2015 Clearview Estate "Cape Kidnappers" Syrah Te Awanga Hawke's Bay (Elsewhere $30)

SKU #1305898 92-93 points Raymond Chan

 Very dark, near impenetrable purple-hued black-red colour, very youthful in appearance. The nose is soft and a little reserved with an amalgam of ripe, blackberry, plum and boysenberry fruits interwoven with black pepper, soft Asian spices and dark-red and violet florals. This grows in concentration with attractive harmony. Medium-full bodied, the palate is fine and tightly presented with juicy and vibrant, rich and lively black and blue berried fruits entwined with dark red plums, black pepper, spices and violet florals. The concentrated core follows a fine, grainy, tannin line with fresh, lacy acidity enlivening the mouthfeel. The fine textures carry the wine, unfolding spices and florals as it leads to a fine, dry-textured, black-fruited finish. This is an elegant, tightly concentrated and fine, grainy-textured Syrah with ripe black fruits, pepper and spices, and a lively mouthfeel. Match with Middle Eastern lamb dishes over the next 5-6+ years. 100% Te Awanga fruit indigenous yeast fermented with 20% whole bunches to 13.3% alc., the wine aged 6 months in 10% new French oak.

93 points Sam Kim

 Ripe, fragrant and inviting, the immediately appealing bouquet shows Black Doris plum, blueberry, floral and mixed spice characters. The palate is powerfully expressed with silky texture and loads of succulent fruit flavours, backed by supple tannins. Youthful yet harmonious and very appealing already. At its best: now to 2020.

90 points Bob Campbell

 Deep coloured syrah with a purple hue. Strongly fruit-focused wine with bright plum, raspberry, violet, white and black pepper flavours. Vibrant acidity gives the wine an attractive edginess.

K&L Notes

Winemaker's Notes: "The coastal influence on our Te Awanga vineyards is evident in this wine. Made from 100% Te Awanga fruit We have endeavoured to make a brooding wine that is able to develop overtime but is also great to enjoy now. Fermented with natural yeast and 20% whole bunches, this wineunderwent regular hand plunging to extract tannin and colour. After extended post ferment maceration the wine was then matured in 10% new French oak and received minimal interventions. The wine was carefully racked from barrel to tank only once just before bottling. This Syrah exhibits violets, lifted black pepper and subtle spicy oak."

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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.