Elephant Hill - Te Awanga, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
A wide range of delights.
Elephant Hill certainly catches the eye.
Brightly coloured and right next to the ocean, you can't help but turn through the gates to have a closer look.
What you will find is a beautiful setting and a fantastic range of wines.
Elephant Hill's cellar door is a simple affair, extending the welcome desk for their impressive restaurant and is backed by shelves full of award winning wines.
The tasting is very generous as I was given 9 different wines to taste.
My host was very knowledgeable and patient as I took my notes and discussed every detail of each wine (luckily there was no other patrons at that time).
The wines were all quite unique from others in the Hawke's Bay with some very interesting blending going on.
Take for example the Le Phant Blanc (not pictured below) which is 65% Viognier, 30% Pinot Gris and a tiny 5% Gewürztraminer. However the Gewürztraminer dominates on the nose while the palate is decidedly Viognier.
Also of note is the Gewürztraminer 2012 in which 5% of the wine was actually fermented in Acacia wood (which added a spicy note to the wine) then this was blended in with the main blend before the whole lot was put back into year old oak barrels for four months with only minimum lees stirring.
As was to be expected my favourite wines of the tasting were the Malbec based wines.
The Le Phant Rouge (20% Malbec) and of course the always superb Hieronymus (75% Malbec).
My take-home was an obvious choice and I walked away with a bottle of Hieronymus 2011 to enjoy.