Heroic Hawke’s Bay heavyweights
Hawke’s Bay has enjoyed a string of very favourable vintages recently so it’s hardly surprising that glamour labels like Trinity Hill Homage are reaching new quality heights. When the going gets great, the great get going.
2014 Trinity Hill Homage, Hawke’s Bay is the best syrah I have tasted from this very distinguished label. The 2013 may potentially be an even better wine, but that fairly “structured” red was too closed for me to confidently award the score earned by the 2014 vintage. Both are wines for collectors, investors and super-syrah lovers.
2010 Esk Valley “the Hillside” Malbec, Merlot and Cabernet Franc is a brand new label. Winemaker, Gordon Russell, explained that the wine is made from grapes grown on their steeply terraced vineyard next to the winery, the source of their flagship blended red, “The Terraces”. In vintages when “The Terraces” is not made (since 1991 it was not produced in 2005, 2010, 2011 & 2012) the wine is relegated to a lowly label that in pretty good years like 2010 are well below its station. That gave birth to “The Hillside” – a wine that’s around half the price of the $150 “The Terraces” but certainly not half the quality. “The Hillside” was not made in 2011 or 2012 but both The Hillside and The Terraces were made in the stellar 2013 vintage, although “The Hillside” was produced from younger vines.
Russell explained that he’d like to see “The Hillside” released with a bit of bottle age so that it can be enjoyed soon after or cellared for a few more years.