We have never released a wine from New Zealand before, but are excited to be able to offer one of their greatest ever wines, the stunning and critically acclaimed, Trinity Hill Homage 2013. James Suckling has recently awarded this 97 points, it is a wine Dan Berger, who writes for the Wine spectator and Wine Enthusiast reflects on, ‘If Penfolds Grange is the world’s top world-class, warm-climate Syrah, this contends for the best cool climate version. Dried herb, pepper, cranberry, violet and a seamless structure.’ In fact, the 2013 ranked 11th in James Suckling’s Annual Top 100 wines of the year.
The genesis of the wine’s story began in 1987 when John Hancock, one of New Zealand’s leading and most innovative winemakers, met Robert and Robyn Wilson in their London restaurant, Bleeding Heart. Over a bottle of John’s award-winning Chardonnay, the concept of a Hawkes Bay winery was born. They were convinced they could produce world-class red wines as well as white in this region of New Zealand. In 1996 John worked a harvest with Gerard Jaboulet, of Paul Jaboulet Aine. As a mark of gratitude for John’s passion and hard work, Gerard gave cuttings of Syrah from his magnificent ‘La Chapelle’ Hermitage vineyard and Viognier from ‘Les Jumelles’ in Cote Rotie. John recognised the outstanding potential of Hawkes Bay’s Gimblett Gravels winegrowing district and in 1993 Trinity Hill became one of the region’s early pioneers, planting grape vines on a barren plot on the former bed of the Ngaruroro River, followed by planting the aforementioned prodigious vines. The first Gimblett Road wines, barrel-aged, were released in 1998 (vintage 1997); Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot and Syrah, to critical acclaim and a number of gold medals and trophies.
Trinity’s first Syrah vintage was the 2002, named Homage in tribute to Gerard who passed away in 1997. It is only released in exceptional vintages, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009; the 2013 release is the first since 2010, a vintage many are calling “the vintage of a generation” making it a must-have for any wine collector.
Trinity Hill’s reputation is based on their ability to produce outstanding wines that explode with fruit character and yet retain the sophistication and complexity we would expect from old world wines. The Hawkes Bay vineyard site is a temperate, maritime region on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island, situated at latitude 40° south. It is a unique region with a large number of different soil types and micro-climates, yielding many and varied wine styles. The 2013 harvest was one of the top vintages ever experienced at Trinity Hill and Syrah was particularly strong. New Zealand as a whole experienced a very dry summer with many areas reporting higher than average temperatures. For Hawkes Bay, it was more a case of a typical season in terms of summer temperatures, though it certainly was a very, very dry growing period.
Trinity Hill wines are respected worldwide and this much anticipated 2013 Homage Syrah is a strong contender for one of the best reds ever made in the country, certainly a wine to secure now before prices begin to soar.
97 pts James Suckling
A super-polished wine that has a broad array of fruits: raspberry, blackberry and cassis, with white pepper, graphite and a clear whole-bunch lift. The palate has a powerful, focused core of concentrated dark plum and cassis, boldly spicy, then dark chocolate to close. Best from 2019.
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