2014 SoHo "Valentina" Syrah Waiheke Island

SKU #1228576 95 points Bob Campbell

 Deeply tinted Syrah with a purple hue. Strong raspberry, spice/pepper and a suggestion of violets supported by nutty oak. Elegance on a grand scale. The wine is surprisingly appealing now, partly thanks to a strong core of sweet fruit, but will obviously benefit from cellaring.  (4/2015)

95 points Sam Kim

 It is pristine and pure, yet seductively complex on the nose displaying dark plum, blueberry, floral and cedar with a whisper of white pepper. The plate is beautifully ripe and silky with excellent mid palate weight and fleshy mouthfeel, backed by supple tannins. A gracefully powerful syrah destined to evolve wonderfully.

92 points Raymond Chan

 Full, very deep, near impenetrable black-red with youthful purple hues. The nose is full and densely concentrated with gentle aromas of ripe black berried fruits infused with spices, black pepper and minerals, unfolding layers of nutty oak, ink and tar. Medium-full bodied, the palate features intense and finely concentrated, sweetly ripe flavours of black berried fruits, black pepper, Asian spices and minerals. Nutty oak and tarry detail adds interest. The fruit has richness and real presence, and is balanced by very fine-grained, powdery tannins, the wine flowing with excellent drive. The mouthfeel is smooth and integrated with ripe, soft acidity lending energy. Violet and black florals, black pepper and spice nuances emerge and lead to a concentrated, stylish, lingering finish with mineral elements. This is an elegantly concentrated black-fruited Syrah with fine structure that will blossom and evolve over the next 7-8 years. Serve with lamb, beef and game meat. Hand-picked fruit from the ‘Jomara’ vineyard, Onetangi, fermented to 14.0% alc., the wine aged 9 months in 14% new French and American oak barriques.

Wine Spectator

 Perfumed and floral, with generous wild berry flavors and accents of black tea, cigar box, mineral, nutmeg and clary sage. A firm, dense backbone of tannins lends an adequate framework to all of the nuances, finishing long and detailed. Drink now through 2030.  (10/2015)

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Price: $13.99
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Staff Image By: Andrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/23/2016 | Send Email
Another fantastic new direct import for us, Soho is making super fun and easy drinking wines. The Valentina Syrah is especially good especially if, like me, you like a more spicy and aromatic Syrah over meaty or gamy. Good dark fruit and a very expressive nose make this a great food wine, that would not be a bad idea to cocktail either.

Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/2/2015 | Send Email
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I am stoked to be working with the folks at SoHo Wine Co. I have long sought a direct import partner on Waiheke Island and finally found one on my last trip to NZ. This beautiful Syrah is from their Onetangi Vineyard on this small volcanic island. The wine has lovely floral aromatics, purple fruits, lifted spices, scorched earth, toasty French oak polish. Beautiful pure, silky wine, very easy to drink, great presence on the palate. Equally at home with food or as the main course by itself. Amazing value thanks to our direct import.
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- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.

New Zealand

- New Zealand is an extremely diverse wine-growing nation. The long history of producing wine started in the 1830s with wineries such as Mission Estate (1850) and Te Mata Estate (1896) still producing wine today. The two islands hold a multitude of different growing climates ranging from warmer areas such as Hawke’s Bay to very cool regions such as Waitaki, and Awatere. Most regions are defined as Maritime with the exception being Central Otago that has a moderate Continental climate with the high elevation creating dramatic diurnal swings in temperature. The plethora of grapes grown in New Zealand reflects this diverse microclimate make up. Everything has a place here, Bordeaux varietals and Syrah in Hawke’s Bay, Chardonnay and Pinot in Nelson, Pinot Noir and Riesling in Central Otago , aromatic whites in Waipara and pretty much everything you can imagine in Marlborough. New Zealand is also one of the “greenest” wine producing nations on earth (94% of wine certified sustainable in 2013) with a strong focus on organic and Biodynamic farming.