Element Vineyard Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2019
Vineyard: Element Vineyard
Subregion: Gimblett Gravels
Region: Hawke's Bay
Soil Type: Free-draining gravel bed soils which have lenses of sand, silt and clay at various depths.
Clone: Chave, Mass Selection (Stonecroft)
Viticulture: Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand Certified (SWNZ)
Growers: Dominic and Rachelle Smith
In the true expression of cool-climate Syrah, this wine exudes freshly cracked black pepper, crushed violets, red and black forest fruits and savoury smoky nuances. It has crunchy lifted acidity which carries the defined, fine-grain tannins and background of spicy, savoury oak.
This wine is about fragrance and texture, and this 2019 vintage has a slight departure from previous years in that it's a pure expression of Syrah as we did not co-ferment with Gruner Veltliner (try it with our 2018 side-by-side to see if you can spot a difference!). It still has a high proportion of whole-clusters in the fermentation to bring aromatic lift, complexity and structure. The 2019 vintage was exceptional in the Bay with incredible density of flavour as well as a resounding freshness. Ultimately this Syrah demonstrates the phenomenal potential Gimblett Gravels has for producing cool-climate Syrah and we are thrilled with the stylistic consistency this special single vineyard is delivering. Enjoy now, or bury it deep in the cellar to allow the beguiling tertiary characters of Syrah to develop.
95 points - Outstanding "A powerful bouquet driven by aromas of spices and dark red fleshed fruits, seasoned red meats and there’s layers of barrel and smoke, wood spices and pressed violets. Complex and youthful. Equally powerful on the palate with a firm taut texture from tannins and back bone of acidity; tempering and contrasting core fruit flavours of dark berries and spiced meats layer in complexity and mouthfeel. This wine needs more time, it is delicious already, dry and lengthy. Best drinking from very late 2023 through 2033." Cameron Douglas MS
95 points - Intense wine with an appealing seamless texture and lifted aromatics. Dark berry, cassis, dark chocolate, vanilla, anise, and black pepper are also evident. Elegant, supple wine—a pleasure to taste 20/12/2022 Bob Campbell MW
94 points - Top 100 Wines of New Zealand 2022 (James Sucking) "Aromas of black pepper, wet stone, crushed blueberries and plums. Medium- to full-bodied with velvety tannins. Nicely balanced, showing richness of fruit without being overdone. Dense, packed spice tingles on the palate. Very well composed. Sustainable. Drink or hold. Screw cap."
92 points "The 2018 Element Vineyard usually contains some Gruner Veltliner skins but this vintage is 100% Syrah due to differences in ripening times between the two varieties. It is wild fermented with a five day cold soak and hand plunged. It’s all that you would want a cool climate Syrah to be: smoky bacon, fragrant pepper, but with a sense of more sweet, lush fruit on the finish. There’s 60% whole bunches, giving a light furriness to the mouthcoating tannins." Vinous | Rebecca Gibb MW | May 2023
18 Points "Deepest crimson. Wildly peppery aroma with the fabulous perfume that I associate with the northern Rhône, all stony dark fruit and peonies. Just very slightly and attractively reductive, as top-notch Syrah tends to be. This is stunning: the best Blank Canvas Syrah I have tasted and likely to age well into serious complexity. It is deep but not at all sweet-fruited, dark-fruited, savoury, tarry, complex and has immense length. Just shows how well Syrah is suited to this region of NZ." Julia Harding MW | JancisRobinson.com 27/01/22
96 Points - Outstanding "This is a single vineyard expression of Syrah, 60% whole cluster and co-fermented with a small portion of Gruner Veltliner skins. Matured for 14 months in new and seasoned French oak.
The resulting wine showcases aromas of spices and black fruits, crushed black currant berries and raspberry, violets, clove and toasty barrel scents. A complex and intriguing bouquet, quite powerful and very youthful. On the palate - delicious! Flavours of black fruits and currants, wild berries and spices from barrel and fruit, licorice and clove, some meat moments, pepper and iron-like stony soil qualities. Complex, lengthy and still rather youthful. Decant for service if you must, but best left till late 2022 then enjoy through 2030+." Cameron Douglas MS,
96 Points - (Top 3 New Zealand Syrah 2018) 'From the smallest vineyard in the Gimblett Gravels subregion. Co-fermented with 7% grüner veltliner skins for colour stability, complexity of tannin and a spicy, aromatic lift. The wine certainly has a great depth of colour with rich, ripe flavours including Black Doris plum, liquorice, cocoa powder, mocha and a suggestion of violet. A generously proportioned wine with an appealingly supple texture. Should age well' Drink 2021 - 2030 Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review 4/3/2021
17+ Points - "Tasted blind. Potent nose that combines rich red fruit with a reductive flinty note plus loads of peppery fragrance. Powerful on the palate, both in structure and fruit, although there is no excess in evidence, and the finish is refreshing. Stylish and dense, with more complexity surely in store." Drink 2021 - 2028 - Richard Hemming MW for JancisRobinson.com Date tasted 2019-12-19
Top Syrah New Zealand & Australia - Blind Panel Tasting | WANDS magazine, Jul-Aug 2023
95 Points - Top Three NZ Syrah - Decanter Panel Tasting 'NZ reds other than Pinot Noir' Aug 2023