Craggy Range is a family-owned winery established in 1998 and situated in the shadow of the spectacular Te Mata Peak in the premium wine growing region of Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand.
Named by Wine Enthusiast magazine as New World Winery of the Year for 2014, Craggy Range follows a single vineyard winemaking philosophy and was the first producer in the Southern Hemisphere to make single vineyard wines from multiple New Zealand regions.
Much of Craggy Range’s recent success is down chief winemaker Julian Grounds who has been working in wineries and vineyards since the age of 17. After graduating from his Oenology and Viticulture studies, Julian was awarded a scholarship to make Pouilly-Fuissé Chardonnays in Burgundy. Following stints in Margaret River, Central Otago, and Oregon, Julian took up a role as Senior Winemaker at Giant Steps in the Yarra Valley, before returning to Margaret River to join McHenry Hohnen as Chief Winemaker in early 2017.
Julian joined Craggy Range as Chief Winemaker in January 2019, bringing a wealth of knowledge and an enthusiasm for contributing to the constant evolution of wine.
Today we are delighted to offer the Craggy Range Aroha Pinot Noir 2019. Aroha is the Māori word for love and, reflective of its namesake, the Craggy Range Aroha is handcrafted with passion from two unique parcels of Pinot Noir within the Te Muna Road vineyard, including one parcel of the legendary Abel clone.
Scoring a fantastic 98 points from Decanter’s Oliver Styles, he describes this wine as “too good not to shout about…not big, brash or showy, just effortlessly beautiful”. James Suckling also heaps praise on this 2019 iteration stating “impressive, this is the finest Aroha to date” – 97 points.
Matured 14 months in French oak barriques (36% new oak), this wine can be enjoyed in its youth or happily cellared over the next decade or so.
The Aroha Pinot Noir 2019 is due in next month so do let me know if you would like to order, and I can confirm, subject to remaining unsold.
Craggy Range Aroha Pinot Noir 2019 6 x 75cl
£270 per case IB
96 Points | Rebecca Gibb, Vinous
This is a wine that you sink into, like soaking in a warm bath after a hard day. You can expect intense fruit concentration in this luxurious wine, filling the palate with its sweet, rich fruit and layers of damsons, blueberries, violets and garrigue. The tannins are abundant yet resolved and create a frame that provides a gentle grip around the rich, but never heavy, fruit. You could drink this young in its sumptuous youth but it will mature nicely over the next decade. For those interested in technical details, this was 63% whole bunch with 14 months in French oak, of which 36% was new. It is unfiltered.
97 Points | James Suckling
This has hit an impressive trajectory with very well-curated, fresh blueberry, red-cherry and black-cherry aromas, swathed in sweet baking spices and fresh-tilled earth. The palate has sleekly defined tannins, carrying intense, ripe blueberry and red-cherry flavors, amid deeply buried spice. Impressive, this is the finest Aroha to date.
98 Points | Oliver Styles, Decanter
You’ll have to wait a few months for this Pinot Noir to be released, but it’s too good not to shout about now. Julian Grounds is a recent Australian import who’s already creating a stir. In recent years, Craggy hasn’t always hit the peaks of its promise, but this wine is really quite something. A beautiful, perfumed nose with lifted rose and violet, that continues on the lithe, sinewy and incredibly lengthy palate. Not big, brash or showy, just effortlessly beautiful. (Drink between 2020-2035)
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