A tasty syrah selection

Elephant Hill Wines (Photo: Elephant Hill Wines)

Hawke’s Bay syrah is becoming a high-ticket item as its reputation grows – a growing number of wines now sport a three-digit price tag. During an extensive tasting of the variety, I came across three wines in the “super-premium” category with prices south of NZD $50. They are all from Hawke’s Bay but span three vintages.

During an extensive tasting of the variety, I came across three wines in the “super-premium” category with prices south of $50.

The 2013 Paritua Syrah is from a highly regarded vintage that produced many high-quality and often precocious reds with almost luscious and accessible flavours. Tighter and more restrained than most, this elegant wine is a serious cellaring prospect. (NZD $49)

The 2015 Elephant Hill Syrah is not Elephant Hills flagship syrah, although the 2014 vintage of this wine was judged top syrah at the Six Nations Wine Challenge in Sydney last year. Both vintages are solidly-structured wines that were quite restrained when first released, but both have the power and density of a true thoroughbred. (NZD $36)

Finally, the 2016 Te Awanga Estate Quarter Acre Syrah has the sort of density that I find and appreciate in “old vine” syrah. It’s a dense and quite complex wine, with descriptors that span the full syrah ripeness spectrum. (NZD $39)

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