Elephant Hill

On April 6th 2019 I had the opportunity to taste through the following wines with Andreas Weiss (Mangeing Director) and Steve Skinner (Chief Winemaker). These new release wines will sell through fast with each showing a great purity, reflection of the Hawkes Bay land, sea and air as well as showing the continued potential of the region.

2018 Sea Sauvignon Blanc - 94 Points
An intense yet fine bouquet of SB with aromas of orchard tree fruits and tropical fruit moments. A definitive saline sea air scent, white flowers and a core minerality. A soft angelica leaf moment highlights the herbaceous side of the variety. A vibrant texture from a back bone of acidity, lees and older barrel use. With a lengthy finish and flavours that build with each new sip this wine will develop and age if desired. Also drinking well now and through 2025.

2018 Sea Viognier - 95 Points

A very attractive bouquet of Viognier - pure, varietal and pretty with aromas and flavours of white apricot and peach, apple and spice. A silky generous texture with medium acidity and light saline core highlighting minerality. A lovely wine with purity, elegance and length. Best enjoyed now and through 2022.

2017 Salome Chardonnay - 97 Points

Immediately complex with a Meursault-like bouquet of cashew spice, cold smoke, grapefruit peel, apple and peach. A complex and lengthy wine on the palate with flavours that mirror the nose. Satin texture with a light creamy butter note and a bite of new oak. Primed for cellaring with drinking from 2021/22 and through to 2030. An excellent wine.

2016 Stone Syrah - 96 Points

Focus, concentration and power, pepper-spice, wood spice, violets and dark berries, barrel spice and bacon oak, masculine and muscle.  There's no mistaking the power and presence of this wine on the palate with youthful energy, back bone of acidity, powerful tannins and core of fruit carrying the structure well, but also showing youth and potential. Lengthy finish with concentration and power. A wine to rival Northern Rhone counterparts. Best drinking 2021 through 2030.

2015 Airavata Syrah - 98 Points

A complex and engaging wine from bouquet to palate the more your swirl, sip and explore the more it offers. Pressed violets and dark raspberry, black currant and plum. Bold tannins and youthful acidity, a hint of tar and boot polish, meat and smoke. No mistaking the impact of oak with a core of fruit and flavour this wine is impressive. Requires cellar time to integrate and develop. Decant and taste again in 2022. A wine destined to last through to 2030+.

2015 Hieronymus (Full-bodied red blend) - 98 Points

Youthful, powerful and focused bouquet of Hawkes Bay red wine. The Cabernet is the driving force on the nose with cigar and blackberry fruit, the Franc is unmistakable with olive and sweet leaves, violet and dark berry; the Malbec highlights new oak with a bitter chocolate and black cherry note; the Merlot brings everything together with flavours of plum and softness. Other flavours include marmite and barrel spices. A youthful example with big tannins and acidity to match and plenty new oak, complex and lengthy finish. Cellar till at least 2025 before sampling again. This will be a twenty five year wine. Cellar properly and this wine will reward. 

Cameron Douglas