About the Wine
“Winemaking is an art, not a numbers game and our winemakers and viticulturists understand this. For us it's simple: our wine is far more important than how many zeros are on our balance sheet.” ~Villa Maria
‘Ngakirikiri’ is a Maori word that alludes to the unique and rare gravel soils found at Hawkes Bay. This is an iconic wine and the flagship label from Villa Maria. It is extremely limited and only produced on the most exceptional vintages.2014is the second vintage that this estate has released from this gem, it’s a presentation of the very best of Villa Maria’s holdings in the Gimblett Gravels appellation.
2014 Villa Maria Ngakirkiri was recognized as “one of the world’s great Cabernet Sauvignons” at a tasting that included wine critics like Bob Campbell MW, Cameron Douglas MS, Jane Skilton MW, Paul Tudor MW, and Sam Kim. This last one blessed it with a 100pt review, and called it a wine with “exceptional depth and richness, perfectly balanced and structured.”Robert Parker spoke about it stating that “This luxury cuvée sets a new standard of excellence for Villa Maria.”
With more than 60 years of producing wine in New Zealand, Villa María has become a benchmark for premium viticulture in this country, and around the world. Sir George Fistonich began his wine dream in 1960, with just one acre of vineyard. Little did he know that this dream would soon become an internationally award-winning, highly recognized winery.
Villa Maria’s accolades are countless: In 2020, it was named (for the 6th consecutive year) as the “Most Admired Brand from New Zealand” by the renowned Drinks International Magazine. That same year, it was selected (for the 3rd time) as the “Must Trusted Wine Brand” by Reader’s Digest. It’s been rewarded “New Zealand Wine Producer of the Year” by the International Wine & Spirit Competition more than 4 times. Named as “One of the World’s 50 Great Wine Producers” by Wine Spectator, among other recognitions.
This winery is completely committed to the environment by implementing sustainable practices in the vineyard and in the cellar. They're organically certified by the “New Zealand Sustainable Winegrowing” company, the “BioGro” and the “Toitu” organization. Their mantra explains it very simply: “We believe in living life to the fullest while making sure we are protecting the earth for future generations.”
Tasting Notes: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. This deep purple-colored wine gradually yields notably intense and pure aromatics of cassis, black plum, and anise, with ground coffee bean, graphite, fragrant thyme, and cedar nuances also vying for attention. Layers of concentrated flavors emerge and flow beautifully across the palate from start to finish, with optimally ripe fruit, fine-grained tannins, and supportive oak enhancing overall texture and richness at each point along the way. This full-bodied wine will benefit and gain additional complexity from careful cellaring over the next 15-20 years.
Superbly concentrated and weighted, delivering exceptional depth and richness, while remaining perfectly balanced and structured. ~100 Points, Sam Kim.
Immediately captivating with aromas of dark berries and brooding complexity. On the palate - youthful, varietal, compact, taut and delicious. Firm tannins have a satin polish to them, an abundance of acidity. Lengthy finish, complex and very appealing. ~97 Points, Cameron Douglas MS.
Following the vintage of a lifetime in 2013, along came another vintage of a lifetime: Hawke's Bay was starting to sound like Bordeaux. In 2014, it was slightly cooler, but the conditions allowed Villa Maria to make its new flagship wine two years in a row. This displays a wonderful, silken texture; there's a sense of effortlessness as it glides quietly through your mouth. When it comes to aromas and flavors, expect classic but sweetly ripe Cabernet cassis and green capsicum with integrated oak-derived cedar notes adding complexity. Yields are tiny, reflected in the density within the elegant core. There's an abundance of resolved Cabernet tannins providing the frame for the delicate fruit. If you are lucky/wealthy enough to have a bottle of this and you were thinking about opening it soon, please don't: it is still an infant. It's a prodigious child but I'm sure it will be more satisfying in adulthood. ~96 Points, Vinous Media.
The impressive 2014 Ngakirikiri is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Pencil shavings frame notes of cassis liqueur in this medium to full-bodied wine that manages to be rich and creamy yet firmly structured and intense. It's downright embryonic at this stage, with layers of primary fruit, elegant French oak and a swirl of dusty tannins on the lingering finish. This luxury cuvée sets a new standard of excellence for Villa Maria.~95 Points, Wine Advocate.
Dark cherries and cassis, chocolate, graphite and roasting herbs abound on the nose. This has such striking intensity and depth to the palate with dark-chocolate and black-cherry flavors, as well as dark-plum paste and a spicy thread, too.The length is impressive here. Great balance and drive. Drink or hold. Screw cap. ~94 Points, James Suckling.
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