Rod McDonald’s new flagship Syrah is out and it’s no surprise to taste such a class act – the 2015 Trademark Syrah is from the third great year in a row for Hawke’s Bay.

The proof is in the bottle.

The 2015 Trademark Syrah is from the third in a trio of outstanding vintages in Hawke’s Bay. A grape, region and wine that are going places; the wine is going into the cellar…

Last year McDonald won the Champion Red Trophy at the world’s biggest wine competition – the International Wine Challenge (IWC) in London. The win was for his humbly priced 2015 Quarter Acre Syrah, about $30, sometimes less. It’s no mean feat for a wine made from a grape that is relatively new not only to Hawke’s Bay but also to New Zealand. And, now, the brand new 2015 Trademark Syrah, $89.99, picks up where the Quarter Acre Syrah left off. It’s made in smaller quantities from four vineyards in the Bay; Maraekakaho, Bridge Pa, Tuki Tuki River Valley and Te Awanga. McDonald and his team manage these vineyards and their spread of geographic sites is all about maximising quality – fruit ripeness, balance of flavour, tannins, fresh acidity and body – rather than about hedging bets.

This Syrah is the best; dark purple, dry, full bodied, very good balance and a great long life ahead of it. If you can resist the urge to enjoy it right now. A stunner.

Rod McDonald’s new 2015 Trademark Syrah $89.99 is out now in specialist wine stores.