Smith and Sheth ‘CRU’ is the wine brand of Steve Smith MW and Brian Sheth who together have formed Aotearoa New Zealand Fine Wine Estates. This is the return of Steve Smith, who is best known for his establishing of Craggy Range with the Peabody family and his role as chief viticulturist for the Villa Maria Estates group before that. Steve has teamed up with Brian Sheth, one of the founders of Vista Equity Partners, a global technology investment firm. Among other business and interests, Brian is also the chairman of Global Wildlife Conservation. Aotearoa New Zealand Fine Wine originally aimed to have wine from great parcels from exceptional vineyards, but has grown to purchase unique and individual winegrowing operations, starting with Pyramid Valley in North Canterbury and Lowburn Ferry in Central Otago. The company also has a 5 ha vineyard in the Gimblett Gravels in Hawke’s Bay with Chardonnay and Syrah, awaiting its first yield. Michael Henley, formerly of Craggy Range and Trinity Hill is the CEO, and the company works closely with several viticulturalists. The wines are made from the highest quality fruit selected from special sites. Steve personally makes the wines at friends’ winery facilities.
What The Critics Say
95/100 Cameron Douglas Master Sommelier
"Powerful bouquet capturing the ideal scents of Syrah with blackcurrant, dark peppery spices, bakes raspberry, crushed red flowers, sweet meat, toasty, woody oak, gravelly soils, plum and violet. On the palate - firm, dry, bold flavours and textures with a back bone of acidity, youthful firm tannins, clove, vanilla, black cherry and black currant; lengthy finish. This wine could do with some cellar time. Best from 2020 through 2028. Decant for service if you can't wait." Drink 2020 - 2028
96/100 Wine Orbit, Sam Kim
"Dramatic and brooding, the splendidly fragrant bouquet displays dark fruit, smoked game, thyme, toasted almond and dark mushroom characters with subtle black olive and floral undertones. The palate is substantial and sumptuous, delivering awesome fruit weight and intensity, together with seductive savoury notes, wonderfully framed by loads of fine, chalky tannins. It is engaging, striking and astonishingly good." Drink 2019 - 2028
18.5/20 Raymond Chan
"Full, dark, deep, near saturated black-hued purple-red colour, very youthful in appearance. The nose is very full and voluminous with well-packed aromas of very ripe blackberry fruit along with boysenberries and mulberry notes, black plums and iron-earth. The aromatics are harmoniously integrated with warm, savoury earth, game and nutty oak notes, unfolding nuances of ink and tar, then black florals. Medium-full bodied, the palate has well-concentrated flavours of very ripe blackberry, mulberry and plum fruit with boysenberry hints. A complexing layer of black pepper, liquorice and spices add detail, with piquant florals providing lifted elements. The mouthfeel features a firm heart with fine-grained tannins lending powdery textures and grip. A firm acid edge carries the wine to a taut, lingering finish. Match with slow-cooked game meat and semi-hard cheeses over the next 8-10 years. Fruit from the Gimblett Gravels, vines 15 y.o., predominantly destemmed and indigenous yeast fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged 18 months in 40% new French oak barriques. 77.5 dozen made. 18.5/20 Mar 2018 RRP $65.00." Drink 2018 - 2028
We deliver throughout New Zealand and to some locations overseas. Our deliveries are made by trusted third party carriers. For further details on prices and delivery options please go to DELIVERY INFORMATION section of our site.
If for any reason you are not entirely happy with your order or you suspect that they may be affected by a quality issue, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will remedy the problem straight away. Contact us on 0800 422 767.