Syrah from New Zealand has been bubbling away for a few years, promising to be the next big thing. It has now arrived and is now cooking up a storm with the release of this brand new wine
Seresin is my favourite producer from Marlborough. The estate was founded my Hollywood cinematographer Michael Seresin in 1996 releasing his first wine in 2000. The estate is made of around 100 hectares in 3 locations, 2 in the Wairau valley and one in the Omaka Hills. The estate has long been an exponent of organics and biodynamics, but not just that, they are also vegan and totally made with wild yeasts. They are pretty close to being just ‘fermented grape juice’ and nothing else. There are great number of varieties planted here, but 70% of what they make is Sauvignon Blanc: hardly unusual for Marlborough.
The Syrah 2016 is a brand new wine which hails from the aforementioned site in the Omaka Hills, which they call Raupo Creek. The Syrah vines have been top grafted into their Gewurztraminer vines – a variety which has fallen out of favour with Seresin, and let’s be honest, nearly everyone else too.
I remember trying the prototype 2014 vintage in March 2015 from the sole barrel plus 3 demijohns that they made, and have been looking forward to the inaugural release ever since.
The wine is not the blockbuster style that is found in Australia or South Africa, this is a much more feminine wine with beautiful fragrance of roses, violets, smoked meat, blackberries, white pepper and tapenade. The palate is remarkably fresh and vibrant. This is about as close to Northen Rhone Syrah as you will find in the Southern Hemisphere.
Available to buy now from £19.99
Richard Ballantyne MW