Satisfying, Solid Syrah Training | Otago newspaper online news

Living and working in the south of the country, I can’t see Hawke’s Bay wines as much as those in the centre, so it was a real pleasure to be looking forward to sampling a range of Syrahs. I was rounding up a line-up to sample but then, just to turn things around, a Syrah from Marlborough arrived and then another from Central Otago to join the mix. Rare beasts indeed given Hawke’s Bay’s dominance with this variety.

Covering the price range, it was a fascinating mix.

2019 Mt Difficulty Ghost Town Bendigo Syrah

Price RRPs $60
Assessment From Excellent to Exceptional

Attractively floral,
violet, fleshy
salty notes,
cured meats, spices,
a leather thread.
Powerfully fruity,
darker fruits, spices
and salty notes
again matched by
wrinkle your mouth
tannins. The tannins
settle like wine
pops up, great
length and depth of
taste, blood and
iron filings al
close. Complexity,
interest, good catch.

2019 Elephant Hill Stone Hawke’s Bay Syrah

Price RRP$59
Assessment From very good to excellent

A charming touch of
funky leads, some
sweet hints of oak,
tasty qualities,
pencil shavings.
Sweetly fruity, red
fruits and berries, a
even a pinch of toffee
before the tannins
hurry in showing real
grip and chewability
which leads this to a
drier finish with black
tea notes. That
funky it gets
most obviously finished
time, blurring the
other flavours.

2020 Trinity Hill Thomson’s Block Single Vineyard Hawke’s Bay Syrah

Price RRP$120
Assessment Exceptional

Fragrant florality
ebbs to the forest floor
meaty first notes
tasty qualities
come into play, a little
also dried grass. A
powerful example,
great intensity of flavour
with a refreshing note
of leaf/mint with a
tasty background.
Fine, sweet tannins
balance, constancy
and length and inside
its power is there a
sense of elegance.
Gorgeous texture.

2020 Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Syrah

Price MSRP $39.99
Assessment Excellent

A perfume to this, a
herbal melange
and flowers, leaven
umami notes, an
earthy quality
below, fruit inside
support. a closer,
cooler feeling, shows
his youthful side.
Mixed berries, processed
earth, a deceitful
powerful tannic
the spine gives
real chewiness.
More to come I feel
so give it some air
or pair it with food
show his best.

2019 Elephant Hill Airavata Hawke’s Bay Syrah

Price RRP$125
Assessment Excellent

Scented nose with
bursts of heat
leather and
balsamic, powdery
stones, salty
notes that rise, darker
fruit. Wealth of fruit
leads, a touch of
funky wild,
bloody, tasty
note again with a
spicy refreshing
quality. It affects some
different buttons,
still, with a young man
angularity that begs
some more time to
come together.

2021 Trinity Hill Hawke’s Bay Syrah

Price MSRP $24.99
Assessment From Excellent to Exceptional

Darker, brooding,
lead/graphite pencil e
shavings, florality,
spice, hanging game with
ventilation. A again
menacing palate, pencil
lead, dark fruits,
tasty qualities,
deceptively chewy
the tannins frame the length
close. Brilliant acidity
gives this freshness and
liveliness with spots of
leather on the closure.
Some juveniles
cheek and promise,
yet he already drinks
well. Value here.

2020 Esk Valley Artisan Series Hawke’s Bay Syrah

Price MSRP $24.99
Assessment From very good to excellent

Notes by Charry, a
touch of wild,
dusty, processed gravel
salty notes.
Medium weight
style, a mix of red
and dark fruits,
fleshy, the charry
clear enough notes.
It opens on
palate with aeration,
plump well
with a fresh, mint
touch. Ready to go
now, it’s just failing
was part of a
very solid array.

2021 Giesen Single Vineyard Selection Clayvin Marlborough Syrah

Price MSRP $29
Assessment From Excellent to Exceptional

A seductive perfume,
purple and lavender,
ham, darker
fruit. Creamy
structured anterior palate.
flows to sweeter fruits
tempered by the salty
quality and little
funk before powerful,
the chewy tannins arrive
into play by lending a dry,
lip-smacking quality a
the end. Light
acidity, graceful inside
his youthful audacity,
great length and
growing all the time.