Stonecroft Ruhanui Merlot/CS 2013

Being one of the first (1982) to plant syrah on the Gimblett gravels in Hawke’s Bay, Stonecroft have played a leading role in making this region world famous for stunning cool climate syrah. Today, their whole range impresses as only vine age and 30 years experience can. Dr Alan Limmer established Stonecroft and progressively established one of the finest reputations in the region. Dermot McCollum and Andria Monin took over in 2010 and have not missed a beat with a number of recent wine reviews receiving even higher accolades. All wines are made in small quantities and you can taste the hand made quality.

The chosen one: Stonecroft Ruhanui merlot cabernet sauvignon 2013

My impression:

A rich and concentrated wine with dense black fruit flavours, particularly blackcurrant and blackberry.

In the press:

This is awesome. The complex bouquet shows dark plum, blueberry, cigar box and mixed spice aromas, leading to a concentrated palate that is finely textured with excellent fruit richness. The wine is generous and flavoursome while remaining firmly structured, and finishes superbly long and supple. At its best: 2016 to 2025. Certified organic. 94 Points, 5 Stars – Sam Kim, wine orbit

A dense, ripe blend of 60 per cent merlot with cabernet sauvignon. Dark berry, plum, chocolate and spice flavours underpinned by fine, ripe tannins. Attractive wine that promises to age well. 94 Points- Bob Campbell (Gourmet traveller wine April/May 2015)

A little about the winemaker Matt Stafford:

1. How did you get involved in the world of wine?

Initially a very keen interest in drinking it. Then developing more interest in the industry with a bit of wine education. Next step was to sell the house and furniture and move to NZ for 12 month full time viticulture and winemaking course. Then we bought Stonecroft.

2. What makes Stonecroft wines unique from your point of view?

We have the oldest syrah vines in the country and they produce stunning fruit.

3. What do you love most about what you do?

As a small family business we have the flexibility to drive the business how we like. We make fast decisions and there is no bureaucracy.

4. What would you hope people say about your wine?

I wish they didn’t sell out so quickly.

5.  Are you experimenting with any new varieties?

We are forever experimenting and we have just recently released a Gimblett Gravels rose (merlot and syrah co-ferment) and then inspired by our love of Alsace a pinot gris and a field blend of pinot gris, reisling, gewurztraminer and pinot blanc. There are some very exciting things on the red wine front also.

6. Do you think that the market should influence winemaking, or do you think that winemaking should influence the market?

80% that winemaking should influence the market….otherwise we’d all still be drinking Muller Thurgau. 20% the market


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