Redd Gravels'Gimblett Gravels' Red 2004- Library Release- Special Priced 3-Pack
Redd Gravels Red is all at once familiar and entirely unlike anything else. Pervasive, deep wild berry and palpable mineral presence are the driving force on the palate, while each vintage has a unique character. The varietals that comprise each vintage are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, except for this 2004 vintage, which was made of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. These wines are bottled history, and delicious ones at that.
In 2000, Mark Blake, a bright-eyed 30-something from the Bay Area working in the finance sector and driven by a passion for wine, purchased two vineyards in Gimblett Gravels sub region of Hawke’s Bay in New Zealand’s North Island. He saw the potential of wine in New Zealand and recognized the value of the land. Redd Gravels, with its remarkably rocky soil, was the vineyard that captured his attention and became dedicated to producing a Bordeaux Blend that would rival the greatest in the world in excellence and ageability.
the 2004 vintage, Mark hired Doug Wisor as his winemaker, who at the time, was making wine for Craggy Range Vineyard, and was making some of the best wines produced in New Zealand, according to Decanter. Doug was well on his way to making history when he joined Mark Blake’s Redd Gravels project. Tragically, Doug’s life was abruptly cut short in a kite surfing accident shortly thereafter. He left this world with the same sense of adventure that had brought him to New Zealand and launched his short, but indelible, career.
Mark, driven to carry on the legacy of Redd Gravels, had recalled meeting Brad Grimes, winemaker of Abreu Vineyards, at a lecture at UC Davis so reached out to him asking for help, and ultimately, the two assembled a group of what are now some of the top California winemakers to head to the Southern Hemisphere. In 2005, Brad Grimes of Abreu Vineyards, Matt Rorick of Forlorn Hope, Adrian Baker of Peak Cellars, and Larry Cherubino of Australia came together to produce one of the greatest wines New Zealand wines that, to this day, few have ever tasted.
The story continued in 2006 when Brad returned with Mark Porembski of Zeitgeist and Anomaly and Jason Exposto of FUTO. 2007’s team was comprised of Brad, Jason, and Adrian Baker, once again.
During these years, tanks and barrels were specially shipped in from France and the U.S, unheard of at that time. When the team wasn’t working, Brad, a former chef, would cook dinners, and the group would taste wines of the same vintage from all over the world to gain an understanding of the fabric of a truly extraordinary wine. Brad recounts attempting to procure quail for a dinner and learning that this was the equivalent of trying to order a house cat at a U.S. butcher shop.
Like many stories within a volume, those of Napa Valley have a throughline, and in this case, it is a sense of true community. In an industry where egos can be grand, the projects created from genuine passion and dedication are always the standouts.
- CountryNew Zealand
- RegionHawke's Bay
- AppellationGimblett Gravels