Craggy Range Sophia Gimblett Gravels 2007

The first thing I noticed about Craggy Range's Sophia, in 2007, a blend of 81% merlot, 10% cabernet franc, 7% cabernet sauvignon and 2% malbec was its "epic" bottle weight.  Crazy.  I bought this wine because I was so impressed with Craggy Range's lower priced Te Kahu Merlot from 2009 that I reasoned that their "top of the line" stuff must be even better.  Opening the bottle, it was immediately apparent that this wine had been built to last.  A reticent, brooding aroma of spices, soft plums and oak emerged.  Tasting it, there was some fairly good length, that subtle "softness" that tells the drinker "drink me, for I am good", acidity, powdery tannins, young oak and perhaps a touch of alcohol heat.  But it was somewhat lacking in "x factor" - while at every point, I thought this undoubtedly a good wine, at no point did I think "wow, this wine really brings something to the table".  And for $75, I needed to think that.  Here are the technical notes from the winery.  7.5/10 (90 points)

Abv: 14.5%
Price: around $75
Would I buy it having tasted it?  I'm afraid not, I'll stick with the Te Kahu 2009.

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