Icon | Gimblett Gravels
Vintage 2018 
Ngakirikiri is predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon from mature, low-yielding vines left thriving in this unique Gimblett gravels terroir, and is only bottled when vintages produce truly exceptional wine for consideration. This flagship wine represents the pinnacle of our winemaking achievements and a milestone in Villa Maria’s history.
Hawkes Bay with its coastal location and proximity to mountains typically experiences a dry, maritime climate with an influential diurnal temperature range. Gimblett Gravels is located approx. 15km inland and experiences temperatures typically warmer than its neighbouring localities, promoting a consistent level of ripeness to be achieved by low yielding vines planted in free draining soils.
The 2018 Hawkes Bay vintage followed on from one of the warmest summers on record providing superb conditions for ripening, with heat summation finishing well ahead of the long-term average with 1500 Growing Degree Days (GDD’s). Although the white harvest commenced early with pressure from untimely rain, thick skinned later ripening reds were harvested in excellent condition under welcome blue skies and produced the greatest wines of the harvest.

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Dark and spicy

Tasting notes

Upon pouring, the deep-ruby hued wine gradually unfolds fragrant aromatics of cassis, violets and complex wood spices, with graphite, thyme and clove also emerging from the glass.


Layers of concentrated flavours are revealed across a medium to full bodied frame, with ripe fruit and hints of black olive and cigar, all wrapped by fine-grained tannins and supportive oak, enhancing texture and richness from start to finish.


This vintage will benefit and gain additional complexity from careful cellaring over the next 15+ years.

Immediately captivating with aromas of dark berries and brooding complexity.




Hawkes Bay

Located on the East Coast, Hawkes Bay is the heart of Aotearoa New Zealand’s food and wine country. The region is one of the country’s oldest for grape growing and the second largest, with vineyards concentrated around the urban centres of Hastings and Napier.

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Showcasing the very best of the regions in which they are grown, these expressions represent the pinnacle of our vineyard management, winemaking achievements and a milestone in Villa Maria’s history.