Three sexy syrahs
Syrah might be very sexy, but it is high maintenance. There are few places where this rising star will reach its full potential — but the North Island’s east coast is definitely one of them…
Matawhero Spade Oak Vigneron Gisborne Syrah 2013
I'm not sure how Gisborne feels about the whole global warming thing, but one thing's for sure; it's done great things for their syrah. If the smell of wild rosehips, violets and peppercorns sends you into a spin, then best you be sitting down while taking your first sip of this little stunner. It's lush, spice-driven and silky to drink.
Elephant Hill Reserve Hawkes Bay Syrah 2013
The first thing that hits you with this wine is its intoxicating aromas of Christmas trees, with tasty treats underneath; all sweet and cedary with hints of cigarbox, dark chocolate and roasted nuts. The acidity is fresh, lithe and the texture throughout is seductive. An ultra-long finish indicates a wine with serious staying-power, so this is definitely one for the cellar (if you're disciplined enough to stash it away, that is).
Sacred Hill Deerstalkers Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2013
Gimblett Gravels, just outside Hastings, used to be a bit of a wasteland. The town dump was there, right next to the rifle range and across the road from the local speedway. These have disappeared, the land now carpeted in vines. Yet until 2002, the Hastings Deerstalkers Hall stood in the middle of a 4ha block that new owners Sacred Hill were desperate to plant in syrah. So they offered to relocate the clubrooms and the result is some of the finest syrah you'll find anywhere. Penetratingly beautiful, glossy magenta-black colour, lifted florals, dusty leather, dark berries, pepper and smoky, meaty characters and an extraordinarily silky mouthfeel. Sublimely elegant.
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