Unison Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2015 $55 (4.5stars)

This wine may be from a ‘monster’ vintage, a vintage you’d expect to produce exclusively big, alcoholic, over-extracted wines.  Yet here we have elegance ‘wine-on-ified’.  Fresh pepper and vibrant plum and boysenberry backstroke through waves of vanilla and dried herbs.  The tannins are solid, yet stretchy and supple and it’s a wine that the team […]

Rod McDonald Quarter Acre Syrah 2015 $35 (5stars)

You know how some people say they can hear voices in their head?  Well sipping this wine may suddenly give you voices in your gob.  I feel it’s ok to say ‘gob’ because in the official tasting notes, accompanying this wine, Rod says it has ‘violets and cassis on the snoz’.  I love the pretty […]

Byrne Vineyard Te Puna Syrah 2015 $42

Sourced from a tiny patch of land overlooking the jawdroppingly picturesque Te Puna inlet, this smooth, inky-maroon, unfiltered syrah just bursts with fresh berries, subtle cocoa and plucky pepper characters. 10% whole bunch fermented, 50% of which was aged in new French oak, this is fleshy, earthy fabulousness in a bottle. Sip with: Classic beef […]

Byrne Vineyard Waingaro Syrah 2015 $32

Ben’s original syrah, sourced from 5 clones grown on his tiny, north-facing block overlooking Lake Waingaro, Kerikeri’s main water supply, is 30% whole bunch fermented with a splash of viogier and some extra viognier skins to boost the aromatic lift.  Glossy, gorgeous and perfumed with pepper, violets, bay, cocoa and a hint of apricot kernel, […]

Byrne Vineyard Puketotara Syrah 2015 $24

Here you have 100% whole bunch fermented, ‘Chave’ clone syrah from the volcanic loam soils of the Fat Pig vineyard on Puketotara Road in Waipapa. Gently foot-stomped and aged in old French oak, this syrah is a delicate example, weighing in at just 11.5% alcohol. Scented with green peppercorn and violets, it has a plush, […]

Kirrihill Clare Valley Shiraz 2014 $16.50

Saturated with inky-dark garnet red, this Clare Valley shiraz oozes classic cocoa, prune, pepper and blackberry characters.  Hearty, ribsticking and velvety-smooth, this is a plump, plush, buxom example that’ll have you rooting around in your freezer for home kill and the pantry for your crockpot. Sip with sticky lamb shanks and polenta Distributed by www.mthillary.com

Mudbrick Reserve Syrah 2014 $60

Fresh peppercorn, cherry, violet, pomegranate and liquorice layers kind of ‘peacocks tail’ it out across the palate, leaving dried herb and dark berry flavours cloaked in furry tannins.  Unlike some Waiheke syrahs that tend to the chunky side, this is an elegant example – the cigarette pants of syrah if you were to get fashionista […]

Blank Canvas Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2014 $45 ★★★★

Impenetrably inky in the glass, with a super-sexy sheen, I just wanted to devour it regardless of how it stacks up in the aroma and taste stakes.  Often, to give syrah an aromatic boost, a splash of viognier is added to syrah (a la Côte Rôtie). However this peppery upstart has had 7.5% gruner veltliner […]

Two Hands Angels Share McLaren Vale Shiraz 2014 $39

Immediately on the nose here’s a classic, juicy, meaty and spice-hefty wine that boasts bucketloads of bright berries and cocoa characters in the mouth as well.  For a vibrant, elegant, substantial shiraz that also leaves fine, chewy tannins on the finish – here’s your winner. Sip with: slow-cooked beef cheeks www.caros.co.nz

Heartland Directors Cut Langhorne Creek Shiraz 2013 $45 ★★★★

With surnames like Tillbrook, Collett and Glaetzer behind this wine, you know it’s been made by talented wee things.  Slick and glossy in the glass and unveiling wafts of tobacco, pepper, dark berries and that smell of ancient Drizabone coats hanging in the woodshed – it’s completely unputdownable (that’s a technical term).  Fresh spices merge […]

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