This syrah will blow you away

2015 Elephant Hill Syrah This tremendous New Zealand Syrah will blow you away with its magical flavours, says Matthew Jukes.

933-wine-2015-Elephant-Hill-Syrah

2015 Elephant Hill, Syrah, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand£21.95, Corney & Barrow, 020-7265 2430,CorneyAndBarrow.com

Last week I wrote about the predictability, or otherwise, of New Zealand's most famous vinous export, Marlborough sauvignon blanc. This week I would like to introduce you to a discipline that represents a fraction of 1% of the country's harvest syrah. Of course, Australia is a syrah/shiraz hero-producer and New Zealand will never compete in quantity or absolute quality, but it has a style all of its own, as a result of its climate, and it is a style that the Aussies are increasingly chasing in their own cooler spots, too.

Harking back to the flavours associated with the energetic syrahs from the Northern Rhne, such as Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and Saint-Joseph, the wines from Hawke's Bay are usually medium-weight (unlike the warmer climate Aussie versions), aromatically invigorating with pepper, herb and lavender notes, and luxuriously slippery and toothsome on the palate. They finish clean and bright unlike the more muscular examples from South Africa and South America, too. Rarely troubling the credit card too much, the best examples shock with their value for money and incredibly accurate flavours.

My pick is this tremendous wine, which utilises three clones, judicious viticulture, forensic care in the winery and 12 months in French barriques of which 30% is new. It will blow you away with its magical flavours. You are unlikely to forget the name in a hurry.

Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year (MatthewJukes.com).

Recommended

Wine of the week: an enchanting chardonnay from Belgium
Wine

Wine of the week: an enchanting chardonnay from Belgium

Delicate, haunting and packed with vitality and verve, this Belgian chardonnay is a rare beauty.
26 Feb 2021
Wine of the week: a quartet of remarkable kiwis
Wine

Wine of the week: a quartet of remarkable kiwis

Matthew Jukes tastes four remarkable bottles from prodigiously talented New Zealand winemaker Jules Taylor.
19 Feb 2021
Wine of the week: a pair of English beauties
Wine

Wine of the week: a pair of English beauties

Bringing out the incandescent beauty of the ortega grape variety, these two English wines are like nothing you will have ever tasted before.
12 Feb 2021
Wine of the week: a top-flight Californian chardonnay
Wine

Wine of the week: a top-flight Californian chardonnay

A beating heart of refreshing acidity electrifies this dynamic wine.
8 Feb 2021

Most Popular

A beginner’s guide to bitcoin: what is bitcoin?
Bitcoin

A beginner’s guide to bitcoin: what is bitcoin?

As a completely novel concept for many people, bitcoin can take a little effort to get to grips with. In the first of a short series on the cryptocurr…
1 Mar 2021
A beginner’s guide to bitcoin: how to buy bitcoin
Bitcoin

A beginner’s guide to bitcoin: how to buy bitcoin

For the novice, buying bitcoin can be a daunting prospect. Here, Dominic Frisby outlines the process from start to finish.
2 Mar 2021
What is “yield curve control” and why is it coming to a central bank near you?
Government bonds

What is “yield curve control” and why is it coming to a central bank near you?

Central banks around the world are determined not to let interest rates go up too quickly or by too much – a practice known as “yield curve control”. …
1 Mar 2021