craggy Range’s Gimblett Gravels “Sophia” strikes me as a serious wine, in its outlandishly heavy bottle.  The 2005 vintage is a blend of 62% merlot, 34% cabernet franc and 4% cabernet sauvignon.  It therefore stakes its claim as a St-Emilion blend – a combination seldomnly seen in Australia, perhaps due to the travails of merlot in this country.  (In a country adept at producing good examples of most wines, there are remarkably few good Australian merlots on offer.)  In terms of winemaking, the wine saw 80% new French oak, inoculated yeast, and was filtered and fined.

The wine itself starts with a medium intensity aroma of earth, plums and Christmas cake spices held together and seasoned well with vanilla oak.  On the palate, there are herbs and tea leaves which temper the richness of chocolatey dark plums, all set to medium length.  This wine is built to last, and will drink well for a number of years.  A good and serious example of the style that is worthy of your attention.  88-89 points (very good)

Abv: 14.1%
Price: $70s (but it may be a bit cheaper at auction; the last sale I saw was for $53)
Vendors: try auction
Tasted: December 2011

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