Smith & Sheth CRU Heretaunga Hawke’s Bay Rosé of Syrah 2021 $40 

Lovers of Hawke’s Bay syrah will be familiar with its super-stylish, classic black pepper and violet voice, however, it may not be on your radar as a grape that absolutely roars when crafted carefully into a rosé.  Lucky for us, Master of Wine Steve Smith and his team at Smith & Sheth are all too aware of its versatility, however. At harvest last year, they opted to co-ferment a small parcel of syrah and an even smaller parcel of viognier together from their Mangatahi and Omahu vineyards to create the Smith & Sheth Cru Heretaunga Rosé of Syrah 2021 ($40), a unique style that boasts elevated florals and spice on the nose and a palate that’s plush, elegantly proportioned, stylishly dry and groundshakingly good to sip no matter the season. Heretaunga is the name given to Hawke’s Bay’s alluvial plains that stretch from mountainous ranges in the west to the oceans of the east, plains intersected by braided rivers that over time, have created deep, free-draining areas where some of the best wines in the world are now grown. ‘Heretaunga’ also translates to ‘resting place’ and perhaps in reference to the many spots along those rivers where Māori once hitched their canoes. If you’ve never tasted rosé made from syrah, here’s a great place to start.