jamie goode's wine blog: A New Zealand Syrah

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A New Zealand Syrah

I really, really like Syrah from New Zealand. Most of the good stuff comes from a special patch of ground, the Gimblett Gravels in Hawkes Bay, a warm microclimate with special soils.

Tonight I'm tasting one such wine. It was the favourite of mine from the line-up of Southbank Estate wines that I tried at the recent New Zealand tasting. It's not the best Kiwi Syrah, by any measure, but it's very attractive, and relatively easily available in the UK.

Southbank Estate Syrah 2005 Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
This is a light, medium-bodied red with fresh cherry and red berry fruit, as well as some hints of white pepper and a bit of gravelly grip on the palate. It's a bright, quite savoury red, with more in common with red Burgundy than Australian Shiraz. It flirts with greenness, but there's enough ripeness here for it to work really well. At just 12.5% alcohol, this is a bright, vibrant, food-friendly Syrah that will age well, and which is dangerously drinkable. 89/100 (13 Majestic, Blackrock Wines, Penistone Court Wines)

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