Someone said to me the other day he liked my tasting notes but that sometimes I went on too much describing the aroma. He just wanted me to cut to the chase and get to the taste. But for me the aroma, the bouquet, the scent, the nose, the perfume – whatever you want to call it – is so evocative. If it has it, it has it. It’s not a part of the wine to be ignored. I’m not a sniff once, ‘wham bang thank you man’ kind of a gal. I love the smell of wine and how it changes, how it evolves, how each time I swirl and sniff I keep finding more. This is why wine can be so hedonistic. It’s not simply a beverage to guzzle down, as some would have us think.
Last night Sophia, one of the super premium reds from Craggy Range in Hawkes Bay, was poured. This is one of those wines that tells so much of its story from its perfume – from that very first ‘wow’ moment sniff. It’s all purple berries, plums, violets, spices, sweet vanillin infused cedar wafting out of the vibrant dark purple red, almost black coloured pool of wine in the glass. Beguiling Sophia, I could inhale her scent all night long. If she were human ….
Firm and structured in the palate, brimming with everything that the perfume alluded to … and more. The massive upfront tannins simply dissolve into the creamy, almost chocolatey backbone with waves of violet jam, blackberry and raspberry jubes, red jelly babies, liquorice, more chocolate, lots of oak, a deep set savouriness and more, more more ….
Outstanding, sensual, endearing, luxurious. More than a score. Sophia has always been my favourite of all the Craggy Range reds in the past. Admittedly I haven’t seen Sophia for a few years now, but this makes up for it, for sure.
A blend of 60% Merlot, 24%, Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet France and 2%, Petit Verdot, Craggy Range Gimblett Gravels Sophia 2011 spent 19 months in French oak, of which 37% was new. The heavy wine bottle is closed with a cork and retail price is stated at $72.95. If you get the chance to taste, or even better buy a bottle of Sophia, do not pass by the opportunity to indulge in her generous perfume before sips, during sips and after.