Cypress Terraces Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2014 $42 

Mel and Gus Lawson knew their terraced hillside vineyard would produce some of the most sensational syrah in the region, I’d say they could feel it in their waters, but truth be told, water is not something they see much of and the vines border on dehydration and starvation every season. But that’s why they produce such superbly concentrated, characterful wine. The ‘Terraces’ is their flagship syrah, produced only in exceptional years, and 2014 was just that. With aromas so bright and elegant, they’re like Kate Middleton in a bottle. Inky-dark, velvety-smooth and layered with intense pepper, violet and cocoa characters on top of masses of dark berries and prune, it’s a beautifully moody wine that’s crying out for lamb meatballs swimming in tomato, bacon and butterbean sauce.