Trinity Hill ‘Homage’ Syrah 2014
It is a privilege to be able to taste and review the Trinity Hill ‘Homage’ Syrah 2014 well before its official release date of 31 October. Without any doubt, the wine is one of the greatest Syrahs made in this country and stands tall in the best of international company. The wine is named in tribute to Gerard Jaboulet of Paul Jaboulet Aine, who Trinity Hill’s founding winemaker John Hancock worked vintage for in 1996. Paul Jaboulet Aine makes the iconic ‘La Chapelle’ Hermitage, which still serves as an inspiration for Trinity Hill.
The 2014 Trinity Hill ‘Homage’ Syrah will be the eighth release of this label, being preceded by the 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007. 2009, 2010 and 2013 (click here to see my 20.0/20 review for the 2013 vintage). It is, of course, made from the finest Syrah fruit available. Originally this was solely from the company’s original Gimblett Gravels vines planted in 1995. These vines originated from cuttings from the neighbouring ‘Stonecroft’ vineyard, the ancestry of which is theorised to be the Busby ‘Hermitage’ vines of 1832, brought from Europe. These ‘Mass Selection’ vines were 19 y.o. for the 2014 vintage. This fruit has now been supplemented with new clonal material, the vines now proven to provide suitable quality for ‘Homage’. The 2013 employed Syrah from Roys Hill, technically outside the Gimblett Gravels, but it was not used for the 2014.
2014 in Hawke’s Bay, following the outstanding 2013 vintage has long been heralded by John Hancock and Warren Gibson of Trinity Hill as being an equally spectacular. This has certainly been borne out by my tastings. The wines of 2014 are different to those of 2013, of course, and reflect the warmer growing season. They have greater richness, opulence and accessibility than the 2013s in general. The Syrahs in particular have been special, with beautiful aromatics. Overall, it would be a brave person to put one year ahead of the other. Possibly the best approach to the comparison is that the two vintages will be great foils to each other and deserve serving together over the coming two decades. My review of the 2014 Trinity Hill ‘Homage’ Syrah follows. Looking back at my tasting review of the 2013 for comparison’s sake, I see a greater purity in the 2014 ‘Homage’ and a more complex array of classical Syrah flavours in the 2013. The 2014 is a wine of individuality, as is the 2013, which elevates them in my standing. Both are stupendous wines. www.trinityhill.com
Homage Consumer Dinners
Trinity Hill will be hosting ‘Consumer Dinners’ featuring the ‘Homage’ 2014 following the wine’s official launch. The dinners will be on 31 October at Stafford Wine Bar and 3 November at the Fine Wine Delivery Co. in Auckland; 9 November at Shed 5 in conjunction with Regional Wines & Spirits in Wellington; and 15 November in association with Vino Fino in Christchurch. For more information or bookings, contact Janine at Trinity Hill, Tel: 06 879-7778, or Email: [email protected]
FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW
Trinity Hill ‘Homage’ Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2014Syrah from New Zealand - Hawke's BayReview Date : 25-Aug-2016Full, very dark, deep, black-hued purple-red colour, a little lighter edged, very youthful in appearance. The nose is very refined and elegantly expressed with aromas of pure and ripe black-berried fruits harmoniously melded with an array of fragrant black and violet florals, along with suggestions of spice and black mineral detail. The aromatics are tight and concentrated, build in intensity in the glass and exude immense finesse. Medium-full bodied, the palate is tightly bound and concentrated with intense and penetrating flavours of ripe blackberries, lifted by a range of fragrant black and floral notes. The fruit is complexed by fine iron-earth and black mineral elements, with suggestions of spice unfolding. The fruit is supported by considerable extraction, the powdery tannins providing a firm, near velvet-textured line. The palate flows with drive and underlying soft, ripe acidity lends the energy to carry to a taut, long-lingering finish of black fruits and an array of dark florals. This is a very refined, aromatic, individual Syrah with ripe black fruits and an array of fragrant florals and mineral complexities, on a seriously structured palate with very fine tannins. Match with roasted lamb, beef, venison and game meat over the next 12-15 years. Almost 100% hand-picked Syrah, including approx. 0.3% Viognier, from the company’s Gimblett Gravels vineyards, predominantly MS clone with a small percentage of clone 174, 60% destemmed and lightly crushed to leave a large portion of whole berries and 40% left as whole bunches, with fermentation to 13.8% alc., the wine spending on average 30 days on skins and aged 14 months in predominantly new French oak barriques with a portion in large 5000 L oak ovals. 19.5+/20 Aug 2016 RRP $130.00