Wines of the week… Syrah and Shiraz

Trinity Hill Wines has released a new range of single vineyard wines, all relatively high priced. There are four wines in the new range and prices start at $39 for the rosé, rising to $80 for the Chardonnay and $120 for each of the reds; a Syrah and a Cabernet Sauvignon.

Their launch prompted me to taste the Syrah blind, alongside another new Syrah from Hawke’s Bay and one of Barossa Valley in Australia.

The following three wines were tasted blind but not double blind. This means that I knew which wines were in the lineup but they had their identities concealed. That said, it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out which was the Australian wine which was deeper in colour and significantly more intense in taste.

I’ve never been one to make ‘best ever’ declarations about a movie, a book or even a great meal, let alone a wine, so I am not a little betwixt and between about New Zealand reds from the 2019 vintage, which I regard as responsible for some of the nicest, most drinkable and balanced wines I’ve had yet from this country. The reviews below reflect this.


2019 Squawking Magpie Gimblett Gravels Stoned Crow Syrah RRP $49.95

More information here

Hand picked grapes from a single vineyard and an extremely good vintage in Hawke’s Bay make this wine an impressive one for its price. Dark, rich and juicy with a full body and long, elegant finish from the elevated but balanced acidity, which adds freshness to the complex layers of cedar, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. There’s a lot going on in this bottle, which may not tick the everyday drinking box in terms of price, but which delivers an extremely impressive red for drinking now and with great potential for further aging for up to a decade.

This wine was selected as one of the top 12 wines from the Gimblett Gravels Annual Vintage Selection by Master of Wine Andrew Caillard.


2016 Peter Lehmann Stonewell Barossa Shiraz RRP $105.99

More information here

Inky, dark and smooth with very ripe, rich flavours of concentrated blackcurrant juice and jam notes, underpinned by powerful tannins and weight. This new P super full bodied wine with depth, complexity and length of flavour. First made in 1987 and named after the Barossan wine district that the late Peter Lehmann held in the highest regard because he saw super concentrated wine made from the small black grapes from this area in the Barossa, which he admired for the dark richness in taste in the wines he made from them.

Grapes were fermented and macerated for two weeks with a portion of barrel fermentation and followed by 18 months aging in French oak hogsheads. This wine drinks well now and will age for well over a decade in well chosen cellaring conditions.


2019 Trinity Hill Thomson’s Block Syrah RRP $120

More information here

Thomson’s Block is a north facing vineyard which was planted in 2007 on Roy’s Hill in Hawke’s Bay; a sunny and warm site which optimises flavours in late ripening grapes, such as Syrah. All grapes were hand picked along with 5% Viognier from the Gimblett Estate vineyard. They were foot plunged in a small stainless open tank where they spent 11 days on skins to gain colour and depth of flavour. The wine is dark, full and rich in taste with ripe black plum flavours and deep layers of spice adding complexity. It was aged in French oak barriques for 21 months then bottled without fining.

Big, bold and begging for time in the cellar.

Thomson’s Block bears no relation to the writer of this blog.

  • These wines are available online and in specialist stores.

Author: Joelle Thomson

I am a wine writer, author and educator... first bitten by a big buttery Chardonnay on a dark and stormy night in the 1980s and there was no turning back... Follow my tastings and join some too on this new site.

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