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 […]

Clearview Estate Cape Kidnappers Syrah 2015 $27

Woah Nelly!!  How’s about the whoomph of clove, cinnamon, currants and cocoa on the nose?  It’s an aromatic colossus, and one I couldn’t stop sniffing.  But once you do you’ll note that it’s incredibly juicy and fleshy for a young wine.  I love the onslaught of blackcurrant, peppercorn and graphite goodness in this coastal-grown syrah. […]

Earthworks Barossa Shiraz 2015 $19

Sniffing this wine is like having someone slock you ‘round the face with a cocoa-dusted stocking stuffed with ripe blackcurrants, fresh green herbs, roasted spices and smoky oak.  Concentrated, refreshing and packed with character – it’s one of those red wines that’ll have you reaching for your slippers, robe and pipe even if it is […]

Moutere Hills Single Vineyard Nelson Syrah 2015 $35

Lean and lifted, green peppercorn, violets, plush red berryfruits and truckloads of spice burst out of the glass and merge with fresh, elegant plum and cocoa characters and it leaves slippery, succulent, mouthwatering finish. Sip with: Peppery duck liver pate www.mouterehills.co.nz

Johner Gladstone Syrah 2013 $50

Reds-wise, people tend to think the Wairarapa is pinot noir country, but sensational syrah is their secret little talent.  Earthy, gamey aromatic layers of smoke, old leather, cocoa and pepper entice the nose and osmose into the palate leaving a juicy, succulent and seriously savoury impression. Sip with: Strong, crumbly aged cheddar www.johner-estate.com

The Landing Bay of Islands Syrah 2013 $38

Wow!  Grown atop the so-beautiful-it’s-unreal Purerua Peninsula in the Bay of Islands and crafted by the legendary Rod MacIvor at Marsden Estate in Kerikeri, this syrah has alluring aromas of vanilla-spiced plum and lush, dark berryfruits, followed by a velvety-smooth, densely concentrated mouthfeel and finish. Sip with: slivers of venison salami www.thelandingvineyard.com

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