2013 Trinity Hill "Gimblett Gravels" Syrah Hawke's Bay (Black Label) (Elsewhere $30)
Very dark, deep, purple-red colour. The nose is near decadent in richness, with well-ripened black berry fruit. I see plums, hints of boysenberries and black pepper. Black and violet florals lift the aromatics. Nuances of oak spice and complex savoury hints add detail. The palate features the very ripe fruit. Is this verging on showing some over-ripe notes? If so, it works extremely well, as there are still lovely perfumes. The extraction and structure are more a feature on the palate than last showing. The tannins are very fine-grained and powdery. Great depth, concentration and density, but with a degree of accessibility still. This will keep a decade easily.
Very impressive Syrah with good ripeness and density. An elegant rather than blockbuster style with dark berry, leather, wood smoke and black pepper flavours. Firmly structured wine that’s best with food although it will mellow and gain greater complexity with bottle age.
A compelling rendition of the variety, the wine shows wonderful fruit purity and rich mouthfeel. Fabulous notes of black/blueberry, dark plum, floral and subtle spice lead to a powerful palate that offers velvety mouthfeel and lush fruit intensity. It is youthful yet instantly appealing with loads meltingly delicious flavours. At its best: 2016 to 2025.
**Editors' Choice** Blind, you could be forgiven for thinking this is the winery's flagship, Homage Syrah. An intoxicating nose of baking spices, blueberries and boysenberries leads to a palate with ample weight and plush tannins. It's complex, earthy and spicy, but with a beam of lively, just-ripe fruit from start to long-lived finish. Drink this stunning value through 2023. (JC)
Wine & Spirits
Syrah in a perfumed, otherworldly mode, this is tense and tannic with red and green spice, heady and potent. Youthfully aggressive, this needs a year or two in the cellar to mellow.
Up to 30% stems. Co-fermented with 2% Viognier. Succulent and peppery - beautifully accurate, yet not a mere ‘technical’ wine – loads of vivacious refreshment on the palate, great length, a touch of oak. Very pliant tannins (this soft texture is perhaps the main distinction from Northern Rhône Syrah), loads of length. (17+) (RH)
If I was taking a blind tasting exam this is the wine I would love to find in the lineup. In all my years of tasting and the tens of thousands of wines that have found their way across my palate, none have been more distinctive than great Syrah from Hawke's Bay, New Zealand. On my first trip to NZ, fresh out of college, I was immediately taken a back and equally smitten by the Syrah being produced here. The unique combination of deep, dark, inky fruit, toasted spices and the distinctive note of fresh ground black pepper is almost unmistakable to me (or at least I'd like to think so!) The Syrah from this tiny sub-region in one of NZ's warmer grape growing areas are very quickly obtaining global acclaim to the point where winemakers are pulling out Bordeaux varietals to plant the often maligned varietal Syrah. The Wine Enthusiast just published an article entitled "A New Breed of Syrah" declaring Hawke's Bay "Syrah's stronghold" and described this wine as "intoxicating", "Complex" and "a stunning value" - 93 points. Add to the equation that 2013 has been described as the "vintage of a lifetime" in Hawke's Bay was flawless weather conditions and perfect fruit. Then consider that Trinity Hill's founding winemaker Warren Gibson is one of most experience and respected men in the business and you can see why we are so head-over-heels for this wine. (Ryan Woodhouse - K&L NZ Wine Buyer)