Wine Review: Syrah

New Zealand syrah has a wonderful purity of fruit and lively finish that make it attractive, unlike some of the cheaper, jammy Australian shirazes which are the same variety. At the top level of both syrah and shiraz,you also get great complexity and structure.

BEST VALUE
Mission Reserve Hawkes Bay Syrah 2010
$20 - $30
three and a half stars (out of five)

good value

Fragrant with lively dark fruits and spice, a savoury undertone with a suggestion of tar and licorice, a velvety texture, firm, well structured backbone, a bright, finish with slightly drying tannins and fruit lingering on the aftertaste. Good value on special.

www.missionestate.co.nz

 

Waimea Nelson Syrah 2011
$25
three stars (out of five)

below average value

Oodles of ripe fruit - berries, black doris plums, lightish bodied but with lots of flavour, a hint of pepper and spice and a simple dryish finish. Waimea puts its vintage on the back instead of the front label, but this is a wine that is probably best enjoyed in its first couple of years.

www.waimeabrands.com

 

Mission Hawkes Bay Syrah 2011
$10-13 (500ml).
three stars (out of five)

average value

Mission now produces 500ml bottles of syrah and sauvignon blanc, a useful size for two people as they contain four glasses of wine. This white label syrah is a fresh, fruit-driven wine with peppery aromas, bright red fruits and a firm finish.

www.missionestate.co.nz

 

 

Mills Reef Elspeth Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2010
$45
four stars (out of five)

average value

Lots of ripe, soft berry fruit with hints of dates and dried figs, a suggestion of pepper and caramel, concentrated layers of flavour and complexity, a spicy edge, dusty tannins and an attractive, lingering finish. As always an attractive, reliable wine that will reward a few years bottle age.

www.millsreef.co.nz

 

Crossroads Winemakers Collection Hawkes Bay Syrah 2010
$40
four stars (out of five)

average value

Perfumed with a hint of pepper and fragrant fruit, this is a powerful wine with lush, concentrated dark fruit, spicy oak, hints of toffee, complex layers of flavours, a firm backbone and lively, juicy finish. Another wine that will develop with a few of years bottle age.

www.crossroadswines.co.nz

 

Craggy Range Le Sol Hawkes Bay Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2010
$100
four and a half stars (out of five)

below average value 

A powerful young wine, rich with concentrated dark berry fruit, hints of spice, toffee and licorice, a firm backbone and a long, dry finish. It's worth cellaring for several years as it will develop and mellow with bottle age, but it is delicious, if a bit overpowering now. It comes in a hefty, showy bottle aimed to impress.

www.craggyrange.com

 

ANOTHER GLASS
Mills Reel Elspeth Hawkes Bay Gimblett Gravels Trust Vineyard Syrah 2010 (red label)
$45
four stars (out of five)

average value

Fragrant with pepper, oodles of ripe fruit - dark, berries cherries, herbs, hints of dark
chocolate, coffee and spice from the toasty oak, savoury undertones, supple tannins and a lingering aftertaste. Attractive and a tad sweeter with hints of mint than the dark green-labelled Elspeth, possibly from the use of American oak instead of all French.

www.millsreef.co.nz

Waimea Nelson Dolcetto 2011
$25
three and a half stars (out of five)

average value

Dolcetto is a northern Italian black grape variety and this has oodles of soft fruit - darkberries, plums and prunes, supported by spicy oak and finishing withfirm, dry, dusty tannins.

www.waimeabrands.com

Waimea Nelson Trev's Red 2011
$25
two and a half stars (out of five)

below average value

A soft, simple red made up of 61% cabernet franc, 34% syrah and 5% viognier, this hints ofstewed fruit and toasty oak with a crisp, firm finish.

www.waimeabrands.com

Giesen South Australia Shiraz 2011
$15
two stars out of five

average value

A simple jammy Australian shiraz hinting of stewed fruit and spicy oak.

www.giesen.co.nz

- charmian.smith@odt.co.nz