The Game of Rhones wine tasting in Auckland last Saturday offered a rare opportunity to dive into the different personalities of Syrah/Shiraz, the blending grapes that generally accompany them on they wine adventure (think Grenache, Mourvèdre, Viognier) and the regions that grow them.
We were able to take a trip from France and its many different sub-regions like Crozes-Hermitage, Côte de Rhone and Châteauneuf de Pape to Australia and the Eden Valley and Barossa Valley, back home to the Hawke’s Bay.
The differences were striking with commonalities but also had quite diverse expressions from different producers in the same region. People take these wines seriously with beautiful packaging, interesting bottles and corks that seem a bit foreign in New Zealand, but which enrich the wines with their European heritage.
Be sure to mark your calendar next year to have your palate inundated with savoury spice, white and black pepper, black cherry, chocolate, leather and toasted caramel. Who could possibly say no to that?
Here are a few of our highlights from the ‘crusade’ and indeed #wineiscoming. So stock up and make sure to bring them out through the next thrilling season of the Game of Thrones – these wines really are the perfect accent. Reminiscent of ancient castles, dark emotions, and intrigue!
A small Hawke’s Bay standout, this small winery is making waves with its small production wines. Even overseas in the basin of Texas where domestic red wines run rich, their wines have made a big impact winning the best red wine at an international competition. These are definitely wines to watch out for.
Paritua Syrah 2014 | Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand
This Syrah offers everything you want in a top weekly wine but one that makes you feel a bit more decadent. Vibrant fruit with just the right amount of structure, tannin, fruit and spice you walk away feeling like you have had a wine that was three times the price.
Paritua Platinum Syrah 2014 | Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand
The Platinum is indulgence in a bottle. Velvety and entrancing, it has a subtle yet ever-present structure and spice with luscious fruit that generously coats the mouth with a long, black fruit and chocolate filled finish.
Schubert Syrah 2013 | Wairarapa, New Zealand
This wine is like an exuberant teenager, lots of promise, tons of character and a youth filled essence that makes it an everyday companion. These wines are ready to drink now but have the potential to age. Bright red cherries and cinnamon spice with some earthy accents to bring its personality out.
Langmeil Valley Floor Shiraz 2013 | Barossa Valley, Australia
Reflecting the elegant side of the Barossa Valley, it has plenty of structure and fruit but not so off-putting that you feel like your mouth has been overcome. Decadent black and raspberry fruit, dark tobacco and leather mingle with toasted caramel and mocha.
Yann Chave Crozes-Hermitage Rouge 2013 | Northern Rhone, France
With a French delicacy and subtleness that dances on the palate, the nuances blend of dried black fruit and currants with a savoury spice and subtle tannins that make this wine impressive yet light and interesting.