Le Sol
Craggy Range Syrah Le Sol (French: the soil) is born of the renowned Gimblett Gravels viticultural appellation. The importance of the soil in the creation of this wine and the respect for the Rhone Valley were the leading elements for defining its name.

Gimblett Gravels is a designation encompassing a centuries old dried river bed in Hawke’s Bay that is believed to be the first in the New World where the ultimate boundary is defined by a distinct soil type. The vines are planted in the stoniest parts of the vineyard to a heritage clone of Syrah brought to New Zealand in the 1840s. Representative of the Rhone valley, the gravel soils attract the sun in the summer and insulate in the winter to produce grapes that are rich, ripe and exuberant.

Intensively hand managed, the grapes reveal a deep and dark Syrah with purple hues which represents the very best of the style for that year. Le Sol is always aromatically pure with a luscious yet elegant mid-palate and a distinctive fine tannin finish we call ‘Gimblett dust’.

Cellaring Chart:
Drinking well now, but will improveDrinking well now, but will improveNeeds More CellaringNeeds More CellaringNeeds More CellaringDrinking well now, but will improveNeeds More CellaringNeeds More CellaringNeeds More CellaringNeeds More CellaringNeeds More Cellaring
Drinking well now, but will improve
Drinking well now,
but will improve
Continue cellaring
Drinking at its peak
Drinking at its peak
  • Tasting Notes

  • Vintage Details

  • Winemaking

  • Reviews

  • Deep red with vibrant purple hues. Complex brooding Syrah aromatics of boysenberry, blackpepper, camphor and garrigue herbs. The palate is all about finesse with dark fruit richness beautifully integrated with fine tannins and acidity to give a finish which is long and dry.

  • Warm and dry, excellent

    Brix:   23.9 average 
    Production level: 55 hl/ha
    Hand harvested: 100%

  • Whole bunch:  0%    
    Destemmed:  100%    
    Fermentation vessel:    Open top French oak cuves
    Fermentation:    Inoculated
    Barrel type:    Combination of open top French oak cuves and open stainless steel tanks
    New barrel %:   32%   
    Maturation:  18 months  
    Fining:    No 
    Filtration:   Yes
    Bottled:    Feb-15


    Alcohol:    13.1
    Residual sugar:    Nil  
    pH:    3.61
    Acidity:    5.8g/l  

  • Date: May 2015
    Publication: Raymond Chan Wine Reviews
    5 Stars, 19.5 Points
    "This is the most beautifully refined ‘Le Sol’ to date. It has elegance and finesse, with intense black fruits, minerals, florals, earth and spices. Match with slow cooked game meat over 10-15 years."
    - Raymond Chan

    Date: August 2015 
    Publication: Decanter 
    19.5/20 Points 
    "Intensely aromatic Syrah with dark berry and violets leading the charge. Oriental spices and spicy French oak are added on the palate. Clearly a powerful wine but with energy and poise too. A mouthwateringly vibrant red with a featherbed texture."

    Date: June 2015
    Publication: www.bobswinereviews.com 
    5 Stars, 98 Points
    “ Dense but not a heavy wine, lithe rather than blockbuster although certainly not lacking power. Tightly packed flavours. including dark berry, Oriental spices, oak and a suggestion of floral characters are gradually displayed and will continue to be revealed as the wine ages. A truly classic 'Le Sol'.”
    - Bob Campbell MW

    Date: July 2015
    Publication: Huon Hooke Wine Reviews
    5 Stars, 96 Points 
    "Very deep, youthful red/purple colour and a spicy, clovey, typical Gimblett Gravels almond note. It's tight and firm in the mouth, with elegance and extra length. The ample tannins are soft, fleshy and beautifully integrated. It's not as peppery as some vintages. A very stylish, polished wine."
    - Huon Hooke 

    Date: July 2015 
    Publication: tysonstelzer.com 
    96 Points 
    “The evolution of refinement at Craggy Range over the past decade has been something to behold, with vine age permitting harvest at lower sugar ripeness and more sensitive use of oak as a textural element rather than a flavour component. The estate attained a wonderful crescendo in the “cracker” 2013 vintage, and ‘Le Sol’ is its leading act, an intricately refined and elegant release, yet with understated depth and presence. It announces itself in enticing aromas, at once floral with violet notes, deep in black cherry and black plum fruit and spicy in white pepper. The palate follows, delightfully fine and intricately knit, with beautifully well-structured tannin texture. Elegant, pure and graceful, it’s impeccably balanced now and infused with the integrity, structural confidence, bright acidity and excellent persistence that promise a long future."
    - Tyson Stelzer 

    Date: July 2015 
    Publication:  The Weekly Review 
    96 Points 
    “It’s an elegant Syrah, reminiscent of France’s northern Rhone examples, with violets, earth, black cherry, plum, spice and a touch of malty vanilla oak character. 
    An amazing bright, deep purple in colour, this treads the elegant-versus-concentration tightrope really well. Seamless in the mouth, the flavour and fine tannins caress all the points. It will be interesting to see how it evolves over the next decade or two."
    - Ben Thomas

    Date: May 2015 
    Publication: Michael Cooper Wine Reviews
    5 Stars
    “Bold, purple-flushed colour, with vibrant, beautifully ripe plum and black pepper flavours, showing lovely harmony, and a long, spicy finish.  Already highly approachable, it should be at its best 2020+. "
    - Michael Cooper

    Date: July 2015 
    Publication: The Wine Front
    95 Points 
    "Peppery and boysenberried with sweet, jellied cherry giving it a bright, succulent appeal."
    - Campbell Mattinson

    Date: August 2015 
    Publication: Rob Geddes, MW
    95 Points 
    "Tiered aromas with subtle oak, blueberry and dark berries, then dried herbs, and into sausage meat, and pepper smoked meats, and sandalwood. In the mouth, this has a firm even frame with youthful restraint and very good length of fruit. A touch of citrus and tannins with the spice flavours on the finish, unloading with Chinese green pepper through to white pepper and a fresh acid. Start drinking in 2020."
    - Rob Geddes, MW

    May 2015
    Publication: Jamie Goode
    94 Points
    "An exciting wine!"
    - Jamie Goode  

    Date: June 2015
    Publication: Annual Vintage Selection 
    96 Points
    "Medium deep colour. Classic blackberry, raspberry herb garden aromas with camomile notes. Beautiful purity of fruit. Well concentrated supple wine with fresh blackberry, raspberry, aniseed flavours, chalky lacy textures and fine long acidity. Finishes boney and long with pure fruit length. Impressive balance between power and elegance. Now-2030."
    - Andrew Caillard 

    Date: August 2015
    Publication: Travel Daily
    94 Points
    "A flagship Kiwi red of real presence. Deep plum, cherry, pepper, spice and cedary oak aromas lead into a powerful, unevolved drop with its depth of fruit still emerging through big, layered, drying tannins."
    - Ralph Kyte-Powell