Abbey Story (2002 - Today)
We believe there is a lot to be said for just loving wine. Loving the tradition, the process, the idea, the taste, the sight, the feeling, the sharing. The experience.
It was our love of wine that brought us to develop and run our own single estate family owned vineyard.
In order to produce world-class ultra premium wine, we knew we had to find the perfect location to develop our dream. Coming from a ‘heartland’ background we already knew a thing or two about good land and how important it is in order to produce a quality product.
In 2002, we found what we needed. Located in the red metal triangle of Bridge Pa, Hawke’s Bay, on 13 hectares of silted red metal soils, now sits a single estate winery, proud to be making some of the best wine New Zealand has to offer.
The character of Bridge Pa Triangle soils lends strong exponents of blackberry, raspberry, and eastern spices, not to mention the influence of early ripening. This allows Abbey Cellars to deliver powerfully deep and rich reds with smooth tannins in a middleweight style that is barrelled in 100 percent oak.
The name Abbey Cellars was inspired by many years of travel and a penchant for the churches, cathedrals and abbeys of years gone by. For us the feelings invoked by these beautiful buildings of the past; beauty, mystery, tradition and romance, are not dissimilar to what we can draw from a fine glass of wine.
Believing that a truly good wine captures all those elements and more, we felt it appropriate to marry the two concepts creating for ourselves, and our customers, a truly unique and complete wine experience.
As winemakers we are careful to apply traditional methods in our winemaking process. We place huge importance on quality and each harvest our grapes are handpicked and then reselected to ensure only the highest quality grapes are used.
Grapes are ready only when they reach certain degree of ripeness (mixture of sugar and acidity levels) and our wines are aged in premium quality French Oak barrels. After extended aging, our wines are released to the market only when they are ready to drink.
Like the traditional Abbeys of the past we are mostly self-sufficient, and as a single estate winery we use only what we grow ourselves, to create our fine wines.
The Abbey Cellars winery building is housed on the same property as the vineyard itself and is a spectacular sight for anyone who visits the vineyard or the cellar door. A unique interpretation of a gothic abbey, the grand proportions evoke an authentic yet modern feel, while the views out over the vines complete its truly captivating ambience.
The business itself is a family affair with both our daughter (Natarsha) and our son (Dermot) contributing to the success of Abbey Cellars. The family component of Abbey Cellars adds to our enjoyment of the business but also lends itself to our boutique brand. We take pride in every aspect of our wines, each one contributed by a member of the extended Abbey Cellars’ family.
Many people ask us how we ever perceived running a vineyard and winery as a new start-up venture. Our answer is simple; Abbey Cellars is our love. Our commitment to what we love and our passion for fine wine makes every day extraordinary.
The Abbeys of the world hold many secrets, as does our own here in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. We are careful to employ traditional winemaking techniques for each vintage; however we do have a few secrets of our own - secrets that will be passed from generation to generation of the Abbey’s winemakers, for years to come.
Abbey Cellars - A divine drop!
Bishop Merlot 2013
85% Merlot, 7% Malbec, 5% Cabernet Franc and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 13 months in approx. 35% new French oak. Very dark, deep, near impenetrable black-red colour with youthful purple hues. This has a full and densely packed nose of ripe black berry and black plum aromas along with Asian spices, and toasty, bacon-like oak notes. Full-bodied, the flavours of sweetly ripe black berries and plums fill the mouth. The fruit is melded with layers of blue fruits, spices, and toasty oak that unfold in waves, enriching the fruit. The mouthfeel is soft and fleshy, with good tannin structure and fresh acidity in support, providing texture, vitality and line. The flavours carry through to a long and concentrated finish of spiced plums and toasty oak. This is a rich, fleshy, hearty and ripe, plummy and toasty flavoured Merlot with good structure.
Barrel Fermented Chardonnay
Bright straw-yellow colour, lighter on rim. The nose is elegantly concentrated with subtly restrained aromas of yellow stonefruits and citrus fruits, with nutty, vanillin lifted oak notes, the bouquet building in depth. Medium-full bodied, clean and clear fruit flavours of white and yellow stonefruits show delicate nutty and flinty lees flavours. The mouthfeel is gently creamy with soft, balanced acidity in support. This has good underlying power, with a fine phenolic thread guiding the palate to a lightly textured finish with long citrus and nutty notes. This is a stylish Chardonnay with restrained fruit and barrel-ferment flavours and subtle nutty interest. Match with most white meat dishes over the next 4-5+ years. Fruit selectively hand-picked, WBP, and full barrel-fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 9 months in 33% new French oak with approx. 25% MLF and given 4 months batonnage
Temptation Malbec 2009
Fresh, juicy red with ripe plum, red berries and hints of spice. Deliciously easy to drink with sweet fruit supported by fruity acidity rather than tannins. 85/100
Bob Campbell (Master of Wine)
Prophet Cabernet Blend 2013
Full, deep, black-hued ruby-red with purple hues on rim. The nose is soft and harmoniously melded with aromas of ripe black and redcurrants, dark red plums, dark herbs and spicy oak. The aromatics are integrated and exude good ripeness. Medium-full bodied, the flavours of ripe blackcurrants, red berry fruits and plums are elegantly presented. The mouthfeel is smooth with integrated, fine-grained and supple tannins and discreet background acidity. The flavours flow effortlessly with a fine guiding line, unfolding herb and cedary oak nuances, leading to a gentle, smooth, grainy finish. This is a smooth, supple, blackcurrant and plummy fruited Cabernet blend with integrated and balanced oak. Serve with roast lamb and beef, and with semi-hard cheeses over the next 4-5 years. 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc, 15% Malbec and 9% Merlot, fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 13 months in approx. 30% new French oak.