2015 Trinity Hill "Homage" Syrah Hawke's Bay

SKU #1331118 99 points James Suckling

 A superb wine. Quite possibly the greatest expression of Syrah that New Zealand has produced to date. The level of complexity and concentration, the layering of flavors and textures, the length of tannins – there is so much to admire in this wine. Fruits are in the raspberry, red plum and blackberry spectrum, doused in pepper and every imaginable woody spice. Hints of chocolate, too. A thrilling and vibrant Syrah.  (11/2017)

99 points Raymond Chan

 Full, dark, deep ruby-red colour with purple-black hues, near impenetrable. The nose has incredibly intense and penetrating aromas of ripe blackberry fruit with subtle dark raspberry and blue fruit notes, lifted by an array of red, violet and black florals, melded with fine spice elements and a suggestion of black pepper. The aromatic components are seamlessly interwoven and harmonious in presentation. Medium-full bodied, the palate is richly sweet and succulent with ripe, vibrant and lively fruit flavours of blackberries entwined with dark-red and blue fruit notes, along with dark-red, violet and black florals, melded with notes of liquorice, spice and black pepper forming a complex amalgam. The fruit is fine and beautifully concentrated with intensity and depth, the lusciousness balanced by considerable extraction, the tannins very fine-grained and flowery in texture. The acidity is ripe, and softly integrated, and the wine carries with great linearity and drive to a long and sustained finish of black fruits, florals and spices. This Syrah has a remarkably intense and perfumed nose with a beautiful array of floral aromatics, on a rich, succulently sweet black, red and blue fruited palate with considerable, but refined extraction. Match with slow-cooked game meat and Middle Eastern fare over the next 10 years.

99 points Sam Kim

 Another compelling rendition of the variety from Trinity Hill, the impressively complex bouquet shows dark plum, spiced cherry, black olive, violet and game characters with beautifully infused cedary oak nuances. The palate is powerful and concentrated, while remaining perfectly proportioned and structured, and delivers exceptional fruit purity combined with seductive spicy/savoury undertones, brilliantly structured by fine, chalky tannins. The wine is gratifying and engaging at the same time, and destined to evolve magnificently. At its best: 2020 to 2030.

98 points Bob Campbell

 Tasted with a vertical of five vintages of Homage. Rich and intense Syrah with violet, black pepper, dark berry, plum and oak flavours. Dense, sweet fruit nicely balances a solid backbone of ripe, round tannins. A youthful, intense and potentially complex red that promises to age well.

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Raised in 60% new oak, the 2015 Homage Syrah has completely soaked that up, showing only plenty of dark, plummy fruit and ample spice on the nose. Hints of black olive and mocha show up on the medium to full-bodied palate, bolstered by silky tannins. This is not a huge, blockbuster year for Homage, instead showing a suppler, gentler side of the Gimblett Gravels. (JC)  (2/2018)

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Staff Image By: Brian Fogarty | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/24/2018 | Send Email
New Zealand Syrah is far and away different from its continental counterpart to the west; Australian Shiraz. The cool oceanic influence flowing over the famously gravely soils found in the benches of Hawks Bay bring together a confluence that rises to another level for the Southern Hemisphere. Precision, expression and intrigue can emanate from the Syrah crafted with a master’s hands in this region. The results have more in common with Northern Rhone than any misguided association with the closest famous neighbor; Barossa. Trinity Hill’s 2015 “Homage” first presents itself with energetic tones that leap out before you even make it to the rim for your first whiff. Blackberries, saddle leather and dry forest floor are the first salutations you receive which quickly broaden into cassis, bay leaf, and freshly crushed blueberries and raspberries. The fruit is ripe, not cooked thanks to the chilling influence of the pacific. On the palate the power of the wine is apparent but its exuberance is reined in by the notable structure. The tannins in the young wine are ripe already and do leave plenty of room to experience the blackberry and bramble in a tactile expression. While thoughts of beauty and synergy were some of my last impressions here, my true last contemplation was beef short ribs braised for hours and all would be perfect…

Staff Image By: Joe Bruno | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/16/2018 | Send Email
Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Half
Easily one of my favorite wines I have tried within the past year. The origins of Homage have their roots in the northern Rhône, with founding Winemaker John Hancock working there during the 1996 harvest. Trinity Hill first planted Syrah vines in 1995 at Gimblett Gravels, with cuttings from Hermitage specifically being planted in 2001. Both the original plantings and subsequent Hermitage vines are used to make Homage. The nose invites you with aromas of perfectly ripe blackberry, plum, and boysenberry. The bouquet is wide ranging, exhibiting spicy black pepper and floral potpourri, to woodsy characteristics, grilled meat, and charcuterie. On the palate, the wine possesses both power and grace. Berry medley, currants, and plum flavors are accompanied by lingering fine tannins. There is a noted herbal and garrigue flavor, with elevated acidity as well. The spicy flavor notes and robust nature of this wine make it suitable with North African cuisine. Think lamb tagine as a possible food pairing. This New Zealand Syrah clearly demonstrates its ability to last another 10-20 years with proper cellaring. An all-around showstopper of a wine
Drink from 2022 to 2035

Staff Image By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/16/2018 | Send Email
The top scores across every publication are well deserved given the incredible complexity and quality of this wine. While it is showing a little tight and structured now, it most definitely has the capacity to age beautifully. The smaller yields of 2015 give this wine great concentration and definite black pepper spice at this stage in its life. It is lean and bright and a little grippy, but will open up, show its fruit, soften its tannins and will become an absolutely phenomenal wine in a few years time. The cool New Zealand climate has done its work here and given us a wine with depth and intricacy. One of the stand-outs from Hawke's Bay and any lover of past vintages should jump on this one as well.

Staff Image By: Ryan Moses | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/15/2018 | Send Email
The past two vintages of this remarkable Syrah sold out in a matter of days and it's very easy to see why. On the palate, this is dead ringer for a refined, cool, and vibrant Northern Rhone collectible - a young and extremely promising bottling. Perhaps a bit more lift and tension than the past few vintages, it has all the structure and depth to age for a few decades but will turn heads even now with a good decant. If you're looking for finesse in Syrah, or value in collectible, ageworthy reds, this is a bottling that needs to be on your radar.

Additional Information:

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