Tasting Notes: Colour: – a vibrant blue/black hue of real intensity

Nose: – Complex aromas of black cherries and olives with, dark pepper spice and fine French oak. Hints of tar, liquorice and cedar add to the complexity.

Palate: – a rich and concentrated burst of ripe, dark fruit is supported by a strong backbone of fine-grained tannins and toasty French oak. The flavour is intense and brooding – highlighting the impeccable balance between fruit, tannin and acidity.


Cellaring: This wine can be enjoyed now or cellared for a further 10-15 years.
With bottle age, expect the fruit to evolve into an even darker spectrum with gradual development of earthy, tarry and ‘forest-floor’ complexities.


Production Quantity: 1456 bottles produced, estate bottled, hand-labelled, individually numbered


  Winemaker’s Notes


Vineyard: Hill Country Estate
The Grapes: From the Syrah Terrace
Wine Style: 2013 was the first year of contact with our new Hill Country Estate vineyard.
With Syrah being such a critical variety in Hawkes Bay, I decided not to the push the wine too strongly in a particular stylistic direction or pre-judge the style – rather to use fairly basic winemaking techniques so we could get a ‘read’ of the terroir and then move forward with greater knowledge after the first vintage.

After seeing how the 2013 Reserve Syrah turned out, I then took a more aggressive approach with this 2014 Reserve Syrah. Both grapegrowing and winemaking were focussed on producing a more ‘masculine’ and structured wine with even greater focus on “black-fruit” notes.

A serious and dark Syrah designed for long aging.


Winemaking Notes: Hand-picked grapes were crushed to an open-top fermenter and we immediately removed approximately 10% saignee to provide additional concentration, structure and colour.
The grapes were inoculated with a special Syrah yeast and, once the fermentation was underway, co-inoculated with malo bacteria to ensure an efficient malo-lactic fermentation.
The cap was hand-plunged 3 or 4 times per day during the active part of the fermentation and then reduced for the remaining ‘on-skins’ period.


In addition to plunging the skins, we periodically used aerated pump-overs to assist in colour stabilisation and tannin management. Micro oxygenation was also used extensively on this wine to evolve the mouthfeel of the tannins (‘melt the tannins’).


A significant change to the 2013 Reserve Syrah was a reduction in the total time on skins – from 30 days (2013) to 17 days.
Another key difference was our decision not to fine or filter the 2014 reds. Our aim was to retain as much of the inherent structure and integrity as possible. Careful use of micro-oxygenation, along with regular (3-monthly) ‘rack and return’ operations meant the wine was sequentially clarified and the tannins softened without the need for either fining or filtration. The wine was aged in French barriques (33% new) for about 14 months.