Since the 2008 vintage, the Gimblett Gravels Winegrowers Association has sent a case that they feel best represents the vintage to critics and writers around the world. Known as the Annual Vintage Selection, Sydney based Master of Wine Andrew Caillard is tasked with selecting the best of the best.
I asked why an Australian MW would be selecting the wines, and Chairman of the Gimblett Gravels Winegrowers Association, Cameron Price commented “Andrew is globally recognized and is a Bordeaux expert. Being based outside NZ, he gives an international perspective – it’s the world looking at us. Andrew has chosen the AVS since the initiative began in 2008, so provides continuity and is knowledgeable about Gimblett Gravels seasonal differences”.
Announcing the top 12 GIMBLETT GRAVELS® reds from 2020, Andrew attributed the remarkable wines to the sublime weather, combined with talent in the vineyard and winery. “The warm dry growing season combined with progressive vineyard management, winemaking skills and technology have all contributed to a spectacular year for Gimblett Gravels”.
Choosing the dozen was harder than ever this time, with Andrew revealing “my scores reveal an embarrassment of riches…there are many worthy wines that missed out”.
The Gimblett Gravels Winegrowers Association had this to say about the collection: “the 2020 vintage will be remembered as one of our greatest. The growing season was textbook perfect, with fruit harvested in beautiful condition. We couldn’t be happier with the wines. They’re among our best to date and reinforce the terroir’s ability to produce some of the world’s finest full bodied red wines”.
Gimblett Gravels wines (including the AVS) have been tasted alongside the world’s greats on many occasions. There were some iconic tastings back in 2008 and 2009, which really helped launch Gimblett Gravels reds on to the world stage. GG wines were put up against some of the best from Bordeaux. A number of the world’s top wine influencers – names such as Jancis Robinson, Michael Schuster, Neal Martin, Harvey Steiman and James Halliday attended the tastings and applauded the District as being able to hold its own against the best.
The 2020 Annual Vintage Selection will comprise the following wines (in alphabetical order):
Blended reds (Merlot or Cabernet dominant):
Babich Winemakers Reserve Hawkes Bay Merlot
Church Road 1 Cabernet Sauvignon
Church Road 1 Malbec
Elephant Hill Hieronymus
Elephant Hill Stone Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc
Esk Valley Artisanal Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot
Mission Estate Jewelstone Antoine
Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels The Gimblett
Craggy Range Le Sol
Squawking Magpie Stoned Crow Syrah
Stonecroft Gimblett Gravels Reserve Syrah
Trinity Hill Homage
In the coming weeks, the 2020 Annual Vintage Selection packs will be presented to key opinion leaders throughout the world for their review.