What’s in the glass tonight June 18th – Merlot Syrah Cab Sav


Ata Rangi Célèbre 2013

Ata Rangi Célèbre Martinborough 2013

Dark claret garnet. 13%

In reference to my previous post, this was one Célèbre that was NOT going to get away from me!

I chose it from the Akl Airport Duty Free Store cos it was one of the few fine wines for sale with a screw cap, as I was not sure that where we were flying to they would have a corkscrew in the hotel room…

Blend of Merlot 55% Syrah 35% balance of Cabernet Sauvignon.  From the fantastic ’13 vintage.

The Merlot provided softness and richness of black fruit. Syrah offered florality and bouquet. Cab Sav the tension and structure and weight of finish.

There was Vibrancy and expression through the roof. Sizzling acid. Spicy and plummy. Violets and wallflowers. Boysenberries and dark chocolate. The Syrah notes sang. Primary and mouthwatering.

Still too young now. This wine will live forever. It needs another 5 years alone to knit together into a legendary NZ wine.

A cracker! 95 points

Tasted from our balcony at the Fiji Sofitel Denarau. Life is good…:-)

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What’s in the glass tonight April 30th – The John Forrest Collection


Forrest tasting 2016

I hooned down to RW to check out the JF Collection, mostly for the promise of tasting the Syrah.

However, I was blown away by the quality of all the other wines on offer at this instore tasting. The good Doctor was in attendance, and he shared some interesting stories from his many years in the wine-making game. One story was that he was offered first pick of the very first parcel of land in what was to become the Gimblett Gravels in Hawkes Bay, land that he still farms today…

I started off with the John Forrest Collection The White 2009 – A multi varietal white blend. Dr John didn’t divulge what grape varieties were in it, alas.  It was aromatic, elegant, with good fruit concentration, complexity and acidity.  Citrus, golden stonefruit. Dry with minerality. Very intriguing.  90 points

I also tried the John Forrest Collection Cabernet Sauvignon Hawkes Bay 2013 –  A bold textured bouquet, layered, gorgeous. Ripe with great blackberry fruit flavours, fine tannins, heaps of depth and purity. A stunningly good Bordeaux-style red. 93 points

The came the John Forrest Collection Pinot Noir Bannockburn 2012 – Floral and herbaceous, dense, ripe and fine. 90 points

Forrest Collection Chardonnay 2011

I bought a bottle of this for dinner – John Forrest Collection Chardonnay Wairau Valley 2011 – Pale straw, 13%. Minerals, soft and refined with citrus and golden fruits. Mealy notes on palate also, and cucumber. 90 points

Forrest Collection Pinot Noir 2011

I bought a bottle of this for another dinner – John Forrest Collection Pinot Noir Waitaki Valley 2011 – I liked the florality and expression a lot more than the Bannockburn. This vineyard is one of the Doctor’s passion projects, and it shows. Dark carmine, tending brick. 13.5%. Black cherries, soap, lightly oaked on nose. Light fruit, soft tannins, a herbal lift. Plum to taste, blackberries, a chalky finish. Complex and very rewarding. 95 points

Photo Credit: the top photo featuring Dr Forrest and guests – courtesy Regional Wines and Spirits website

Four Syrahs


 

Bilancia Syrah 2010

From the Cellar: Bilancia Syrah Hawkes Bay 2010 – $$$

This is from one of New Zealand’s reference Syrah producers. Their La Collina Syrah is lauded, but like Trinity Hills Homage and Missions Huchet, out of my price range. This is the first wine of theirs I have tried – I bought it for the Pool Room on reputation alone.

Deep deep scarlet colour, tending brick.

At first it was closed and somewhat dumb on the nose, a fail mark against my presentation. Then after a short time it showed soft and fragrant , and built on, with vanilla and dark berries. A beguiling savoury secondary bouquet emerged. A tickle of pepper. Lovely to inhale.

With some standing, it tasted soft & supple, with Rhone characters. Ripe fruit, and restrained. Fine tannins, a hint of green stalk, but that is not a negative here – it adds to grace. Strong white pepper on the finish. Long and involving, this is a terrific, terrific wine, and worth careful consideration. 97 points.

 

Forrest tasting 2016 2

Forrest Syrah John Forrest Collection Gimblett Gravels 2013 – $$$

Tasted instore. This wine is from Dr Forrest’s premium collection. Single vineyard site on the Gimblett Gravels in Hawkes Bay. Hand harvested. Aged before release.

Deep carmine colour,  13.5% alc. A gorgeous nose – a rich bouquet, floral with dark boysenberry and plum fruit, black pepper, some oak and vanilla. Simply superb.

To taste: fresh, vibrant ripe dark stonefruit flavours, juicy texture, supple tannins to finish. Young, needs time to soften and knit together the component parts. A great NZ Syrah. 95 points

 

VM CS Syrah 2014

Villa Maria CS Syrah Hawkes Bay 2014 – $$.

Inky black scarlet, 13.5% alc. Light bouquet, cool climate fruit aromas –  blackberries; the usual box wood top notes and light spice. Straightforward flavours, not overly ripe or lush, black pepper, blackberry nose carrying through on palate, drying tannins, licorice on the finish. 88 points

 

3 Roads Syrah Hawkes Bay 2015

From the vineyard of my mate GW, as seen at his ‘release tasting’ last weekend. The wine was made by Tim Turvey at Clearview.

Bright deep scarlet colour. Cut with 15% Merlot. Soft and with bright floral notes.  Less spice and depth and pepper than the ‘14. Needs another year or two to integrate and show the style better. As for the ’14, it is well on the way. Needs two years more to open out and become lusher.  Both too soon to rate appreciably.

Thanks for the invite!

What’s in the glass tonight April 8th – Chardonnay


Elephant Hill Chardonnay 2014

Elephant Hill Chardonnay Hawkes Bay 2014 – $$

Brilliant pale gold colour. 13.5% alc.

A refined nose, styled European. Rich, mealy vanilla butterscotch + peach aromas. Some minerality.

To taste; strong peach and apricot flavours, bold and packed with fruit. Dense and chewy.  A tension between voluptousness and ‘steely’. Great cut-thru of citrus. An acid finish, long and involving. A very fine wine. I am going to buy this again, and soon.

95 points