A few weeks ago, early September, Church Road Winery celebrated a victory after their Grand Reserve Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2013 was awarded the Trophy for Best New World Red Wine at the Japan Wine Challenge 2015.
Church Road winery also scored a national trophy with another of their Syrah being awarded Champion Wine of Show Trophy and Champion Syrah Trophy at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards with the 2013 Church Road McDonald Series.
As communicated by the winery, Church Road Senior Winemaker Chris Scott was particularly proud of the Japan Trophy win:
“The Church Road Grand Reserve Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2013 is a product of our fantastic Redstone vineyard in the Bridge Pa Triangle sub region. Neil Watson and the team at Redstone know how to grow great cool climate Syrah and the level of attention to detail in the vineyard is second to none, right down to hand positioning each and every bunch of grapes. This vineyard produces Syrah with fine, supple texture and lifted aromatic qualities we don’t see from other sites. Combine this with the experience our great winery team has developed with Syrah in the last 10 years and the outstanding 2013 harvest conditions and it all just came together perfectly.”
Church Road Grand Reserve wines are produced only in great vintages.
Curious as always, we’ve wanted to know: how good this Grande Reserve Syrah really is?
The answer is in the tasting note:
Nose: typical Syrah pepper jumps out of the glass. As soon as you dip you nose in the glass’ opening though, it’s a literal explosion of intense flavors of ripe fruit and refined oaky notes and sweet spices. The fruit notes are those of dark red berries: blackberry, dark juicy almost jammy cherry, and a hint of blueberry giving it a fresh vibrant tone. The oak is represented by a rich vanilla, dark-roasted cocoa fringing with coffee flavor and clove. There a volatile surrounding of wood smoke and chalk all around the nose’s aromas.
This complex and rich nose just makes you want to lose yourself in it. I literally spent solid 10 minutes just sniffing the glass, exhilarating my senses and identify a new layer each time. Hence this long description.
An enchanting nose. Deep, filled with dark fruit aromas and spices. Very complex.
Spectrum of aromatic notes: White pepper, black pepper, wood smoke, blackberry, blueberry, violet, dark cherry, clove, vanilla, chalk, dark-roasted cocoa.
Palate: After such a spellbinding nose, the palate surprisingly doesn’t disappoint. It actually confirms that the liquid in your mouth is something special. It’s big and powerful, with plenty of tannins and a great intensity of flavors. All with a smooth, velvety, and very dense texture.
More importantly, the wine doesn’t feel overripe, which is often the case with big Shiraz. Flavors are actually rather fresh: sour cherry, strawberry, and dark cocoa.
Overall: if you’ve read this far, you’ve got it, this is a very rich, concentrated Syrah, yet in a quite refined way. The middle way between a big Aussie Shiraz and a restraint French one.
Very enjoyable thanks to its power, flavor intensity, and smoooooth dense texture.
Growing Season: the 2013 vintage was the driest in Hawke’s Bay for the past 70 years resulting in very favorable conditions for winemaking in the Hawkes Bay. While warmer than average, summer was not overly hot and most varieties performed very well with low disease pressure.
Soil Type: the Redstone Vineyard is sitting in the Bridge Pa Triangle, the soil type is known locally as ‘red metals’ shallow alluvium of silt, loess and volcanic ash over red gravels with moderate nutrient content and low water-holding capacity.
Oak Regime: 100% fine grain French oak barriques, 35% of which were new, with the balance being predominantly second fill and some third fill. The wine remained on light lees for 6 mont.
ALCOHOL: 14.0% v/v
RESIDUAL SUGAR: <1.6g/l
TITRATABLE ACIDITY: 6.06g/l (as Tartaric Acid)
Learn more about Church Road Winery and find more tasting notes at Church Road producer profile: