TN: Three stunning bottles from New Zealand

Bilancia la collina Syrah 2005
I was wondering when I handed over the spondoolies, a whole 36 quid for a single bottle of NZ Syrah, if this was NZ’s most expensive Syrah. But I’d heard nothing but great things about this wine and it is über rare in the UK and curiosity took the better of me. Two hours in the decanter…

Gotta say the nose is slightly disappointing (dumb) to start with and you really have to work it to get what the liquid is all about. Perhaps a model of restraint but then some wow… out pops some ethereal perfume of cherry stones, framboise, herbal notes, crushed white pepper and then in the background winter frost (??!! seriously), rose petals and a mineral tint – quite extraordinary. The medium bodied palate is even better with the most wonderful tapestry of texture, tannin, acidity, fruit purity, structure & amazing complexity for this to live for many years. Finishes very, very long. A wine all about finesse rather than all power. 14%vol. 94+pts

Although very pricy I would buy again and cellar for a few years. A unique wine which is now my benchmark NZ Syrah for the moment. Glorious.

Kumeu River ‘Hunting Hill’ Chardonnay 2006
Managed to buy two bottles of this NZ rarity, so why not crack one. In screw cap FWIW and the first vintage produced…

Pale yellow to the eye. The nose shows a powerful mineral component then candied lime, pear, nutmeg, gravel & oak hints. Follows nicely to a ripe, gorgeously detailed medium bodied palate with amazing fruit purity, beautiful freshness and exquisite balance. Finishes long and savoury. Drinking now & over the next 5 years. 14%vol. 91pts

Kumeu River ‘Mate’s Vineyard’ Chardonnay 2006
Twenty quid for a NZ Chardonnay! Surely it can’t be worth the £££ I ask myself. But 30 minutes in the decanter (handcuff me Jane MacQ!*) it slowly starts to show it’s beguiling fineness!

Tightly wound on the nose with yellow stone fruit, crushed lemongrass and melon with peach tea & a feint nutty character. Once you bathe your palate with this delicious liquid the exceptionally clean, pure & harmonious fruit hits you which follows with handsome acidity and a texture to die for. The oak is so balanced you would hardly know it’s there but there is a spice hit from it. This ideally needs 3-5 in the cellar & well worth the £££! Can Chardonnay get any better? In screw cap. 13.5%vol. 94+pts

hello Phil
good to see you over here
when are moving back to the serious syrah-? bring on the Chave baby

Thanks Ken. I posted on the Chave lunch we had a while back - my first post here in fact and you’re making me want to drink another bottle!

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One of the great off-lines, wasn’t it! [d_sunny.gif]

Phil that was a good chave lunch. As a matter of fact we did a 86 claret dinner at the same place, hawksmoor a few weeks ago. Was quite good.
Hope to see u soon

Have a pair of '06 coming from Garagiste in the fall. Your note makes me anticipate.

Thanks,

A.