Red, Ready, but will keep

2010 William Murdoch Syrah, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

2010 William Murdoch Syrah, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Red | Ready, but will keep | Murdoch Wines | Code:  20232 | 2010 | New Zealand > Hawkes Bay | Syrah/Shiraz | Medium-Full Bodied, Dry | 13.0 % alcohol

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The Producer

Murdoch Wines

Murdoch Wines

Located in the middle of the famous Gimblett Gravels wine district in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, The William Murdoch vineyard is currently planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Syrah. The vineyards are farmed organically while the wines are made by Hayden Penny under the watchful eye of Jenny Dobson, consultant winemaker, known to the older members of our team as the girl who made a series of brilliant wines at Chateau Sénéjac in the Haut Médoc in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s.

The Grape

Syrah/Shiraz

Syrah/Shiraz

A noble black grape variety grown particularly in the Northern Rhône where it produces the great red wines of Hermitage, Cote Rôtie and Cornas, and in Australia where it produces wines of startling depth and intensity. Reasonably low yields are a crucial factor for quality as is picking at optimum ripeness. Its heartland, Hermitage and Côte Rôtie, consists of 270 hectares of steeply terraced vineyards producing wines that brim with pepper, spices, tar and black treacle when young. After 5-10 years they become smooth and velvety with pronounced fruit characteristics of damsons, raspberries, blackcurrants and loganberries.

It is now grown extensively in the Southern Rhône where it is blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre to produce the great red wines of Châteauneuf du Pape and Gigondas amongst others. Its spiritual home in Australia is the Barossa Valley, where there are plantings dating as far back as 1860. Australian Shiraz tends to be sweeter than its Northern Rhône counterpart and the best examples are redolent of new leather, dark chocolate, liquorice, and prunes and display a blackcurrant lusciousness.

South African producers such as Eben Sadie are now producing world- class Shiraz wines that represent astonishing value for money.

The Region

Hawkes Bay

Hawkes Bay, encompassing Napier on the east coast of North Island, is New Zealand's second largest region by plantings, with 4,500 hectares (or 20 percent of the country's total) in 2006. It is led by Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon (34 percent), Chardonnay (23 percent), Sauvignon Blanc (16.5 percent) and Pinot Noir (nine percent).

It boasts a diverse spread of soils, from fertile alluvial to stony dry, resulting in an array of variously-sized wineries from the small to the not-so-small; the region accounts for 12.5 percent of the country's 530 wineries, suggesting a happy balance between the two.

Hawkes Bay continues to fine-tune its Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Franc Bordeaux blends, offering some fine, fresh, pencil-shaving-nuanced examples, particularly from the Te Mata Estate (ie Coleraine). The more recent success story seems to be that of Syrah, in a cool, black pepper Northern Rhône style.

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