Vidal, Hawkes Bay Reserve Syrah 2010, New Zealand
Vidal (which is part of the popular Villa Maria group) is based in a hot spot for structured red wines: Hawkes Bay on New Zealand's North Island. Now there's no doubt that New Zealand's wine reputation rests on the punchy white Sauvignon Blanc that has become their trump card, and latterly Pinot Noir perhaps, so it may come as a surprise that they can also do the big, beefy and bold red wine styles too.
In particular this wine comes from a quality sub-region of Hawkes Bay called the The Gimblett Gravels - a very special soil not a million miles away from the soils of the best Bordeaux vineyards. It has an expressive, fragrant nose that is peppery and briary with red plum and cherry, a touch of sappiness, but an earthy openness too. On the palate it is medium bodied and beautifully balanced, those rounded, sweet red fruit flavours are offset by that gravelly bite, fresh acidity and a smoothing whisper of oak. It is deftly done, delicious, savoury and serious for drinking now or cellaring for a few years.
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