2013 Trinity Hill "Homage" Syrah Hawke's Bay (Elsewhere $100+)

SKU #1256381 100 points Raymond Chan

 Very dark, near saturated black-hued purple-red colour. The nose is very intense, but elegantly proportioned with a tightly bound and concentrated core of aromatic black berried fruits interwoven with an array of black and violet florals, and entwined with exotic herbs, Asian and Middle Eastern spices, liquorice and nutty elements. This is complex, detailed and absolutely refined with its depth and penetration. Medium-full bodied, the palate has elegance and concentration alongside intensity and depth. The flavours of ripe black berried fruits are seamlessly interwoven with an amazing spread of aromatics, showing waves of black and violet florals, spices, liquorice and complexing minerals. The fruit is supported by extremely refined, flowery tannins, the extraction and structure guiding the velvety flow. This has linearity, energy, drive and finesse, and the wine flows effortlessly to a concentrated, supple, refined and extended finish of black fruits, liquorice, spices and florals. This is a beautifully complex, refined, elegant and concentrated Syrah with black fruits, complexing detail and an amazing array of aromatics. Match with lamb, beef, venison and game meat, and semi-hard cheeses over the next 10-15+ years. 98.7% Syrah, predominantly MS clone from 18 y.o. vines and 1.3% Viognier, the fruit 85% from the Gimblett Gravels and 15% from ‘The Hillside’ vineyard behind the winery on Roys Hill.

98 points Sam Kim

 This is a wine of exceptional elegance and extraordinary poise. Grapes from their Gimblett Gravels vineyard make up the majority of the blend (85%) with the remaining coming from their hillside vineyard behind the winery. An exquisitely composed and styled, the wine shows scintillating clarity as well as fine layers of delicate complexity. Aromas of dark plum, blueberry, floral and mixed spice with nuances of game, dried herb and cedar on the nose. The palate is fine, concentrated and flowing, and shows superb harmony and balance, beautifully framed by abundance of polished tannins. So silky. It is hard to believe there was 30% whole bunch in the ferment, with 28-day average time on skin with one component spending 56 days. No bitterness or edgy mouthfeel, it is rather beautifully rounded and smooth, yet properly structured. A wine needing time to show its full glory. At its best: 2020 to 2033.

97 points Bob Campbell

 Deep, ruby-tinted Syrah with plum, dark berry, vanilla, chocolate, new leather and black pepper flavours supported by a firm backbone of fine, ripe tannins. Big, complex red that has obviously been built for the long haul if a little hard to read at this early stage. Tasted three months later, the wine is certainly more accessible with an intense aroma and a subtle violet/floral note. Classy oak but a strong fruit focus. A truly long-distance runner.  (6/2015)

97 points James Suckling

 A super-polished wine that has a broad array of fruits: raspberry, blackberry and cassis, with white pepper, graphite and a clear whole-bunch lift. The palate has a powerful, focused core of concentrated dark plum and cassis, boldly spicy, then dark chocolate to close. Best from 2019.  (11/2015)

95 points Wine Enthusiast

 This full-bodied, richly tannic wine delivers. It starts off with savory notes of cracked pepper, black olives, violets and cedar, then eases into concentrated flavors of blueberries and roasted meat before ending with a flourish of firm, dusty tannins. Give it a few years to soften. Drink 2020–2030. (JC)  (7/2016)

K&L Notes

One of the truly great Syrahs of the world. I would happily run this up against the very best of the Northern Rhone, or anywhere else on the planet, come to think of it. 2013 has been almost universally declared as the best vintage of all time in Hawke's Bay, NZ. The Homage Syrah is built to last but also very gratifying even as a young wine; this can be drunk anytime over the next 20+ years. A true collectable worthy of a place in anyone's cellar. (Ryan Woodhouse, K&L NZ wine buyer)

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Varietal:

Shiraz/Syrah

- 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.
Country:

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.
Alcohol Content (%): 13