A sublime New Zealand syrah

2012 Trinity Hill, Hawke’s Bay Syrah, New Zealand (£14.99, North & South Wines, 020-7228 2431; Oz Wines, 0845-450 1261; Planet of the Grapes, 020-7405 4912; Wined Up Here, 020-8549 6622; The Old Bridge Wine Shop, 01480-458410; Bentley’s Wine Merchants, 01584-875520; Latitude Wines, 0113-245 3393; Adnams Cellar, 020-7580 2443; Lockett Bros, 01620-890799; St Andrews Wine Co, 01334-479790).

In 1987, John Hancock met Robert and Robyn Wilson in their renowned London restaurant Bleeding Heart. Legend has it that over a bottle of John’s delicious chardonnay they came up with a plan to create a winery in Hawke’s Bay.

They were convinced that they could produce world-class red as well as white wines in this now-world-famous region. Trinity Hill was the result.

Over the years, John has been a driving force behind the recognition of the Gimblett Gravels winegrowing district, a sub-region of Hawke’s Bay specialising in classy reds, and they have a wide palette of varieties planted, including arneis, montepulciano and tempranillo.

John’s top wine is Homage Syrah, a red that sits happily alongside top Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. At the entry level, he has just released this exceptional syrah, a chip off the Homage block. Made in the challenging 2012 vintage, it is sublime!

• Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (www.matthewjukes.com).

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