2020 Craggy Range "Le Sol-Gimblett Gravels" Hawke's Bay Syrah


96 Points from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2020 Le Sol is open and attractive on the nose, with layers of blackberry, raspberry, hints of licorice and clove, a whiff of orange peel, black tea and pencil shavings. In the mouth, the wine is silky and full; it expands without being heavy. The flavors cascade and tumble over each other as they reach for the long and elongated finish. It's an incredibly classy, structural, detailed wine of poise and presence. Blackberry and blueberry are distinctly etched into the aftertaste. We know these wines age with grace and eloquence, but it is also wonderful on release. It is worth waiting for, if you are of the patient persuasion. If not, go forth; you won't be disappointed. It fermented with 60% whole bunch and spent 30 to 40 days on the skins (depending on the fermenting vat). This assists with texture. Overextraction is not a problem given the low alcohols. It matured in French puncheons and larger format (Stockinger 2,400 liters). 13.5% alcohol, sealed under screw cap." (9/21/23)

95 Points from Vinous: "The 2020 Syrah Le Sol is bloody good. It offers the drinker an appetizing raspberry-fruited opening. It's a succulent and suave initially, but on the finish it opens a new chapter, showing the tension and sinew of whole clusters fermentation (40%), driving the wine forward with persistence and energy. While ripe and having the right amount of puppy fat to get your teeth into, this wine also shows freshness, cool climate spice and lift. The tannins are abundant yet resolved." (1/2023)

95 Points from Decanter Magazine: "One of two Craggy Range wines to join the Place de Bordeaux this year alongside the Pinot Noir-based Aroha. Meaty and wild, a sense of roasted meat, smoky and deliberate with a balsamic element too. Bay leaf, cooking herbs and some graphite touches - lots of expression. A full and bold style, but so juicy and succulent, really sucks the cheeks in, makes the mouth water with strawberry, red cherry, plum and raspberry fruit. It's smooth and penetrating but it has such a lovely crushed velvet texture, slightly chalky but full of life and vigour. I like this expression, feels vibrant but also with quite a lot of tension at this point. Nice detail on show in the smoke and florality but all very soft letting the vibrancy show through at this point." (8/23/22)

94 Points from Wine Enthusiast Magazine: "A deep purple hue, this opens with heady, savory herb and pepper aromas, quickly succeeded by deliciously succulent dark berry preserves, florals and a bit of vanillin oak. The palate is almost surprisingly lithe and sculpted, even austere at first pour. The distinctive sandpaper tannins give quite a grip. But those juicy, concentrated berry fruit notes persist." (5/1/23)

90 Points from Wine Spectator: "Firm, savory and concentrated, with dense tannins and notes of salted black licorice, sage and espresso that mingle with plum, date and dried blueberry flavors. Syrah. Drink now through 2031. 10 cases imported." (5/31/23)