Rod McDonald ‘Trademark’ Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2011
Rod McDonald set out on his own with a vision to do great things with Syrah in Hawke’s Bay. On the way, he got distracted and set up the burgeoning Rod McDonald Wines company which includes brands such as ‘Quarter Acre’, ‘Two Gates’, ‘Te Awanga Estate’, Blanket hills’ among others and a contract winegrowing and winemaking business involving the purchased, refurbished and modified former Pernod-Ricard winery in Napier which has around two dozen clients.
However at the start of August, Rod released his flagship ‘Trademark’ Syrah which gets him back on track with his dream to showcase Hawke’s Bay Syrah. I attended the launch luncheon of this wine at Osteria del Toro in Wellington. There, Rod put this wine in the context of his premium ‘Quarter Acre’ wines, and explained his journey so far, and his position now to make a significant step forward with this project. The ‘Trademark’ Syrah 2011 is really a wine that is at the first stage of making vinous expressions that explore the potential greatness and character of the variety in different sites, and how they might interact and complement each other. (Click here to see my report on the luncheon, Rod’s background to the wine and my impressions of the wine.) Even with this release, I feel he has hit the mark, and I’ve rated the wine a serious 19.5/20 and 5-stars. Here, I give the wine more critical attention with this ‘Feature Review’. www.rmwines.co.nz
FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW
Rod McDonald ‘Trademark’ Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2011Syrah from New Zealand - Hawke's BayReview Date : 02-Oct-2014Full, dark, deep, black-hued ruby-red, near impenetrable, with a hint of garnet on rim. This has a bold, very full and densely packed bouquet with harmoniously interwoven aromas of black and red berry fruits, liquorice, plums, savoury and exotic Middle Eastern spices and waves of complex, cedary and aromatic oak, and earthy, secondary elements. Full-bodied and powerfully presented, rich and densely concentrated flavours of black and red berry fruits, plums and liquorice are complexed by layers of exotic cedary oak, and a full array of Middle Eastern and Asian spices along with secondary detail. The fruit is succulent and oaking opulent, and the flavours are encased by substantial, fine-grained tannin extraction and structure that balances the fruit decadence. The palate has power and drive from the alcohol, and underlying soft acidity adds to the energy, the wine carrying to a very long, sustained and concentrated finish. This is a powerful and fully-structured Syrah with waves of opulent fruit and decadent, spicy cedary oak, just beginning to show some secondary complexities. Match with slow cooked lamb and game meat over the next 8-10+ years. Fruit from organically managed MS clone vines planted in 2004, in a single site on S.H. 50 on gravel soils, the wine fermented to 14.5% alc. and aged 2 years in 60% new oak. 200 dozen made. 19.5/20 Oct 2014 RRP $75.00