Red, Ready, but will keep

2014 Sam Harrop, Cedalion Syrah, Church Bay, Waiheke Island, New Zealand

2014 Sam Harrop, Cedalion Syrah, Church Bay, Waiheke Island, New Zealand

Red | Ready, but will keep | Sam Harrop | Code:  40092 | 2014 | New Zealand > Auckland | Syrah/Shiraz | Medium Bodied, Dry | 14.0 % alcohol

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The Producer

Sam Harrop

Sam Harrop

Having lived in London at the heart of the UK wine trade for many years, Sam Harrop MW moved back to New Zealand with his family a few years ago and now makes wines under his own name (for the first time), working his aunt and uncle’s vineyard on the sub-tropical Waiheke Island. The vineyard is situated at 400 metres altitude and the 14-year-old Chardonnay vines are dry-farmed achieving yields of around 25 hectolitres per hectare.

The Cedalion Chardonnay name comes from Greek mythology; Cedalion was a humble servant from Lemnos who, literally, stood on the shoulders of the blinded giant Orion to guide him to Helios and restore his vision. The name also refers to the determined spirit of one of Sam’s ancestors, Jeremiah Horrocks who, in 1639, challenged the work of the most famous astronomer of the time and was the first person to accurately predict the Transit of Venus, an extremely rare event. This prediction led Cook to sail to Tahiti to witness it for himself and his explorations after this event then guided him to the discovery of New Zealand.

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

Auckland

Auckland

At the head of North Island, the Auckland region brims with a disproportionate amount of wineries (17 percent of New Zealand's total), even though it is planted with just two percent of the country's vines.

Despite being on the doorstep of an affluent Auckland, the fairly humid, near-tropical climate and fertile soils makes fine wine little more than a pipe dream – the notable exception being Kumeu River Wines, where the tireless work of the Brajkovich family in taming the vines while honing their winemaking has resulted in the country's finest Chardonnays.

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