Meet the best yet… 2015 Trinity Hill Homage 19/20

Best Homage yet because it’s all about fruit elegance, silkyness and the notion that less is more. This is a Hawke’s Bay Syrah of real beauty. 

 

The story of Homage

Trinity Hill winery has a big name and its wines have a reputation for living up to the moniker that bigger is better, so I was impressed this month to try a new wine that is bigger on balance than it is on bells and whistles. The wine is called Homage and it is better than every other Homage I have tried (it was first made in 2004), thanks to relying more on the beauty of fruit flavour than on the architecture that oak can provide to wines. It’s incredibly refreshing to taste a wine that stands on elegance and restraint rather than acquiring flavour from other sources.

For this reason I am giving the new 2015 Trinity Hill Homage a massive score of 19/20; I don’t award 19 out of 20 often so this is a high score that I take incredibly seriously.

Homage was first made in 2004 by John Hancock, founder of Trinity Hill Wines, who was inspired by Jaboulet in Tain l’Hermitage in the northern Rhone Valley, which he visited in 1981. He met Gerard Jaboulet and his father, Louis, and was strongly drawn to the Paul Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle – one of the world’s great Syrahs. It’s a wine that can age for decades, changing over time to evolve away from its impressive deep purple colour, massively body and structure into an elegant wine of spice, dark fruit, clove-like flavours with notes of black pepper and white pepper (chemical compounds in the Syrah grape that are natural identical to those we know of in pepper).

Syrah is one of the world’s greatest and most under rated grapes. Many people do rate it highly but it has not traditionally held as great a sway as Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir, despite which it has frequently offered – and still does – far better value for money and greater consistency in its traditional Rhone Valley homeland.

And wines such as the latest Homage are shining a new light on the potential of Syrah in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. Bravo, Trinity Hill.