Media Release 5 September 2013
Sacred Hill scores high in Gimblett Gravels Vintage Selection
Hawkes Bay’s Gimblett Gravels has selected its top wines from an outstanding 2011 line up and Sacred Hill Vineyards is
the only producer to have two wines make the grade in the prestigious Annual Vintage Selection (AVS), recording the
highest scoring wines in two categories.
The selection of wines from the 2011 vintage was made this week following a tasting by one of the world’s most highly
respected Masters of Wine, Andrew Caillard of Australia.
Gimblett Gravels producers were allowed to put forward no more than three wines each for the tasting with a maximum of
two from any winery eligible for the final selection of 12 wines. Only wines scoring 93 points out of 100 or more were
Sacred Hill winemaker Tony Bish says the AVS is an important tasting as it sets a benchmark of quality and the final
selection of wines are distributed to media around the world for review.
“With the Gimblett Gravels’ record of producing some of New Zealand’s finest Syrahs and Bordeaux style reds, this
selection is recognised as a ‘best of the best’,” he says.
Sacred Hill Special Selection Brokenstone Merlot was the highest scoring Merlot with 96 points while the Special
Selection Helmsman scored 96 points, making it the joint top scoring Cabernet dominant wine.
Bish says 2011 saw a warm summer with excellent heat retention in the Gimblett Gravels which allowed the reds to ripen
“The Brokenstone and Helmsman 2011 follow a Sacred Hill tradition of producing powerful, dark, rich, full-flavoured
reds, which at the same time display suppleness and elegance.”
The tasting confirmed Sacred Hill’s position as consistently one of Gimblett Gravels’ top producers, following similar
successes for the 2009 and 2010 vintages, when it had two wines in the final vintage selection in each year.
Andrew Caillard MW’s comments on Sacred Hill’s successful 2011 wines are as follows.
Sacred Hill Special Selection Brokenstone Merlot 2011
“Deep crimson. Intense dark berry, dark chocolate aromas with espresso, herb notes. Voluminous and beautifully balanced
wine with sweet dark berry, dark chocolate, mocha flavours, underlying roasted chestnut nuances and rich chocolaty
textures. Finishes long and flavourful with cedar notes. 96 points. Drink now to 2025.” – Andrew Caillard MW.
Sacred Hill Helmsman Cabernet Merlot 2011
“Medium deep colour. Intense cassis, mocha, roasted chestnut aromas with miso, truffle notes. Well concentrated and
classical with supple juicy sweet fruit, cassis, espresso flavours, fine grained tannins and roasted chestnut oak notes.
Volume, density and intensity build up towards the finish with chocolatey, al-dente textures and plenty of favour
length. An impressive wine with elements still yet to fully intertwine. 95 points. Drink 2015 to 2025.” – Andrew Caillard MW
These wines are available by contacting Sacred Hill Vineyards directly.