Seek out syrah from the 2020 vintage without delay, says MARY- THERESE BLAIR.
If the Bordeaux-style tasting results showed the dominance of Hawke’s Bay wine, then the syrah tasting is here to show the mastery of wines from the 2020 vintage and, by extension, the Hawke’s Bay 2020 vintage. Incredibly, all but one wine in this impressive top ten originates in the Bay. Head judge Simon Nunns commented that it was the best array of wines from a single vintage he has ever witnessed, and he’s seen, tasted, drunk and judged quite a lot of wine in his time.
A vintage so remarkable really isn’t something that you see all the time, and because mother nature is a fickle (and sometimes cruel) mistress you may not see another any time soon. So our advice is to run, not walk, to your local wine retailer or go online directly to the wineries below to stock up on these incredible wines.
When I first developed an interest in wine I couldn’t help but think how cool it would be to know a winemaker, the logic being that they must have a constant supply of wine available to them, and that alone impressed me. Shallow, but true.
Now I know many, many winemakers and my perspective has changed. I see passionate, dedicated, hardworking and creative individuals, the most talented of whom are capable of creating wine that deserves not just to be drunk, but to be celebrated. It should come as no surprise that Trinity Hill’s Warren Gibson is one such winemaker.
I first met Warren some years ago and it’s hard not to be impressed by someone with as much experience as he. In addition to being Trinity Hill’s chief winemaker, Warren is consultant winemaker for Northland’s The Landing and makes wine alongside his equally talented partner Lorraine Leheny for their boutique brand Bilancia.
Warren is widely acknowledged and respected as one of New Zealand’s finest winemakers with a specific talent for understanding terroir and finding the way to transport that sense of place into the bottle.
And transport he does with this wine: the mere crack of the cap unleashes a festival for the senses. Medium coloured with a dark core visible, this syrah has florals matched with dark forest fruits, blueberries and spices on the nose. These characters are mirrored on the fresh yet luscious and juicy palate with great structure, bold tannins and fantastic drive. A sleek and serious syrah.
A ripe example with dark fruits, pepper and florals on the nose …2
Blueberries, lifted florals and pepper combine on the nose with a touch …4
A deep colour with a dark core that looks fantastic in the …5
Medium coloured with just a hint of fade, this is an understated …6
Medium in the glass with a dark core with black fruit and …7
An abundant nose with aromas of red fruits, plums, florals, baking spices …8
Deeply coloured with a youthful purple hue on the rim. Blue fruit …9
Dark berry fruit and tea-leaf aromatics pique intrigue on the nose and …10