Sacred Special Selection


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A notable collection of wine samples arrived on my doorstep recently. Sacred Hill has released all of their flagship ‘Special Selection’ wines, apart from their Virgin Chardonnay (a wine that’s unsullied by oak). They are all from the excellent 2014 and 2015 vintages (the 2014 slightly more excellent than the 2015).

All achieved five-star status except the 2015 Sacred Hill Wine Thief Chardonnay (tasting), which narrowly missed by one-point. Wine Thief Chardonnay is sourced from the same vineyard that produces the exalted Rifleman’s Chardonnay, although it doesn’t quite match its big brother’s intensity and power.

2015 Rifleman’s (tasting) rates as one of the country’s very best chardonnays. To remind me how well Rifleman’s ages the winemaker, Tony Bish, included a bottle of 2006 Rifleman’s Chardonnay in the pack of samples. It was in superb condition, although I believe that the 2015 will ultimately be an even better wine.

2014 Sacred Hill Deerstalkers Syrah (tasting) is another very concentrated wine with obvious potential. It’s still a little closed, making it slightly hard to read, although the intensity and complexity of the wine speaks volumes. This is a very serious syrah.

2014 Sacred Hill Brokenstone (tasting) is a merlot-dominant blend with malbec, syrah, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc. It’s a big, rich and almost chewy wine. The malbec component dominates.

I was more impressed with 2014 Sacred Hill Helmsman (tasting), a cabernet sauvignon-dominant blend with merlot and cabernet franc. Cabernet sauvignon makes a strong statement in this wine. Grown in the right vineyard and given perfect vintage conditions, Hawke’s Bay cabernet sauvignon can reach great heights.

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