Craggy’s prestige range impresses
Craggy Range has made a strong statement with the quality and price of their latest Prestige Collection releases from the 2016 vintage. All now carry a recommended retail price of NZD $150, except for 2016 Craggy Range Sophia which is marginally cheaper at NZD $140. That’s quite a jump.Demand for all five wines is clearly buoyant enough to justify such a price increase.
According to my records, Le Sol has jumped in price by 43% in two years, while Aroha has increased by 50% and Sophia by 75% in the same period. Les Beaux Cailloux Chardonnay and Quarry were last made in 2011 and have increased in price by 138% and 105% respectively in that five-year period.
Demand for all five wines is clearly buoyant enough to justify such a price increase. The 2016 Les Beaux Cailloux Chardonnay is no longer available to anyone wishing to purchase wines via the Craggy Range website, although I have been assured that cellar door customers are still able to buy it.
The 2016 Craggy Range Les Beaux Cailloux Chardonnay from Hawke’s Bay is the first release since 2011, after which production ceased because the vineyard had to be replanted after an outbreak of leafroll virus. The wine is now better than ever. It demonstrates great power delivered with consummate subtlety. (NZD $150)
Craggy Range’s 2016 Aroha Pinot Noir from Martinborough is a distinctive and concentrated wine with a drop-dead gorgeous texture. It’s significantly weightier and more complex than the regular pinot noir label – a serious wine that’s built to last. (NZD $150)
The 2016 Craggy Range Le Sol Syrah from Hawkes Bay, Craggy Range’s flagship label, has evolved significantly since the earliest attempts when the aim was to make a powerful and generously proportioned red. It still has plenty of power but is significantly more elegant – “elegance on a grand scale” as James Halliday might say. This is the first vintage where a small amount (20%) of whole bunches has been used in the fermentation. (NZD $150)
I’ve always been a big fan of Sophia but was slightly underwhelmed by the latest release of this merlot-dominant wine, which I felt didn’t live up to the quality of earlier vintages, particularly the magnificent 2013 and 2015 wines. (NZD $140)
Cabernet sauvignon lovers will celebrate at the return of The Quarry. The 2016 Craggy Range The Quarry from Hawke’s Bay celebrates the majesty and power of great cabernet sauvignon. As good as the wine is now it promises to deliver significantly more with bottle age. (NZD $150)