Esk Valley Artisanal Collection Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2019 $25

Glossy and gorgeous in the glass, it’s heaving with violets, soft black pepper, dark cherry, damson plum and redcurrant characters that assail the nostrils and flood the tastebuds. With fresh, ultra-vibrant acidity adding vavoom to the mid-palate and fine-grained tannins elongating the flavours, it’s a total star for the money. Gordon Russell is an evil genius winemaker, that’s for certain.