Winemaker’s Vintage Report
Cornerstone Vineyard is situated in the heart of the “Gimblett Gravels” viticultural region at the junction of Gimblett Road and State Highway 50, Hawkes Bay. This region has established itself as New Zealand’s pre-eminent Bordeaux red grape growing area. The explanation for this lies within the riverbed stones and gravels in which the grapes struggle to survive and produce only a few bunches of deeply-coloured, intensely flavoured ripe berries with superb mouthfilling tannins.
Vintage 2004 gave us good ripening conditions for Bordeaux reds from Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay – a warm summer and dry autumn. Harvest began in late March with each variety being hand picked. Each pick was fermented separately in small 3-tonne open fermenters, hand plunged and allowed varying periods of post-ferment skin contact prior to pressing off the wine for malolactic fermentation and ageing in a mix of French (70%) and American (30%) oak barriques.
Our 2004 Cornerstone is a blend of 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 27% Malbec and 8% Cabernet Franc. The result: a soft generous wine with vibrant blue/red colour, ripe cherry and blackberry fruit flavours, hints of violets and savoury spicy oak. Youthful, the palate is full, with excellent depth and richness, sweet chocolate mocha aromas intertwined with soft silky tannins. A wine that drinks well now, which, if like the previous 10 vintages of Cornerstone, should develop gracefully for many years in bottle.
Awards and Accolades
Cuisine Magazine August 2006 Top 5 in Cabernet Blend - 4 ½ stars “An invitingly fragrant, rich and elegant Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (34 per cent), Merlot (31 per cent), Malbec (27 per cent) and Cabernet Franc (eight per cent). The colour is deep and youthful, the palate firm, savoury and complex, with sweet-fruit delights and concentrated, plummy, spicy flavours wrapped in quality oak.”
Sante Magazine USA – Best Cabernet Blend
Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine Oct 2006
100 Top New Release
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