TRINITY HILL HOMAGE HAWKE’S BAY SYRAH 2016 $140
Inhale. Exhale. For starters, an “Homage” is not made unless the grapes have been blessed by the weather gods and carefully coaxed through the season and into the bottle by fairies, Care Bears and My Little Ponies. This is the 10th release of what’s now considered a “Super Classic”, by the Gandalf of NZ Wine Critics, Michael Cooper, and I’d back him on a One Wine To Rule Them All quest any day. One hundred per cent syrah harvested from the Gimblett Gravels and Roys Hill has created a wine scented with red rose, pink peppercorns, charred cedar soaked in caramel, dark berries and hedgerow fruits. The mouthfeel is silky, seductive and the gripping tannins add complexity to the density and weight of this powerfully built wine.
Sip with: venison carpaccio. trinityhill.com
GEORGES ROAD CUVEE 43 WAIPARA SYRAH 2016 $45
Kirk Bray knows how to put an impressive syrah together from his little vineyard in North Canterbury, and this new cuvee is a beauty. One sniff screams “Violets ahoy!” Then soft cocoa and cherry follow and merge with earthy, forest floor and foxy, gamey spices. It’s living proof that supermodel syrah can come from the south and I love it.
Sip with: roasted slabs of aubergine with red onion and drizzled with pepper, yoghurt and lemon. georgesroadwines.co.nz
MISSION ESTATE JEWELSTONE GIMBLETT GRAVELS SYRAH 2016 $50
As Tana Umaga once said, “This isn’t tiddlywinks mate, it’s a contact sport.” And so it is with the Global Syrah Masters Champs. Held in London and judged by Masters of Wine, Master Sommeliers, and palates protected by million pound insurance policies, it’s war among the finest syrahs in the world. This wine scooped a gold medal for its power, it’s muscular mouthfeel, it’s fine-grained, yet cheek-puckering tannins and spicy, floral perfume. It’s glorious.
Sip with: Jan Bilton’s coffee-braised beef. missionestate.co.nz
An ‘Homage’ is not made unless the grapes have been blessed by the weather gods and coaxed into the bottle by fairies, Care Bears and My Little Ponies.