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Outstanding Mills Reef wines mark 2013 as special vintage

Outstanding Mills Reef wines mark 2013 as special vintage

The phenomenal international award-winning run of Mills Reef Winery’s red wines is stamping 2013 as an exceptional vintage.
Chief winemaker and Mills Reef director Tim Preston was already labelling his 2013 harvest as “the vintage of a lifetime” after earlier international successes for the winery’s hand-crafted, Bordeaux-style reds. Three new accolades have left him searching for words.
The latest is from one of the world’s top wine magazines Decanter that is sold in 92 countries. Its judges awarded Mills Reef Elspeth Trust Vineyard Syrah 2013 “Outstanding” status and its Elspeth Syrah 2013 a “Highly Recommended”.
“Clearly, this is an exceptional vintage – 2013 is the year to put wine away to age, especially the Gimblett Gravels reds from the Hawke’s Bay,” says Tim Preston. “Our prestige Elspeth reds will cellar for twenty to thirty years.”
“Remarkably, we are winning international accolades for wines that are still affordable by New Zealand standards. Some of the wines we bettered are much dearer.”
Earlier, another Mills Reef wine took one of only two golds awarded out of 174 Merlots entered at the 46th International Wine and Spirits Competition in England. The judges enthused about Mills Reef Elspeth Merlot 2013, stating: “Deep ruby hue; intense blackberry and plum aromas, exotic Indian spice, elegant use of wood; concentrated flavours on the palate balanced by good freshness and ample but supple tannins, lingering finish. Complex and layered. Lovely wine, New World fruit with Old World restraint”.
The winning wines were made in Tauranga from grapes grown at the Mills Reef vineyard in the Gimblett Gravels Winegrowing District within Hawkes Bay.
“It is hugely exciting that New Zealand reds are doing so well internationally,” says Tim Preston. “There is a growing tide of recognition among Masters of Wine and Master Sommeliers, with Gimblett Gravels reds in particular being singled out for praise as ‘world-class’.”
For example, notable New Zealand Master of Wine Bob Campbell has just named his top 12 New Zealand Bordeaux-style wines and included four Mills Reef wines –¬ all from the 2013 vintage. He lists Elspeth Cabernet Sauvignon, Elspeth Trust Cabernet Sauvignon, Elspeth Merlot and Elspeth Cabernet Merlot, all of which are on sale locally.

And highly respected San Francisco-based wine expert Dan Berger is singing the praises of Gimblett Gravels reds, having visited the Hawke’s Bay region on several occasions. In his widely read electronic newsletter he rates all 2013 vintage Gimblett Gravels reds tasted as “Exceptional”, and singles out Mills Reef Elspeth Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 for special mention.

"This latest string of successes and individual endorsements is like winning a World Cup three times in a row,” says Tim Preston. “We are finding it hard to express our increasing delight as each amazing success is followed by another.”

He says Mills Reef has now won more than 650 medals and 27 trophies, including Champion Trophy at this year’s New Zealand Royal Easter Show Wine Awards for their 2013 Elspeth Cabernet Sauvignon, and has been New Zealand Winemaker of the Year twice.
Wines are marked out of 100 based on colour, aroma intensity and characteristics, texture and length of the taste. A score above 94 is Gold standard and any comment, such as “Outstanding” by Decanter magazine, is an additional accolade.
While Tim Preston’s “vintage of a lifetime” tag for 2013 is proving to be particularly accurate, the coming season is mirroring 2013 so far, raising expectations for another special vintage in 2016.
“Weather wise, 2013 had a cool flowering period – not cold, but cool enough to regulate for perfect fruit set – followed by an long, warm, even- growing season. We have been told we can expect a similar weather pattern this summer to what we had in 2013.”


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