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Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2019 £22.95
Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2019
Since its inception in 1993, partners John Hancock, who has been making wine in New Zealand for over 35 years, and Robert and Robyn Wilson, owners of The Bleeding Heart and The Don in London, have made Trinity Hill a byword for quality and consistency. Winemaker Warren Gibson has been with Trinity Hill since 1997. He is also in charge of the 80 hectares of vineyard owned by Trinity Hill, of which 47 are in the Gimblett Gravels. The Gimblett Gravels, planted on the former bed of the Ngaruroro River, is now a highly sought after sub-region renowned for the quality of its wines. The Trinity Hill wines have elegance, balance, drinkability and precision of flavour. This estate was one of the first to plant grapes on the Gimblett Gravels in 1993.
This wine is made from estate-grown grapes from the Tin Shed and Gimblett Stones vineyards. The Gimblett Gravels sub-region is known for its deep, free-draining gravel soils in a unique microclimate. Soils were deposited by the Ngaruroro River as it changed course over many thousands of years. Their low fertility and excellent drainage give small crops of grapes with highly concentrated flavours and aromas.
2019 proved to be another exceptional vintage in Hawkes Bay. After the extensive rains before Christmas, the region encountered consistently warm daytime temperatures and moderate-cool nights – conditions that were perfect for ripening while preserving fresh acidity. The steady conditions enabled the team at Trinity Hill to pick at the perfect harvest time. Winemaker Warren Gibson says, "You could easily say there were seasons that were at least as good, but  would be in the top 20%. In terms of the wine we have, I think it's certainly one of the best seasons we've ever had."
The Syrah grapes for this wine were hand-harvested from estate-owned vineyards of individual sites and clones and then fermented separately before blending post-fermentation. A range of maceration periods allowed for increased complexity. 30% of whole bunches were included in the fermentation to contribute freshness, aromatics and structure to the wine. A small percentage of Viognier skins were included in some batches to further aid in providing complexity and texture. The wine was then matured for eight months, entirely in 5,000-litre oak ovals, before bottling in February 2021.
This wine is a deep, vibrant crimson in colour. Wild raspberry, blackberry and black pepper aromas predominate, with hints of vanilla bean. Savoury, spicy notes follow with some meaty overtones. Powerful but balanced, ripe tannins give the wine great structure. Oak ageing plays a supporting role, the wine leading with a pure fruit expression. Combined with good acidity, these characteristics ensure excellent potential for ageing.