The latest batch of NZ syrahs boast a distinctive Kiwi identity, writes Ralph Kyte-Powell's.
New Zealand winemakers are still on a learning curve when it comes to syrah, but the outstanding 2013 and 2014 vintages have provided excellent raw materials for them to work with. Consistency isn’t yet on par with Australian shiraz, but the star-rated syrahs tasted by the Cuisine panel were a very good collection with a distinctive New Zealand identity. The ’14s seem a bit bigger and firmer than the more understated 2013 wines at the same stage, but both exhibit qualities that should support good cellaring potential.
Perfection in Hawke’s Bay syrah from Villa Maria. The concentrated nose of dark berries, liquorice, spice and cola is immediately impressive.
In the mouth it translates into a lush, richly flowing, finely balanced syrah of intensity, lingering aromatic flavours, and poised sandy tannins. All it needs is bottle age to confirm its classic status.
An inky, young syrah to serve with a hearty daube of lamb. …2
Named in honour of pioneering Hawke’s Bay winemaker Tom McDonald, this is …3
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