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Featured Reviews

Mission ‘Jewelstone’ Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2016

14 November,2018

Wine judging competition results can make for important feedback to the wine producer. In New Zealand, there is a relatively constant group of wine judges who assess at wine shows, and most shows involve guest judges, often from overseas to widen the perspective of the assessments. However, there’s a big wide world of wine out there, and what happens in New Zealand could be quite insular. So when a wine performs particularly well in a competition overseas, it adds to the overall standing of that wine.

It was just recently announced that the 2016 Mission ‘Jewelstone’ Gimblett Gravels Syrah was awarded a gold medal at The Drinks Business Global Syrah Masters 2018 judging held in London. This is an international wine competition open to wines of a grape variety, rather judged regionally, and categorised only by price bracket, the wines tasted blind, thus there is no prejudice about country of origin. The judges are exclusively Masters of Wine, Master Sommeliers and senior buyers, chaired by The Drinks Business editor-in-chief Patrick Schmitt MW. The Mission Jewelstone Syrah is reportedly among some very fine Syrah company.

I review the wine here. Interestingly it is to me an elegant style which is very much a European preference. I believe wines with greater sweetness, ripeness and fleshiness are still preferred in Australasia, so it is good to see the different pathways of appreciation.


Mission ‘Jewelstone’ Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2016

Syrah from New Zealand – Hawke’s Bay


Full, dark, deep purple-hued black-ruby red colour, a little lighter on the rim, youthful in appearance. The nose is very elegant and refined with intense and deep aromas of ripe black-berried fruits along with cracked black pepper and a detailed amalgam of spices, violet and dark-red florals, herbs and liquorice and a hint of complexing minerally reduction. Medium-full bodied, the palate is elegantly proportioned with a refined, tight core of concentrated flavours of ripe blackberry fruit with black pepper, spices and liquorice, with herb and floral elements. The fruit is sleek and sweetly luscious, and stylish in expression, and is supported by fine-grained, flowery tannin extraction. The acidity is balanced and integrated, lending energy and drive, and the flavours carry to an elegantly sustained finish. This is an elegantly concentrated and refined Syrah with ripe blackberry fruit with black pepper, spices, liquorice and florals, showing sleek structure and fine-grained tannin structure. Match with lamb, beef and venison over the next 7-9+ years. 6 tonnes of 100% Syrah fruit from a 2 ha block of Syrah grapes from the company’s organically certified ‘Mere Road’ vineyard in the Gimblett Gravels, crushed leaving intact whole berries and fermented to 13.7% alc., the wine spending 20 days on skins post ferment and aged 12 months in 30% new French oak. 18.5+/20 Nov 2018 RRP $50.00

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