Puriri Hills 'Pope' 2015

  • An amazingly complete wine - hard to imagine how it could possibly be much better.
  • Possibly the best Puriri Hills vintage yet.
  • Clevedon’s best red wines since its first commercial vintage in 1999.
  • 1 or more bottles
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  • James Suckling
    95 points
  • Bob Campbell MW
    96 points
  • Michael Cooper
    5 points

Editors notes

An amazingly complete wine inspired by the grand crus of Pomerol and St Emilion. Whopping concentration and great beauty simultaneously, delicate perfumes and dark cherries, succulent and creamy but with purity of fruit that is unlike anything you will have tasted from NZ before.
"Elegance on a grand scale" - Bob Campbell


Tasting Profile

  • Light (Light)
    Full (Full)
  • Low Tannin (Low Tannin)
    Tannic (Tannic)
  • Sweet (Sweet)
    Dry (Dry)
  • Low Acidity (Low Acidity)
    High Acidity (High Acidity)
  • Aroma
    • Black Fruits
    • Cedar
    • Forest Floor
  • Palate
    • Black Fruits
    • Liquorice
    • Tobacco

Food Pairings

  • Game
  • Pork
  • Red Meat

Critic Scores & reviews

  • James Suckling

    "Aromas of violets, blackberries, cedar, sandalwood, and iron shavings. Full-bodied yet the palate is very tight and compacted. Fantastic tannin structure and a tight, fresh finish. Tannic at the end yet polished texture. 60% merlot, 16% cabernet franc, 11% cabernet sauvignon, 9% carmenere and 4% malbec. This will continue to age beautifully. Drink or hold."
  • Bob Campbell MW

    "Made from merlot 60%, cabernet franc 16%, cabernet sauvignon 11%, carménère 9% and malbec 4%. Flagship label in a slightly more concentrated and more structured style thanks in part to the higher percentage of cabernet sauvignon and the addition of carménère. It needs a little time to mellow and develop greater complexity."
  • Michael Cooper

    "Named after Ivan Pope, who planted and tended the vines at this Clevedon, South Auckland vineyard. The 2015 vintage is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carménère and Malbec, matured for two years in French oak casks (80 per cent new). Deeply coloured, it is a powerful but elegant red, still very youthful, with highly concentrated, almost lush, ripe blackcurrant, plum and spice flavours. Likely to be long-lived, it should be at its best 2024+."

Other vintages

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New Zealand

The New Zealand wine industry is one of the younger wine regions in the world, whose popularity grew immensely when Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc hit the world wine scene, quite unique in style when compared to the typical French Sancerre.

Wine is successfully cultivated on both the North and South islands from a latitude of 36 degrees in the North to 45 degrees for the most southerly wine region in the world, the South Island's Central Otago. The majority of regions are located in free-draining alluvial valleys except for Waiheke Island and Kawarau Gorge in Central Otago and benefit from the moderating effect of the maritime climate as no vineyard is more than 80 miles from the ocean. With plentiful sunshine hours and cool evening sea breezes, the grapes thrive.

Sauvignon Blanc is the major white variety people will think of when you mention New Zealand Whites, however fantastic Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer and less commonly Viognier, Chenin Blanc and Pinot Blanc. Pinot Noir is the most widely planted red variety in New Zealand although Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot (Bordeaux Blends), Syrah are also grown and in even smaller amounts, Tempranillo and Montepulcianos can too be found. Sparkling wines of very high standards are also made in New Zealand.

The key wine regions in New Zealand include Auckland, Canterbury, Central Otago, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Marlborough and Nelson.


The Auckland region was home to the Dalmatian immigrants who settled in West Auckland in the early part of the 20th Century, bringing with them winemaking traditions. The New Zealand wine industry largely owes its beginnings to those early settlers.

Most of the wineries are around 45 minutes drive from the city of Auckland, so the region is popular for day trippers. Auckland’s climate in general isn't ideally suited to grape cultivation, but small pockets or sub-regions exist where micro-climates can produce some world-class wines. The region typically gets enough sunshine for the harvest, but rain is the constant threat, especially in spring and summer.

The red varieties that work the best in the region are the Bordeaux styled varieties made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and also the non-Bordeaux Syrah. Most notable of the whites grown in the region is Chardonnay, for which Kumeu River is very highly regarded.

About the brand Puriri Hills

Puriri Hills are one of NZ's finest makers of Bordeaux-style reds; that includes any producer you care to name, Stonyridge, Te Mata, Craggy Range and Trinity Hill et al! Devotees of Puriri Hills will likely tell you from their experience that they are NZ's finest maker of Bordeaux style blends.

Their reputation for quality and value is hard earned by proprietor Judy Fowler's unwillingness to bottle anything off her boutique vineyard that doesn't meet the uncompromising standards she sets for her cellar-worthy Puriri Hills Estate, Reserve or Pope labels.

They're widely regarded as the closest thing to the fine wines of St Emilion and Pomerol in NZ and we regard the wines as perhaps NZ's finest Merlot-dominant blends.

Puriri Hills reputation grows with every release and is set to go into the stratosphere with the release of the 2010s, regarded as the finest vintage yet for this 20-year-old producer.

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