Millars Vineyard Syrah 2014 $25 4.5 stars

November 5, 2016By Yvonne

Millars Vineyard Syrah 2014 $25 (4.5 stars) Take the little bendy track called Bush Lane above Mangawhai beach, and you’ll find the small but perfectly formed vineyard belonging to Ross Millar. He grows tiny amounts of darn lovely wine and this syrah is no exception. Ultra-pure peppercorn characters on the nose merge with lifted violet, … Read More

Squawking Magpie The Gravels Syrah

June 24, 2016By Yvonne

Squawking Magpie The Gravels Syrah 2014  The impenetrable, inky-dark colour saturation is the first thing that gets you with this wine, it’s incredibly dense, dark, a stormcloud in a glass.   Perfumed with blackcurrant, cherry and pepper-dusted damson plums, the nose is exciting , spice-driven and has smoke around the edges.  Elegantly structured, the core … Read More

Canvas Column Sat 2 July 2016

June 21, 2016By Yvonne

Julia Child once said “I love to cook with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food”.  She also said “Every woman should own a blowtorch”. I miss Julia. Stonecroft Gimblett Gravels Gewürztraminer 2015 $25 This organically produced wine is golden and glossy in the glass and absolutely heaves with heady spices, musky pot … Read More

Brookfields Backblock Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2015

March 31, 2016By Yvonne

Brookfields Backblock Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2015 $21 ★★★½ How pretty is the colour of this wine?  Glossy and inky-purple in the glass, it’s also chock full of violets, bouquet-garni herbs and loads of dark berries.  There’s a classic hit of pepper – but it’s only there to cuddle the fruit.  Fresh and youthful, winemaker Peter … Read More

Seifried Nelson Syrah 2014

March 10, 2016By Yvonne

Seifried Nelson Syrah 2014 $22 ★★★½  Bright peppery aromatics, fresh plum and hints of dark cherry merge with a faint medicinal hit on the nose.  Punchy and vibrantly structured in the mouth, it’s a talented teenager ready to hit his straps.  Spicy, lively and could actually give some of the Hawke’s Bay syrah’s a run for … Read More

Santagostino Nero D’Avola Syrah 2011

March 1, 2016By Yvonne

Santagostino Nero D’Avola Syrah 2011 $30 ★★★★ The groovy, gothic-style circular design on the label comes from the façade of the 14th century Sicilian Santagostino Monastry in Trapani, so yes, the bottle looks good, but it tastes like money too. Liquorice, raspberry, dusty rose and pepper aromatics merge with rosehip and pomegranate flavours, fresh acidity, … Read More

Church Road Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2013

February 1, 2016By Yvonne

Church Road Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2013 $20 ★★★★★ I really, really, really, really like this wine for loads of reasons.  It’s not just its elegant aromas of peppercorn, plum, violet and red fruits freshly dusted with cocoa powder, or its buoyant acidity and ethereal texture or even its sandy, emery-like tannins with just the right … Read More

CJ Pask Declaration Syrah 2013

January 5, 2016By Yvonne

CJ Pask Declaration Syrah 2013 $50 ★★★★★ An ultra-bright, intensely aromatic example, which oozes fruitwood smoke, cracked pepper, rose and violet notes alongside an underlying earthy character on the nose.  Flavour-wise it boasts juicy dark fruit, vanilla and cocoa, tannins with grip and chew and a long, warming finish.  It’s an incredibly satisfying drink now, … Read More

Elephant Hill Airavata Syrah 2013

December 1, 2015By Yvonne

Elephant Hill Airavata Syrah 2013 $95 ★★★★★ This wine was 3.5 years in the making.  Choosing the best possible syrah rows, adopting a specific canopy management strategy to grow ‘super syrah’ and then working on it with kid gloves in the winery to create the first ‘Icon’ syrah since 2009.  This Airavata (meaning ‘the king-god of … Read More

Elephant Hill Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2013

December 1, 2015By Yvonne

Elephant Hill Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2013 $69 ★★★★★ According to winemaker Steve Skinner, they did 33 different picks across their syrah vineyards, which, for a smallish, 200-odd tonne winery is a huge effort “but it was so worth it because we were able to single out some absolutely stunning parcels to make wines like this … Read More